Horatio's Drive: America's First Road Trip

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Horatio's Drive: America's First Road Trip
Directed byKen Burns
Written byDayton Duncan
Release date
  • 2003 (2003)
CountryUnited States

Horatio's Drive: America's First Road Trip is a 2003 documentary film directed by Ken Burns and written by Dayton Duncan. Its subject is the first cross-country automobile journey in the United States, which occurred during the summer of 1903. The documentary focuses primarily on Horatio Nelson Jackson and his Winton car, The Vermont; along with his companions Sewall K. Crocker, his pet pitbull Bud and frequent correspondence with Jackson's wife Bertha Richardson Wells (called "Swipes" by Jackson). The journey became a race among three teams, the winners being Jackson and Crocker.

The documentary has a companion book and audiobook, Horatio's Drive: America's First Road Trip, authored by Dayton Duncan and Ken Burns, published by Knopf in 2003.

Actors and historians[edit]

Several noted actors read the lines of various historical figures. They include:

Archival footage of Horatio Nelson Jackson is included.

A series of American university professors of history provided background information.


The soundtrack includes a variety of music, including some bluegrass instrumentals and a modern rendition by Bobby Horton of an old song called "He'd Have to Get Under – Get Out and Get Under (to Fix Up His Automobile)".

External links[edit]