Exuberantly ushering in 1920, Jowett Motor Cars, then a popular English firm, suggested that motoring provided the means to escape from work and the city: “Have you glimpsed a bit of heaven whilst “picnicking” [sic] by the scented pinewood?” Their ad photo is staged to show a typical family picnicking beside their Jowett convertible parked on the grass on the bank of a river or lake. “THE FREEDOM IS YOURS,” shouts the advertising copy. [Notice that picnicking is misspelled]
The advertisement was hype, but true.
Katherine Mansfield wrote to a friend that motor picnicking was a pleasure that momentarily took her mind from her rampaging tuberculosis. Enjoying very clement march weather, Mansfield wrote to a friend. “The weather here [Mentone, France] is simply supreme It’s summer, hot enough for cold chicken, un peu de salade, champagne, and ice-cream, all of which are very much here. The flowers are marvelous, Anne. We go for picnics up among the mountains and long day excursions by motor.”
Featured Image: Jowett’s idea of a delightful automobile picnic.
See Julian Pettifer and Nigel Turner, Automania; Man and the Motor Car (London, 1984); Katherine Mansfield, The Collected Letters of Katherine Mansfield: 1919-1920, ed. M.S. Vincent O’Sullivan. Vol. 3. 1984, London: Clarendon Press. “Letter to Anne Estelle Rice [Drey], March 1920”