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Earl Kiser Accident - August 1905
This image originally appeared in the August 17, 1905 issue of The Automobile. The photo marked the sad occasion of driver Earl Kiser's career-ending accident at the Glenville Horse Track on August 12, 1905. Kiser, one of the brightest stars of track racing in the day, was injured on the second warm-up lap for a race meet scheduled that day at the track, which was just outside Cleveland, Ohio.
Kiser was a colleague of Carl Fisher, the leading founder of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He replaced Barney Oldfield at the Winton Motor Carriage Company in that company's premier racing car, the Bullet. He was regarded as a formidable competitor in that machine, winning several races and setting track records. His accident at Glenville, along with serious injuries to other track stars Oldfield and Webb Jay, helped trigger an intense newspaper campaign to end auto racing on horse tracks. After the furor died down, the races continued. However it did set in motion other initiatives, such as construction of purpose-built tracks for auto racing including the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Oldfield demonstrated strength of character by staging a race meet to benefit Earl Kiser, helping to provide for himself until he had recovered sufficiently to work again. Kiser remained in the automotive business and worked in sales in a Pennsylvania dealership. As a side note, this is the event where "rainmaker" Ned Broadwell was hired by a Christian organization to put a stop to the races.