Indianapolis News and Headlines


Road to 100: 1914

Road to 100: 1914
Road to 100: 1914
Road to 100: 1914
Road to 100: 1914
Posted at 5:38 PM, Feb 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-22 17:46:07-05

INDIANAPOLIS -- In 1914, on the brink of World War 1 where hundreds of thousands of American men would be shipped overseas, the Circle City was home to America's first female self-made millionaire: Madam CJ Walker. 

Walker had a thriving business of African-American hair care products complete with a factory for production, along with a salon and training school, all located here in Indianapolis.

Born on a cotton plantation to recently freed slave parents in Louisiana, Walker invented the products after suffering from a scalp ailment that resulted in her hair loss.

It was quite an achievement in a world dominated by men and the automotive industry. 

Cars bearing such legendary names as Stutz, Peugeot and Duesenberg lined up for the 4th International 500-Mile Sweepstakes at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

It was a time when the program only cost 10 cents, the standings were kept on a wooden scoreboard and the race saw its most economical high speed performance in automotive history: Billy Carlson and his Maxwell finished the full 500 miles 9th on 30 gallons of kerosene. And it cost $1.80. 

And while the cheap operation was a victory for the American Carlson, it was the Europeans who dominated the race again, with five of the top six positions. 

For the second year in a row, a Frenchman took the checkered flag, but this time with no alcohol involved - that was outlawed after Jules Goux, the winner in 1913, drank four bottles of champagne during pit stops.

This year it was a sober rookie René Thomas who took the checkered flag with an average speed of 82.4 miles per hour in his Delage. He started 15th in a grid that was organized by random draw. 

Road to 100: 1913Road to 100: 1912 | Road to 100: 1911 | Special Section: Road to 100 | Enter to win tickets to the Indy 500 | Start your engines: 100 stories in 100 days

Tune in to RTV6 News at 6 p.m. every night for our Road to 100, where we take a look back at each of the races leading up to the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500. 

Want tickets to this year's race? Tune in to RTV6 News at 6 p.m. and watch for the daily trivia question and answer, then click here to enter the answer to be entered daily for your chance to win tickets to the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 29.


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