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1929 Motorcycle Run over Snoqualmie Pass (Seattle to Ellensburg WA)
Posted by: ztirffritz
Date: November 08, 2019 06:04PM
The local paper had a cool story that I thought some of you might enjoy.

[www.yakimaherald.com]

Quote
Yakima Herald Republic
The story begins with Frank Walter Sagar, who was born in San Francisco in 1876, and moved with his family to Oregon in 1880, according to the Kittitas County Historical Museum. Census records show he was in Alaska in 1910 and 1920, working in the gold fields. He eventually came to Washington state and was working in gold mines in Liberty, which is now a ghost town in Kittitas County.

Sagar was caught in a mine collapse on Nov. 4, 1929, which crushed his leg. In addition to the broken bones, he also developed a severe form of blood poisoning. Dr. William A. Taylor at Ellensburg General Hospital requested a serum to treat the poisoning from a Seattle pharmacy on Nov. 8, according to the museum.

But heavy fog precluded getting the medicine to Ellensburg by air, and rail service would not get the serum there until at least the next day, the Ellensburg Daily Record reported. Sagar, it was said, would not live that long without the treatment.

It was decided to have a courier deliver it by motorcycle.

Clifford Amsbury, a 25-year-old pharmacy messenger was given the assignment to get the medicine to Ellensburg that day. Bear in mind, this was in the days before the Interstate Highway System, which meant a longer trip on rougher roads than we’re used to today.

To aid him in his run, King County Sheriff Claude Bannick deputized Amsbury, giving him the legal authority to travel with all possible speed and not stop for anything, according to the Seattle Star. Bannick, the newspaper noted, also called ahead to make sure authorities along Amsbury’s route would keep the road clear for him.

Amsbury was also given a state patrolman’s badge in case anyone tried to stop him.

Amsbury hit the road at noon and, with speeds reaching 70 mph, made it to Ellensburg in a record-setting two hours and 45 minutes.

Newspapers in Seattle and Ellensburg touted Amsbury as a hero. “It cannot take rank with the historic dog team dash to Nome with the diphtheria antitoxin, but it is unusual enough to attract attention,” the Seattle Daily Times noted.

To put this journey in perspective, this same trip today, with paved interstate highways the entire length probably is just 20-30 minutes faster. This guy was probably really pushing his luck in places on dirt roads. According to Wikipedia, Snoqualmie Pass wasn't paved until 1934. The ride took the motorcyclist from 500ft to 3,000ft and back down to 1,500ft. In November. I don't know what the temperature was, but I'm sure it wasn't a pleasant country ride.



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Re: 1929 Motorcycle Run over Snoqualmie Pass (Seattle to Ellensburg WA)
Posted by: Racer X
Date: November 08, 2019 06:08PM
good lord! one tough sob courier.
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Re: 1929 Motorcycle Run over Snoqualmie Pass (Seattle to Ellensburg WA)
Posted by: RgrF
Date: November 08, 2019 06:50PM
All without a helmetgears smiley
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Re: 1929 Motorcycle Run over Snoqualmie Pass (Seattle to Ellensburg WA)
Posted by: Racer X
Date: November 08, 2019 07:20PM
I have a feeling that this man's skull was tough enough to crack the granite he was riding through.
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Re: 1929 Motorcycle Run over Snoqualmie Pass (Seattle to Ellensburg WA)
Posted by: SteveO
Date: November 08, 2019 09:35PM
Steely eyed missile man.
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Re: 1929 Motorcycle Run over Snoqualmie Pass (Seattle to Ellensburg WA)
Posted by: tenders
Date: November 09, 2019 07:58AM
Well...the article says the patient died anyway, and the courier died two years later of pneumonia, appendicitis, and an infected finger. We could read this as a story of how desperate the state of medicine was before the invention of antibiotics. What was really in that serum that required risk of life and limb to deliver?
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Re: 1929 Motorcycle Run over Snoqualmie Pass (Seattle to Ellensburg WA)
Posted by: Racer X
Date: November 10, 2019 01:06AM
The medicine was to give him a chance. Without it, no chance. Lots of Hail Mary moves in medicine to this day. Tried them with my dad, knowing no one had ever beaten internal Amyloidosis. Maybe he would have been the first. He wasn't.

And the courier dying in 1931 from 3 different infections concurrently pre-antibiotics isn't that surprising. Without the "sulfa" powder and pills issued to the US combatants in WW II, there would have been FAR more post battle deaths from infected injuries.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/10/2019 01:11AM by Racer X.
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