Staff Person: Martha Elmore
These postcard images depict the departure of President Theodore Roosevelt’s carriage from the White House and the newly sworn in President William H. Taft and his wife Helen Herron Taft riding in a carriage in Taft’s inauguration parade from the Capitol to the White House. The inauguration took place on March 4, 1909, and these images were taken by the Harris & Ewing Photography Studio in Washington, D.C. The studio was founded by George W. Harris and Martha Ewing in 1905. Martha Ewing sold her interest to Harris in 1915 and he continued the news service until 1945; it was considered the busiest studio in the country when he sold it.
The postcard depicting the Tafts contains the following caption: “An Unprecedented Event. Mrs. Wm. H. Taft Accompaning [sic] President Taft Inaugural Parade.” According to the U.S. Senate Rules Committee website, this was the first time that a First Lady accompanied her husband on the ride from the Capitol to the White House after the inauguration.
These postcards (numbered as follows: 39.4.b.183 and 39.4.b.182) were part of a collection belonging to Lucy Warren Myers (1900-1984) of Greensboro, N.C., when she was a child. She married James Skinner Ficklen, Sr., in 1922 and they lived in Greenville, N.C., raising two sons.
For more information concerning the collection containing these postcards, go to the finding aid for the William E. Elmore Collection #39 found at http://digital.lib.ecu.edu/special/ead/findingaids/0039/. For more information on the Harris & Ewing studio go to http://www.bizjournals.com/washington/stories/2000/11/13/focus8.html.