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Auto polo

When reading the September 2 1922 edition of the Toronto Daily Star, I discovered that the 1922 CNE featured auto polo as one of its exhibits. This was like polo, except with cars instead of horses: two teams of two cars competed, with each car containing a driver and a man with a mallet.

The article reported that only one man in twenty was fit to play auto polo:

IMG_1689

The article did not mention whether the other 19 lacked the necessary requirements or simply had enough common sense to avoid such a dangerous sport – even if the game being played was now “very scientific” and the construction of the cars was “almost perfect”.

Wikipedia has an article about auto polo. It mentions that, in 1924, the British and American auto polo teams had to endure 1564 broken wheels, 538 burst tires, 66 broken axles, 10 cracked engines, and six completely destroyed cars. Scenes like this one, portrayed in a Library of Congress image from between 1910 and 1915, were all too common:

Auto_Polo_by_the_Library_of_Congress_crop

It comes as no surprise that the popularity of auto polo faded away in the late 1920s.

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