Ken Burns is a world-renowned documentary filmmaker. His historical retrospectives are masterpieces, covering a wide range of topics ranging from the Civil War to baseball to jazz music. Many viewers are familiar with his recent works describing the Prohibition era and World War II, but it is easy to overlook one of his lesser known gems: Horatio’s Drive.
Horatio’s Drive tells the story of Horatio Nelson Jackson’s summer in 1903. The story begins at his club in San Francisco, where Horatio is debating with some of his friends. The automobile was still fairly new on the American scene. Horatio’s friends were convinced that it was a passing fad or a rich man’s playful indulgence, and that it would never catch on. Horatio was quite proud of his new Winton automobile, so he agreed to a wager with his friends over whether he could drive the car from California to New York within ninety days.