Women in Automotive History

Women Who Drove the Century:

The Transcontinental Drives of Alice Ramsey and Emily Anderson


Alice Huyler Ramsey (1886-1983)

In 1909, Alice Ramsey drove a 1909 Maxwell Model DA Touring Car from New York to San Francisco in 59 days covering 3800 miles. She was the first woman in history to successful drive an automobile across the United States.

Mrs. Ramsey founded and became the first president of the first “Women’s Motoring Club” in the United States. On Jan. 12, 1909, one of the Club’s first orders of business was to produce and accomplish the first all-women auto race. With two women to a car, the teams started in New York, drove to Pennsylvania, and returned two days later. The rules allowed the cars to be powered by gasoline, steam, or electricity.

Six months later, on June 6, 1909, Ramsey began a 3800-mile cross-country trip form New York to San Francisco in her 1908 Maxwell making her the first woman in history to cross the United States in a car by herself.

Alice Ramsey became the first woman to be inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame in 2000.


Emily Anderson

In 2009, Seattle native Emily Anderson, and her co-pilot, Christie Catania drove a 1908 Maxwell built by Emily’s father Richard Anderson to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Alice Ramsey’s journey from NYC to San Francisco. They even took the same route Alice Ramsey drove 100 years earlier, starting at the same exact address. Anderson was the first woman to drive a 100 year old car across the United States.

Emily Anderson was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame in 2010.