Automobilesby Louis Huvey
Audibert et Lavirotte
VERY early auto ad shows how far cars have come- and how little advertising has changed.Welcome to the birth of the automotive industry. This true horseless carriage, without a door or seat belt in sight, represents one of the earliest visions of the public taking to the roads in a motorized four-wheeled vehicle. It's almost unfathomable how much advertising and vehicular safety - has changed in little more than a century. The obvious consideration being addressed here for the Audibert and Lavirotte manufacturer is freedom and ease, the sheer facility of getting behind the wheel - or more accurately, steering pole - with such lack of effort that a woman need not abandon the gentility of a parasol nor take a watchful eye from her free-roaming child/passenger. Such a proposal would be laughed off the market today, but at the turn of the century, it was just the message needed. Especially, one must imagine, to housewives wanting a broader horizon than their parlors could afford. Of all automotive posters, this is arguably the earliest surviving one. The make survived until 1901, turning out some 50 cars. The firm, which sprung from the mechanical imaginations of Lyonaise automotive pioneers Emile Lavirotte and Maurice Audibert, began production of motorized tricycle voiturettes some two years before they were granted a license to produce their cars. Lavirotte and Audibert would eventually be bought out by Maruis Berliet and go on to be successful commercial directors for respectively Roche-Schneider and Berliet.