Movies Way Back When: Cowboys and Cars

Movies Way Back When: Cowboys and Cars title=
(Image: courtesy of the Santa Barbara Historical Museum)
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By Betsy J. Green

Horses and cars coexisted peacefully as transportation for the "Flying A" studio.

Cowboys rode their horses to locations for shooting, but the other actors and crew traveled by car. The local paper wrote, "There would be many inconveniences were it not for the automobile. The players make up at the studio on a morning when they are instructed to be ready for work. Very seldom do they know where they are going, but after climbing into the car, they are speeded to the scene chosen by Director Allan Dwan. After the play has been taken, the players are hurried back to the studio.” – Santa Barbara Morning Press, September 22, 1912

Take a look at the "Flying A" transportation fleet. According to vintage car enthusiast Dana Newquist, the car on the far right is a Hudson, and the two on the left were manufactured by the Paige Motor Car Company.

Betsy's Way Back When book -- 1919 -- is now available in local bookstores and at This is the sixth book in her series of the history of Santa Barbara, one year at a time. Learn more at​.
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