|Soap Box Derby on State Street in Erie, PA on July 31, 1935. Old Time Erie photo by William Liebler.|
It's finally here! The big day. The event everyone has been waiting for. The Soap Box Derby! Hundreds of people lined both sides of State Street to see local boys participate in this race on July 31, 1935. Events like these were held all over the country, building an estimated 50,000 cars. The champion of each city went on to the national race.
"On August 11th at Akron, Ohio, the finals drew a crowd of between 75,000 and 90,000 people who watched Maurice E. Bale, Jr., age 13, of Anderson, Indiana, race down the incline to become the 1935 Soap Box Derby Champion." -Boys Life (May 1936).
There was a lot at stake for the boys. The first place national champion won a four-year college scholarship; 2nd place won a Chevrolet Master Coach and third place won a Chevrolet Standard Coach.The first boy who won the local derby in Erie, PA is shown at 5:09 in this short film of the 1936 All American Derby racing in the elimination trials Akron, OH. It's pretty exciting to watch the race, and it's no wonder so many spectators showed up.
Find more historical facts about Erie, Pennsylvania at Old Time Erie.