Bud the Cross Country Pit Bull

In 1903, it was thought to be impossible to travel across the United States in an automobile, but Horatio Nelson Jackson took the challenge.

Horatio was visiting San Francisco when a friend bet him that he couldn’t drive cross-country. Well, Horatio took the $50 bet, even though he did not own a vehicle and had very little driving experience.

He purchased a used Winston, which he named “Vermont,” after his home state, and recruited Sewall Crocker, a mechanic and chauffer, to accompany him.

The pair packed the Winston with spare car parts, camping gear, a rifle, shotgun, and several pistols.

On May 23, Horatio began his journey with Crocker.

During the journey, the pair had mechanical problems. They lost equipment, and got lost on several occasions. Their spirits were dropping, so when  they were around Idaho, they acquired Bud, as their new traveling companion.

Bud took to the car as though he was a seasoned traveler. Since the Winston didn’t have a top or a windshield, dirt and dust was constantly blowing in Bud’s eyes from the dirt roads, so Bud was fitted with goggles.

On July 12th, Bud, Jackson, and Crocker reached Omaha, Nebraska, where they were able to experience paved roads, which made traveling easier.

The journey cross-country ended on July 26, 1903, when the trio reached New York City. It took 64 days from their departure date to accomplish their goal. They used 800 gallons of fuel that costs about $8000.

After the trip, Horatio, Sewall, and Bud gave hundreds of interviews. Jackson is quoted at saying Bud was “the one member of our trio who used no profanity on the entire trip.”

To date, the Vermont and Bud (and his goggles) are on permanent display at the Simthsonian.