CLOSE
Original image
Electrobat, via Wikimedia Commons

The First Ever U.S. Speeding Violation

Original image
Electrobat, via Wikimedia Commons

On May 20, 1899, New York City taxi driver Jacob German was spotted on Lexington Avenue going an estimated 12 miles per hour. At the time, the speed limit was eight miles per hour on straightaways, so someone going 50% faster than that would have appeared to be absolutely flying. Bicycle Roundsman Schuessler (a bike cop) pulled German over and threw him in jail for the infraction.

The neatest thing about this story is German's ride: He was driving an "electrobat," a fully electric automobile that was invented in 1894. There were around 60 electrobat taxis on NYC's roads at the time of German's arrest. Compare that with today, when there are only four fully electric cabs being used in New York. It's a good reminder that the march of progress isn't always inexorable.

The below video (via Yahoo!) of New York's 23rd Street was shot by Thomas Edison in 1901. At around the 30-second mark, you can see an electrobat swerve into the scene. The driver clearly learned his lesson from Jacob German—he isn't going near the cheek-flapping speed of 12 miles per hour.

Original image
Montgomery County Planning Commission, Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0
arrow
Food
This Gas Station Chain Serves Some of the Best Fried Chicken in the Country
Original image
Montgomery County Planning Commission, Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0

Sometimes finding a truly unforgettable meal means venturing outside your comfort zone. That’s the case at the Royal Farms gas station chain in the mid-Atlantic U.S., where restaurant-quality chicken, biscuits, and potato wedges are served at the same venue where drivers fill up their tanks.

As CBS Baltimore reports, Royal Farms was recently named a gas station restaurant worth a detour by Food & Wine magazine. With locations in Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania, the chain is best known for its "fresh, never frozen" pressure-cooked chicken that’s hand-breaded in a signature spice blend. Another popular menu item is the "western fries"—potato wedges that have been breaded and fried.

As the manager of one Royal Farms in Maryland told CBS Baltimore, his counter sees around 2000 customers for lunch every day. The store is one of at least 178 that have opened in the U.S. since the chain was founded in 1959. More locations, including gas stations in New Jersey, are coming soon.

Royal Farms joins Indian cuisine, barbecue, and Spanish wine and tapas on Food & Wine's list of top gas station eats. For more unexpected places serving noteworthy grub, including a post office, a Honda dealership, and a laundromat, check out our list of the strangest restaurant spots in America.

[h/t CBS Baltimore]

Original image
eBay
arrow
fun
Adult-Sized Little Tikes-Inspired Car Spotted in UK
Original image
eBay

Remember scooting around town in your red and yellow Little Tikes toy car? The fun plastic vehicle offered accessible mobility like a tricycle, but with the sophistication of a real car. It was never meant to be driven outside of the cul-de-sac, but what if there was a grown-up version that could be taken out on the road?

Mechanic John Bitmead and his brother Geoff of Attitude Autos created just that back in 2015, with an oversized spin on the classic kid wheels. It's road-legal and fully functional, looking somewhat similar to a Smart Car (but way cooler). The car was adapted from a Daewoo Matiz and took 16 weeks to make. Despite its small size, it can go up to 70 miles per hour.

This nostalgic creation eventually wound up on eBay for bids of at least £21,500 (roughly $33,000). It only had 5000 miles on it. Sadly, it seems the vehicle went unsold. But Bitmead doesn't appear to be finished with his unique customs. His Instagram page features a post-apocalyptic roadster with a bright pink Hello Kitty paint job. If you live in the UK, perhaps one day you'll see the two racing during your morning commute.

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios