Handbook for the Woman Driver (1955)

Cincinnati Seating Co. Church, Opera, Lodge, Office, Bank, Furniture. Pew Circular
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As the automobile editor for Good Housekeeping, Charlotte Montgomery wrote to women about all things relating to cars and driving.  Her book, Handbook for the Woman Driver, combines information from her columns with her experience with “average-woman driving.”

Montgomery spent her early years immersed in women’s causes.  Her mother was a suffragette who encouraged her daughter to become involved in promoting women’s equality.   Montgomery spent her college years organizing campaigns in support of birth control.   One can guess that her handbook on driving and automobiles was written to empower women who at the time drove to complete household errands and take their children to school.

Topics in the book cover everything from car maintenance to sharing the car with a teen-age driver.  Montgomery provides readers with tips to become better drivers including knowing the car’s gauges, how to do a turnabout, and using hand signals when turning.  In addition, the book provides detailed information on traveling with children, clothes for motor travel, and things to pack when traveling with pets.

To view this item, visit Special Collections in McCain Library 305.  Handbook for the Woman Driver can be found at SpCol TL152 .M57 1955.  For more information about this book, contact Jennifer Brannock at or 601.266.4347. To see more Items of the Month, click here.

Text by Jennifer Brannock, Curator of Rare Books and Mississippiana