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Looking more like a stagecoach than an automobile, this view shows how Gainesville families got about in the years just before World War I. The photo is from a collection of Gainesville pictures taken by Professor Peter Henry Rolfs, long-time University of Florida Agricultural Dean. Dr. Rolfs joined UF faculty in 1906, when the University was brand new, and stayed until 1920 when he went to Brazil to establish and direct an agricultural school. The Horticulture Building on the University of Florida campus was renamed "Rolfs Hall" in the 1950s and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1986. World War I, which was raging through Europe about the time of this photograph, established the value of motor vehicles for military purposes. The French used Paris taxicabs to rush soldiers to the battle front, and in 1916 the Allies saved Verdun, France, from the Germans, partly because the Allies had trucks to carry troops and supplies.
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