Ye Knights of Ye 13th Car

Above: Some people think #13 is lucky

Ruth Sanders, Motor Age, September 13, 1917

I read this selection in honor of the 13th anniversary of LibriVox. It’s a lively piece written by a female journalist, Ruth Sanders, for the magazine Motor Age, on September 13, 1917. Sanders interviewed car owners from virtually all the states who had chosen, in the style of today’s vanity plates, the number “13” for their license plate. It seems a lot of people thought “13” was their lucky number. The reasons given were varied. A certain Quinn J.Thomas of Highland Park, Michigan, told Sanders that his car had run “8644 miles and has the original tires. The front right tire went 8244 miles without a puncture and the left 8644.” George C. Gilman from Denver, Colorado, had similar luck with his “13.” Gil “did not spend a cent on his car for 6500 miles and then only $2.15 for a bearing he forgot to oil.” Better yet, “He has not been pinched this year for violating city ordinances.”

You can listen to my recording here:

I’ve been the book coordinator and cover artist for the 11th, 12th, and 13th LibriVox Anniversary Collections. The 11th anniversary yielded some particularly weird reads.

11th Anniversary (2016)




CD Cover 12th Anniversary12th Anniversary (2017)




13th Anniversary (2018)

As to the “creative origins” of the 13th anniversary cover–last February (2018), we, in the Midwest, were slogging through the remains of a cold snowy winter.. One evening I happened to see a bright moon peeking through the leafless trees outside my house, the light from which was reflected off the snow. Thinking the scene might make a nice picture, I grabbed my cell phone and went outside. The results were not exactly what I’d hoped for! However. I tried another shot, and this time my camera captured the lights from a car driving up our street in slow motion. This was the photo that became the anniversary cover!

CD cover, 13th anniversaryPhoto of car lights