Skimobile (1938)

Dennis R. Preston preston at PILOT.MSU.EDU
Tue Jul 31 13:33:37 UTC 2001

Come come colleagues. Who cares about skimobiles? It's the phonology.
Jill, hill, and the last syllable of skimobile rhyme here. Creeping
conflation of /i/ and /I/ before /l/.


>    M-W has 1944.  OED has 1946 and 1955.
>    From the NEW YORK HERALD TRIBUNE, 2 December 1938, pg. 29, col. 4:
>_Jack and Jill_
>_Now Climb Hill_
>_In "Skimobile"_
>_New Invention Brings Note_
>    _Of Living-Room Luxury_
>    _To Mountain Ascensions_
>(...)  Up at North Conway, N. H., where the weather is clear and the
>trails are reported in tiptop condition, they have erected still
>another means of conveyance, the so-called "skimobile."  Similar to
>a trolley line, the skimobile runs on a steel cable on the side of
>Cranmore Mountain.
>    _George Morton Inventor_
>    Under the direction of its inventor, George Morton, the skimobile
>was completed last fall.  According to Morton, the project consists
>oftwo parallel wooden tracks runing from the bottom of the mountain
>to the top of the ledges, some 800 feet.  Passengers will ascend on
>one track and descend on the other in sixty-one passenger cars with
>rubber tires, spaced at intervals of about 100 feet and gripped to
>an endless cable running under the wooden runways.
>(See both OED entries for "skimobile"--ed.)

Dennis R. Preston
Department of Linguistics and Languages
Michigan State University
East Lansing MI 48824-1027 USA
preston at
Office: (517)353-0740
Fax: (517)432-2736

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