Saturday, March 30, 2013

Sobel Wiki: a word from our sponsor

This week's featured article on the Sobel Wiki is Owen Galloway, locomobile magnate, philanthropist, pacifist, and a direct descendant of noted Loyalist Joseph Galloway. This presents a problem, because none of Joseph Galloway's sons survived to adulthood. When the fighting broke out in 1775, his only surviving child was his daughter Elizabeth. In our history, Galloway's wife Grace died in 1782, and we can only assume that she died around the same time in Sobel's history, and that Galloway remarried and had at least one son by his second wife.

In the Sobel Timeline, Owen Galloway played a similar role to that of our own history's Henry Ford, hitting on the idea of building low-cost cars for a mass market. He also dispayed a touch of William C. Durant by acquiring seven other locomobile companies and combining them into North American Motors, the world's largest car company. He then started up a subsidiary oil company to provide fuel for his cars, a subsidiary financial company to offer loans to car buyers, and a subsidiary motel chain to give motorists a place to stay the night.

Galloway's most significant accomplishment, though, had nothing to do with his car company. At a time when society in the C.N.A. was undergoing a major social disturbance, Galloway hit upon the idea of forming a trust fund to subsidize emigration by North Americans. This made Galloway the most popular public figure in the C.N.A., and his weekly vitavision addresses attracted larger audiences than any of the entertainment programs (except possibly his own Galloway Playhouse). Galloway wasn't interested in a political career, but Sobel reports that a whole generation of North American politicians courted popularity by imitating Galloway's wooden delivery.

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