The American Automobile Association (AAA) sponsored the Glidden Tour. The name "Glidden" comes from Charles J. Glidden, a wealthy
New England industrialist
and avid automobile supporter, who became the most notable when he offered a
$2,000 trophy to the AAA to be competed for by the touring cars.
The race itself began on July 12th, 1909, but, being designated the pathfinder vehicle, the E-M-F ventured out 3 months earlier on April 12th with tour officials to measure, map and photograph the tour route in time for publication for all tour participants.