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Gottfried Rodriguez: around the world on a 1910 Marsh Metz in wooden shoes

July 15, 2010

Continuing our recent theme of 100 year old stuff, here is a great photo of a Dutch man who rode a very shiny MM across the USA.


marsh metz2

This photo was in a 1910 issue of Motorcycle Illustrated.  The caption states:

“Gottfried Rodriguez has left Brockton on an M. M. Special to make a tour of the world.  When last heard from Rodriguez, who is a Holland newspaper man, was at Syracuse.  Rodriguez intends to spend nine months touring the United States and hopes to visit practically every city of importance.”


Notice his wooden shoes? 


It seems that he made a wager that he could travel all the way around the world without any money.  He left Holland with no luggage and saw Europe, the United States, Japan, China, Siberia and Russia.  During his travels, he spent a bit of time granting interviews with various journalists and groups on the East Coast of the US.  His bet allowed him to use any form of transportation, except a train.  It is not known how he became the owner of the M.M. motorcycle, possibly Marsh Metz allowed him to use it as a form of advertising for the maker.  During those good old days, travelers such as he were well received, and I’m sure he was fed well during his speeches to groups such as the Harvard Cosmopolitan Club.


I was able to find one additional article about Mr. Rodriguez, in the book “Physical Culture, Vol. 23” published in 1910 by Physical Culture Publishing Co. :


gottfried rodriguez



1906 Marsh Metz

 silent mm

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Phyllis Howell permalink
    July 15, 2010 6:08 pm

    Wow! Terrific story … of course, I’m partial to anything Dutch 😉

  2. simon rodrigues permalink
    July 18, 2011 12:43 am

    I am trying to track down my great uncle Gottfried Rodriguez(s) who lived in Amsterdam and emigrated to the US sometime in the early part of the 20th century. Could this be the same man? Simon Rodrigues (Perth, Australia)

    • July 18, 2011 4:09 pm


      It seems very likely that it is the same man. I doubt that there were many Rodriguez’s in Amsterdam at that time. Google search for Gottfried and you can find more info about him. It is a great story.
      best of luck

    • Anonymous permalink
      August 8, 2011 9:58 pm

      Hi Simon
      Amazing story. You have physical culturist heritage!
      Could you thank Simon B for the picture of the MHR.
      I had a SD for a couple of years and loved it oh so much.
      See you next time your’e in Broome
      Richard Bartlett

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