The Norton-Harjes American Volunteer Ambulance Service was created by
Richard Norton, (Harvard '92) in 1914. Norton, a noted archeologist and son of
Harvard professor Charles Elliot Norton, like many Americans, became disturbed
by rising death tolls from the delay getting wounded soldiers to aid stations. With
the help of sponsors and donations, including French millionaire banker Henry
Herman Harjes. Norton-Harjes motorized ambulances could get the wounded from
the first-aid stations in from ten to twenty minutes instead of the hours-long trip of
those early days. Norton and others recruited volunteers from various colleges and
the ambulance service drivers (sometimes called the "gentleman's ambulance
corps") Edgar Scott, Sr (son of Thomas A. Scott, President of the Pennsylvania
Railroad) served as Director of Transportation from May to October 1917. Other
volunteers included Edgar Scott Seniors' son, Edgar Scott Jr (Harvard '20) and
literary figures such as John Dos Passos, E.E Cummings, Harry Crosby, William
Seabrook, Malcolm Crowley, Henry James, Robert Service, and Ernest
Hemingway. The Norton-Harjes American Ambulance Corps started in 1914 with
two cars and four drivers and eventually grew to thirteen sections comprised of six
hundred American volunteer drivers and three hundred ambulances and became
part of the American Red Cross after American entry into the war in 1917.