One day in August 1888, Bertha Benz (1849-1944) made transportation history when she undertook the first long-distance automobile drive on record. Bertha, who lived in the city of Mannheim in the German Empire state known as the Grand Duchy of Baden (part of the present-day Federal Republic of Germany), used one of the automobiles built... Continue Reading →

March 28, 1918 A milestone in the short but eventful U.S. Navy service of the vessel USS Aphrodite took place when she was assigned to convoy escort duty with a higher-than-average risk along the French coast during World War I. Aphrodite had made her debut a couple of decades earlier in decidedly more luxurious circumstances.... Continue Reading →

Aviation pioneer Florence Lowe “Pancho” Barnes (1901-1975) developed a strong enthusiasm for human flight early on in her life. When she was only eight years old, her grandfather Thaddeus S.C. Lowe – an aviation legend who achieved fame as the Chief Aeronaut of the Union Army Balloon Corps during the Civil War – took her... Continue Reading →

March 26, 1863 Truck industrialist George Albert Brockway was born in the village of Homer, New York. He was the son of William Northrup Brockway, who manufactured horse-drawn carriages and wagons. After William was stricken with a debilitating illness in 1888 that brought about his death the following year, George stepped in as the company’s business manager.... Continue Reading →

In 1861, Harriet Colfax was appointed by the U.S. Congress to serve as keeper of the Michigan City Lighthouse in Indiana. At the time, that structure -- located on the shore of Lake Michigan -- had been serving as a guide for vessels in the region for about three years. (The lighthouse replaced one was... Continue Reading →

During the late 19th century, Tillie Anderson established herself as a fiercely determined and highly accomplished bicyclist. Anderson was born in southern Sweden in 1875. She immigrated to the United States in 1891 and ended up living in Chicago. Anderson worked as a seamstress in a tailor’s shop. When she was 18, Anderson bought her... Continue Reading →

March 21, 1869 Albert Kahn, who helped create a number of key transportation-oriented facilities and is widely regarded as the “father of modern factory design,” was born in Rhaunen in the Kingdom of Prussia (now Germany). When Kahn was 11, he and his family immigrated to the United States and settled in Detroit. Kahn worked at... Continue Reading →

On August 7, 1909, Alice Huyler Ramsey and her three passengers became the first women to complete a coast-to-coast automobile trip when they arrived in San Francisco 59 days after leaving New York City. Ramsey, a 22-year-old housewife, and mother from Hackensack, New Jersey, made the 3,800-mile (6,115.5-kilometer) trek in a green Maxwell DA touring... Continue Reading →

March 19, 1902 Joshua James, a renowned sea captain credited with saving numerous lives from shipwrecks along the coast of Massachusetts, died at the age of 75. James served as keeper of the U.S. Life-Saving Service’s Point Allerton Station near the town of Hull (located at the southern land point of the entrance to Boston... Continue Reading →

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