August 30, 1925 Two officials of the American Automobile Association (AAA) headed out of Washington, D.C., for an ambitious transcontinental motor vehicle trip to California. AAA President Thomas P. Henry and Ernest N. Smith, general manager of that organization, undertook that long drive to participate in the festivities commemorating California’s 75th anniversary as a state. Both... Continue Reading →

August 23, 1904 Harry D. Weed of Canastota, New York, was issued U.S. Patent Number 768,495 for his “Grip-Tread for Pneumatic Tires,” an innovation designed to help make driving safer in inclement winter weather or similarly adverse muddy road conditions. According to one of his great-grandsons, Weed came up with the idea for creating tire chains... Continue Reading →

August 14, 1893 With the passage of the Paris Police Ordinance, France became the first country to introduce motor vehicle registration. "Each motor vehicle shall bear on a metal plate and in legible writing the name and address of its owner, also the distinctive number used in the application for authorization,” read this ordinance.  “This plate... Continue Reading →

June 6, 1908 Construction officially began on the private toll road known as the Long Island Motor Parkway. The late-afternoon groundbreaking ceremony for the new motor vehicle route took place in what is now the Long Island hamlet of Bethpage. Approximately 500 people were in attendance, and they were formally welcomed by the Motor Parkway’s general manager... Continue Reading →

May 20, 1899 The first known official speeding infraction in the United States involving a “horseless carriage” took place in New York City. Jacob German was driving an electric taxi for the Electric Vehicle Company when city policeman John Schuessler – riding a bicycle at the time -- caught up with him. Schuessler had observed German speeding... Continue Reading →

April 1, 1909 Automobile coachbuilder Fleetwood Metal Body was formally launched in Fleetwood, Pennsylvania, with Harry C. Urich serving as the new company’s president and general manager. Fleetwood Metal Body soon established itself as a leading high-quality producer of aluminum and wood automotive chassis. By 1920, the company was regularly exhibiting its creations at prestigious automobile... Continue Reading →

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 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 →

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