Andre'-Gustave Citroen February 5, 1878 André-Gustave Citroën, one of France’s leading automobile manufacturers, was born in Paris. Citroën developed a strong interest in becoming an engineer early on, reportedly due to such inspirations as French writer Jules Verne’s adventure novels and their focus on technological marvels.   Citroën, who graduated from the prestigious École Polytechnique just... Continue Reading →

January 29, 1878 Bicycle and automobile racer Berna Eli “Barney” Oldfield was born in York Township in northwestern Ohio. Oldfield launched his career as a bicycle racer in 1894 when he was only 16. Oldfield’s bicycle accomplishments brought him to the attention of Henry Ford, who invited him to test-drive one of his automobiles designed for... Continue Reading →

January 28, 1896 The first known speeding infraction that involved a motor vehicle took place in the village of Paddock Wood in southeastern England. Walter Arnold of the nearby village of East Peckham was caught driving a Benz automobile at eight miles (13 kilometers) per hour in a two-mile (3.2-kilometer)-per-hour zone. A constable riding a bicycle... Continue Reading →

January 17, 1936 The Airstream Trailer Company introduced a highly innovative and influential travel trailer. The new vehicle was called the Airstream Clipper, and the major force behind its creation was Wally Byam. He had been born in 1896 in Baker City, Oregon, and spent a great deal of his adolescence working on a sheep... Continue Reading →

January 14, 2010 Checker Motors Corporation, a longtime vehicle manufacturer that was best known for its popular taxicabs, ceased to exist altogether with the sale of the company’s headquarters in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The company’s origins can be traced to the early 1920s, when a Chicago clothier named Morris Markin became the owner of an automobile body... Continue Reading →

January 4, 2011 The final Mercury vehicle was produced at the Ford Motor Company’s St. Thomas Assembly Plant in the Canadian township of Southwold. This last-of-a-kind vehicle was a white Mercury Grand Marquis automobile, and it rolled off the assembly line at 7:46 a.m. Crain News Service reported a couple of days later that “Mercury’s... Continue Reading →

Photo courtesy of the Automotive Hall of Fame. December 13, 1999 Allen K. Breed, engineer, and automotive safety pioneer died in Orlando, Florida, at the age of 72. Breed, who was born in Chicago in 1927, graduated from Northwestern University with a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering. In 1961, he started the Breed Corporation to... Continue Reading →

December 12, 1925 The world’s first hotel especially built for motorists made its debut in San Luis Obispo, California. The Milestone Mo-Tel was introduced at a time when an increasing number of people were driving automobiles and very much needing suitable overnight lodging accommodations for long-distance trips. “The opening of San Luis Obispo’s new hotel... Continue Reading →

November 27, 1975 Automotive engineer Alberto Massimino died in the city of Modena in northeast Italy at the age of 80. Massimino, who was born in Turin in 1895, developed a strong interest in mechanics at an early age. Massimino earned a degree in mechanical engineering from the Technical Institute at Fribourg in Switzerland. He... Continue Reading →

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