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 →

Janet Guthrie, who blazed new trails for women as a professional race car driver, was born in Iowa City, Iowa, in 1938. Initially, her transportation-oriented aspirations were focused on airborne travel. Guthrie earned a pilot’s license when she was only 17. After graduating from the University of Michigan, she worked for several years as a... Continue Reading →

In 1956, McKinley Thompson became the first African-American car designer for a major automobile manufacturer when the Ford Motor Company hired him. Thompson, who was born in New York City in 1922, recalled that his choice of career first took shape when he was only 12 years old. He noticed one day how sunlight broke... Continue Reading →

February 19, 1866 Mary Anderson, a multifaceted entrepreneur who made a major contribution to transportation by inventing the first practical windshield wiper, was born in Greene County, Alabama. Anderson was inspired to create her version of a windshield wiper during a trip to New York City in the winter of 1902. While traveling on one... Continue Reading →

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