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 →

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 →

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