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 →

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 →

February 26, 1931 Sam Hill, an ambitious businessman, and entrepreneur whose strongest passions included surface transportation died in Portland, Oregon, at the age of 73. While a number of stories about him are likely apocryphal – a key example being that he was the source of the popular saying “What in Sam Hill . .... Continue Reading →

Joseph Tezanos was born in the city of Santander in Spain in 1920. At an early age, he moved with his parents to the United States and grew up in western New York. After graduating from high school, Tezanos found work as a crane operator at the Bethlehem Steel Corporation’s plant in Lackawanna, New York.... Continue Reading →

October 12, 1799 An aviation milestone took place when Jeanne Geneviéve Labrosse Garnerin, who was flying in a hot-air balloon in the skies over France, became the first woman to make a parachute descent back to earth. The balloon was approximately 2,953 feet (900 meters) above the ground when she made this descent, with her... Continue Reading →

In 1993, American astronaut Ellen Ochoa made history as the first Hispanic woman to travel into outer space. This pioneering flight involved a nine-day mission aboard the shuttle Discovery in which she helped conduct an array of atmospheric and solar studies. Ochoa was born in Los Angeles in 1958. She earned a bachelor’s degree in... Continue Reading →

Aviation pioneer Harriet Quimby became the first woman to fly across the English Channel. The Michigan-born pilot departed Dover, England, for Calais, France, in a monoplane that she had never flown before and with a compass she had just recently learned to use. Quimby, despite those challenges as well as thick fog that limited visibility... Continue Reading →

The trailblazing automobile manufacturer Winton Motor Carriage Company officially began operations in Cleveland. Scottish immigrant and marine engineer Alexander Winton, who previously produced bicycles, founded the company with George H. Brown and Thomas W. Henderson. The Winton Motor Carriage Company’s earliest automobiles were built entirely by hand. Each of these vehicles featured gas lamps, painted... Continue Reading →

Marshall W. "Major" Taylor (1878-1932), the first African-American to become a world-champion cyclist, departed the Australian city of Melbourne via train during the course of his second racing tour in the Land Down Under. (His first tour in Australia took place the previous year.) The Indiana-born Taylor had launched his professional cycling career at New York... Continue Reading →

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