December 7, 1941 Without a formal declaration of war or any other explicit warning, the Empire of Japan attacked the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor in what was then the Territory of Hawaii. The Japanese Imperial Navy’s surprise strike left in its wake a staggering number of deaths and injuries – both military and... Continue Reading →

August 4, 1919 A convoy of flag-decorated motor vehicles, which consisted of both trucks and automobiles, left Chicago’s Grant Park for a 3,000-mile (4,826-kilometer)-journey through the rural regions of six Midwestern states. “The object of the enterprise, which is the first of its kind, is to demonstrate to the farmers of Illinois, Iowa, North and... Continue Reading →

July 1, 1928 The Trailmobile Company of Cincinnati and the Michigan-based Lapeer Trailer Corporation – the two largest trailer manufacturers in the United States at that time – merged to become the Trailer Company of America. Levi Wade Childress, a St. Louis investor who held large stakes in numerous shipping enterprises, was selected as the first... Continue Reading →

May 11, 1930 August Charles Fruehauf, a freight transportation pioneer, died at his home in Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan, at the age of 61. Fruehauf was born in Fraser, Michigan, in 1868. By 1914, he had established himself in Detroit as a blacksmith and carriage builder.  The turning point in Fruehauf’s career took place that same... Continue Reading →

April 6, 1983 Automotive designer Wellington Everett Miller died in Los Angeles at the age of 79. He developed a strong interest in the design of automobiles while attending an annual car show in Los Angeles in 1920, and subsequently took courses in mathematics and mechanical drawing to prepare for a career in that field.  In... Continue Reading →

December 28, 1917 An experimental U.S. Army convoy of three-ton (2.7-metric ton) Packard motor trucks completed its long-distance trip between the Midwest and the Atlantic coast, arriving in downtown Baltimore two weeks after departing from Detroit. All but one of the 30 trucks that had left Detroit on December 14 completed this challenging journey. Other vehicles in... Continue Reading →

November 12, 1901 Industrial designer Alexis de Sakhnoffsky was born in the Ukrainian city of Kiev in what was then the Russian Empire. He fled his homeland by 1920 in the wake of the Bolshevik Revolution and ended up pursuing a wide-ranging design career that included many transportation makes and models.  Throughout a large part of... Continue Reading →

May 5, 1913 An assortment of motor trucks departed Washington, D.C., on a Monday morning for a four-day, round-trip “reliability run” that would take them through valleys and among mountains in Maryland and Pennsylvania.  The Washington Post Motor Truck Reliability Run, the first competition of its kind held in that region of the United States,... Continue Reading →

April 27, 1904 The Lansden Company, a manufacturer of electric vehicles, was incorporated in New Jersey. The Newark-based company had been launched by John M. Lansden, along with William M. Little, and they focused mainly on such large vehicles as trucks. The Lansden Company soon established itself as a major force in the electric vehicles market... Continue Reading →

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