Women and Car’s Early Years

8 06 2017

Dale BertramWomen played a role in the history of the car.  Here are a few facts that are interesting to know!

1903 – Mary Anderson was granted a patent for the windshield wiper in 1903. The first windshield wiper was a swinging arm with a rubber blade that could be operated manually from inside the car. She first tried to sell her idea to a Canadian firm in 1905 but they decided it was “not of such commercial use as would warrant the undertaking of its sale.” Hmmm…big mistake!  Wipers became standard in cars by 1916.

1909 – Alice Huyler Ramsey, at age 22, drove cross country (3,800 miles) from New York to San Francisco. It took 59 days! Keep in mind that most of those miles were on unpaved roads and she didn’t have maps (those things we used before GPS!). Alice had to change 11 tires, repair a broken brake pedal, and clean spark plugs! She became the first woman inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame.

1913 – Can’t imagine a car without turn signals or brake lights?  Isn’t it annoying to drive behind someone without them? Silent film star, Florence Lawrence certainly felt they were necessary.  She invented an “auto signaling arm” which was activated by pressing a button.  It would raise or lower an arm that had a sign, showing which way the driver was turning. When the driver wanted to stop, a “stop sign” would pop up.

1915 – Wilma K. Russey became the first female New York City taxi driver…on New Year’s Day!  She dressed very elegantly as a taxi driver and was also an expert (and stylish) auto mechanic.

1943 – Helene Rother became the first female automotive designer. She was hired by General Motors to create stylish and glamourous interior designs for cars. Helene was the first woman to address the Society of Automotive Engineers and was awarded the Jackson Medal for excellence of design.

The next time you use your wiper blades, turn signals or brake lights…think of these innovative women!




Cars Through The Ages: 1931-1960

9 03 2017

Dale BertramHere is our next segment of our history and fascination with vehicles! Enjoy!

1931 – 1940

1931 – Mercedes-Benz presents the first modern independent front suspension system.
1932 – Ford redesigns the Model A with a V8 engine and sells over 300,000 the first year.
1933 – Ford drops to third place behind General Motors and Chrysler.
1934 – Citroen Traction Avant is the first successfully mass-produced front-wheel drive car.
1935 – A thermal interrupter switch is used to create flashing turn signals.
1936 – 54% of US families now own cars.
1937 – Buick and Oldsmobile present the Automatic Safety Transmission.
1938 – The Volkswagen goes into production in Nazi Germany (The German People’s Car).
1939 – The first air-conditioning system is added to cars.
1940 – Jeep is designed with more than 360,000 made for the Allied armed forces. It was the workhorse of WWII.

1941 – 1950

1941 – 1945 – 700,000 GP (General Purpose Vehicles) were built for WWII through 1945 by Ford and Wyllys-Overland.  GP = Jeep!
1943 – US passenger car production falls to 139 vehicles because war production requirements took over.
1945 – The war ends.  Henry Ford resigns and his grandson, Henry Ford II becomes the president of The Ford Motor Company.
1946 – Michelin patents the Radial-ply tyre.
1947 – Henry Ford dies at the age of 84.
1948 – The American motor industry produces its 100,000,000th car.
1949 – Michelin “X” radial-ply tyres go on sale.
1950 – Ford Motor goes from 3rd place to 2nd place, reducing Chrysler to the 3rd position.

1951 – 1960

1951 – Chrysler offer power steering.
1952 – Automatic transmission vehicles in the USA exceed 2 million.
1953 – General Motors introduces the Corvette & Porshe the 550 Spyder race-cars.
1954 – Tubeless tyres are now available for all new American cars.
1955 – American car sales hit a record 7,915,000.
1956 – Ford introduces seat-belts but it isn’t met with enthusiasm by the public.
1957 – 80% of new cars in USA have a V-8 engine & Chrysler offers in-car record player.
1958 – Toyotas and Datsuns are imported to the USA.
1959 – Studebaker hopes its new compact car, The Lark, will compete with European imports.
1960 – 80% of US families own at least one car.



Cars Through The Ages: 1900-1930

23 02 2017

Dale BertramOver the next few weeks I thought I would share with you the beginnings of car production in the United States.  I hope you find it as interesting as I do!



1900 – 1910

1900 – American manufacturers make 4,192 cars at a purchase price of $1,000 each.
1901 – The Olds factory begins production in Detroit and produced 425 cars that year.
1902 – Louis Renault invents the standard drum brakes.
1903 – Henry Ford raises $28,000 to found the Ford Motor Company and produces the Model A.
1904 – Ford starts exporting cars to Britain.
1905 – The installment finance plan for cars begins in America.
1906 – America produces 33,500 cars.
1907 – The price of the Ford Model N increases to $600.
1908 – The first Model T is built and 8,000 are produced. GM is started by William Durant.
1909 – At the 5th “Indy Car Race” in Indianapolis, Indiana, Louis Chevrolet wins driving a Buick.
1910 – Automobile production reaches 181,000 in the U.S.A.

1911 – 1920

1911 – The electric starter was introduced to replace hand cranking.
1912 – Cadillac’s come equipped with Delco electric self-starters and electric lighting.
1913 – Ford develops the first moving assembly line for cars.
1914 – Dodge introduces the first car body made completely of steel & Ford production workers now make an industry record of $5 per day.
1915 – Cadillac presents the first successful V8 engine in the U.S.A.
1916 – Manual windshield wipers (patented by Mary Anderson in 1903) are replaced by ones powered by vacuum from the engine’s inlet manifold.
1917 – The first Oshkosh four wheel drive truck is introduced.
1918 – Car registrations in the U.S.A. exceed 5 million.
1919 – Henry Ford pays $100 million to buy out all stock holders of the Ford Motor Company.
1920 – Model T Fords make up half of all motor vehicles in the world.

1921 – 1930

1921 – Lincoln introduces their V8.
1922 – Over one million Model T’s are produced by Ford.
1923 – Over 2,000,000 Model T’s leave the Ford production lines.
1924 – Walter P Chrysler begins to produce his own cars after leaving the position as General Motors Vice President.
1925 – General Motors Research Corp leaves Dayton, Ohio and moves to Detroit, Michigan.
1926 – Cadillac introduces shatter-resistant glass.
1927 – The Model T, after 19 years and fifteen million vehicles ends production.
1928 – Chrysler buys Dodge for $175,000,000.
1929 – 26.5 million cars are registered in the U.S.A.
1930 – Economic depression causes car sales to drop.




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