For best results, view in Landscape mode.
In 1871, the first steam
automobile suitable for use on
existing wagon roads in the U.S.
was invented by Dr. J.Wesley Carhart,
a minister of the Methodist Episcopal
Church, in Racine, Wisconsin.
It had a top speed of 5 MPH.
In 1904, the first steel automobile
frame was produced by Arthur
Oliver Smith ( A. O. Smith Corp.)
Mechanized Henry Ford's assembly
line process in 1913, becoming the
first company to mass produce
By 1920 the company's plant produced
10,000 frames per day.
A. O. Smith started the world’s
first fully automated automobile
frame assembly plant, he called it
Capable of making a frame
every 8 seconds.
In 1889, mechanic and inventor,
Godfrey Schloemer invented the
Motor Wagon in Milwaukee, which some
have hailed as the first workable gasoline
engine automobile ever built in the
U.S., four years ahead of
Charles and Frank Duryea.
Schloemer had to improvise on his
Motor Wagon for an igniting system
to fire the fuel, since at
that time there was no such thing
as a spark plug.
He used a home made sparking
mechanism consisting of two points
of steel striking together causing
a "spark" to ignite the gasoline fumes
in the cylinder.
In 1892, Schloemer designed and
patented a carburetor, which was
known as the Gottfried Schloemer
He used kerosene lamp wicks in
the center of it to get the
gasoline from the gas
tank into the cylinder of the
motor to be ignited.
The Motor Wagon was later donated to
the Milwaukee Public Museum.
It is still there to this day and touted as
"The first practical gasoline
powered auto in the nation".
Did you know?
One of the first steering wheels that
was introduced in the U.S. was
developed in Kenosha, Wis.
For more info -
The Excalibur automobile was a car styled
after the 1928 Mercedes-Benz SSK by
Brooks Stevens for Studebaker.
Stevens subsequently formed a
company to manufacture and
market the cars, which were
conventional under their styling.
Clifford Brooks Stevens (1911 – 1995)
an American industrial designer of home
furnishings, appliances, automobiles and
motorcycles, as well as a graphic designer
Stevens founded Brooks Stevens, Inc.
headquartered in Allenton, Wisconsin.
A prototype premiered at car shows in 1964,
Stevens subsequently obtained
fitted on a Studebaker chassis and using a
290-horsepower Studebaker 289 V-8.
Studebaker almost immediately ceased its
operations,ending the availability of
from General Motors through his friends,
GM executives Ed Cole and Semon
These were Chevrolet 327s in 300-bhp
Corvette tune, making the 2100-pound
Excalibur a strong performer.
With the standard 3.31:1 rear axle,
acceleration from 0-60 mph took less
than 6 seconds.
Projected top speed was 134 mph.
Over 3,500 Excalibur cars were built,
The company failed in 1986
all in Milwaukee, Wis.
The American comedian Phyllis Diller
was a notable proponent
of the Excalibur automobile, and
owned four of them.
revived several times.
Production of the Excalibur
continued until 1990.
In 1916, Nash Motors was founded
former General Motors president Charles
W. Nash who acquired the Thomas B.
Jeffery Company in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Jeffery's best known automobile was the
Rambler, whose mass production
began in 1902.
Nash Motors Company was based in
Kenosha, Wis. from 1916 to 1937.
From 1937 to 1954, Nash Motors was the
automotive division of the Nash
Nash Kelvinator Corporation
result of a merger in 1937 between
Nash Motors and Kelvinator Appliance
In 1952, Kelvinator introduced
Kelvinator Food-A-Rama Side by
Side Refrigerator, one of
the earliest modern side-by-side frost
Nash Motors production continued from
The 1917 Nash Model 671 was
1954 to 1957 after the creation of
Motors Corporation (AMC).
first vehicle produced to bear the
name of the new company's founder.
Nash pioneered some important
Using its Kelvinator refrigeration
industry's first single unit heating
and air conditioning system was
introduced by Nash in 1954.
The unibody construction in 1941,
seat belts in 1950,
a compact car also in 1950, and
muscle cars in 1957.
Nash and Hudson production
with the last Hornet made
in June, 1957.
From 1958 to 1962, Rambler and the
Metropolitan were the only brands of
cars sold by AMC.
By 1965 the Rambler name would
begin to be phased out and AMC would
take over as the brand name until the
1988 model year.
In 1987 Chrysler
Corporation made a
public offering to acquire all shares of
AMC on the NYSE.
The shareholders approved the offer and
AMC became a division of the
the Kissel cars are pretty
much unknown to most
In the early 1900's, Kissel was
Wisconsin's luxury automobile.
by the Kissel Motor Car
Company highlighted craftsmanship
and attained international renown for
their advanced design and outstanding
performance, which helped the
company to prosper.
In 1906, the Kissel Motor Car
Company was founded in
Kissel operated from 1906 - 1930
by Louis Kissel and his sons.
Advertised as the "KisselKar".
Only about 200 of the 35,000 cars
the company produced still exist
The Wisconsin Automotive Museum
in Hartford has some of these
remaining cars on display.
The company donated a Kissel car to
Hollywood actress Anita King for
her transcontinental trip in 1915
that marked the first ever trip
by a woman driving alone.
The most popular Kissel model was
the 1919 thru 1927 Speedster,
nicknamed the Gold Bug.
The Gold Bug was owned by
celebrities such as: the famous
pilot Amelia Earhart, world
heavyweight boxing champion
actor Roscoe "Fatty"
actor Douglas Fairbanks, and a
few other actors.
Kissel manufactured trucks
from 3/4 ton - 5 ton.
During World War I the company
produced trucks for the U.S. military
and for the allies prior to the
U.S. entry into the war.
Kissel only produced about 35,000
cars, trucks, ambulances, hearses
and taxis during that time frame.
Even though production was low,
Kissel was a highly respected producer
of well built, beautifully styled cars.
Kissel stopped production in 1930
due to the Great Depression and
loss of market share to less
expensive, mass produced
The Four-Wheel Drive
Did you know the 4-wheel drive
originated in Wisconsin?
In 1909, the Badger Four-Wheel Drive
Auto Company was founded in
Clintonville, Wisconsin by William
Besserdich and Otto Zachow.
They developed and produced the
first simple and effective design for
transferring power to all 4 wheels
of an automobile.
In 1910, the name was changed
to the Four-Wheel Drive
And in 1958, the name changed
again to the FWD Corporation.
FWD Corporation also had produced
fire apparatus under its own brand,
and supplied heavy duty chassis
to a number of apparatus builders
throughout the U.S. and Canada.
In 1881, Fredric Seagrave founded
Seagrave in Detroit, Michigan.
The company moved to Columbus,
Ohio in 1891 and remained there
In 1963, FWD Corporation purchased
Seagrave Fire Apparatus who then
moved all their operations to
Clintonville, Wisconsin where it
still remains today.
FWD Seagrave is the oldest continuous
manufacturer of fire equipment
in the U.S.
Other Wisconsin History
In 1917, the first Highway Numbering
System was created in Wisconsin,
this highway numbering system was
later adopted nationwide.
In 1905, Wisconsin first required its
residents to register their motor
vehicles and display license
1961, Wisconsin became the first
state to have a Seat Belt law in
It was required that seat belts be
on the front seats of all new cars
sold in the state beginning with
the 1962 models.
In 1882, the world's first Edison
hydroelectric power plant began
operation on the Fox River in
In 1886, the first Successful Electric
Commercial Streetcar in the U.S. was
operated in Appleton, Wis.
In 1920, only about 35% of American
households had electricity.
By the end of the 1920's, about
85% of Americans had electricity.
In 1869, the first typewriter was
invented by Milwaukee newspaperman
Christopher Latham Sholes.
The rights for his invention were
sold to Remington Company.
In 1873 he created the QWERTY
keyboard layout we're familiar
'The Land of 10,000 Lakes'.
Did you know that Wisconsin
Wisconsin has well over 14,000
lakes and over 7,000 rivers and
Door County, Wisconsin has
shoreline than any other county
in the U.S. - over 250 miles.
In 1885 Flag Day was
Stoney Hill School in Ozaukee
County, teacher Bernard J. Cigrand
and his students celebrated
the birthday of our flag,
June 14, 1785.
National Flag Day was proclaimed by
President Woodrow Wilson in 1916.
President Harry S. Truman signed
the legislation in 1949 and June
was properly designated Flag Day.
On June 14th, 2004,
the U.S. Congress
voted unanimously that Flag Day
originated in Ozaukee County,
Waubeka Wisconsin, 60 years
as: The Car Radio,
The Brake System,
The Car Heater, and More
other History such
as: Car Lighting,