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The American Automobile Timeline 1899-1970


The American Automobile 1899-1970
Multimedial Historical Collection

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1899-1905

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Pre-History

1863 July, 30: Henry Ford is born on a Springwells Township farm, near Dearborn,Michigan.

1893:The Duryea Brothers are building the first internal combustion vehicle in the US.

1896 June, 4: Henry Ford completes his first car, the Quadricycle, in a shed behind his home at 58 Bagley Ave., Detroit, and takes it for a drive in the middle of the night...

By the end of 1896, Henry Ford, Charles Brady King, Alexander Winton e Ransom Eli Olds, start the production of their gasoline cars.

In 1896, when Henry Ford is building his Quadricycle, the Duryea Brothers are building over a dozen models.

At the end of the XIX Century nineties, David Dunbar Buick used to own a plumbing business and from it shared what could have been his most successful business venture: he gave America its first porcelain bathtub!

Walter Chrysler is born in Wamego, Kansas, on April 20, 1875. He begins an ambitious career in the railroad industry as a machinist's apprentice when he turns 17. Chrysler earns his master mechanic's papers in 1899 and nine years later, at the age of 33, will become the youngest man ever to hold the post of superintendent of Motive Power for the Chicago Great Western Railway.

1899-1905

Olds Motor Vehicle and Olds Gasoline Engine Works of Lansing merge to form Olds Motor Works. This new company is incorporated on May 8, 1899 with $500,000 capital. The first factory specifically for automobile manufacture in the United States is built by Olds in Detroit on Jefferson Avenue East.
In 1899, the first traffic fatality is recorded: a man in NYC is killed by a car.
The Automobile is around by very short time, anyway it has allready taken its place in the media. Photos and early cinema reels are portraiting the new invention since the beginning.
The first annual automobile parade, is held on November 4, 1899 in downtown Manhattan. At least ten different makes and models are visible, including gasoline, electric and steam powered machines.

In 1900, the favorite vehicles are the electrics and the steamers.
In 1901, new oil fields discovered in Texas makes gasoline affordable.
That same year, mass production techniques are introduced into car manufacturing. These two factors will prove to be key developments in the rapid growth of the American automobile industry.
By 1900, 8000 vehicles are registered in the United States with vehicles being made by people like Ransom E. Olds, who has the hottest selling vehicle record of his day by 1901-03.
The $625 Oldsmobile has a marketing campaign that includes a jingle:

Come away with me Lucille,
In my merry Oldsmobile,
Down the road of life we'll fly,
Automobubbling you and I.
To the church we'll swiftly steal,
Then our wedding bells will peal,
You can go as far as you like with me,
In my merry Oldsmobile.

1901: Henry Ford forms the Henry Ford Company, but quits in a dispute.The company will becomes known as Cadillac.
In 1901 the curved-dash Oldsmobile becomes the first American car to be manufactured in quantity.

Cadillac Automobile Company is organized In 1902 in Detroit by Henry M. Leland, a precision manufacturer of automotive components.
In 1902 a speeding car on Polifly Road in Hackensack spooks a work horse towing a landscaper and a helper on a lawn mower. The landscaper is seriously hurt, his aide killed. The incident prompts a call to regulate the speed of automobiles.
Yet, some 50 small auto clubs had been formed by motoring enthusiasts across the country. Nine clubs soon joined together to create a national motoring organization and, at a March 4, 1902, Chicago meeting, founded the American Automobile Association.
Also in 1902, the invention of the stop sign.
In 1902 Max Grabowski founds the Rapid Motor Vehicle Company and builds trucks.
Sad to say, but Buick as a businessman is a flop and, by the end of 1902, he has relinquished ownership of such financially plagued companies as The Buick Auto Vin & Power Company and The Buick Manufacturing Company. These companies produce L-head engines for marine and stationary use.

In 1903 President Roosevelt parades in an automobile in NY City. An early cameraman films the streets of Manhattan from the President's open car.
1903 June, 16: Henry Ford and 11 investors sign the Articles of Incorporation for his car Company. The cars would be built in a converted wagon factory on Mack Avenue in Detroit.
On July the 20th Ford Motor Company sells its first car, a Model A, to a Detroit physician.
Also during 1903 steering wheels begin to replace tillers.
In 1903, The Buick Motor Car Company is formed, however the first Buick will not appear until one year later. In the early going The Buick Motor Company is saved from financial failure many times by Walter Marr, Eugene Richard, the Briscoe Brothers and William Crapo ("Billy") Durant.
Ground is broken for the first Buick engine plant on September 11, 1903, with funding from Flint Wagon Works, and operations are moved from Detroit to Flint.

In 1904 William Durant-takes over the Buick Motor Company.
The Auburn Model A Rear Entrance Tonneau is produced in 1904.

1905 In St. Louis, a car owner reports the first recorded auto theft.
The city of Tucson issues drivers licenses. Number 1 goes to Dr. Hiram Fenner.
Portsmouth 1905 Peace Conference ends the Russian-Japanese War. Early American phaeton limousines, driven by elegant chauffeurs, are taking the diplomats away from the conference building.
In 1905 Auburn produces his first two cylinder car.
With Durant at the helm of Buick, by 1905 production reaches 750 units, a far cry from the 28 produced the preceeding year. Engines and transmissions are built in Flint, Michigan while bodies are produced in Jackson, until 1907 when Flint will be the permanent home of Buick. The Buicks of this period ottain power via an opposed dual cylinder L-head engine rated at 22 horsepower.


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Quality:

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1899ny-auto-parade-edison.mov
Available on DVD
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Run Time: 00:01:52 Audio/Visual: silent, B&W Quality: # # #  

Producer: Thomas Edison

The first annual automobile parade, held on November 4, 1899 in downtown Manhattan. At least ten different makes and models are visible, including gasoline, electric and steam powered machines.


1900StandardOilCoBayonneNJ.mpg
Available on DVD
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Run Time: 00:01:41 Audio/Visual: silent, B&W Quality: # # # #

Burning of the Standard Oil Co's tanks, Bayonne, N.J. / Thomas A. Edison, Inc. (1900)
OTHER TITLES
Burning of the Standard Oil Company's tanks, Bayonne, New Jersey
Title in Edison films catalog: Destruction of Standard Oil Company's plant at Bayonne, N.J., by fire on July 5th, 1900

CREATED/PUBLISHED
United States : Edison Manufacturing Co., 1900.

SUMMARY
From Edison films catalog: This picture shows a street scene at Constable Hook, Bayonne, N.J. In the background rise immense volumes of dense black smoke from the burning oil, reaching high in the heavens. Outlined against this dense oil smoke is seen some of a lighter color. This is from the fire engines and from the houses of the unfortunate residents, whom we see fleeing before the destructive march of this element of fire. Some of them are bringing out what remains of their homes, and they have pressed into service all manner of vehicles, men in some cases taking the place of horses. Some have saved so little that they can readily carry out all that remains of their goods.
NOTES
Copyright: Thomas A. Edison; 12July1900;
Filmed July 5, 1900, in Bayonne, New Jersey.


1902early-car-ad-Fragment.mov

Available on DVD
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Run Time: 00:00:30 Audio/Visual: silent, B&W Quality: # # #

Producer: unknown

Early unknown automobile ad fragment. A car with four people rides forward and in reverse.


1902star_theatre.mpeg
Available on DVD
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Run time: 00:01:49
Audio/Visual: silent, B&W Quality: # # # # #

The demolition of the Star Theatre in New York City(1902)
Producer: The American Mutoscope and Biograph Company

Time lapse shot of the demolition of the Star Theatre in New York City.
Produced by American Mutoscope and Biograph Company and preserved by the Library of Congress. Surreal scenes of warp-speed street traffic.


1903AutomobileCameraCar-SF.mov
Available on DVD
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Run Time: 00:03:22 Audio/Visual: silent, B&W Quality: # # # 

Riding an Automobile on the Streets of San Francisco
Producer: unknown

The first example of in-car camera! A ride thru the streets of San Francisco. A few automobiles and many horses are still around.


1903ford-a-bw-ford-archives.mov
Available on DVD
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Run Time: 00:00:29 Audio/Visual: silent, B&W Quality: # # #

Producer:
unknown

A Ford Model A. Epoca footage.


1903LowerBrodway-NY.mpg
Available on DVD
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Run Time: 00:00:13 Audio/Visual: silent, B&W Quality: # # #

Producer: unknown

Street scene filmed in NYC in 1903.


1904Ca-walking-truck-b.mov
Available on DVD
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Run Time: 00:00:10 Audio/Visual: silent, B&W Quality: # # #

Producer: unknown

This is a circa 1904 "walking truck". A one-of-a-kind vehicle indeed!


1904vanderbilt-cup-race.mpg
Available on DVD
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Run Time: 00:02:52 Audio/Visual: silent, B&W Quality: # # # # 

The Vanderbilt Cup Race (1904)
Producer: American Mutoscope & Biograph Company

The first American Automobile Race in history.


1904WhiteSteamer-Car01.MPG
Available on DVD
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Run Time: 00:00:15 Audio/Visual: sound, C Quality: # # # #

Producer: Romano-Archives

A 1904 White Steamer car. Actual footage.



1904WhiteSteamer-Eng01.MPG
Available on DVD
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Run Time: 00:00:15 Audio/Visual: sound, C Quality: # # # #

Producer: Romano-Archives

A 1904 White Steamer car. Actual footage.



1904WhiteSteamer-Eng02.MPG
Available on DVD
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Run Time: 00:00:15 Audio/Visual: sound, C Quality: # # # #

Producer: Romano-Archives

A 1904 White Steamer car. Actual footage.


1904WhiteSteamer-Eng03.MPG
Available on DVD
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Run Time: 00:00:15 Audio/Visual: sound, C Quality: # # # #

Producer: Romano-Archives

A 1904 White Steamer car. Actual footage.


1905-01-05TheodoreRoosevelt.mov
Available on DVD
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Run Time: 00:06:09 Audio/Visual: silent, B&W Quality: # # #

Historical footage
on the life and times of President
TheodoreRoosevelt.


1905buick59888585.MPG
Available on DVD
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Run Time: 00:00:15 Audio/Visual: sound, C Quality: # # # #

Producer: Vincent Romano

A 1905 Buick. Actual footage.


1905ford-assembly-line.mov
Available on DVD
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Run Time: 00:00:51 Audio/Visual: silent, B&W Quality: # # #

Producer: unknown

1905. The Ford assembly line and other views of the Ford cars production.


1905ford-assembly-line2.mov
Available on DVD
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Run Time: 00:00:34 Audio/Visual: silent, B&W Quality: # # #

Producer: unknown

1905. The Ford assembly line and other views of the Ford cars production.


1905ford-assembly-line3.mov
Available on DVD
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Run Time: 00:01:46 Audio/Visual: silent, B&W Quality: # # #

Producer: unknown

1905. The Ford assembly line and other views of the Ford cars production.



1905market-streetCarTrip-SF
.mpeg
Available on DVD
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Run Time: 00:13:52 Audio/Visual: silent, B&W Quality: # # # # #

Producer: unknown

1905. A trip down Market st. in San Francisco, right before the big fire. Do note that the film suffers from frame roll, especially at the beginning and the end of the film and the last 30 seconds of the film seem to be select frames. However, given the age and importance of the film, these defects are forgiven. Otherwise, the image quality is quite good.


1905market-streetCarTrip1SF.mov
Available on DVD
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Run Time: 00:03:10 Audio/Visual: silent, B&W Quality: # # # 

Producer: unknown

1905. A trip down Market st. in San Francisco, right before the big fire. Same film (nr 21): quality is lower, divided in 3 parts, frame roll sequences eliminated.


1905market-streetCarTrip2SF.mov
Available on DVD
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Run Time: 00:04:23 Audio/Visual: silent, B&W Quality: # # # 


Producer: unknown

1905. A trip down Market st. in San Francisco, right before the big fire. Same film (nr 21): quality is lower, divided in 3 parts, frame roll sequences eliminated.


1905market-streetCarTrip3SF.mov
Available on DVD
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Run Time: 00:03:13 Audio/Visual: silent, B&W Quality: # # # 


Producer: unknown

1905. A trip down Market st. in San Francisco, right before the big fire. Same film (nr 21): quality is lower, divided in 3 parts, frame roll sequences eliminated.


1905PanoramaFromTimesBldgNY.mpg
Available on DVD
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Run Time: 00:00:13 Audio/Visual: silent, B&W Quality: # # # #

Producer: unknown

1905. The streets and the traffic of NYC... well down below. View from Times Building.


1905portsmouth-Limos.mpg
Available on DVD
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Run Time: 00:02:07 Audio/Visual: silent, B&W Quality: # # # #

Producer: unknown

An elegant automobile, waiting for diplomatics to carry away, outside the building of the Portsmouth, N.H. Peace Conference, in 1905.


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The American Automobile Timeline 1899-1970 - Multimedial Historical Collection (Over 1200 files)

We do provide duplicates of the multimedia files of the Collection on a customized DVD-ROM. (1)

Almost all the digital copies of the films are good quality Hi-Res editable videos.
Hundreds of hours of footage from this Collection are available in different format, size and definition. We can suggest you the right one for the use you have in mind.
PRIVATE USE: home TV vision (DVD-Divx player), PC, iPod.
WE LICENSE FOOTAGE from our Collections for: multimedia creations on CD or DVD, TV commercials, film or TV programs, documentary Productions, web sites, marketing/ad campaigns, video email, electronic kiosks, trade shows, business seminars, cultural events, museums, expositions... and more.
Hi-Res videos from our Collections are available on DVD, CD or directly in your inbox. Clips and movies can also be downloaded from our servers using a PW or uploaded by us to your FTP.
WE ARE JUST WAITING FOR YOUR INQUIRES!!!

(1) It is possible to obtain digital duplicates of the multimedial files (movies, videos, audio documents, and Virtual Reality files) from Romano-Archives for research, teaching, general interest user information, and private study purposes.

The files are available on a customized DVD-ROM.

Billing is done when the order is fulfilled. Payment instructions will follow. Normal turn around time for requests is 3 weeks. Rush (2-3 business days) is available for an additional fee of 40 Euros.
Romano-Archives will provide up to 2,000 (or about 10% of this Collection) multimedial files to a single requesting party.

If you have any questions about the fees or need clarification of the service of providing digital multimedial files, please contact Vincent Romano.

The multimedial files of the Collections are compatible with the free version of the most common players: Quicktime Player, Real Player, Windows Media Player.
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