Was Reading, Pa the 1st Detroit? Learn about the automotive industry & history of Duryea Drive w/ Dr. Bryan Dreibelbis. Interesting Video
The first production of automobiles was by Karl Benz in 1888 in Germany and, under license from Benz, in France by Emile Roger. There were numerous others, including tricycle builders Rudolf Egg, Edward Butler, and Léon Bollée.:p.20-23 Bollée, using a 650 cc (40 cu in) engine of his own design, enabled his driver, Jamin, to average 45 kilometres per hour (28.0 mph) in the 1897 Paris-Tourville rally.:p.23 By 1900, mass production of automobiles had begun in France and the United States. The first motor car in central Europe and one of the first factory-made cars in world, was produced by Czech company Nesselsdorfer Wagenbau (later renamed to Tatra) in 1897, the Präsident automobil. The first company formed exclusively to build automobiles was Panhard et Levassor in France, which also introduced the first four-cylinder engine.:p.22 Formed in 1889, Panhard was quickly followed by Peugeot two years later. By the start of the 20th century, the automobile industry was beginning to take off in Western Europe, especially in France, where 30,204 were produced in 1903, representing 48.8% of world automobile production that year.
In the United States, brothers Charles and Frank Duryea founded the Duryea Motor Wagon Company in 1893, becoming the first American automobile manufacturing company. However, it was Ransom E. Olds and his Olds Motor Vehicle Company (later known as Oldsmobile) who would dominate this era of automobile production. Its production line was running in 1902. The Thomas B. Jeffery Company developed the world’s second mass produced automobile and 1,500 Ramblers were built and sold in its first year, representing one-sixth of all existing motorcars in the U.S. at the time. Within a year, Cadillac (formed from the Henry Ford Company), Winton, and Ford were also producing cars in the thousands.