Americans love a good Independence Day celebration. This photo (taken circa 1910-1915) depicts a classic Oldsmobile, appropriately adorned for the Fourth of July.
The Oldsmobile was “born” in Lansing, Michigan in 1896. Sadly, Lansing Car Assembly One closed in 2005, marking the end of the brand’s 109 years of production.
Oldsmobile founder Ransom E. Olds was born in Geneva, Ohio in 1864. In 1880, his family moved to Lansing, where his father began a steam engine business. In 1893, Ransom Olds visited the Chicago World’s Fair and viewed gasoline engines on display. He then returned to Lansing and started making his own. In 1896, he approached a local carriage manufacturer about building a carriage for his new engine. Olds successfully demonstrated his “horseless carriage” later that year. The following year, he joined with a group of investors, led by Edward W. Sparrow, to establish the Olds Motor Company. The rest, as they say, is history.
Oldsmobile History Sources
The Archives of Michigan houses historic photographs of various Oldsmobile models. Researchers can also examine highway maps, Department of Transportation records and additional photographs documenting many aspects of automotive history.
The Library of Michigan includes a copy of the book Setting the Pace: Oldsmobile’s First 100 Years by Helen Jones Earley and James R. Walkinshaw (Lansing, Michigan: General Motors, Oldsmobile Division, Public Relations Department, 1996). Michigan History Magazine celebrated one hundred years of Oldsmobile in its July/August 1997 issue. Its March/April 1996 “collector’s issue,” examines the history Michigan’s entire automobile industry. Those interested in Ransom Olds and the auto bearing his name might also enjoy visiting the R.E. Olds Transportation Museum in Lansing.
HELP US IDENTIFY THESE PHOTOGRAPHS:
We were unable to identify the exact model of the Oldsmobile, as well as the date and location of the following photos. If you have any pertinent information, then please contact Bob Garrett at email@example.com or (517) 241-1382