drive henry ford george selden and the race to invent the auto age

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Drive

Author : Lawrence Goldstone
ISBN : 9780553394191
Genre : History
File Size : 30. 58 MB
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From the acclaimed author of Birdmen comes a revelatory new history of the birth of the automobile, an illuminating and entertaining true tale of invention, competition, and the visionaries, hustlers, and swindlers who came together to transform the world. In 1900, the Automobile Club of America sponsored the nation’s first car show in New York’s Madison Square Garden. The event was a spectacular success, attracting seventy exhibitors and nearly fifty thousand visitors. Among the spectators was an obscure would-be automaker named Henry Ford, who walked the floor speaking with designers and engineers, trying to gauge public enthusiasm for what was then a revolutionary invention. His conclusion: the automobile was going to be a fixture in American society, both in the city and on the farm—and would make some people very rich. None, he decided, more than he. Drive! is the most complete account to date of the wild early days of the auto age. Lawrence Goldstone tells the fascinating story of how the internal combustion engine, a “theory looking for an application,” evolved into an innovation that would change history. Debunking many long-held myths along the way, Drive! shows that the creation of the automobile was not the work of one man, but very much a global effort. Long before anyone had heard of Henry Ford, men with names like Benz, Peugeot, Renault, and Daimler were building and marketing the world’s first cars. Goldstone breathes life into an extraordinary cast of characters: the inventors and engineers who crafted engines small enough to use on a “horseless carriage”; the financiers who risked everything for their visions; the first racers—daredevils who pushed rickety, untested vehicles to their limits; and such visionary lawyers as George Selden, who fought for and won the first patent for the gasoline-powered automobile. Lurking around every corner is Henry Ford, a brilliant innovator and an even better marketer, a tireless promoter of his products—and of himself. With a narrative as propulsive as its subject, Drive! plunges us headlong into a time unlike any in history, when near-manic innovation, competition, and consumerist zeal coalesced to change the way the world moved. Praise for Drive! “[A] marvelously told story . . . The author provides a terrific backdrop to the ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ era in which his story takes place. On display are lucky scoundrels and unlucky geniuses, hustlers, hacks, and daredevils galore. . . . Goldstone has written a book that beautifully captures the intertwined fates of these two ingenious pioneers.”—The Wall Street Journal “A wonderful, story-filled saga of the early days of the auto age . . . Readers will be swept up in his vivid re-creation of a bygone era. . . . ‘Horse Is Doomed,’ read one headline in 1895. This highly readable popular history tells why.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred reviews) “A splendid dissection of the Selden/Ford patent face-off and its place in automotive historiography, this work will be enjoyed by business, legal, transportation, social, and intellectual historians; general readers; and all libraries.”—Library Journal (starred review) “This book contains the great names in automotive history—the Dodge brothers, Barney Oldfield, all the French (they seemed, until Ford, to lead the Americans in development of the vehicle)—and it is fascinating. . . . An engaging new take on the history of technological innovation.”—Booklist From the Hardcover edition.

Car Crazy

Author : G. Wayne Miller
ISBN : 9781610395526
Genre : Transportation
File Size : 43. 79 MB
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In Car Wars, G. Wayne Miller, author of Toy Wars: The Epic Struggle Between G.I. Joe, Barbie, and the Companies That Make Them and Men and Speed: A Wild Ride through NASCAR's Breakout Season, takes readers back to the wild and wooly years of the early automobile era—from 1893, when the first U.S.-built auto was introduced, through 1908, when General Motors was founded and Ford's Model T went on the market. The motorcar was new, paved roads few, and devotees of this exciting and unregulated technology battled with citizens who thought the car a dangerous scourge of the wealthy which was shattering a more peaceful way of life. As the machine transformed American culture for better and worse, early corporate battles for survival and market share transform the economic landscape. Among the pioneering competitors are: Ransom E. Olds, founder of Olds Motor Works, inventor of the assembly line (Henry Ford copied him), and creator of a new company called REO; Frederic L Smith, cutthroat businessman who became CEO of Olds Motor Works after Olds was ousted in a corporate power play; William C. “Billy” Durant of Buick Motor Company (who would soon create General Motors), and genius inventor Henry Ford. The fiercest fight pits Henry Ford against Frederic Smith of Olds. Olds was the early winner in the race for dominance, but now the Olds empire is in trouble, its once-industry leading market share shrinking, its cash dwindling. Ford is just revving up. But this is Ford's third attempt at a successful auto company—and if this one fails, quite possibly his last. So Smith fights Ford with the weapons he knows best: lawyers, blackmail, intimidation, and a vicious advertising smear campaign that ultimately backfires. Increasingly desperate, in need of dazzling PR that will help lure customers to his showrooms, Smith stages the most outrageous stunt of the era: the first car race across the continental United States, with two of his Olds cars. The race pits the dashing writer Percy Megargel, a wealthy New Yorker, against Everyman mechanic Dwight B. Huss, a sturdy Midwesterner—men who share a passion for adventure and the new machine. Covered breathlessly by the press and witnessed by thousands in the communities they pass through, Megargel and Huss encounter marvel, mishap, conflict, and danger on their wild 3,500-mile race from Manhattan to Portland, Oregon, most of it through regions lacking paved roads—or any roads at all…Meanwhile, the Ford/Smith battle develops in the newspapers and courtroom dramas. Its outcome will shape the American car industry for a century to come. Car Wars is a page-turning story of popular culture, business, and sport at the dawn of the twentieth century, filled with compelling, larger-than-life characters, each an American original

Lost Car Companies Of Detroit

Author : Alan Naldrett
ISBN : 9781625856494
Genre : Transportation
File Size : 39. 80 MB
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Among more than two hundred auto companies that tried their luck in the Motor City, just three remain: Ford, General Motors and Chrysler. But many of those lost to history have colorful stories worth telling. For instance, J.J. Cole forgot to put brakes in his new auto, so on the first test run, he had to drive it in circles until it ran out of gas. Brothers John and Horace Dodge often trashed saloons during wild evenings but used their great personal wealth to pay for the damage the next day (if they could remember where they had been). David D. Buick went from being the founder of his own leading auto company to working the information desk at the Detroit Board of Trade. Author Alan Naldrett explores these and more tales of automakers who ultimately failed but shaped the industry and designs putting wheels on the road today.

Birdmen

Author : Lawrence Goldstone
ISBN : 9780345538048
Genre : History
File Size : 25. 84 MB
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From acclaimed historian Lawrence Goldstone comes a thrilling narrative of courage, determination, and competition: the story of the intense rivalry that fueled the rise of American aviation. The feud between this nation’s great air pioneers, the Wright brothers and Glenn Curtiss, was a collision of unyielding and profoundly American personalities. On one side, a pair of tenacious siblings who together had solved the centuries-old riddle of powered, heavier-than-air flight. On the other, an audacious motorcycle racer whose innovative aircraft became synonymous in the public mind with death-defying stunts. For more than a decade, they battled each other in court, at air shows, and in the newspapers. The outcome of this contest of wills would shape the course of aviation history—and take a fearsome toll on the men involved. Birdmen sets the engrossing story of the Wrights’ war with Curtiss against the thrilling backdrop of the early years of manned flight, and is rich with period detail and larger-than-life personalities: Thomas Scott Baldwin, or “Cap’t Tom” as he styled himself, who invented the parachute and almost convinced the world that balloons were the future of aviation; John Moisant, the dapper daredevil who took to the skies after three failed attempts to overthrow the government of El Salvador, then quickly emerged as a celebrity flyer; and Harriet Quimby, the statuesque silent-film beauty who became the first woman to fly across the English Channel. And then there is Lincoln Beachey, perhaps the greatest aviator who ever lived, who dazzled crowds with an array of trademark twists and dives—and best embodied the romance with death that fueled so many of aviation’s earliest heroes. A dramatic story of unimaginable bravery in the air and brutal competition on the ground, Birdmen is at once a thrill ride through flight’s wild early years and a surprising look at the personal clash that fueled America’s race to the skies. Praise for Birdmen “A meticulously researched account of the first few hectic, tangled years of aviation and the curious characters who pursued it . . . a worthy companion to Richard Holmes’s marvelous history of ballooning, Falling Upwards.”—Time “The daredevil scientists and engineers who forged the field of aeronautics spring vividly to life in Lawrence Goldstone’s history.”—Nature “The history of the development of an integral part of the modern world and a fascinating portrayal of how a group of men and women achieved a dream that had captivated humanity for centuries.”—The Christian Science Monitor “Captivating and wonderfully presented . . . a fine book about these rival pioneers.”—The Wall Street Journal “[A] vivid story of invention, vendettas, derring-do, media hype and patent fights [with] modern resonance.”—Financial Times “A powerful story that contrasts soaring hopes with the anchors of ego and courtroom.”—Kirkus Reviews “A riveting narrative about the pioneering era of aeronautics in America and beyond . . . Goldstone raises questions of enduring importance regarding innovation and the indefinite exertion of control over ideas that go public.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review) From the Hardcover edition.

Breaking Rockefeller

Author : Peter B. Doran
ISBN : 9780698170773
Genre : History
File Size : 21. 24 MB
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The incredible tale of how ambitious oil rivals Marcus Samuel, Jr., and Henri Deterding joined forces to topple the Standard Oil empire Marcus Samuel, Jr., is an unorthodox Jewish merchant trader. Henri Deterding is a take-no-prisoners oilman. In 1889, John D. Rockefeller is at the peak of his power. Having annihilated all competition and possessing near-total domination of the market, even the U.S. government is wary of challenging the great “anaconda” of Standard Oil. The Standard never loses—that is until Samuel and Deterding team up to form Royal Dutch Shell. A riveting account of ambition, oil, and greed, Breaking Rockefeller traces Samuel’s rise from outsider to the heights of the British aristocracy, Deterding’s conquest of America, and the collapse of Rockefeller’s monopoly. The beginning of the twentieth century is a time when vast fortunes were made and lost. Taking readers through the rough and tumble of East London’s streets, the twilight turmoil of czarist Russia, to the halls of the British Parliament, and right down Broadway in New York City, Peter Doran offers a richly detailed, fresh perspective on how Samuel and Deterding beat the world’s richest man at his own game.

Preston Tucker And His Battle To Build The Car Of Tomorrow

Author : Steve Lehto
ISBN : 1613749538
Genre :
File Size : 52. 42 MB
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A dramatic story of automotive innovation and government persecution In the wake of World War II, the U.S. automobile industry was fully unprepared to meet the growing demands of the public, for whom they had not made any cars for years. In stepped Preston Tucker, a salesman extraordinaire who announced the building of a revolutionary new car: the Tucker '48, the first car in almost a decade to be built fresh from the ground up. Tucker's car, which would include ingenious advances in design and engineering that other car companies could not match, captured the interest of the public, and automakers in Detroit took notice. Soon, the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission, headed by a former Detroit man, began investigating Tucker, and when a leaked report indicated that Tucker was going to be indicted for a scheme of massive fraud, his stock crashed and America came to believe that he was nothing but a huckster. After a lengthy trial, Tucker was eventually exonerated, but not before he and his company were left with nothing. Here, author Steve Lehto tackles Tucker's amazing story, relying on a huge trove of documents that has been used by no other writer to date. It is the first comprehensive, authoritative account of Tucker's magnificent car and his battles with the government. And in this book, Lehto finally answers the question automobile aficionados have wondered about for decades: exactly how and why the production of such an innovative car was killed. After World War II, the American automobile industry was reeling. Having spent years building weapons, the car companies had not made any cars for years. And then, in stepped Preston Tucker. This salesman extraordinaire from Detroit had built race cars before the war, and had been a defense contractor during it. Now, gathering a group of brilliant automotive designers, engineers, and promoters, he announced the building of a revolutionary new car: the Tucker '48, the first car in almost a decade to be built fresh from the ground up. Tucker's car would include ingenious advances in design and engineering that other car companies could not match. But the Big Three did not take Tucker's threat lightly. While Tucker raised money, leased a plant in Chicago, lined up franchises worldwide, sold millions of shares of stock, and built the first of his cars, the SEC, headed by a former Detroit man, began investigating him. Tucker fought on, showing his cars around the country while investigators seized his books. And when the SEC leaked a report to the press that Tucker was going to be indicted for a scheme of massive fraud, Tucker's stock crashed and America came to believe that he was nothing but a huckster. Steve Lehto has here tackled Tucker's amazing story, relying on a huge trove of documents that no other writer to date has used. In this book, Lehto finally answers the question automobile aficionados have wondered about for decades: exactly how and why the production of such an innovative car was killed.

Jefferson S America

Author : Julie M. Fenster
ISBN : 9780307956545
Genre : History
File Size : 22. 59 MB
Format : PDF, Kindle
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The surprising story of how Thomas Jefferson commanded an unrivaled age of American exploration—and in presiding over that era of discovery, forged a great nation. At the dawn of the nineteenth century, as Britain, France, Spain, and the United States all jockeyed for control of the vast expanses west of the Mississippi River, the stakes for American expansion were incalculably high. Even after the American purchase of the Louisiana Territory, Spain still coveted that land and was prepared to employ any means to retain it. With war expected at any moment, Jefferson played a game of strategy, putting on the ground the only Americans he could: a cadre of explorers who finally annexed it through courageous investigation. Responsible for orchestrating the American push into the continent was President Thomas Jefferson. He most famously recruited Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, who led the Corps of Discovery to the Pacific, but at the same time there were other teams who did the same work, in places where it was even more crucial. William Dunbar, George Hunter, Thomas Freeman, Peter Custis, and the dauntless Zebulon Pike—all were dispatched on urgent missions to map the frontier and keep up a steady correspondence with Washington about their findings. But they weren’t always well-matched—with each other and certainly not with a Spanish army of a thousand soldiers or more. These tensions threatened to undermine Jefferson’s goals for the nascent country, leaving the United States in danger of losing its foothold in the West. Deeply researched and inspiringly told, Jefferson’s America rediscovers the robust and often harrowing action from these seminal expeditions and illuminates the president’s vision for a continental America.

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