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Odd Wisconsin Archive

Wisconsin & the Birth of Automobiles


Jan. 3, 1899. On today's date the New York Times is said to have first used the word "automobile" in print. By then, however, automobiles were old news in the Badger State, where the first horseless carriage had been invented in 1871 by a Racine clergymen named J. W. Carhart (really). Several years later two machines competed in a race from Green Bay to Madison, the winner making the 200-mile trip in 33 hours and 27 minutes. You can see pictures and read other accounts of early automobiles in Wisconsin in our new digital collection, Turning Points in Wisconsin History.
:: Posted in Curiosities on January 3, 2005
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