Automobile Culture

Although Detroit is known today as the home of the automobile industry in the United States, Wisconsin - - and the Milwaukee area in particular - - made many contributions to the industry in its earliest years. Since 1900, more than eighty different makes of cars and trucks have been manufactured in Wisconsin. In 1873, the first steam-powered, self-propelled vehicle in the United States was designed and operated by Reverend Dr. J.W. Carhart of Racine. Two years later, the Wisconsin Legislature offered a $10,000 prize to the winner of a race between Green Bay and Madison in an effort to... more...

Original Documents and Other Primary Sources

Link to article: La Crosse's first motor-bike, 1900La Crosse's first motor-bike, 1900
Link to article: The automobile population of Madison in 1903The automobile population of Madison in 1903
Link to article: An 1897 bamboo bicycleAn 1897 bamboo bicycle
Link to article: The early days of driving in WisconsinThe early days of driving in Wisconsin
Link to article: A Racine pastor invents a horseless carriage in 1873.A Racine pastor invents a horseless carriage in 1873.
Link to article: The great Green Bay to Madison automobile race of 1878.The great Green Bay to Madison automobile race of 1878.
Link to artifacts: An original "Big Boy" plastic sculpture from a Marc's restaurant, ca. 1971An original "Big Boy" plastic sculpture from a Marc's restaurant, ca. 1971
Link to book: The newest automobile from Kenosha's Thomas B. Jeffery CompanyThe newest automobile from Kenosha's Thomas B. Jeffery Company
Link to book: A 1910 automobile travel guide to WisconsinA 1910 automobile travel guide to Wisconsin
Link to book: The making of a Mitchell Car, 1911The making of a Mitchell Car, 1911
Link to book: A Tourist Brochure for Marinette Co., ca. 1923A Tourist Brochure for Marinette Co., ca. 1923
Link to book: A Tourist Brochure for Shawano and the Menominee Indian Reservation, ca. 1925A Tourist Brochure for Shawano and the Menominee Indian Reservation, ca. 1925
Link to book: A Guide to Wisconsin Automobile Routes, 1916A Guide to Wisconsin Automobile Routes, 1916
Link to book: The Pneumatic, a progressive monthly paper for cyclistsThe Pneumatic, a progressive monthly paper for cyclists
Link to collections: The evolution of gas stations in WisconsinThe evolution of gas stations in Wisconsin
Link to images: Harley-Davidson's first factoryHarley-Davidson's first factory
Link to images: Photographs of automobile manufacturing in Wisconsin, 1905-1968.Photographs of automobile manufacturing in Wisconsin, 1905-1968.
Link to images: Images of the Winther Motor Truck CompanyImages of the Winther Motor Truck Company
Link to manuscript: A Wisconsin sailor recounts the attack on his ship at Pearl HarborA Wisconsin sailor recounts the attack on his ship at Pearl Harbor
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