Today we think of the major automobile manufactures both domestic and foreign for what they are, huge industrial powerhouses that turn out immense numbers of new cars every day. But that was far from the case a century or so ago, when the automobile moved from novelty to necessity. Every town across the country had its tinkerer or dreamer certain they held the key to the future of the automobile in their idea for a "better mousetrap" in this case one on wheels. Backyard mechanics, academic thinkers, and businessmen of all backgrounds gave the newly founded automobile business a try.
Many were sure their interpretation of the better automobile was a sure winner and would bring wealth and success of unknown proportions. And, of course, these often self-made "automotive experts" wanted to share their success with those who saw the wisdom in financing or buying stock in their fledging endeavors. Even the motive power of said better vehicles was as varied as the personalities of the would be automotive men, and as we will see, the women of the era. Gasoline, electric, and steam cars all had their share of proponents. There was no shortage of ideas, no lack of optimism, and no end to the complexity of the plans and schemes.
That lays the foundation for my next blog so I will leave you with a question for you to think about. What do overalls, pianos, thermostats, birdcages, and razor blades have to do with automobiles? The answer will no doubt surprise you!