When General Motors discontinued America’s oldest automobile maker, Oldsmobile, in 2004, it ended a grand tradition of technical achievement.
Oldsmobile was created by Ransom Eli Olds, born in 1864 in Geneva, Ohio. His father, Pliny F. Olds, moved the family to Lansing, Mich. in 1880 and established an engine-building and machinery repair company. Ransom joined the firm in 1883. He completed a crude steam car in 1887, followed by an improved version in 1891 that was featured in Scientific American. He built his first gasoline-powered vehicle in 1896 and founded the Olds Motor Works on Aug. 21, 1897.
A century’s worth of innovation; 1897-2004 Oldsmobile