So, why did electric cars fade from popularity? Available battery technology resulted in limited range, limited speed and a high purchase price. The mass-produced Model T by Henry Ford made gas-powered cars widely available. They were reasonably priced and easy to repair.  In 1912 the electric starter was introduced on new Cadillacs. 

Chevrolet: An American Icon

Here is a fun bit of trivia to ponder as you shop for a durable, stylish new Chevrolet Colorado or Silverado truck at Findlay Bullhead in Bullhead City, Arizona. Chevrolet is an American automotive icon. However, by stretching a point an argument could be made that it...

The Amazing Florence Lawrence

Lawrence was not the only woman to contribute to the auto industry during its formative years. In 1902, Mary Anderson was visiting New York City and, according to legend, became increasingly frustrated as the trolly driver was continuously stopping to clear snow from the front windows. Shortly after returning home to Alabama she designed and patented a hand operated blade that would clear the window without leaving the trolly. Soon numerous automobile manufacturers began offering a “windshield wiper” as an option or as standard equipment.

In 1924, Marie Luhring made history by becoming the first female truck designer when she was hired by Mack Trucks. She also became one of the first woman to join the Society of Automotive Engineers.

Raymond Loewy was an automotive designer of great renown. He was also a progressive visionary as evidenced by his hiring of Helen Dryden and Audrey Moore Hodges for the design studio at Studebaker. Nash was another progressive company. They hired Helen Rother Ackerkncoht at assist with development of streamlined bodies. The functional artistry of the 1941 Hudson instrument panel was the creation of Betty Thatcher.

Jim Hinckley’s America tells people where to go, and shares America’s story. The story of Florence Lawrence, and the pioneering women of the auto industry, are another forgotten chapter in the history of the American auto industry unveiled by America’s storyteller, author Jim Hinckley. 

Florence Lawrence And Unsung Heroes

In 1914 she devised an innovative mechanism that signaled turns to trailing drivers. With the simple push of a button, a flag was raised and lowered on the rear bumper of the automobile to inform other drivers what direction the car was turning. Next, she developed an ingenious device to alert drivers of a pending stop. When she depressed the brake, a small sign reading “stop” would pop up at the rear of the car.

Unfortunately, she failed to patent any these innovative developments. Likewise, with another gadget that she developed in 1916, the first electric windshield wiper. Still, even without the patent she prospered from the invention by establishing the Bridgwood Manufacturing Company for the manufacture and distribution of the wiper motors as well as other aftermarket items for automobiles.