However, it was the automobile that transformed the city and had the most profound impact on its economy. Michigan's entrepreneurs fused creativity, dreams and inspirations with money, labor and raw materials, to corner a growing transportation market.
On the evening of March 6, 1896, the first car appeared on the streets of Detroit. Charles Brady King, a 28-year old mechanical engineer, started on St. Antoine Street, turned right on Jefferson Avenue and then right again on Woodward Avenue, before the motor died. This event occurred three months before Henry Ford tested his quadricycle on Detroit's streets. Ford is said to have been watching King - on a bicycle.
In 1899, just three years after the appearance of King's "horseless carriage", Ransom E. Olds opened the city's first automobile factory, which launched Detroit into the Automotive Age.Previous Page