Drive

Author: Lawrence Goldstone
Publisher: Ballantine Books
ISBN: 0553394193
Size: 54.69 MB
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From the acclaimed author of Birdmen comes a revelatory new history of the birth of the automobile, an illuminating and entertaining true tale of invention, competition, and the visionaries, hustlers, and swindlers who came together to transform the world. In 1900, the Automobile Club of America sponsored the nation’s first car show in New York’s Madison Square Garden. The event was a spectacular success, attracting seventy exhibitors and nearly fifty thousand visitors. Among the spectators was an obscure would-be automaker named Henry Ford, who walked the floor speaking with designers and engineers, trying to gauge public enthusiasm for what was then a revolutionary invention. His conclusion: the automobile was going to be a fixture in American society, both in the city and on the farm—and would make some people very rich. None, he decided, more than he. Drive! is the most complete account to date of the wild early days of the auto age. Lawrence Goldstone tells the fascinating story of how the internal combustion engine, a “theory looking for an application,” evolved into an innovation that would change history. Debunking many long-held myths along the way, Drive! shows that the creation of the automobile was not the work of one man, but very much a global effort. Long before anyone had heard of Henry Ford, men with names like Benz, Peugeot, Renault, and Daimler were building and marketing the world’s first cars. Goldstone breathes life into an extraordinary cast of characters: the inventors and engineers who crafted engines small enough to use on a “horseless carriage”; the financiers who risked everything for their visions; the first racers—daredevils who pushed rickety, untested vehicles to their limits; and such visionary lawyers as George Selden, who fought for and won the first patent for the gasoline-powered automobile. Lurking around every corner is Henry Ford, a brilliant innovator and an even better marketer, a tireless promoter of his products—and of himself. With a narrative as propulsive as its subject, Drive! plunges us headlong into a time unlike any in history, when near-manic innovation, competition, and consumerist zeal coalesced to change the way the world moved. Praise for Drive! “[A] marvelously told story . . . The author provides a terrific backdrop to the ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ era in which his story takes place. On display are lucky scoundrels and unlucky geniuses, hustlers, hacks, and daredevils galore. . . . Goldstone has written a book that beautifully captures the intertwined fates of these two ingenious pioneers.”—The Wall Street Journal “A wonderful, story-filled saga of the early days of the auto age . . . Readers will be swept up in his vivid re-creation of a bygone era. . . . ‘Horse Is Doomed,’ read one headline in 1895. This highly readable popular history tells why.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred reviews) “A splendid dissection of the Selden/Ford patent face-off and its place in automotive historiography, this work will be enjoyed by business, legal, transportation, social, and intellectual historians; general readers; and all libraries.”—Library Journal (starred review) “This book contains the great names in automotive history—the Dodge brothers, Barney Oldfield, all the French (they seemed, until Ford, to lead the Americans in development of the vehicle)—and it is fascinating. . . . An engaging new take on the history of technological innovation.”—Booklist From the Hardcover edition.

I Invented The Modern Age

Author: Richard Snow
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1451645597
Size: 38.93 MB
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From the acclaimed popular historian Richard Snow, who “writes with verve and a keen eye” (The New York Times Book Review), comes a fresh and entertaining account of Henry Ford and his invention of the Model T—the ugly, cranky, invincible machine that defined twentieth-century America. Every century or so, our republic has been remade by a new technology: 170 years ago the railroad changed Americans’ conception of space and time; in our era, the microprocessor revolutionized how humans communicate. But in the early twentieth century the agent of creative destruction was the gasoline engine, as put to work by an unknown and relentlessly industrious young man named Henry Ford. Born the same year as the battle of Gettysburg, Ford died two years after the atomic bombs fell, and his life personified the tremendous technological changes achieved in that span. Growing up as a Michigan farm boy with a bone-deep loathing of farming, Ford intuitively saw the advantages of internal combustion. Resourceful and fearless, he built his first gasoline engine out of scavenged industrial scraps. It was the size of a sewing machine. From there, scene by scene, Richard Snow vividly shows Ford using his innate mechanical abilities, hard work, and radical imagination as he transformed American industry. In many ways, of course, Ford’s story is well known; in many more ways, it is not. Richard Snow masterfully weaves together a fascinating narrative of Ford’s rise to fame through his greatest invention, the Model T. When Ford first unveiled this car, it took twelve and a half hours to build one. A little more than a decade later, it took exactly one minute. In making his car so quickly and so cheaply that his own workers could easily afford it, Ford created the cycle of consumerism that we still inhabit. Our country changed in a mere decade, and Ford became a national hero. But then he soured, and the benevolent side of his character went into an ever-deepening eclipse, even as the America he had remade evolved beyond all imagining into a global power capable of producing on a vast scale not only cars, but airplanes, ships, machinery, and an infinity of household devices. A highly pleasurable read, filled with scenes and incidents from Ford’s life, particularly during the intense phase of his secretive competition with other early car manufacturers, I Invented the Modern Age shows Richard Snow at the height of his powers as a popular historian and reclaims from history Henry Ford, the remarkable man who, indeed, invented the modern world as we know it.

Car Crazy

Author: G. Wayne Miller
Publisher: PublicAffairs
ISBN: 1610395522
Size: 24.82 MB
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In Car Wars, G. Wayne Miller, author of Toy Wars: The Epic Struggle Between G.I. Joe, Barbie, and the Companies That Make Them and Men and Speed: A Wild Ride through NASCAR’s Breakout Season, takes readers back to the wild and wooly years of the early automobile era—from 1893, when the first U.S.-built auto was introduced, through 1908, when General Motors was founded and Ford’s Model T went on the market. The motorcar was new, paved roads few, and devotees of this exciting and unregulated technology battled with citizens who thought the car a dangerous scourge of the wealthy which was shattering a more peaceful way of life. As the machine transformed American culture for better and worse, early corporate battles for survival and market share transform the economic landscape. Among the pioneering competitors are: Ransom E. Olds, founder of Olds Motor Works, inventor of the assembly line (Henry Ford copied him), and creator of a new company called REO; Frederic L Smith, cutthroat businessman who became CEO of Olds Motor Works after Olds was ousted in a corporate power play; William C. “Billy” Durant of Buick Motor Company (who would soon create General Motors), and genius inventor Henry Ford. The fiercest fight pits Henry Ford against Frederic Smith of Olds. Olds was the early winner in the race for dominance, but now the Olds empire is in trouble, its once-industry leading market share shrinking, its cash dwindling. Ford is just revving up. But this is Ford’s third attempt at a successful auto company—and if this one fails, quite possibly his last. So Smith fights Ford with the weapons he knows best: lawyers, blackmail, intimidation, and a vicious advertising smear campaign that ultimately backfires. Increasingly desperate, in need of dazzling PR that will help lure customers to his showrooms, Smith stages the most outrageous stunt of the era: the first car race across the continental United States, with two of his Olds cars. The race pits the dashing writer Percy Megargel, a wealthy New Yorker, against Everyman mechanic Dwight B. Huss, a sturdy Midwesterner—men who share a passion for adventure and the new machine. Covered breathlessly by the press and witnessed by thousands in the communities they pass through, Megargel and Huss encounter marvel, mishap, conflict, and danger on their wild 3,500-mile race from Manhattan to Portland, Oregon, most of it through regions lacking paved roads—or any roads at all…Meanwhile, the Ford/Smith battle develops in the newspapers and courtroom dramas. Its outcome will shape the American car industry for a century to come. Car Wars is a page-turning story of popular culture, business, and sport at the dawn of the twentieth century, filled with compelling, larger-than-life characters, each an American original

The Life Of The Automobile

Author: Steven Parissien
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 1466836237
Size: 35.35 MB
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The Life of the Automobile is the first comprehensive world history of the car. The automobile has arguably shaped the modern era more profoundly than any other human invention, and author Steven Parissien examines the impact, development, and significance of the automobile over its turbulent and colorful 130-year history. Readers learn the grand and turbulent history of the motor car, from its earliest appearance in the 1880s—as little more than a powered quadricycle—and the innovations of the early pioneer carmakers. The author examines the advances of the interwar era, the Golden Age of the 1950s, and the iconic years of the 1960s to the decades of doubt and uncertainty following the oil crisis of 1973, the global mergers of the 1990s, the bailouts of the early twenty-first century, and the emergence of the electric car. This is not just a story of horsepower and performance but a tale of extraordinary people: of intuitive carmakers such as Karl Benz, Sir Henry Royce, Giovanni Agnelli (Fiat), André Citroën, and Louis Renault; of exceptionally gifted designers such as the eccentric, Ohio-born Chris Bangle (BMW); and of visionary industrialists such as Henry Ford, Ferdinand Porsche (the Volkswagen Beetle), and Gene Bordinat (the Ford Mustang), among numerous other game changers. Above all, this comprehensive history demonstrates how the epic story of the car mirrors the history of the modern era, from the brave hopes and soaring ambitions of the early twentieth century to the cynicism and ecological concerns of a century later. Bringing to life the flamboyant entrepreneurs, shrewd businessmen, and gifted engineers that worked behind the scenes to bring us horsepower and performance, The Life of the Automobile is a globe-spanning account of the auto industry that is sure to rev the engines of entrepreneurs and gearheads alike.

Engines Of Change

Author: Paul Ingrassia
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 145164065X
Size: 31.19 MB
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A narrative like no other: a cultural history that explores how cars have both propelled and reflected the American experience— from the Model T to the Prius. From the assembly lines of Henry Ford to the open roads of Route 66, from the lore of Jack Kerouac to the sex appeal of the Hot Rod, America’s history is a vehicular history—an idea brought brilliantly to life in this major work by Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Paul Ingrassia. Ingrassia offers a wondrous epic in fifteen automobiles, including the Corvette, the Beetle, and the Chevy Corvair, as well as the personalities and tales behind them: Robert McNamara’s unlikely role in Lee Iacocca’s Mustang, John Z. DeLorean’s Pontiac GTO , Henry Ford’s Model T, as well as Honda’s Accord, the BMW 3 Series, and the Jeep, among others. Through these cars and these characters, Ingrassia shows how the car has expressed the particularly American tension between the lure of freedom and the obligations of utility. He also takes us through the rise of American manufacturing, the suburbanization of the country, the birth of the hippie and the yuppie, the emancipation of women, and many more fateful episodes and eras, including the car’s unintended consequences: trial lawyers, energy crises, and urban sprawl. Narrative history of the highest caliber, Engines of Change is an entirely edifying new way to look at the American story.

Birdmen

Author: Lawrence Goldstone
Publisher:
ISBN: 0345538056
Size: 17.90 MB
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The award-winning author of Lefty explores the life-risking rivalry between the Wright Brothers and machinist Glenn Hammond Curtiss, assessing how their patent war shaped early aviation and ultimately cost one of the men his life. 15,000 first printing.

Henry Ford

Author: Wil Mara
Publisher: Children's Press
ISBN: 9780531232255
Size: 27.84 MB
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Meet Henry Ford. Ford had an innovative spirit that infused everything he did. Ford continued to improve upon his automobile-and its production-until, finally, he made a great car that almost anyone could afford. Read this book to learn all about Ford's entrepreneurial journey.

Going Deep John Philip Holland And The Invention Of The Attack Submarine

Author: Lawrence Goldstone
Publisher: Pegasus Books
ISBN: 1681774844
Size: 26.61 MB
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The controversial history of the attack submarine—and the story of its colorful creator, John Philip Holland—that reveals how this imaginative invention changed the face of modern warfare. From Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea to The Hunt for Red October, readers the world over have demonstrated an enduring fascination with travel under the sea. Yet the riveting story behind the invention of the submarine—an epic saga of genius, persistence, ruthlessness, and deceit—is almost completely unknown. Like Henry Ford and the Wright brothers, John Philip Holland was completely self-taught, a brilliant man raised in humble circumstances, earning his living as a schoolteacher and choirmaster. But all the while he was obsessed with creating a machine that could successfully cruise beneath the waves. His struggle to unlock the mystery behind controlled undersea navigation would take three decades, during which he endured skepticism, disappointment, and betrayal. But his indestructible belief in himself and his ideas led him to finally succeed where so many others had failed. Going Deep is a vivid chronicle of the fierce battles not only under the water, but also in the back rooms of Wall Street and the committee rooms of Congress. A rousing adventure—surrounded by an atmosphere of corruption and greed—at its heart this a story of bravery, passion, and the unbreakable determination to succeed against long odds.

The Public Image Of Henry Ford

Author: David L. Lewis
Publisher: Wayne State University Press
ISBN: 9780814318928
Size: 62.41 MB
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Skillful journalism and meticulous scholarship are combined in the full-bodied portrait of that enigmatic folk hero, Henry Ford, and of the company he built from scratch. Writing with verve and objectivity, David Lewis focuses on the fame, popularity, and influence of America's most unconventional businessman and traces the history of public relations and advertising within Ford Motor Company and the automobile industry.

History Of The American Automobile Industry

Author: David Beecroft
Publisher:
ISBN: 9780557055753
Size: 71.64 MB
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David Beecroft was editor of the magazine The Automobile in the years before World War I and was later president of the Society of Automotive Engineers. Between October 1915 and August 1916 he wrote a history of the automobile industry and published it in his magazine in serial form. The result is a fascinating and authoritative essay that validates stories we have heard from other sources and brings out others that are now little known, especially in the areas of the development of the gasoline engine and the pneumatic tire.Beecroftâs work is now fragmented across more than forty issues of a hard-to-find publication so it is infrequently seen and little used. We, however, were able to gain access to the entire series and are pleased to reprint it, making it easily available to the automotive community. A few typos in the original have been corrected, but the work otherwise remains exactly as Beecroft published it including his numerous original illustrations.