“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Detroit in Wayne County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)

Ransom Eli Olds

Ransom Eli Olds Marker image. Click for full size.
By Al Barrera, December 11, 2008
1. Ransom Eli Olds Marker
Inscription. In Lansing, on August 21, 1897, Ransom E. Olds (1864 - 1950) founded the Olds Motor Vehicle Company, the precursor to Oldsmobile. He produced four vehicles that year. In 1899, Olds relocated to Detroit, opening the Olds Motor Works on West Jefferson Avenue near the MacArthur Bridge. In 1901, he built 425 gasoline-powered Curved Dash Oldsmobile Runabouts, driving them on Belle Isle prior to sale. Mounds of dirt excavated during canal construction on the island provided perfect "hills" for the drivers who tested the mettle of early automobiles. Runabouts were the first cars to carry the Oldsmobile name.
Erected 1997 by State of Michigan. (Marker Number S0658.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Michigan Historical Commission marker series.
Location. 42° 20.218′ N, 82° 59.658′ W. Marker is in Detroit, Michigan, in Wayne County. Touch for map. Belle Isle, Picnic shelter On Central Way between Casino, Wayne and Muse Roads. Marker is at or near this postal address: Central Way, Detroit MI 48207, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 kilometers of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Gen. O. M. Poe Post No. 433 (within shouting distance of this marker); Grand Army of the Republic (within shouting distance of this marker); Detroit Spanish American War Monument (approx. 0.3 miles away); Alpheus S. Williams (approx. 0.4 miles away); S. S. Edmund Fitzgerald (approx. half a mile away); Perry's Victory (approx. half a mile away); The Siege of Detroit 1763 (approx. 0.9 miles away in Canada); The Battle of Bloody Run (approx. 1.7 kilometers away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Detroit.
Additional comments.
1. Ransom Eli Olds
American inventor and automotive pioneer, best known as the founder of the car company that became Oldsmobile Motor Division of General Motors Corporation (GM). He was born Ransom Eli Olds on June 3, 1864, in Geneva, Ohio, the younger of two sons of Pliny Fisk Olds and Sarah Whipple Olds. In 1895, Ransom became his fatherís partner at his auto shop in Lansing, MI. there they developed an internal combustion engine that he incorporated into the car. In 1897, he opened the Olds Motor Vehicle Company, replacing his fatherís shop, and the Olds Gasoline Engine Works. In 1899, olds moved to Detroit, MI, formed the Olds Motor Works and designed and produced the popular Oldsmobile. With its low price, easy assembly and stylish curved dashboard, this was the first car to be produced in quantity. In order to keep up with the increasing demand for those newfangled contraptions, horseless carriages, Olds created the assembly line in 1901. The new approach to putting together automobiles enabled him to more that quadruple his factoryís output. (425 in 1901 to 2,500 in 1902). In 1904, Olds quit to form REO Motor Car Company and organized subsidiary companies to supply him with parts. He was a rare individual who tried and successfully created all means of propulsion, steam, electric, and gasoline. During the very early days of the infant auto industry, he conceptualized and the highest volume automobile producer when the others were selling their vehicles in paltry volumes.
    — Submitted October 24, 2012, by Tashiana Windmon of Benton Harbor, Bh.

Categories. 20th CenturyIndustry & CommerceNotable Places
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on December 11, 2008, by Al Barrera of Brownstown, Michigan. This page has been viewed 1,218 times since then and 29 times this year. Photo   1. submitted on December 11, 2008, by Al Barrera of Brownstown, Michigan. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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