A View from the Road

Ransom Eli Olds

Have you heard of Ransom Olds? I had not; but I must say I love his name. Yes, familiar with his car, the Oldsmobile, but did not know the man’s name, until I pulled over to check out the brown historical marker – I so love these signs – thank you Papi!

I was particularly amused once I read the sign, as it was located in a parking lot for an auto parts store.


“Ransom Eli Olds (June 3, 1864 – August 26, 1950) was a pioneer of the American automotive industry, after whom the Oldsmobile and REO brands were named. He claimed to have built his first steam car as early as 1887 and his first gasoline-powered car in 1896. The modern assembly line and its basic concept is credited to Olds, who used it to build the first mass-produced automobile, the Oldsmobile Curved Dash, beginning in 1901”

“Olds was born in Geneva-on-the-Lake, Ohio, the youngest son of blacksmith and pattern-maker Pliny Fiske Olds and his wife, Sarah Whipple Olds. His parents moved the family to Cleveland, Ohio, when Olds was still a boy.”

Assembly line – in case you are wondering.

“Olds was the first person to use a stationary assembly line in the automotive industry. Henry Ford came after him, and was the first to use a moving assembly line to manufacture cars.[10] This new approach to putting together automobiles enabled Olds to more than quintuple his factory’s output, from 425 cars in 1901 to 2,500 in 1902.”

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