Put the pedal to the medal! Hearing this quote in the late 19th century would not have quite the same impact as the statement would today. Not unusual in the 21st century to go from 0 to 60 in under 6 seconds. Not heard of way back when...! Even the sound of the first gas-powered automobile was a much lesser varoom!
|United States Patent Office|
Highlighted on this day in history (1895) is George B. Seldon: the first to apply for a U.S. patent describing a road (internal combustion) engine to power a horseless carriage. The self-propelled carriage was not his original idea, he never built a prototype and the engine described turned out to be impractical, but Seldon had secured his place in history.
Selden's design was fairly vague, and was actually based on a two-cylinder internal-combustion engine that someone else had invented: Selden had simply copied the one he'd seen on display at the 1872 Philadelphia Centennial Exposition. In 1899, Selden sold his patent to a group of investors who called themselves the Electric Vehicle Company. In turn, they immediately sued the Winton Motor Carriage Company, the largest car manufacturer in the United States, for infringing on the Selden patent just by building gas-powered cars. Winton settled, and the court upheld Selden's patent in 1903. Source: history.com
The automobile has come a long way in nearly 120 years!