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Horseless Carriages and Ford’s Model T: Topics in Chronicling America

In the early 20th century, early automobiles led to long distance transporation and leisure. This guide provides access to material related to "horseless carriages" and "Ford’s Model T" in the Chronicling America digital collection of historic newspapers.


"A Ride in Charley Fair's Horseless Carriage." May 31, 1896. The San Francisco Call (San Francisco, CA), Image 27. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers.

The advent of Horseless Carriages and Ford's Model T sparks change in Americans, eventually leading to the growth of automobiles and transportation. Read more about it!

The information in this guide focuses on primary source materials found in the digitized historic newspapers from the digital collection Chronicling America.

The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.


November 28, 1895 The gas-powered Duryea automobile wins the Times-Herald race in Chicago. It was designed by inventor Charles E. Duryea.
1896 American gasoline powered “motocycles” are manufactured by the Duryea brothers.
February 1902 Miss Anne French becomes Washington's first woman driver.
1904 Automobiles become popular "accessories of a honeymoon tour."
June 23, 1909 New 1909 Ford Model T crosses finish line first in New York to Seattle automobile race.
1909-1927 Ford Motor Co. begins to mass produce its Model T, a reliable and inexpensive automobile.