The World's Largest Public Domain Media Search Engine
[Small twin girls in front of 1911 Buick roadster]


[Small twin girls in front of 1911 Buick roadster]



Title and other information transcribed from unverified, old caption card data and item.
George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress).

The automobile was first invented and perfected in Germany and France in the late 1890s. Americans quickly came to dominate the automotive industry after WWI. Throughout this initial era, the development of automotive technology was rapid. Hundreds of small manufacturers competing to gain the world's attention. Key developments included the electric ignition system, independent suspension, and four-wheel brakes. Transmissions and throttle controls were widely adopted and safety glass also made its debut. Henry Ford perfected mass-production techniques, and Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler emerged as the “Big Three” auto companies by the 1920s. Car manufacturers received enormous orders from the military during World War II, and afterward automobile production in the United States, Europe, and Japan soared.

Buick Motor Division is one of the oldest automobile brands in America. It was founded in 1899 in Detroit by David Buick. First cars were made in 1899 and 1900, though full-scale automobile manufacturing was launched only by 1904. For four years the company has been increasing the number of cars produced annually from 37 to 8800 cars in 1908. The Buick’s history is closely connected with other famous brands. For instance, William C. Durant, the founder of General Motors, was a general manager in Buick Motor Division and his friend, Louis Chevrolet, was a racing driver here while he learned how to design cars. This photograph collection was composed of the Library of Congress images and covers the period from 1907 to 1985.



1910 - 1920


Library of Congress

Copyright info

No known restrictions on publication.

Explore more