Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Dodge Brothers

Yes, that Dodge. These two brothers, John and Horace Dodge, are responsible for our modern cars. It's that simple.

I'm entranced by a book right now called "Wheels for the World" by Douglas Brinkley. It is offering a detail look at the start of the American Automotive industry that I've never known. The very first thing that is striking is that Michigan and it's people are all about Michigan. Everything we see, hear, drive, and read about American cars is routed in Michigan. The names of cars especially. This obviously comes as no secret to some, but to me it is amazing.

What's more amazing is the names I'm reading about during the early days of the automotive craze during the turn of the century. Most fascinating among them? The Dodge Brothers. They were the guys that built the parts and engines for Ford, Cadillac (named for the founder of Detroit) and Oldsmobile. These two hard drinking thugs made it go.

Ultimately, what is most astonishing is the sheer amount of money thrown around when our American automotive industry was getting started. It has to be read to be believed.

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