Oldsmobile is one of the most recognized automotive makers in American classic car history. The name and many of its models have become part of the unique history that the automotive history has entwined in American pop culture, nostalgia, and the musings of bygone days. Its history is fraught with both enormous successes and nerve-wracking failures, but still it remains among the favorites for generations of Americans.
In 1864 in a town called Geneva, Ohio, Ransom E. Olds let out his first cry, and though no one knew it then, he would become a figurehead in the automotive industry in the years to come. In his youth, Olds began working at the family shop, P.F. Olds and Son, which repaired steam engines, as well as manufacturing them. By then, the family had moved to the Lansing area in Michigan. After a few years, Olds became a partner in the shop, and he quickly impressed with his innovative ideas that would be only the beginning of his time making a name for himself in the world of engines.
Just before the turn of the 20th century, in 1897, he founded the Olds Motor Vehicle Company in Lansing, Michigan, but quickly sold it. After the company was sold, it moved to Detroit, Michigan, and was later incorporated into General Motors in 1908. During his time, Ransom Olds was responsible for the Curved Dash, an impressively successful model.
Sadly, Olds passed away in 1950 in his home in Lansing, Michigan, though he had lived a long, successful life. Now, he is remembered as one of the founding fathers of the automotive industry, and will certainly be among the industry’s greats for years to come.