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Spotlight: Ransom, Pliny Olds — Geneva, Ashtabula Co, OH

Ransom, Pliny Olds
Ransom E. Olds was born on this property on June 3, 1864. Olds co-founded the Olds Motor Vehicle Company, forerunner of the Oldsmobile Division of General Motors in Lansing, Michigan, on August 21, 1897. The curved dash model, built from 1900 to 1907, was the first car to carry the name Oldsmobile. With a 66-inch wheelbase, it weighed about 650 pounds, cost $650, and was powered by a one-cylinder, seven-horsepower engine capable of a speed of 20 miles per hour. It was the first commercially successful American-made automobile built using a progressive assemble system that led to modern mass-production methods.

Pliny and Sarah Olds purchased this property with a home on it for $750 on June 13, 1863, a year before the birth of their fifth and last child, Ransom. After building a blacksmith shop behind the home, Pliny opened a machine shop with an experienced steam man, O.W. Price. Their shop, located 175 feet to the east on the southwest corner of Eagle and Main streets, manufactured small steam engines. In June of 1869 the machine shop was sold for $500, and the homestead was sold for $2,000. With this capital and experience, Pliny was able later to open a successful steam and gas engine business in Lansing, Michigan. Ransom joined his father and eventually, in 1897, his first horseless carriage evolved out of the company.

Postage Stamp


Warren Gamaliel Harding

Warren Gamaliel Harding

11/02/1865born in Blooming Grove, Morrow Co, OH
1882OH, Iberia, Ohio Central College
1899-1903OH, State Senator
1904-1906OH, Lieutenant Governor
1915-1921OH, US Senator
1921-1923USA, President
08/02/1923died in San Francisco Co, CA, about age 58.
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