Gottfried Schlöemer

Thursday 25th August 1842

Born on this day, Gottfried Schlöemer, mechanic and inventor. His principal claim to fame rests on the “motor wagon” that he built there in 1889, which some have hailed as the first workable gasoline-engine automobile ever built in the United States, four years ahead of Charles and Frank Duryea, who are most often identified with this achievement. At the time of his death certain local reports even claimed him as the designer and maker of the first gasoline-powered automobile in the world, although that honor is usually given to the German Karl Benz in 1885.

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