Tuesday 24th November 1903
The first U.S. patent for an automobile electric self-starter was issued to Clyde J. Coleman of New York City (No. 745,157). He invented the self-starter in 1899, but the invention was impractical. The license was purchased by the Delco Company, which was taken over by the General Motors Corporation. Charles Kettering at General Motors modified the self-starter, which was first installed on Cadillac cars in 1911. This was a response to the death of a friend, who had died from injuries suffered when a car hand-crank recoiled against him. Having eliminated the dangerous job of cranking the engine, it put women behind the wheel in greater numbers.