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Archives On The Air 1: Laramie Inventor Elmer Lovejoy

Laramie’s mechanical genius Elmer Lovejoy designed and built Wyoming’s first automobile in 1895. It was a steam-propelled carriage that carried four people comfortably. It could be driven up to eight miles an hour. Lovejoy’s “horseless carriage” predated Henry Ford’s automobile by several years.

In 1896 he designed balloon tires for his automobile and had them specially made in Chicago. Commercial balloon tires were not routinely used on automobiles until almost thirty years later. The Elmer Lovejoy collection available at UW’s American Heritage Center contains photographs of his automobiles and other materials about the inventor.

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