U.S. Census Bureau Daily Feature for August 20
WASHINGTON, Aug. 20, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Following is the daily “Profile America” feature from the U.S. Census Bureau:
SATURDAY, AUGUST 20: AUTOMOBILE SELF STARTER
Profile America — Saturday, August 20th. An invention that changed the automobile so anyone could drive one was patented this week in 1915 — as Charles F. Kettering was awarded a patent for the self-starter. Before that, it took considerable muscle and knowledge of machinery to hand crank the engine of a car, especially in the winter. In his lifetime, Kettering was awarded more than 200 patents, including the electrical ignition system, the first practical generator and leaded gasoline. The impact of the self-starter was immediate. When Kettering came up with the idea, there were just under 2.5 million cars in the U.S. only five years later the number was over 8 million. Today, U.S. roads are clogged with more than 248 million motor vehicles. You can find these and more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau, online at www.census.gov.
Sources: Historical Statistics of the United States: Colonial Times to 1970, p. 716
Statistical Abstract of the United States 2011, t. 1097
Profile America is produced by the Public Information Office of the U.S. Census Bureau. These daily features are available as produced segments, ready to air, on a monthly CD or on the Internet at http://www.census.gov (look for “Multimedia Gallery” by the “Newsroom” button).
SOURCE U.S. Census Bureau