Our mission: To honor and celebrate the accomplishments of individuals in the international motor vehicle industry through awards and educational programs that challenge young and old alike to higher levels of personal achievement.
In the five years since the continent had first been traversed by an automobile, only a couple dozen brave souls had managed to conquer America’s trails and rutted roads. In 1908, Alice Ramsey, a 22-year-old from Hackensack New Jersey, accepted the Maxwell Motor Company’s challenge to be the first woman to travel across the nation.
Photo courtesy of Peter Ramsey
Alice was already an experienced motorist, having booked more than 6,000 miles along the county roads near Asbury Park, New Jersey where she spent summers. Driving the Maxwell Touring car her husband had given her was among her greatest joys.
Automotive engineer Ralph Teetor was the first to invent a version of the technology we now know as Cruise Control. Little did he know that he created one of the first steps towards autonomous vehicles. He accomplished this and many other innovations without the benefit of sight.

The Speedostat, a pneumatic device, was patented in 1945. It was first used by Chrysler in 1958. An example is on display at the Automotive Hall of Fame.
Ralph Teetor (foreground) with the Speedostat. Photo
courtesy of Jack Teetor
Eventually, the invention was further developed into an electronic device that is now a standard feature in nearly all automobiles. 
If you were part of the August 1 Heritage Hunt hosted by MotorCities National Heritage Area, you would have checked off this clue at the Automotive Hall of Fame, “Which Automotive Hall of Fame inductee’s hat is on display in the lobby?” Click below for more information on 1992 Automotive Hall of Fame inductee Carroll Shelby.
Photo courtesy of the Automotive Hall of Fame
The children’s book written and illustrated by Don Brown, vividly outlines the story of Alice Ramsey’s first automobile trip across America. Brown showcases Ramsey’s commitment as a pioneer, a grand adventure indeed. I highly recommend this book with two thumbs up!

Readers are not given an unrealistic tale of an easy-going trip. What words don’t say, the pictures illustrate. Brown perfectly captures the trials of traveling across country in 1909 and how Ramsey’s perseverance led her to triumph.
Photo courtesy of the Automotive Hall of Fame
Imagine the difficulty of such a trip in the early days of automobiles. There were absolutely no street signs in sight and few roads and highways had yet to be constructed.

Brown effortlessly weaves hard facts into the narrative and doesn’t shy away from the struggles Ramsey endures. The use of graphic descriptions such as “After plowing many miles through the choking mud,” gives readers action-packed details. I found myself on the edge of my seat, anticipating the next obstacle.

Brown explains how Ramsey fixes up her Maxwell, depicting everything from her wheels stuck in the mud, to a parade of pigs, to the whole car dropping into a pothole. Ramsey isn't deterred when her brake pedal is broken or the axle snaps. Displaying her can-do attitude, Ramsey fixes every hiccup herself. My favorite part of the story comes when she hikes up her skirt, trudging through a stream to measure whether or not her Maxwell would make it across.

Brown even adds in a sparkle of humor, making light of a bleak situation. Ramsey’s only source of written instructions came from a Kelly Bluebook, “Turn left at the end of the barn with the yellow silo, it might say.” Brown then declares “excellent directions as long as the famer hadn’t repainted the silo blue.” I found myself chuckling at such clever commentary throughout the book.

Brown exposes Ramsey’s resilience; she was incapable of giving up. Readers are introduced to each problem and Ramsey's successful solutions. "Alice Ramsey’s Grand Adventure" is a great introductory book for ages 4-8, introducing young readers to the human spirit in motion. More mature readers will find it fun as well!

- Automotive Hall of Fame intern Kai Benson
Mobility in the Future
On July 30, our Principal Historian Brian Baker presented "Electric Vehicle History: Recharged for the Future" - a discussion about the shockingly forgotten history of electric vehicles. From the earliest examples of electric vehicles, to today's race to bring a more robust electric fleet to market, Baker explained how the allure of these vehicles has remained quietly present over the decades.
Automotive Hall of Fame Principal Historian Brian Baker and Edison's 1889 electric prototype (right). Photo courtesy of the Automotive Hall of Fame.
If you're a high school or college student interested in a career in the automotive industry, register for our next virtual lecture on the future of mobility at 10 a.m. on Oct. 22.

Thank you to the Lawrence P. & Maria Elena Fisher Fund, the B.D. & J.E. McIntyre Foundation, and MotorCities National Heritage Area for sponsoring our 2019-2020 Lecture Series.
The dramatic increase in mobility fostered by the automotive industry has touched nearly every single person on the planet. The Automotive Hall of Fame collects and shares these stories because we know how society's ever-growing access to personal mobility has expanded and enriched lives all over the world. The story will keep changing, and we can't wait to see where it’s going. 
Since the shutdown, the Hall has taken every opportunity to create a stable and supportive environment for the continuation of our work. We have accessed support through the CARES Act initiatives and through the generous support of our board of directors. Today, we invite you to consider supporting our work with a gift of your own. 
We are looking forward to continuing the Honoree Lecture Series for college and high school students this fall. Bringing students interested in mobility careers into close contact with industry leaders offers a connection point that supports classroom education and inspires future career paths. It’s fun to watch these talks spark conversations between the two generations and give new voice to those whose stories will play vital roles in the future of personal mobility for everyone.  
We continue to capture the stories of mobility legacy and offer educational programs through the generous support of our donors and Awards Ceremony Sponsors. Thank you to Bank of America, BMW North America, IHS Markit, and J.M. Family Enterprises for your year over year, unwavering support. 
Please support our work today, online at automotivehalloffame.org/donate or by mail to the Automotive Hall of Fame, 21400 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn, MI 48124. 
Sarah Cook 
Automotive Hall of Fame 
P.S. Past lectures can be accessed on our website, where the first three installments of the series are available.
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Recommend: submit a recommendation for an Automotive Hall of Fame awardee.

Apply: submit a scholarship application for undergraduate college students.
The Automotive Hall of Fame is a non-profit organization. Donate to help us tell the story of one of the world’s most powerful industries through the people who brought it to life.