The automobile was introduced into the United States somewhere in the late 1800s, WELL before major manufacturing was happening in Detroit. And the cars weren't exactly what we'd see as automobiles today. They were literally horseless carriages.

But they did exist, and there were some in Ohio... allegedly, only two... and somehow, the ONLY two vehicles in Ohio, in the 1890s, managed to get into an accident with each other, creating the first ever American Automobile Accident... at least, that's how the story goes.

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Of course, something like this would happen in Ohio, before cars were really widespread in the country. Ohio State University was only about 20 years old, and the primary form of transportation was still horse and buggy. Henry Ford was in his early 30s, and the Ford Motor Company wouldn't exist for another decade.

That's what life was like, and how RARE an automobile would have been in the 1890s. But as the legend goes (and the meme suggests), two automobiles existed in Ohio.. and somehow managed to collide, creating the first ever Automobile Accident in the country.

Now, obviously, this is the internet we're talking about here. Neither of those cars in the picture are from 1895, They're MUCH later models. And the year might not be correct either. But the story might still be rooted in some truth.

In 1891, the first gasoline vehicles to be manufactured in the United States were from Ohio. The "Buckeye Gasoline Buggy," also known as the "Lambert" buggy, and it looked NOTHING like the cars we know today.


Yeah, that's more like 1890s technology.

The Lambert Gasoline Buggy was only produced in 1890 and 1891, and VERY few of them were made, since an assembly line hadn't been created yet.

But nevertheless, the rumor goes that, in 1891, in Ohio City, Ohio (where the automobiles were manufactured), two of these gasoline buggies managed to collide with each other, creating the first ever automobile accident in the country, and one of the drivers was the vehicle's inventor, James William Lambert.

"Lambert was driving the first single-cylinder gasoline automobile with James Swoveland. The car hit a root of a tree, which caused the car to zigzag out of control, and smash into a hitching post."

At least, that's the story we're told, when in reality, some say it was another gasoline buggy, that was driven by Swoveland, that he actually hit.

The unfortunate part in all of this is, there's no clear record of this happening. It's all word-of-mouth, and legend in Ohio.

So did the first car accident happen in Ohio? Maybe, but unconfirmed.

It holds weight, though, that the first automobiles in the country were actually made there, and tested there... so it seems likely at least, that the first ever car v. car accident probably, definitely happened in Ohio... because... .come on, it's Ohio.

MCACN Car Show at The Gilmore Car Museum

DeutscheMarques Oktoberfest and Congress of Motorcars at Gilmore Car Museum, in Hickory Corners, Michigan in October 2021

Several of the cars that will be displayed at the Gilmore Car Museum's DeutscheMarques Oktoberfest (Sat, Oct 9) and Congress of Motorcars (October 16th) in Hickory Corners, Michigan.