Lead: Until the second decade of the twentieth century, the automobile was largely the play-toy of the wealthy. In 1911, however, Charles Franklin Kettering helped change all by getting the thing started.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In early 1910, Byron T. Carter coasted by a stalled automobile on the Belle Isle Bridge in Detroit. He stopped to help the lady, took the metal crank, put it in the slot at the front of the engine, gave it a vigorous turn, it caught, snapped back, and broke his jaw. An elderly man, Carter contacted pneumonia in the hospital and shortly thereafter he died - another victim of the arm strong auto starter. This time, however, things would change. One of Carter’s friends was Henry Leland, President of the Cadillac Motor Car Company. He determined at that moment that no Cadillac in the future would be responsible for death or injury due to crank starting. It was said at the time that to start a car one “required the strength of a Samson, the cunning of Ulysses and the speed of Hermes.” The car would never become more than a frivolous and expensive toy if you needed a chauffer or a weight-lifting regime to simply start the thing.

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