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October 14: Elwood Haynes, American auto pioneer, was born on this day in 1857

October 14, 2013

There are those who argue that the Duryea brothers don't truly deserve the honorific of America's first car builders, as they had fastened an engine in place of the horses on a carriage. A year after their first drive, Elwood Haynes debuted a machine he called the Pioneer on the streets of Kokomo, Ind., on July 4, 1894 — a car he had built using his lifelong interest in metallurgy. Haynes would later launch his own successful car builder, but his most lasting contribution was the invention of stainless steel. You can see the car Haynes built on display at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.