Wisconsin History Day By Day

Related Web Sites:
John Wesley Carhart ... Methodist "Circuit Driver" and Automotive Pioneer

Carhart, John W. 1834-1914

Wisconsin Historical Markers

Read More About It

"John Wesley Carhart" by Viloet M. Baird

Scrapbook of Newsclippings, Wisconsin Historical Society



Interesting Fact:

It was Carhart's invention that inspired the "Great Race" in 1878 from Green Bay to Madison.

Study Questions:

  • What was the response to Carhart's steam-powered auto from his neighbors and the people of Racine?
  • What other early car inventers and manufacturers were in Wisconsin?
  • What was the history of Carhart's life after he left Racine?

    U.S. historical events that occurred on June 26:

    1963: When visiting West Berlin, President John F. Kennedy proclaims, "Ich bin ein Berliner."

  • June 26

    June 26, 1834: John W. Carhart, Methodist preacher and inventor, was born in Coeymans, N.Y. In 1871, Carhart moved to Racine where he continued to preach and practice medicine. It was Carhart's mechanical skills, however, that brought him notoriety. In 1873, Carhart designed and built a steam-propelled automobile nicknamed the Spark. He was named as the father of the automobile by the "Horseless Age" magazine in 1903.

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