4 June 1896

Henry Ford completes the Ford Quadricycle, his first gasoline-powered automobile, and gives it a successful test run.
Here are some key points about it:

Inception and Development: Henry Ford built the Quadricycle in 1896 in a small workshop behind his home in Detroit, Michigan. It marked his first attempt at building a gasoline-powered vehicle.

Design and Construction: The Quadricycle was a simple, lightweight vehicle. It had a four-horsepower, two-cylinder engine with a two-speed transmission but no reverse gear. The vehicle was essentially a frame with four bicycle wheels, a leather belt for the drive, and a tiller for steering.

Features: The Quadricycle had a very basic design with no bodywork or roof. It had a top speed of about 20 miles per hour (32 kilometers per hour) and was designed to be as simple and straightforward as possible.

First Drive: Henry Ford tested the Quadricycle on June 4, 1896. The test drive was a success, and the vehicle proved that a gasoline-powered automobile could be practical and functional.

Significance: The success of the Quadricycle inspired Ford to continue developing automobiles. This eventually led to the founding of the Ford Motor Company in 1903 and the production of the famous Model T in 1908, which revolutionized the automotive industry.

Legacy: The original Quadricycle is preserved and displayed at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. It represents the beginning of Ford’s journey in automobile manufacturing and the early days of the automotive industry.

15 April 1896

Closing ceremony of the Games of the I Olympiad in Athens, Greece

The 1896 Summer Olympics, also known as the Games of the I Olympiad, were the first modern Olympic Games held in Athens, Greece, from April 6 to April 15, 1896. The games were organized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and were inspired by the ancient Olympic Games that were held in Greece from the 8th century BC to the 4th century AD.

The 1896 Summer Olympics had 14 events in 9 sports, and 241 athletes from 14 countries participated. The sports included athletics, cycling, fencing, gymnastics, shooting, swimming, tennis, weightlifting, and wrestling. The events were held at various venues in Athens, including the Panathenaic Stadium, which had been rebuilt for the games and was used for the opening and closing ceremonies, as well as for the athletics events.

The United States won the most medals, with 11 gold, 7 silver, and 2 bronze, followed by Greece with 10 gold, 17 silver, and 19 bronze. The most successful individual athlete was Carl Schuhmann from Germany, who won four gold medals in gymnastics.

The 1896 Summer Olympics were considered a success, despite some organizational issues and the fact that many top athletes did not participate due to the short notice and the expense of traveling to Greece. The games were praised for their revival of the Olympic spirit and their celebration of international friendship and cooperation.

The success of the 1896 Summer Olympics led to the continuation of the modern Olympic Games, which have been held every four years since then, with the exception of the World War years.

4 June 1896

Henry Ford completes the Ford Quadricycle, his first gasoline-powered automobile, and gives it a successful test run.

[rdp-wiki-embed url=’https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Quadricycle’]

4 June 1896

Henry Ford finishes the Ford Quadricycle, his first gasoline-powered automobile.

At approximately 4:00 a.m. on June 4, 1896, in the shed behind his home on Bagley Avenue in Detroit, Henry Ford unveils the “Quadricycle,” the first automobile he ever designed or drove.

Ford was working as the chief engineer for the main plant of the Edison Illuminating Company when he began working on the Quadricycle. On call at all hours to ensure that Detroit had electrical service 24 hours a day, Ford was able to use his flexible working schedule to experiment with his pet project—building a horseless carriage with a gasoline-powered engine. His obsession with the gasoline engine had begun when he saw an article on the subject in a November 1895 issue of American Machinist magazine. The following March, another Detroit engineer named Charles King took his own hand-built vehicle—made of wood, it had a four-cylinder engine and could travel up to five miles per hour—out for a ride, fueling Ford’s desire to build a lighter and faster gasoline-powered model.

As he would do throughout his career, Ford used his considerable powers of motivation and organization to get the job done, enlisting friends–including King–and assistants to help him bring his vision to life. After months of work and many setbacks, Ford was finally ready to test-drive his creation–basically a light metal frame fitted with four bicycle wheels and powered by a two-cylinder, four-horsepower gasoline engine–on the morning of June 4, 1896. When Ford and James Bishop, his chief assistant, attempted to wheel the Quadricycle out of the shed, however, they discovered that it was too wide to fit through the door. To solve the problem, Ford took an axe to the brick wall of the shed, smashing it to make space for the vehicle to be rolled out.

With Bishop bicycling ahead to alert passing carriages and pedestrians, Ford drove the 500-pound Quadricycle down Detroit’s Grand River Avenue, circling around three major thoroughfares. The Quadricycle had two driving speeds, no reverse, no brakes, rudimentary steering ability and a doorbell button as a horn, and it could reach about 20 miles per hour, easily overpowering King’s invention. Aside from one breakdown on Washington Boulevard due to a faulty spring, the drive was a success, and Ford was on his way to becoming one of the most formidable success stories in American business history.

26 May 1896

Charles Dow publishes the first edition of the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average, or simply the Dow, is a stock market index that indicates the value of 30 large, publicly owned companies based in the United States, and how they have traded in the stock market during various periods of time. These 30 companies are also included in the S&P 500 Index. The value of the Dow is not a weighted arithmetic mean and does not represent its component companies’ market capitalization, but rather the sum of the price of one share of stock for each component company. The sum is corrected by a factor which changes whenever one of the component stocks has a stock split or stock dividend, so as to generate a consistent value for the index.

It is the second-oldest U.S. market index after the Dow Jones Transportation Average, created by Wall Street Journal editor and Dow Jones & Company co-founder Charles Dow. Currently owned by S&P Dow Jones Indices, which is majority owned by S&P Global, it is the best known of the Dow Averages, of which the first was originally published on February 16, 1885. The averages are named after Dow and one of his business associates, statistician Edward Jones. The industrial average was first calculated on May 26, 1896.

The Industrial portion of the name is largely historical, as many of the modern 30 components have little or nothing to do with traditional heavy industry. Since the divisor is currently less than one, the value of the index is larger than the sum of the component prices. Although the Dow is compiled to gauge the performance of the industrial sector within the American economy, the index’s performance continues to be influenced by not only corporate and economic reports, but also by domestic and foreign political events such as war and terrorism, as well as by natural disasters that could potentially lead to economic harm.

28 July 1896

The city of Miami, Florida, USA is incorporated.


In 1894, Henry Flagler had no immediate plans to extend his Florida East Coast Railway from West Palm Beach to the mosquito-ridden pioneer outpost. Only a few families lived there, and they got their mail from men who spent three days walking the beach from Lake Worth.

But two influential and visionary women had established homes in the area and saw great potential for future growth. Julia Tuttle moved to the area in 1891 and purchased land that included the former site of Fort Dallas, established on an abandoned plantation during the Second Seminole War of the 1830s.

Across the river from Tuttle lived William and Mary Brickell. They arrived in the 1870s and quickly established themselves as successful traders and real estate investors. Their holdings included considerable acreage around the New River where Fort Lauderdale would soon be built.

But then came two devastating freezes during the winter of 1894-95 that destroyed farm crops as far south as West Palm Beach. One story says that Julia Tuttle sent Henry Flagler, then wintering in Palm Beach, a bouquet of orange blossoms to prove that crops in her area had survived the freeze. Another story states that Tuttle cabled Flagler in March 1895 and asked him to come see for himself that the freeze left crops in the area untouched. Flagler instead sent an associate who returned to Palm Beach with produce and fruit.

The end result was that Flagler agreed to extend his railroad to Miami in exchange for hundreds of acres of prime real estate from Tuttle and the Brickells. Flagler also agreed to build a posh hotel on the Miami River and plat streets around the new railroad depot that became the foundation of the new city.

The first train rolled into Miami on April 13, 1896. On July 28, 344 registered voters, including many black laborers, crowded into a building called The Lobby near the Miami River and voted to incorporate a town.

They called the town Miami after the Miami River, the name of which may have derived from a word describing a Native American community from Florida who arrived in Cuba in 1710.