Society of
Automotive Historians

April 21, 2022 Gathering, Business Meeting and Lambert Automobile Co. Presentation at the Automotive Hall of Fame in Dearborn

Twenty-two members of the Chapter gathered for a business meeting and presentation at the Automotive Hall of Fame in Dearborn, Michigan on Thursday, April 21st. The event included a presentation on 19th century American automotive pioneer John Lambert. Present were Dr. Debbie Lee and Jennifer Weed, both great-granddaughters of John Lambert, and Lambert historian and collector Jim Dickie II.

The Lambert presentation raised the question “Who really created America’s first automobile powered by an internal combustion engine?” Research by Carol Lambert, also a great-granddaughter of John Lambert, for her 2013 book Something New Under the Sun, uncovered evidence that John Lambert may have been two years ahead of the Duryea brothers in creating America’s first automobile powered by an internal combustion engine. 

Barb Davis, who joined us by Zoom from Anderson, Indiana, presented records of first-hand accounts by individuals present at the secretive 1891 demonstration run of the first Lambert. Barb’s late husband Ed Davis had collected hundreds of documents and artifacts pertaining to the Lambert automobile and company.

Brochures were distributed at the end of the program containing a copy of the PowerPoint presentation and a timeline picturing the Lambert models produced.

For any SAH member interested in pursuing research that may further substantiate the Lambert story, please email Brian Baker and he will make the appropriate personal connections.
(l-r) Dr. Debbie Lee, Jennifer Weed and Jim Dickie II behind the Hall’s 1903 Holley.