May 8: George Selden filed for the first automobile patent on this date in 1879

GE Anderson
Motoramic
8 May 2013

On this date -- May 8, 1879 -- 134 years ago, George B. Selden of Rochester, New York became the first person to file a patent for the gasoline-powered automobile, which he called a "road engine." Ironically, there are no photographs of the historic occasion, despite the fact that George Eastman, who would invent roll film five years later and go on to found the Eastman Kodak Company, was the witness to Selden's patent. Selden received royalties for his invention for years from the Association of Licensed Automobile Manufacturers, despite the fact that Selden never built a car based on his original design. The association eventually maneuvered out of paying him when Ford claimed his cars used an Otto cycle engine instead of Selden's Brayton cycle engine. And although Selden filed the first patent, due to several subsequent updates that delayed the patent's being granted until 1895, Karl Benz actually received his German patent first. Still, the gas-powered car can rightly be said to be an American invention.

What to read next

15 Cancer Causing Foods You Probably Eat Every Day

Do you eat any of these cancer causing foods? Number 12 will surprise you. Check out the list now.

Do NOT pay your insurance until you try this.

If you drive less than 55 miles/day or have no DUI's you can get auto insurance for as low as $29/Month! See if you qualify.

Drivers Born Between 1953 And 1983 Must Read This

United States drivers who drive less than 50mi/day will be surprised. If you pay more than $50/month for auto insurance, you better read this...

The Hot New Product for Gaining Ripped Muscles

Age is just a number -- and smart guys know that! See how men everywhere are making big gains at the gym.

Top Cancer Signs You Can't Ignore [Pics Included]

Here are the top warning signs of cancer you definitely should not ignore (#21 might be shocking to most people).