Centerline: The Surprising History of Lane Markings

Using a line painted down the center of a road to denote lanes seems to be merely common sense. But it was an innovation that took a surprising amount of time to develop. The history of lane markings is a study in the rapid effect of new technologies, and the ability of a few peopleContinue reading “Centerline: The Surprising History of Lane Markings”

Janet Guthrie: If Your Desire is Strong Enough, Anything is Doable

Janet Guthrie was the first woman to qualify and compete in both the Indianapolis 500 and the Daytona 500, among many other racing firsts. But her goal wasn’t so much to be the first to do something, but, rather, to be the best.

The Union Boss and the Most Successful Race Car in History

“Umbrella Mike” Boyle was the scourge of Chicago in the first half of the twentieth century. The notoriously corrupt leader of one of Chicago’s most powerful unions associated with mobsters and corrupt politicians, and could freeze the city in gridlock on a whim. But at the height of the depression, Umbrella Mike changed the faceContinue reading “The Union Boss and the Most Successful Race Car in History”

Where the Rubber Meets the Road: A Brief History of Tires

One of the most basic pieces of the modern vehicle, tires are something that most people use on a regular basis, and have become so omnipresent that they rarely elicit any consideration, except perhaps when one goes flat. But the history of the tire goes back thousands of years, and has played an out-sized roleContinue reading “Where the Rubber Meets the Road: A Brief History of Tires”