A historical marker is at the crash spot of this 1890 gas-powered buggy.
A historical marker is at the crash spot of this 1890 gas-powered buggy.

First Car Crash

Field review by the editors.

Ohio City, Ohio

Prolific inventor James Lambert took a buggy chassis, added a gasoline engine, and created his own automobile in 1890. It's disputed whether it was the first automobile, but it was the first automobile to crash. Lambert drove it down Ohio City's main street in 1891, hit a tree root, lost control, and plowed into a hitching post for horses -- an irony that was not lost on local critics. Lambert was not seriously injured -- the car was probably only traveling a few miles per hour -- but his vehicle was never the same, and it burned up in Lambert's barn on October 1, 1891.

In 1991, the 100th anniversary of the crash, Ohio City unveiled a plaque to mark the historic spot.

First Car Crash

W. Carmean St., Ohio City, OH
Plaque is mounted on a light pole on the north side of OH-709/W. Carmean St., just west of its intersection with Liberty St.
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