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June 15, 1911 – The electric starter is patented
This Day

June 15, 1911 – The electric starter is patented

The name Charles Kettering may not ring any bells unless you are familiar with Kettering University in Flint, Michigan, but this US inventor is the man you can thank for your car being so easy to start. On this day in 1911 he filed for US Patent #1150523, the electric starting motor for the automobile.  Kettering didn’t exactly invent the automatic starter, but he did make it work for cars of the era. Early automobiles required a person to hand crank the motor to start it. Incidents often led to broken hands, wrists or even shoulders, but one accident was much worse. Byron Carter, the founder of Cartercar, came across a stranded motorist in Detroit during the winter of 1908. When the driver forgot to retard the spark the crank kicked back and broke Carter’s jaw. Due to complication...

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