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The 1891 Lambert Automobile & The Buckeye Mfg. Co.

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1891 Lambert
The Buckeye Mfg. Co.
Ohio City, Ohio

John William Lambert made a three wheeled car in Ohio City, Ohio in 1891. This car is generally considered the first gasoline powered American Automobile made in the United States. John Lambert's interest in automobiles began in 1875 when his father George Lambert who was a farmer took him to a tannery to see an Otto gas engine that ran without a boiler.

Steam powered engines were very popular and well known in the late 1800's, but gasoline engine were only experimental. The gas engine lingered in John Lambert's mind and he made many plans for steam and gas driven wagons. In 1891 at the age of only 30, John Lambert began construction of a gasoline powered automobile. Lambert designed a three cylinder horizontal four cycle water cooled engine that operated on gasoline.

1891 Lambert Three Wheeler
1891 Lambert Three Wheeler
The final drive to the rear wheels was by two chains to a counter shaft. A friction clutch selection with chain to a solid axle had two speeds forward and no reverse.

Lambert's tricycle had a single front wheel that was steered by a double foot tiller. A hand tiller was added at a later date. America's first gasoline powered automobile weighed in at only 585 pounds, had wooden wheels and steel tires. The carburetor was patented by John W. Lambert in 1902.

The Lambert three wheeler was on the road by 1902, ran well and was considered a great sucess. The tricycle cost Lambert $3200.00 to build and he had several offers to purchase America's first Automobile.

Automobile building was not at once begun by John Lambert. Lambert began builting gas engines in 1893 as the Buckeye Mfg Company with a factory at Anderson, IN. Over 6,000 Lambert gas engines were made and sold up to 1905. Later these engines were produced by the Lambert Gas and Gasoline Engine Company also located in Anderson, IN.

1902 Union Automobile
1902 Union Automobile
1912 Lambert Touring Car
1912 Lambert Touring Car

In 1902 John W. Lambert produced his first mass produced American Automobile in Union, IN. Called the Union this automobile was assembled in Union, IN from components made in Anderson, IN by The Buckeye Mfg Company.

In 1905 all production moved to Anderson where it gave way to new models carrying John Lamberts own name. The very first Lambert automobiles were sold on June 1, 1905. By 1906 a wide variety of chain driven automobiles were made, all with a efficient Friction Drive.

1908 Lambert Buckeye Mfg. Co. Anderson, IN
1908 Lambert - Buckeye Mfg. Co. Anderson, IN

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