February 17, 1911
First self-starter installed
The first self-starter, based on patented inventions created by General Motors (GM) engineers Clyde Coleman and Charles Kettering, was installed in a Cadillac. In the early years of fierce competition with Ford, the self-starter would play a key role in helping GM to keep pace. The Ford Model T’s crank starter caused its share of broken jaws and ribs. Charles Kettering, the founder of Delco (Dayton Engineering Laboratories Company), devised countless improvements for the automobile, including lighting and ignition systems, lacquer finishes, antilock fuels, and leaded gasoline. Prior to his work with cars, Kettering also invented the electric cash register.