coverfront-1-lorezWho Invented America’s Gasoline Automobile?
Carol Jean Lambert

This historical novel starts as John’s parents left their Pennsylvania mountainside community before the Civil War and walked to central Ohio to farm.  One of ten children and eventually the son of a successful post-war manufacturer, John was well situated to tinker and invent.  At the age of sixteen he devised a single-row corn-planter that revolutionized corn production in its time.  The family could hardly have been more favorably posited for a curious young mechanic to explore his love of engines and his dream of a self-propelled car.

Based on a hand-written family tree and other family materials, combined with research about the man and the era, this story tells of America’s Industrial Revolution through the life of one its most prodigious inventors.


Paperback $19.95





Something New Under the Sun
Carol Jean Lambert

This narrative non-fiction tells the story of America’s first gasoline automobile, designed, built and driven by John William Lambert in Ohio City, Ohio in January, 1891.

There were other dreamers building horseless carriage models at the time, but the electrics were not strong enough and the steamers were too dangerous.  John worked on his ideas in secret, building his chassis to carry the weight of an engine. Although John’s original car did not sell, the little engine he devised sold like hotcakes.  He called it the Buckeye.
Eventually John did manufacture automobiles of his design, producing large luxury machines from 1902-1917 in Anderson, Indiana.  Hans Wagner drove one, as people did across the country.  Before Henry Ford revolutionized car manufacture, competition allowed for over 22 outfits just in Anderson to build cars.  John was a leader in this era selling thousands of cars before the First World War.

This book contains ten photographs, top samples of the displayed images on this website.

BUYonamazon   Paperback $14.95


These two books by Carol Jean Lambert each tell the story of America’s inventor of the gasoline automobile. While John’s achievement is cited in histories and car anthologies, here are two publications dedicated solely to this leading automotive pioneer. The first is an historical novel, Who Invented America’s Gasoline Automobile? and the second is a narrative non-fiction account, Something New Under The Sun.

John William Lambert was the first to design, build and drive a gasoline powered vehicle in America. As described in Antique Automobile magazine (Oct-Nov, 1960), he did this in a small Ohio farm town in January 1891. He was also involved in America’s first car wreck.

John was famous in his day as the Father of the Gradual Transmission. He sold luxury automobiles nationwide and contributed significantly to the Allied cause in the First World War. Although he lost his “car” money in a bank failure in 1929, he partnered with Ford when he invented a car door lock, and in his 80’s, he invented the yard rake. He pioneered the gasoline engine in America and is credited with the first complete gasoline engine patent. In his lifetime he collected over 600 patents, the first at age 16. John W. Lambert is perhaps the most significant over-looked American inventor.

These insider’s looks at John and his clever invention include other early automotive pioneers, many of whom dined at the Lambert table, like Elwood Haynes, Henry Ford, Ran Olds, Will Durant, Henry Leland, the Dodge Brothers and the Chevrolet Boys. By his own hand John Lambert states that he selected gasoline to fuel his vehicle because it was “available and cheap.”

Buy both books for $29.95

Individual titles are available here and on Amazon.  This two book deal is not available on Amazon