After Hours

Rail, auto, and aviation innovations at The Henry Ford history museum

Tech of the past: Detroit Electric Model 47

Most people think electric cars are a thing of the present but, in fact, they've been around for more than a century. This 1914 Detroit Electric Model 47 brougham was owned and driven by Clara Ford, wife of Henry. Surprised that she didn't drive a Ford? Don't be. In the years before electric starters and smoother transmissions made gasoline-powered cars more usable, women commonly drove electric cars such as this one. An electric car in 1914 cost about $3,750, which was 5 years, 11 months average salary.

Photo by Wally Bahny for TechRepublic

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