2024 FESTIVALApr 10-20, 2024Lansing, MI
  • R.E. Olds and The First Auto City

R.E. Olds and The First Auto City

2018 / USA / 30 Minutes / Aaron J Greer, Aaron Word, Marc Miilu, Michael Rodriguez


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  • Schedule Coming Soon

Film Synopsis

Upon the dedication of a new Capitol building in 1879, the city of Lansing was emerging from the swampy wilderness of its recent past. As industry began to take root along the banks of the Grand River, Ransom Eli Olds brought his father’s motor shop to national prominence with advancements in gasoline and steam engines, and then horseless carriages. By the early 20th century Oldsmobile became the world’s first mass producer of automobiles and Olds had already moved on to found his second car company, REO, making Lansing the first “Auto City.” Through these efforts Olds rose to become one of the nation’s greatest industrialists and entrepreneurs.
This story is an exploration of the industry of Lansing in the time immediately preceding the coming of the automobile, the person most responsible for the modernization of the community, R.E. Olds, the industry that immediately grew out of the automobile trade, and R.E. Old’s life outside of automobiles and within the community.