History

That Time the Car Industry Took on Horses—and Played Dirty to Win

Once upon a time, when horse-drawn carriages ruled the world and the still-fledgling automobile industry was struggling to find its footing, a certain Maine undertaker would send his business cards to new automobile owners, advising them to leave his information taped to their dashboards. At the time, cars were considered to be both dangerous and unpredictable, and his little joke was probably met with more head nods than chuckles.

Oldsmobile founder Ransom Olds allegedly hated horses. Henry Ford did too. “The horse is doomed,” Ford told one reporter. “These horses will be driven from the land. Their troubles will soon be over.” Ouch.

It’s this fascinating moment in time that’s the subject of an amusing new video by Vox’s Matt Robinson, who draws a sly comparison with the eye-rolling naysayers of today’s self-driving car debate. So what do you think? Will traditional cars someday go the way of the horse and buggy?

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