Many people assume either Henry Ford or the Duryea Brothers built the first automobile in the United States. However, both Oliver Evans and Sylvester Roper had earlier developed steam powered automobiles.
John Lambert of Ohio City, Ohio built the first gasoline powered automobile in the U.S. in 1891. Working alone in a workshop in a grain elevator, he converted a three cylinder engine to one cylinder for use in the three wheeled car, and he also invented a carburetor for the engine. The car had two forward speeds and no reverse, and traveled at 5 or 15 mph.
Lambert's first model was crashed into a tree stump. He built another model, and its backfire caught the grain elevator on fire and destroyed the shop and the two autos. Lambert went on to build cars, trucks, fire engines, and tractors, and became Indiana's first millionare.