Ransom Eli Olds

Died aged c. 86

Ransom Eli Olds, born in 1864, was the inventor of the Oldsmobile and REO automobiles. In 1913, he purchased 37,541 acres of land in North Tampa Bay for $400,000. He designed a well-platted community, now known as Oldsmar, with tree-lined boulevards leading from the bay to downtown. Advertisements glorifying the virtues of Oldsmar were placed in Detroit papers, using the slogan "Oldsmar for Health, Wealth and Happiness." A sawmill and foundry that made cast iron engines for tractors and grove heaters were established. The mill produced the Olds Chair, a sturdy chair similar to the Adirondack Chair. Olds had more than $4.5 million invested in his city by 1923, when he started liquidating his assets, just as the Florida land boom was beginning. He suffered a financial loss of nearly $3,000,000, but his vision laid the foundation for the modern community of Oldsmar. Ransom Eli Olds died in 1950.


Ransom Eli Olds (June 3, 1864 – August 26, 1950) was a pioneer of the American automotive industry, for whom both the Oldsmobile and REO brands were named. He claimed to have built his first steam car as early as 1894 and his first gasoline-powered car in 1896. The modern assembly line and its basic concept is credited to Olds, who used it to build the first mass-produced automobile, the Oldsmobile Curved Dash, beginning in 1901.

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Commemorated on 1 plaque

Ransom Eli Olds

Ransom Eli Olds [full inscription unknown]

Oldsmar Public Library, 101 State Street, Oldsmar, FL, United States where they was