The first US gasoline-powered auto to be produced in quantity, the 425 Runabout, was introduced by Olds Motor Works, founded in 1897 by Ransom E. Olds. Features included the first "speed meter," invented last year by a Mr. Jones, and a new gracefully-curved dashboard.
The 7 hp., 650 lb. car was priced at $650, and 425 were built the first year. It was produced until 1907, and some were used by the US Postal Service as the first mail trucks.
The first dial telephone was introduced in 1897 by the Automatic Electric Company, founded in 1891 by Alman Brown Strowger, a Kansas undertaker. In 1889, convinced that the Bell "central exchange" was diverting his incoming calls to a rival embalmer, Strowger invented the automatic switchboard system, which was controlled by a number-dialing system. The system was first installed in 1892 in LaPorte, IN.
An improved version of the Gramophone, a talking machine invented by Emil Berliner (1851-1929) in 1888, and made since 1894 using a patented hard rubber disc, was introduced by Berliner's US Gramophone Company.