Oliver Parker Fritchle
Chemist, Deceased Person
1874 – 1951
Who was Oliver Parker Fritchle?
Oliver Parker Fritchle was an American chemist, storage battery innovator, and entrepreneur with electric vehicle and wind power generation businesses during the early twentieth century. His initial battery patent was awarded in 1903 and by 1904 he had established what was to become the Fritchle Automobile & Battery Company in Denver, Colorado. He was an early adaptor and developer of significant automotive technologies, such as regenerative braking and hybrid drivetrains, that did not reemerge on production vehicles of major car companies until late in the twentieth century.
Fritchle achieved national celebrity for his 1908 Lincoln-to-New York endurance run in one of the first electric automobile models produced by his firm. He covered the 1,800 miles in a stock Victoria Phaeton achieving as many as 108 miles between charges through extremes in weather, terrain, and road conditions; a remarkable feat with an electric vehicle of that day. The trip journal and photographs subsequently published to promote The 100 Mile Fritchle Electric provided unique insight to the state of road and electric power infrastructure within the United States during the early twentieth century.
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