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William Morrison

William Morrison was an American inventor and businessman who developed the first successful electric automobile in the United States. Morrison was born in Ohio and moved to Des Moines, Iowa, in 1878. There he became interested in electricity and developed an electric motor that he used to power a small boat. In 1887, Morrison designed and built an electric car that he successfully drove from Des Moines to Chicago, a distance of 200 miles (320 km). The car had a range of about 30 miles (48 km) and a top speed of 15 miles (24 km) per hour. In 1888, Morrison established the Morrison Electric Vehicle Company and began mass-producing electric cars. He sold his cars to a number of wealthy customers, including John D. Rockefeller and Thomas Edison. Morrison’s company was eventually absorbed by the Electric Vehicle Company, which was itself taken over by the General Motors Corporation in 1910. William Morrison died in 1927. He was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2006.

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