1901 Cadillac is launched
The Cadillac Company, named after eighteenth century French explorer Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, founder of the city of Detroit, was established on this day. Henry Leland, a former mechanic and precision machinist, founded the company that would come to be known as the maker of America's luxury car. The Cadillac reached its height of popularity during the 1950s. The Cadillac Debutante, which debuted at the Waldorf-Astoria, was based on the play The Solid Gold Cadillac. Cadillac sales decreased during the 1970s as the American car market experienced an influx of smaller imports, but luxury car sales, Cadillac included, have rebounded in recent years.