Cars were scarce in North Dakota at the turn of the 20th century. They were expensive. There was not a single new car showroom in the state. A buyer could wait for over a year for a new Peerless or Locomobile.
This did not stop adventurous North Dakotans from taking to the open road. In 1902, Frank Jaszkowiak built a three-horsepower runabout, the first horseless carriage in Bismarck. Frank noted that he could make it go, but the trouble came when he tried to make it stop. On his maiden voyage, he smashed into a tree. And no wonder! His runabout could speed along at eight miles an hour on a level road.