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Duncan, Donald Franklinlocked

(08 June 1899–15 May 1971)
  • Lawrence J. Jelinek

Extract

Duncan, Donald Franklin (08 June 1899–15 May 1971), businessman and promoter, was born in Huntington, West Virginia, the son of James Duncan and Virginia McCaffrey, who made their home in Rome, Ohio. Duncan had no formal education beyond grammar school. As a sales manager for the Brach Candy Company during World War I, he developed the idea of selling wrapped candy in small cedar chests. Then, in 1918, Duncan left the candy business for the automobile industry after buying the patent for a four-wheel hydraulic brake from the inventing engineer. Although he had been confident that he could promote the brake, Duncan proved unable to interest either the Ford Motor Company or General Motors Corporation in the device. Faced with corporate rejection of a brake that still needed improvement, Duncan promptly abandoned the endeavor. His patent was eventually assumed by the Wills Automobile Company. The four-wheel hydraulic brake, based largely on the competing inventions of Malcolm Loughead ( ...

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