1-10 of 79 results  for:

  • road transport x
Clear all

Article

Bennett, Harry Herbert (17 January 1892–04 January 1979), auto industry executive, was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the son of Verne C. Bennett, a sign painter, and Imogene Bangs, a schoolteacher. When Bennett was two years old, his father was killed in a fight. His mother later married Robert Winslow, a professor of engineering at the University of Michigan, who died a few years after the marriage. At age fifteen, Bennett moved with his mother to Detroit, where he entered the Detroit Fine Arts Academy to train as a commercial artist. Conflict at home caused him to run away and join the navy in 1909....

Article

Breech, Ernest Robert (24 February 1897–03 July 1978), automobile and aviation executive, was born in Lebanon, Missouri, the son of Joseph F. E. Breech, a blacksmith, and Martha Atchley. Ernest gained early experience with mechanics by working with his older brother Earl in his father’s blacksmith shop, which specialized in making carriages. In high school he was a stellar football, basketball, and baseball athlete and was offered a try-out with the St. Louis Browns professional baseball team. But he had his sights set on studying law and distinguished himself as a speaker, winning a medal for oratory while in high school. After graduating in 1914, Breech had to defer college because of inadequate family financing. To earn money he worked as a salesman and mechanic in an automobile agency that his father had acquired, thus gaining his first exposure to the automobile industry. He won a scholarship to Drury College in Springfield, Missouri, which he entered in 1915. Despite a strong academic record, Breech left college after his sophomore year in 1917 and moved to Chicago, where his brother Earl had found work for him in the accounting department of Fairbanks, Morse & Company, manufacturers of scales and weighing equipment. He later supplemented the income from this job by working evenings and weekends at O’Connor and Goldberg’s State Street Store, the leading ladies’ shoe store in Chicago. Also in 1917 Breech married his childhood sweetheart, Thelma Rowden, in Chicago; the couple had two sons....

Article

Briggs, Walter Owen (27 February 1877–17 January 1952), manufacturer and baseball executive, was born in Ypsilanti, Michigan, the son of Rodney Davis Briggs, an engineer with the Michigan Central Railroad, and Ada Warner. When Walter was an infant the family moved to a western suburb of Detroit where the Tigers played Sunday baseball, which was forbidden in the city at that time. There he attended John Newberry Public School and played first base and catcher for the baseball team. Leaving school at age 14, Briggs worked in the car shops of the Michigan Central, earning $20 per month....

Article

Briscoe, Benjamin (24 May 1867–27 June 1945), automobile manufacturer, was born in Detroit, Michigan, the son of Joseph A. Briscoe, an inventor associated with Michigan’s railroad industry, and Sarah Smith. Briscoe attended Detroit public schools and after graduating from the Jones Academy found work as a clerk for the wholesale firm of Black and Owen....

Article

Buick, David Dunbar (17 September 1854–06 March 1929), inventor and businessman, was born in Arbroath, Scotland, the son of Alexander Buick and Jane Roger. The family emigrated from Scotland to Detroit, Michigan, two years after Buick was born; his father died three years later. Buick attended elementary school, but the poverty of his single-parent family forced him to find full-time employment when he was just eleven years old. By the time he was fifteen, he had delivered newspapers, worked on a farm, and served as a machinist’s apprentice at the James Flower & Brothers Machine Shop (the same firm where ...

Article

Champion, Albert (02 April 1878–27 October 1927), inventor and businessman, was born in Paris, France, the son of Alexander Champion. Available sources reveal no other information about his family or his early life. No doubt he received an early education in Paris. When he was about twelve years old, he obtained employment as an errand boy for a bicycle manufacturer....

Article

Chapin, Roy Dikeman (23 February 1880–10 February 1936), auto industry pioneer and secretary of commerce, was born in Lansing, Michigan, the son of Edward Cornelius Chapin, a successful local attorney, and Ella King. In 1899 Chapin enrolled in the University of Michigan, but he left in the spring of 1901 to take a position with the Olds Motor Works in Detroit. Chapin worked as a photographer, helped out in the factory in May during a machinists’ strike, and served as a test driver. It was in the latter capacity that Chapin drove an Oldsmobile runabout from Detroit to New York in seven and a half days in 1901, arriving in time to display it at the National Automobile Show. This trip, the one event for which Chapin is best remembered, promoted sales of the frail, 600-pound car while providing a boost to Chapin’s career....

Article

Cheney, Benjamin Pierce (12 August 1815–23 July 1895), transportation executive, was born in Hillsborough, New Hampshire, the son of Jesse Cheney, a blacksmith, and Alice Steele. Born into an impoverished family, he attended local common schools until the age of ten and then went to work in his father’s shop. After nearly two years working with his father, he relocated to Francistown, New Hampshire, where he took a job in a tavern and later worked in a local store....

Article

Chevrolet, Louis (25 December 1878–06 June 1941), mechanic, race car driver, and engine designer, was born in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, the son of Joseph Felicien Chevrolet, a clockmaker, and Angelina Marie (maiden name unknown). Louis Chevrolet’s family moved to Beaune, France, when he was six years old. From his father Louis acquired basic mechanical skills and an appreciation for the importance of precision in machine parts manufacture. While still teenagers, Louis and his two brothers, Arthur and Gaston, established a bicycle making shop. They used the brand name “Frontenac” for their bicycles, a name Louis later applied to automobiles he manufactured....

Article

Chrysler, Walter Percy (02 April 1875–18 August 1940), automobile manufacturer, was born in Wamego, Kansas, the son of Henry Chrysler, a railroad engineer, and Anna Maria Breyman. Chrysler’s life was bound up with the creation of modern America’s transportation system. He grew up in Ellis, Kansas, a railroad shop town, at a time when the townspeople still worried about Native American raiders. As a boy, Chrysler developed an abiding fascination with machines while watching the mechanics in the local railroad repair shops and occasionally accompanying his father in the engineer’s cab of a Union Pacific locomotive. He developed an aggressive, quick-tempered personality playing with other working-class boys in the railroad yards and streets of Ellis. For most of his life, Chrysler remained outspoken and excitable, but he was also intelligent, hard working, and capable of intense concentration. These qualities enabled him to rise through the ranks of the railroad industry and then become one of the founders of America’s automobile industry....