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date: 26 January 2020

Chapin, Roy Dikemanlocked

(23 February 1880–10 February 1936)
  • George S. May


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....

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