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Coffin, Howard Earle (06 September 1873–21 November 1937), automotive engineer and airline pioneer, was born near West Milton, Ohio, the son of Julius Vestal Coffin and Sarah Elma Jones, farmers. In 1893 Coffin enrolled at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where his mother ran a boardinghouse, but dropped out in 1896 to take a job with the Ann Arbor post office. He was allowed to conduct experiments at the university’s engineering shops, however, and built a one-cylinder gasoline engine and a steam-powered car, which he drove on his mail route....

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Lockheed, Malcolm (1887–13 August 1958), aircraft engineer and inventor, was born Malcolm Loughead in Niles, California, the son of John Loughead, a hardware store owner, and Flora Haines, a fruit grower and writer. (He later started using a phonetic spelling of his Scottish name, which people had persisted in pronouncing “log-head” or “loaf-head.”) His mother, long separated from her husband, was a college graduate and a former schoolteacher who supported her family by growing and marketing fruit and writing feature articles for the ...