|Author||: John Y. Hess|
|Publisher||: Arcadia Publishing|
|Total Pages||: 132|
|Rating||: 4/5 (98 Downloads)|
Book excerpt: The Knox Automobile Company was a pioneer in the automobile business in New England. The company's founder, Harry Austin Knox, was born in 1875 in the outskirts of Westfield and went to school at the Springfield Industrial Institute. His practical work was done at the Elektron Company, manufacturers of electric motors and elevators, conveniently located next to the school building. He graduated at the top of his class of twelve in 1894 and gave the graduation address. A few years later, Knox built his first three cars, with the help of his former classmate Herman Farr. The two men returned to Springfield and talked Elisha Cutler into forming the Knox Automobile Company. The business started in 1899 with the manufacture of a three-wheeled vehicle with a six-horsepower, air-cooled engine. There was no reverse on the transmission, as the vehicle could turn a nine-foot circle. The three-wheelers were sold for cash right from the factory door. Though Knox had only a trade school education, he was an engineering genius. The company built everything from three-wheelers to tractors, buses, and the ultimate six-cylinder closed car with a 65-horsepower, water-cooled engine. The powerful six-cylinder cars won many hill climbs and races. Beginning in 1906, Knox built fire engines that made Springfield the first motorized fire department in the country. The company went out of business in 1927, after building thousands of machines, some of which are seen in this book, beautifully restored.