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Alanson P. Brush


Source: Hemmings Classic Car December, 2006, Jim Donnelly

In 1899, Alanson P. Brush joined the firm of Leland and Faulconer, supplier of engines to Oldsmobile. Brush made improvements to the engine’s design, the result becoming the first Cadillac powerplant. As Cadillac’s chief engineer, Brush contributed an assortment of innovations, including rack and pinion steering and a two-speed planetary transmission. In 1905 Brush cofounded the Oakland motor car company in Pontiac, Michigan with William Murphy. Leaving Oakland in 1907, and with financing from Frank Briscoe, Brush realized his dream of manufacturing a light two-cylinder car with the formation of the Brush Runabout Company. After five years the company entered a merger to become part of the United States Motor Company, which went into receivership in 1912. Within a year the Brush Runabout was history but Alanson Brush went on to be successful as a consulting engineer for various automobile manufacturers and later an expert witness in patent-infringement cases.

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