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Charles F. Kettering


Charles F. Kettering began his career as an engineer for National Cash Register. After working at NCR for five years, he left to organize Delco Laboratories for the purpose of developing an ignition system. One of his first customers was Henry Leland, president of Cadillac, who, after ordering 8,000 ignition systems, later called upon Kettering to perfect the electric self-starter that appeared on the 1911 Cadillac. In 1916 he sold his interest in Delco to the United Motors Corporation. In 1920, “Boss Ket” became head of the General Motors research laboratories, contributing toward the development of such things as quick-drying paint and Ethyl gasoline. Kettering went into a purely nominal retirement in 1947, remaining with General Motors as a director and research consultant until his death in Dayton, Ohio.

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