30/05/2024

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A Tribute to the Fossmobile – 1897

A Tribute to the Fossmobile – 1897

As a youthful boy, rising up in Fort Chambly, Quebec, from time to time, I would hear tales of George Foote Foss’ (my grandfather’s) invention. At occasions, I would overhear these stories as my father shared the facts with good friends and neighbours who were being viewing our home. On the other hand, the tales that I most usually heard arrived specifically from my grandfather, as we visited him frequently. I remember fondly, sitting down on a footstool in the vicinity of his toes as he sat in his large, snug chair, recounting the ways he took in tinkering, scheduling and ultimately, constructing a gasoline motor vehicle, which was to be the to start with in Canada – later on dubbed: “The Fossmobile.”

In the early 1960s (I was only about age 7), I recall that every person all over me was speaking about a flurry of renewed fascination in his accomplishment. It was then that he was offered with two honorary memberships: a person from the Classic Car Club of Montreal (VACM) and the other from the prestigious Antique Car Club of America (AACA). Only two Canadians have at any time acquired this latter honour. The other Canadian to receive this was Colonel Robert Samuel McLaughlin, who started off the McLaughlin Motor Car Firm in 1907, which was one particular of the initially big automobile brands in Canada.

With these two initiatives, there came a swarm of media focus and I can remember remaining proven newspaper clippings, numerous of which I nevertheless have in my possession right now. Not only had been there photographs and posts penned about his honorary memberships, but lots of of the neighborhood papers also reprinted his previously composing of: “The Correct Tale of a Little Town Boy,” originally posted in 1954, by The Sherbrooke Everyday Report.

Obtaining a relative with historic significance meant that most of his descendants have ended up using his creation story and the numerous publications about it, as a subject for faculty jobs. I keep in mind using his tale as a subject for just one of my faculty jobs, equally of my two kids did, and just a yr in the past my 6-12 months-old granddaughter did a “demonstrate and convey to” at her faculty about her excellent-terrific grandfather’s creation.

George Foote Foss (September 30, 1876 – November 23, 1968) was a mechanic, blacksmith, bicycle repairman and inventor from Sherbrooke, Quebec. Through the wintertime of 1896, he developed a four-horsepower solitary-cylinder gasoline run automobile. In the spring of 1897, he finished his invention: the initial gasoline-driven auto to be crafted in Canada, which was, later on referred to as the “Fossmobile”.

It was in early 1896, all through a excursion to Boston, Massachusetts to buy a turret lathe for his expanding machine shop, that my grandfather observed his first vehicles. These cars, electrically pushed broughams, have been rented out for $4.00 an hour. He paid the rate to have a journey, but however, right after a trip of only half an hour, the batteries died.

Returning to Sherbrooke, he made the decision to construct an automobile that would deal with this difficulty. My grandfather drove his auto in and all over Sherbrooke, Quebec for four many years. He later moved to Montreal, Quebec, where the vehicle sat idle for a year ahead of he marketed it for $75 in 1902. He had earlier turned down an offer you to spouse with Henry Ford who went on to form the Ford Motor Business. He turned down the offer, as he thought Ford’s Quadricycle vehicle to be inferior to the Fossmobile. He also turned down financial backing to mass-make the Fossmobile, citing his inexperience to do so, as he was only 21 years old at the time.

I am usually requested if I know if my grandfather experienced any regrets about not partnering with Ford or not mass-developing his creation. From anything I remember listening to him say, he had no regrets. He savored a easy life and I read him say on more than just one event, that: “you will not reside a lengthy daily life with the stresses of functioning a significant business.” He passed absent at age 92, so possibly his concept was right, at least for him.

Not too long ago, I re-opened the Foss family members archives, to better realize and correctly document my grandfather’s extraordinary accomplishment. My aim has been to discover strategies to share this historic Canadian event with automotive lovers, historians and foreseeable future generations of Canadians. To this finish, I have recognized a small business, as a signifies to construct networks, foster collaboration and share vital historical memorabilia.

As George Foss’ grandson, I have talked with some visionaries and I am trying to get the aid of other possible gurus in “Vintage Automobile Restoration,” for a extremely particular job. The purpose is to use reverse engineering (the replica of an inventor or manufacturer’s solution), to produce a “Tribute Auto,” emulating as closely as achievable, the technical specs of George Foss’ invention of the initial gasoline powered car crafted in Canada: the Fossmobile. There are no unique drawings, so the Tribute Vehicle will have to be primarily based solely on comprehensive scrutiny of initial Fossmobile photographs.

I have started the system of buying classic sections from the era, with the hope of constructing this car, replicating pieces only when it is unquestionably needed. I will present oversight for this procedure and collaborate with automobile historians and industry experts. Alongside the way, the journey will be documented, when guaranteeing awareness to detail.
The hope is to honour my grandfather’s legacy and deliver to better light, this important chapter of Canadian history. With its completion, this Tribute Automobile will be a tangible embodiment of the very first gasoline vehicle created in Canada. There is a escalating curiosity in showcasing the accomplished Tribute Fossmobile in classic auto displays. However, it will sooner or later be donated to a Canadian museum to greatly enhance historic education and learning for present-day and long term generations.