A Tribute to the Fossmobile – 1897


As a younger boy, rising up in Fort Chambly, Quebec, every so often, I’d hear tales of George Foote Foss’ (my grandfather’s) invention. At instances, I’d overhear these tales as my father shared the main points with associates and neighbours who had been visiting our residence. Nevertheless, the tales that I most frequently heard got here straight from my grandfather, as we visited him regularly. I recall fondly, sitting on a footstool close to his ft as he sat in his giant, snug chair, recounting the steps he took in tinkering, planning and finally, constructing a gasoline engine vehicle, which was to be the primary in Canada – later dubbed: “The Fossmobile.”

Within the early 1960s (I used to be solely about age 7), I recall that everybody round me was speaking a few flurry of renewed curiosity in his accomplishment. It was then that he was introduced with two honorary memberships: one from the Classic Car Membership of Montreal (VACM) and the opposite from the distinguished Vintage Car Membership of America (AACA). Solely two Canadians have ever obtained this latter honour. The opposite Canadian to obtain this was Colonel Robert Samuel McLaughlin, who began the McLaughlin Motor Automobile Firm in 1907, which was one of many first main vehicle producers in Canada.

With these two initiatives, there got here a swarm of media consideration and I can recall being proven newspaper clippings, lots of which I nonetheless have in my possession right this moment. Not solely had been there pictures and articles written about his honorary memberships, however most of the native papers additionally reprinted his earlier writing of: “The True Story of a Small City Boy,” initially revealed in 1954, by The Sherbrooke Day by day File.

Having a relative with historic significance meant that the majority of his descendants have ended up utilizing his invention story and the varied publications about it, as a subject for varsity initiatives. I bear in mind utilizing his story as a subject for one among my college initiatives, each of my two youngsters did, and only a 12 months in the past my 6-year-old granddaughter did a “present and inform” at her college about her great-great grandfather’s invention.

George Foote Foss (September 30, 1876 – November 23, 1968) was a mechanic, blacksmith, bicycle repairman and inventor from Sherbrooke, Quebec. In the course of the winter of 1896, he developed a four-horsepower single-cylinder gasoline powered vehicle. Within the spring of 1897, he accomplished his invention: the primary gasoline-powered vehicle to be in-built Canada, which was, later known as the “Fossmobile”.

It was in early 1896, throughout a visit to Boston, Massachusetts to purchase a turret lathe for his increasing machine store, that my grandfather noticed his first cars. These automobiles, electrically pushed broughams, had been rented out for $four.00 an hour. He paid the charge to have a trip, however sadly, after a trip of solely half an hour, the batteries died.

Returning to Sherbrooke, he determined to construct an vehicle that will deal with this drawback. My grandfather drove his automotive in and round Sherbrooke, Quebec for 4 years. He later moved to Montreal, Quebec, the place the automotive sat idle for a 12 months earlier than he offered it for $75 in 1902. He had beforehand turned down a proposal to associate with Henry Ford who went on to type the Ford Motor Firm. He turned down the provide, as he believed Ford’s Quadricycle automobile to be inferior to the Fossmobile. He additionally turned down monetary backing to mass-produce the Fossmobile, citing his inexperience to take action, as he was solely 21 years previous on the time.

I’m usually requested if I do know if my grandfather had any regrets about not partnering with Ford or not mass-producing his invention. From every little thing I recall listening to him say, he had no regrets. He loved a easy life and I heard him say on multiple event, that: “you do not dwell a protracted life with the stresses of working a giant enterprise.” He handed away at age 92, so maybe his idea was proper, no less than for him.

Just lately, I re-opened the Foss household archives, to higher perceive and precisely doc my grandfather’s outstanding accomplishment. My goal has been to seek out methods to share this historic Canadian occasion with automotive fans, historians and future generations of Canadians. To this finish, I’ve established a enterprise, as a method to construct networks, foster collaboration and share necessary historic memorabilia.

As George Foss’ grandson, I’ve talked with some visionaries and I’m looking for the assistance of different potential specialists in “Classic Car Restoration,” for a really particular challenge. The aim is to make use of reverse engineering (the copy of an inventor or producer’s product), to create a “Tribute Car,” emulating as carefully as doable, the specs of George Foss’ invention of the primary gasoline powered vehicle in-built Canada: the Fossmobile. There aren’t any unique drawings, so the Tribute Car should be based mostly solely on detailed scrutiny of unique Fossmobile pictures.

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