|Winton Remembered in New Book
Cleveland, OH - When's the last time you used your brakes and
you thought of Alexander Winton?
"Alexander who?" is most likely your response. Which is precisely
why two automotive buffs sat down to document the accomplishments
of a little-known automotive pioneer.
"Famous But Forgotten: The Story of Alexander Winton" by Clevelanders
Thomas F. Saal and Bernard J. Golias details Winton's fascination
with motion and power, from his beginnings as a bicycle manufacturer
on Cleveland's West Side to his design and development of high-end
"People tend to equate Henry Ford with all the major automotive
accomplishments," Golias says. "But if you take a look at the
early patents, Winton held the groundbreakers in automotive development."
Winton's legacy includes more than 100 patents instrumental in
the early designs of automobiles and diesel engines. He was also
generous in passing the technology along to competitors when safety
was an issue.
The book indicates that prior to the Grosse Pointe Race in 1901,
Winton gave Henry Ford one of his new complete steering mechanisms
with a steering wheel assembly because Winton said somebody would
get killed with the device Ford was using. Ford went on the win
the Gross Pointe Race, but Winton consoled himself that it was
with his steering gear.
The 192-page book includes numerous photographs of vintage Winton
automobiles and their accomplishments in performance races. Winton's
career, from bicycle manufacturer to automotive innovator to diesel-engine
developer for trains, illustrates the versatility which his prodigious
1897: Winton's second car also had a 2-cylinder vertical engine.
Winton, Henderson, and Brown are in the front seat. Dignitaries
in back include Tom L. Johnson (facing rearward) who was first
elected mayor of Cleveland in 1901. Photo courtesy the Winton