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A Tribute to the Fossmobile – 1897

As a young boy, expanding up in Fort Chambly, Quebec, from time to time, I would listen to stories of George Foote Foss’ (my grandfather’s) invention. At situations, I would overhear these tales as my father shared the details with pals and neighbours who were being browsing our dwelling. Nonetheless, the stories that I most normally read came immediately from my grandfather, as we visited him regularly. I recall fondly, sitting down on a footstool close to his ft as he sat in his big, relaxed chair, recounting the measures he took in tinkering, organizing and finally, setting up a gasoline engine auto, which was to be the very first in Canada – later dubbed: “The Fossmobile.”

In the early 1960s (I was only about age 7), I recall that anyone close to me was speaking about a flurry of renewed curiosity in his accomplishment. It was then that he was presented with two honorary memberships: a person from the Vintage Automobile Club of Montreal (VACM) and the other from the prestigious Antique Auto Club of The united states (AACA). Only two Canadians have ever acquired this latter honour. The other Canadian to receive this was Colonel Robert Samuel McLaughlin, who started out the McLaughlin Motor Motor vehicle Corporation in 1907, which was one of the first significant vehicle manufacturers in Canada.

With these two initiatives, there arrived a swarm of media interest and I can remember staying revealed newspaper clippings, lots of of which I still have in my possession these days. Not only were being there pictures and articles or blog posts written about his honorary memberships, but quite a few of the neighborhood papers also reprinted his earlier writing of: “The Accurate Tale of a Compact Town Boy,” at first revealed in 1954, by The Sherbrooke Each day Record.

Possessing a relative with historic importance meant that most of his descendants have ended up employing his creation story and the several publications about it, as a subject for faculty assignments. I try to remember utilizing his tale as a subject matter for 1 of my college projects, the two of my two youngsters did, and just a 12 months ago my 6-12 months-previous granddaughter did a “demonstrate and explain to” at her college about her fantastic-wonderful grandfather’s creation.

George Foote Foss (September 30, 1876 – November 23, 1968) was a mechanic, blacksmith, bicycle repairman and inventor from Sherbrooke, Quebec. During the winter season of 1896, he developed a 4-horsepower single-cylinder gasoline run vehicle. In the spring of 1897, he accomplished his invention: the very first gasoline-powered car to be developed in Canada, which was, later on referred to as the “Fossmobile”.

It was in early 1896, for the duration of a vacation to Boston, Massachusetts to purchase a turret lathe for his increasing machine store, that my grandfather noticed his to start with automobiles. These cars, electrically driven broughams, had been rented out for $4.00 an hour. He paid the charge to have a trip, but regrettably, right after a trip of only 50 % an hour, the batteries died.

Returning to Sherbrooke, he decided to make an vehicle that would address this issue. My grandfather drove his car or truck in and all over Sherbrooke, Quebec for 4 several years. He afterwards moved to Montreal, Quebec, exactly where the auto sat idle for a yr in advance of he bought it for $75 in 1902. He experienced previously turned down an provide to lover with Henry Ford who went on to kind the Ford Motor Enterprise. He turned down the provide, as he believed Ford’s Quadricycle motor vehicle to be inferior to the Fossmobile. He also turned down fiscal backing to mass-produce the Fossmobile, citing his inexperience to do so, as he was only 21 yrs outdated at the time.

I am usually asked if I know if my grandfather had any regrets about not partnering with Ford or not mass-producing his creation. From every little thing I remember hearing him say, he experienced no regrets. He loved a very simple lifestyle and I listened to him say on a lot more than 1 event, that: “you do not stay a extensive daily life with the stresses of working a huge company.” He passed away at age 92, so possibly his principle was right, at the very least for him.

Not long ago, I re-opened the Foss relatives archives, to superior realize and accurately document my grandfather’s amazing accomplishment. My aim has been to locate means to share this historic Canadian party with automotive lovers, historians and future generations of Canadians. To this end, I have founded a business, as a suggests to construct networks, foster collaboration and share significant historical memorabilia.

As George Foss’ grandson, I have talked with some visionaries and I am trying to find the assist of other likely gurus in “Classic Automobile Restoration,” for a incredibly specific challenge. The objective is to use reverse engineering (the replica of an inventor or manufacturer’s item), to make a “Tribute Vehicle,” emulating as intently as probable, the specifications of George Foss’ creation of the 1st gasoline driven vehicle crafted in Canada: the Fossmobile. There are no unique drawings, so the Tribute Auto will have to be based only on comprehensive scrutiny of first Fossmobile shots.

I have started the procedure of buying classic elements from the period, with the hope of building this car, replicating pieces only when it is absolutely required. I will supply oversight for this approach and collaborate with car historians and gurus. Along the way, the journey will be documented, although guaranteeing focus to element.
The hope is to honour my grandfather’s legacy and bring to greater mild, this sizeable chapter of Canadian record. With its completion, this Tribute Automobile will be a tangible embodiment of the very first gasoline automobile crafted in Canada. There is a expanding fascination in showcasing the finished Tribute Fossmobile in basic car exhibits. On the other hand, it will at some point be donated to a Canadian museum to boost historic instruction for recent and long run generations.