Clessie Cummins

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27 Dec 1888
Honey Creek, Indiana


17 Aug 1968
Marin, California


United States


Cummins (1950)

Businessman and inventor who achieved immense success despite not having a full and complete education and spending most of his earliest years on the family farm. Around 1908, Cummins became a mechanic and chaffueur which then led, in 1919, to Cummins founding his own engine business. Cummins had a mixed start, working on tractor engines and then subsquently limousine and yacht engines before finally succeeding with trucks. Cummins first appeared at the Indianapolis 500 in 1931 and over the next two decades had a relationship with the sport. Clessie's business really took off during the war as the US military were in dire need of diesel enginers, and this had also had an affect on sales after the war when ex-servicemen looked at new transport options.Cummins remained with his business until 1955 but even after that, he then worked on and developed what is now the Jake Brake, a compression release engine brake.

Biography last updated 10 Jul 2018