On this day: in history (1929), David Dunbar Buick died of colon cancer, at the age of 74. Buick was a Scottish-born American Detroit-based inventor best known for founding the Buick Motor Company. He left school in 1869 and worked for a company which made plumbing goods. When the company ran into trouble in 1882, he and a partner took it over.
By the end of the 19th Century, he had started constructing internal combustion engine.
He sold up his share of the plumbing business for $100,000 (equivalent to $3.3m today) and started his own automobile firm.
Buick Auto Vim was to create the overhead valve engine still used to this day, but by 1902, he had only produced one car and his money had run out.
He was bailed out by William Crapo Durant, who took over the Detroit-based business and went on to found General Motors (GM).
Buick was to be pushed out of the company a few years later with another $100,000 pay-off ,a fraction of what he might have made if he had kept his shares in the business.
He ended up blowing his second fortune by investing poorly in California oil prospects and Florida land.
In 1924, at the age of 69, he returned to Detroit jobless and virtually penniless, unable even to afford a telephone in his home.
In March 1929, he died of pneumonia at the Harper Hospital in Detroit following an operation to remove a tumour in his colon.
GM has paid tribute to Buick, stating that “his importance to the modern-day Buick brand and General Motors can’t be understated”.
A spokeswoman said: “While the story of David Buick is in itself very complicated, without question, had it not been for him, there would be no Buick automobile.”
The Buick company turned one hundred on 19 May 2003. It was the company upon which the world’s largest auto company, General Motors, was built.
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Created by Okey Obiabunmo