Powel Crosley, Jr. - Part Four - June 30, 2014

In our final chapter on the life and innovations of Powel Crosley, Jr., our hero tries one more time at an early passion - the automobile.  Successful in car accessories, radio and appliances, his fortunes were not the same when, in 1939, he established Crosley Motors, Inc. and sold his cars out of his appliance stores.  He produced less than six thousand cars before the government compelled him to concentrate on the war effort.  Crosley Motors made proximity fuzes - an item so top secret that Powel himself was forbidden to see them.

After the war, Powel returned to the production of automobiles.  Ultimately, he sold around 75,000 cars before throwing in the towel.  His biggest challenge was selling small, economic cars that offered great gas mileage at a time when Americans wanted big cars and didn't care how much gas they guzzled.  He did introduce the disc brake with his cars, an innovation still in use today.  When he died at the age of 74, in 1961, he had a beautiful mansion in Sarasota, FL (it still stands) and a legacy that remains impressive, even if his name is not universally known.

QUESTION:  In 1929, the airplane designed by Crosley was flown for the first time on December 8th.  What was its name?

a)  Icyfly

b)  Moonbeam

c)  Sunshine

d)  Planerator

Answer Below

HISTORY TODAY:

The primary legacy of Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth President of the United States, is that he presided over the country during the Civil War. His accomplishments extended beyond that, though.  On this day in 1864, he put aside public land in California "for public use, resort and recreation."  That land was the Yosemite Valley, and Lincoln's act was one of the first of a president to set aside land for recreational use.

The American Treasure Tour is home to many wonderful cars - including a few Crosley's, now that you mention it!  We also have some Corvette's, which is why we are happy to celebrate the 51st anniversary of the completion of the very first Corvette ever to roll off an assembly line in Flint, Michigan.  The first model to be available to the public was the 1954.  Come to the ATT to check out ours!

BIRTHDAYS:

We celebrate the birth today of Anthony Mann, back in 1906.  If you haven't heard of Mann, you are likely aware of some of his films.  He was best known for his westerns, including Winchester '73 (1950), and The Man from Laramie (1955), but his innovations in the film noir style show the diversity of his talents.  We recommend checking out T-Men (1947) and Raw Deal (1948).

One of the greats was born on this day in 1917:  Lena Horne.  Actress, singer, dancer, and political activist, Horne participated in the 1963 Civil Rights march on Washington, D.C., at which Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his famous "I have a dream" speech.  She spoke out for African Americans and for women at a time when doing so could get her in trouble.  A brave woman with a lot of talent, Lena Horne should be remembered for her many accomplishments.

QUOTE:  You have to be taught to be second class.  You're not born that way.  - Lena Horne

ANSWER:  b)  Moonbeam.  Only five Moonbeams were ever produced, with the spoilers being tested as a lateral control device - the first time that ever happened.