Sunday 6th January 1957
Louis S Clarke (90), who cofounded the Autocar Company of Admore as the Pittsburgh Motor Vehicle Company 1897, died in Florida, US. He is also credited with inventing the spark plug in the US, built the first automobile with a drive shaft. and designed the first useful oil circulation system. Clarke’s insistence of placing the driver on the left hand side of the vehicle led to that standardisation throughout most of the automotive industry worldwide, and consequently we drive on the right side of the road. The patented porcelain-insulated spark plug process was sold to Champion and remains the industry standard. His wife, Mary Phillips Clarke (1868-1952) was reported to have been the first woman driver in the United States. The first Autocar was a single cylinder chain driven Runabout built in 1899 and introduced in January of 1900. Later, the four passenger Touring Car was added to the Autocar line, advertised at $1700.00. Autocar was taken over by the White Motor Company in 1953.