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"THE CITY OF FIRSTS"
Kokomo is the home of many inventions, and thus is known as "The City Of Firsts".In 1893, Elwood Haynes purchased a one-horsepower upright two-cycle engine, that used gasoline as fuel.He hired Elmer and Edgar Apperson to build a "horseless carriage" in their Kokomo Machine Shop. On July 4, 1894, Mr Haynes made the first trial run. He first used a horse and buggy to pull the car out into the country on Pumpkinvine Pike, three miles east of the city. He then drove his car about six miles, at about seven miles an hour, making a successful run. He never sold that car, but instead gave it to the Smithsonian Institute, in Washington. He also joined up with the Apperson Brothers, and formed the Haynes-Apperson Automobile Company, and started production of the automobile. This started others to form factories all over the state, and so Indiana has had 256 different makes of cars built in our state.
He also invented the first stainless steel, and the first Stellite Cobalt-base Alloy, which is used today for blading the small turbines, which power the fuel pumps in liquid-propelled missiles, such as the Atlas rockets.
In 1923 Mr. Haynes ' company was producing 40 cars per day. He passed away in 1925, at the age of 67, and as a tribute to him, all business was suspended for one hour , during his funeral. He was a very successful man with all his achievements, and he was respected and loved by all who knew him. If you visit Kokomo, take time to visit the Elwood Haynes Museum, at 1915 South Webster Street, You will enjoy the many rooms dedicated to this great inventor.
Many other inventions were made first in Kokomo, and are as follows.
In 1894, The First Pneumatic Rubber Tire,invented by D. C. Spraker, at The Kokomo Rubber Tire Co. It was made of strips of three-ply rubber, canvas, and other wrappings of vulcanized rubber, wound around a slender pole.
In 1895, The First Aluminum Casting, made at the Ford and Donnelly Foundry, by William "Billy" Johnson.
In 1902,The First Carburetor,developed by George Kingston. It was made from a piece of brass pipe, six inches long, with a cap fitted to one side, in which a float and wire guage regulated the flow of fuel.
In 1906,The First Stellite Cobalt-base Alloy, discovered by Elwood Haynes, while searching for a metal to be used in producing tableware.
In 1912 ,The First Stainless Steel,invented by Elwood Haynes to develope a tarnish-free dinnerware.
In 1918, The First Howitzer Shell, made by the Superior Machine Tool Co. It was first used in World War I.
In 1918, The First Aerial Bomb with Fins,. produced by the Liberty Pressed Metal Co.
In 1920, The First Mechanical Corn Picker, developed by John Powell.
In 1926, Dirilyte Golden Hued Tableware, invented by Carl Molin.
In 1928, The First Canned Tomato Juice, developed by Walter Kemp of the Kemp Brothers Canning Co. at the request of a physician, who was seeking baby food for use in his clinic.
In 1938, The First Push-button Car Radio,developed at Delco Radio Division of General Motors Corp.
In 1941, All Metal Life Boats and Rafts,Manufactured by Globe American Stove Co. The lifeboat in 1941, and the life raft in 1943, nicknamed the "Kokomo Kid".
In 1947, The First Signal Seeking Car Radio,developed at Delco Radio Division of General Motors.
In 1957, The First All Transistor Car Radio, developed at Delco Radio Division of General Motors.
Kokomo also has several landmarks that are great to see and visit. When you drive to the south end of Kokomo, you will see the Kokomo Gas & Fuel Co. storage tower, that can be seen from several miles away, day or night.
On south Webster Street, you will find the Elwood Haynes Museum. It has many sights to see about the first horseless carriage.
On west Sycamore Street, you will find the Sieberling Mansion, which is now the Howard County Musuem and Historical Society.
On the corner of Walnut and Washington streets,you will find the former city building, which in my own opinion,is one of the best ones that are still standing.
Mr. Foster also gave forty acres to be the site for the county seat. He was a great friend to the indians, and often invited them in to stay over night. His portrait can be seen on the door of the courthouse. He and his wife had eleven children, one of which was the first white child born here.
Kokomo also was the home of Kokomo Steel and Wire, later known as Continental Steel, which produced the first color-coded wire, and was famous for many different steel items such as nails, rebar rods,and chain-link fence.
Living in Kokomo all my life, I am proud of it and it's history.
If you have comments or suggestions, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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