A Tribute to the Fossmobile – 1897

As a youthful boy, increasing up in Fort Chambly, Quebec, from time to time, I would hear tales of George Foote Foss’ (my grandfather’s) creation. At times, I would overhear these tales as my father shared the information with friends and neighbours who ended up checking out our home. However, the stories that I most frequently read arrived immediately from my grandfather, as we frequented him routinely. I recall fondly, sitting on a footstool near his toes as he sat in his huge, at ease chair, recounting the methods he took in tinkering, setting up and ultimately, constructing a gasoline motor auto, which was to be the to start with in Canada – later dubbed: “The Fossmobile.”

In the early 1960s (I was only about age 7), I remember that all people all around me was chatting about a flurry of renewed fascination in his accomplishment. It was then that he was introduced with two honorary memberships: one particular from the Vintage Auto Club of Montreal (VACM) and the other from the prestigious Antique Car Club of The usa (AACA). Only two Canadians have ever gained this latter honour. The other Canadian to get this was Colonel Robert Samuel McLaughlin, who commenced the McLaughlin Motor Automobile Firm in 1907, which was 1 of the first significant auto companies in Canada.

With these two initiatives, there came a swarm of media consideration and I can remember being revealed newspaper clippings, lots of of which I nevertheless have in my possession these days. Not only have been there pictures and articles penned about his honorary memberships, but lots of of the local papers also reprinted his earlier producing of: “The Genuine Tale of a Compact Town Boy,” originally printed in 1954, by The Sherbrooke Every day Report.

Having a relative with historical importance intended that most of his descendants have finished up using his invention story and the various publications about it, as a subject for faculty initiatives. I try to remember working with his tale as a topic for a single of my school projects, both equally of my two little ones did, and just a 12 months ago my 6-yr-old granddaughter did a “display and tell” at her faculty about her excellent-fantastic grandfather’s invention.

George Foote Foss (September 30, 1876 – November 23, 1968) was a mechanic, blacksmith, bicycle repairman and inventor from Sherbrooke, Quebec. Through the wintertime of 1896, he produced a 4-horsepower single-cylinder gasoline driven car. In the spring of 1897, he accomplished his creation: the very first gasoline-powered car to be developed in Canada, which was, later on referred to as the “Fossmobile”.

It was in early 1896, all through a excursion to Boston, Massachusetts to purchase a turret lathe for his increasing machine store, that my grandfather observed his to start with cars. These vehicles, electrically driven broughams, were rented out for $4.00 an hour. He compensated the fee to have a ride, but regretably, after a ride of only 50 % an hour, the batteries died.

Returning to Sherbrooke, he determined to build an auto that would address this dilemma. My grandfather drove his car or truck in and around Sherbrooke, Quebec for 4 several years. He afterwards moved to Montreal, Quebec, where the vehicle sat idle for a yr in advance of he bought it for $75 in 1902. He had previously turned down an provide to partner with Henry Ford who went on to sort the Ford Motor Business. He turned down the give, as he thought Ford’s Quadricycle motor vehicle to be inferior to the Fossmobile. He also turned down money backing to mass-produce the Fossmobile, citing his inexperience to do so, as he was only 21 several years previous at the time.

I am frequently questioned if I know if my grandfather experienced any regrets about not partnering with Ford or not mass-making his invention. From anything I recall listening to him say, he had no regrets. He liked a uncomplicated everyday living and I listened to him say on much more than a person event, that: “you never stay a very long everyday living with the stresses of functioning a massive business enterprise.” He handed away at age 92, so possibly his principle was suitable, at least for him.

Not long ago, I re-opened the Foss relatives archives, to improved fully grasp and correctly doc my grandfather’s remarkable accomplishment. My objective has been to come across approaches to share this historic Canadian celebration with automotive enthusiasts, historians and long term generations of Canadians. To this close, I have founded a business enterprise, as a signifies to develop networks, foster collaboration and share vital historical memorabilia.

As George Foss’ grandson, I have talked with some visionaries and I am seeking the help of other probable specialists in “Vintage Auto Restoration,” for a incredibly exclusive project. The intention is to use reverse engineering (the reproduction of an inventor or manufacturer’s merchandise), to develop a “Tribute Automobile,” emulating as intently as probable, the specifications of George Foss’ invention of the first gasoline run car built in Canada: the Fossmobile. There are no unique drawings, so the Tribute Auto will have to be dependent only on thorough scrutiny of authentic Fossmobile images.

I have begun the approach of acquiring vintage components from the era, with the hope of building this automobile, replicating sections only when it is certainly vital. I will provide oversight for this method and collaborate with automobile historians and gurus. Alongside the way, the journey will be documented, even though guaranteeing interest to depth.
The hope is to honour my grandfather’s legacy and provide to increased mild, this important chapter of Canadian background. With its completion, this Tribute Automobile will be a tangible embodiment of the first gasoline auto created in Canada. There is a increasing fascination in showcasing the accomplished Tribute Fossmobile in basic car displays. Nonetheless, it will eventually be donated to a Canadian museum to increase historic education and learning for present and upcoming generations.