In 1904, American engineer Clarence W. Spicer (29) graduated from Cornell University to start a business in a production hall in Plainfield, New Jersey. Even when still a student, he had already patented a groundbreaking Cardan universal joint. His invention would become the replacement of the chain drive that was the standard for cars at the time.
Spicer may have been a brilliant engineer and inventor, but he didn’t have much experience in business or manufacturing; moreover, the car hadn’t yet become as commonplace as it is today. This was the fresh, and above all precarious start of ‘Spicer Universal Joint Manufacturing Company’.
Spicer got started on 1 April 1904, and by the autumn he already had three employees. One year later, twelve people were in his employ and he had his own building. Within two years, the young engineer from Edelstein was able to boast an impressive portfolio of clients: Buick, Wayne, Mack, Olds, Stevens-Duryea, American Motor Car, Diamond T and E.R. Thomas.