Ya gotta love a guy named Spider. I was always fascinated by the picture of him hanging onto Sweepstakes with old Henry. The mention of the 11 million dollar law suit in the "Planetary" post the other day got me thinking about him again. Then today I found this discussion of him:
http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/50893/61863.html?1217854459 Great stuff guys.
Today I was looking to see if he was the Huff in the Simms-Huff ignition system used in 1914 to 1917 Maxwells. It seems logical given his electrical wizardry. My attention span gave out before I found anything.
Still love that name.
See "Edward Huff, Henry Ford and the Flywheel Magneto", The Vintage Ford, vol. 31, no. 2 (March-April 1996) pp. 20-33
Ed Huff also invented and patented (assigned to Henry Ford) the first working Capacitative Discharge Ignition (CDI) system, applying for patent in 1905. This system was produced by The Holley Brothers, and first used on the Ford Model K. The system, a type of high tension magneto, was also used on Grout cars and offered as optional equipment for the Thomas 40.
Huff is famously seen riding on Sweepstakes and on the racer (999 or Arrow) with Henry Ford driving that set the world record on an ice lake near Detroit in 1904.
According to this article, Huff sold his company to the Kokomo Electric Co. In 1904, becoming an advisor and engineer with the new company, and affiliated with George Kingston:
Huff was also driving one of the two Ford - Cooper racers, Arrow and 999, when Frank Day was killed driving the other racer at the Wisconsin State Fair in late 1903 (in place of Barney Oldfield and Tom Cooper). The wrecked racer would be returned to Detroit, where Henry Ford would repair and update it, allowing him to set the world record in early 1904, with Huff at his side:
It is fascinating to me how inventive these characters were and how their paths crossed.
A few more pics. The photo of Henry Ford driving 999 (or Arrow) with Ed Huff running the accelerator is a classic. "When men were men......"
The wreck of 999:
Had Frank Day not wrecked (and perished) with the Ford racer, it would not have gone back to Henry Ford for repairs. As a result, there would have been no world speed record in 1904.
One of the only pics I've seen of both Ford-Cooper racers together. Barney Oldfield and Tom Cooper driving:
Thanks Rob,I have never seen both cars in one picture!!As the story goes the tiller was made for Barney Oldfield but there is more to the story.I have layed on the floor and looked up at the car in the Henry Ford. With no oil pan one can see grease cups on the rods! How long could a engine run like that??I wonder if there ever was a oiler?? Bud in Wheeler,Mi.