Before the famous Henry Ford, there was Rollin Henry White, a Clevelander who contributed to the development of steam-powered automobiles.
After working at his father’s sewing machine company, he created a generator, called a flash boiler, that helped move steam quickly and safely in passenger cars in 1899. He went on to found White Motor Corp. and, using his new technology, began manufacturing steam automobiles.
In 1901, one of his vehicles set the fastest land speed record for a steam carriage (and crossed the finish line safe and sound). You can visit White at his final resting place in Lake View Cemetery.
Why It Matters: Later on, White turned to designing crawler tractors for farming, helping advance equipment for farmers and construction workers.