Cover file for The Diesel Odyssey of Clessie Cummins by C. Lyle Cummins, Jr.

The Diesel Odyssey of Clessie Cummins

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The Diesel Odyssey of Clessie Cummins is a lively historical account of an American entrepreneur and diesel inventor best-known as the father of the American diesel truck. The adventurous path of Clessie Cummins is told from his early exploits as a boy genius through the founding and success of his global brand and company.

Author C. Lyle Cummins, Jr., who is Clessie’s son, peers into every corner of the diesel inventor's life in this Clessie Cummins biography, from his first foray into the engine business at age eleven—when he began building steam engines out of pennies and shotgun shells until a mob of disgruntled locals shut down his enterprise—through a lifetime of miraculous stunts, such as accidentally convincing a town he created an engine that could run on river water! Lyle Cummins recounts memories of his father from his own youth and describes how later, as a practicing engineer, he saw other sides of the man who would become his employer, mentor, and colleague.

Cummins’s formal schooling ended at the eighth grade. Despite that, he generated thirty-three US patents over fifty-six years. A racer at heart, he set world speed and endurance records in race cars and trucks.The American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the Society of Automotive Engineers posthumously honored Clessie Cummins for his achievements. A tireless individual, years of grueling effort resulted in declining health. Yet, in his retirement, he created a new product that launched a second industry. For anyone who loves engines, innovation, or early American history, this easy-to-read and engaging Clessie Cummins book is a must.

Praise for The Diesel Odyssey of Clessie Cummins biography:

"With such impeccable sources at his disposal and his historian’s eye for the larger context there can be little doubt that this is a balanced account."

"This book gives a window into the mind of a great inventor."

Gas Engine Magazine

Product details

Format: Paperback
BISAC code:
Publication Date:
6 × 1.2 × 9 in
1.5 lb
Carton Quantity:
16 pcs
Carton Weight:
26 lb
Price: $29.95