Buick, David Dunbar

Buick, David Dunbar

(1854–1929) inventor, manufacturer; born in Arbroth, Scotland. His family arrived in Detroit in 1856. He formed Buick and Sherwood (1884), manufacturers of plumbing equipment. He began making gasoline engines and formed the Buick Manufacturing Company (1902); its automobiles were the first to have windshields and a valve-in-head engine. The company failed and in 1903 merged with another to form the Buick Motor Car Company, which built only 53 cars in two years at no profit. Buick left in 1906, pursued oil and gold mining interests, and died an impoverished clerk at a Detroit trade school. The Buick Motor Car Company became part of the General Motors Company that William Durant organized in 1908.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.