Winans, Ross(1796–1877) inventor, manufacturer; born in Sussex County, N.J. He had his first exposure to railroads while selling horses to the Baltimore & Ohio in 1828, and he soon designed an improved wheel for rail cars that set the standard for a full century. Winans worked for the B&O for a time before establishing his own railroad machinery business. He later produced a streamlined hull design for steamships. He acquired some local fame as a philanthropist and as the author of a series of unorthodox works on religion.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.