Spark Plug Entrepreneurs
of the Early Twentieth Century

by Rich Street

100 Years of Sparking Entrepreneurship

To our grandfathers, the automobile and its ensuing industries symbolized the technological innovation of the first half of the twentieth century, while to the baby boomer generation, the personal computer and its industry symbolized the second half. Similarly, the early entrepreneurs of the first few decades of the American auto industry were kindred spirits to the founders of the PC revolution of the 1970s. In their garages, attics, and basements these people created entire new industries from nothing, converting new ideas and inventions into successful innovations. The lowly spark plug is an analogy for the early auto industry. Without a spark an engine wonít run and without the spark of innovation industries donít move forward.

In the following installments I hope to introduce you to some of the men who influenced the growth of an industry a hundred years ago.

If you have any additional information on these individuals or topics please contact me: rstreet at

New Beginnings: The Boston Boys of the Albert Champion Company

Click on gifs to view larger images:

Albert Champion (a new book on Albert Champion is being written by Peter Nye)

November, 1905

Albert Champion: The Boston Years
H. Albert Schmidt: The Other Albert of Spark Plugs           Schmidt Death Certificate

May, 1907 Ad Courtesy D. Killey

An Albert Champion Magneto
Stranahan Timeline                                                      Spencer Stranahan Death Certificate
Spark Plug Trade Mark Timeline
Basil Winter de Guichard (28 Dec 1885 - 29 May 1958)

Stock Certificate Courtesy S. Stranahan

The Champion Ignition Company
Early AC Plugs
Prosper Champion

Letterhead Courtesy S. Stranahan

AC 1075 for Fords (Model T)
Champion Spark Plug Company
Patent 998,304, First known Patent Issued to Champion Spark Plug Company. Applied for August 5, 1910.
Champion Spark Plug: The First 20 Years

Albert Champion Co.1908 Ad

Champion Canada: The First 20 Years
Champion Spark Plug Mine Trip by D.A. Wright      -     Link updated 2/15/2010

1918 Champion Dealer Displays (.pdf)

Joseph Arthur and Benjamin Alfred Jeffery of Jeffery Dewitt Company (JD and Reliance Spark Plugs)


1919 Ford Service Bulletin

The Champion 3X (1928 - 1931) For the Ford Model A
James D. Robertson
Miss Champion
Misc. Spark Plug
Canfield Patent
Historian's Corner
1948 Bibliography of U.S. Spark Plug Patents 1884 - 1920. Champion Report # 3824 (242 pages total)
The original document copy was provided by Joe Cook, SPCOA #726 
To download right click on link below and save target file. File sizes are approximate.  
Pages 1 thru 30 (4.0 mb)

Champion 3X Spark Plugs

Sparking Discussions: The Champion 3!

Pages 31 thru 60 (4.1 mb)
Pages 61 thru 90 (4.1 mb)
Pages 91 thru 120 (4.3 mb)
Pages 121 thru 150 (4.7 mb)
Pages 151 thru 180 (4.0 mb)

Pages 181 thru 210 (4.3 mb)
Pages 211 thru 242 (4.2 mb)

Back to Model A page

Other Spark Plug Sites:

Wayne McPherson's Spark Plug Site

Harry F. Matthews' Magneto Ignition for Antique Gas Engines

Page Maintained and Copyright © 2010 by Richard Street