1943 – Race Car Designer Harry Miller Dies

On this date, race car designer Harry Miller died. Born in Menomonie on December 9, 1876, Harry Miller dropped out of high school at age 15 to work in the machine shop of Knapp, Stout & Company. In the mid-1890s, Miller built the nation’s first gasoline outboard engine which he clamped to a rowboat. He also mounted a one-cylinder engine to his bicycle which is thought by some to be the first motorcycle in the United States. Miller and his wife Edna moved to Los Angeles in 1897 where he opened a machine shop. Miller built his first automobile in 1905. Although he remained active in the design of engines for inboard racing boats and airplanes, Miller made his name in the design of racing cars. Famous driver Barney Oldfield commissioned Miller to design a racing car in 1916. He continued building engines and race cars, and from 1922 through 1929, Miller’s creations won 73 of the 92 major U.S. races. Miller died on May 3, 1943. [Source: , page 15]