Browse Publications Books B-969

Hundred B-969

Writing in 1901, the futurist H. G. Wells predicted not only the decline of railways but the rise of the “motor truck” – a term unfamiliar to most readers at that time. Wells foresaw “large carrier companies” with fleets of horseless vehicles “to carry goods in bulk or parcels.”

At the turn of the 20th century, colossal railroad companies ruled long-distance “land locomotion.” And the prospect of commercial life without draft horses seemed about as likely as Martians invading Earth – a story Wells had published four years earlier.

But only one year later, ironically in a horse barn near a Chicago tannery, an ex-bicycle maker named Magnus Hendrickson began assembling Wells’ vision. This would become a decades-long undertaking to divine, design, build, continuously improve and ultimately perfect what makes a truck a truck – not simply a bigger car.

Along the way, Magnus and his sons founded The Hendrickson Motor Truck Company, which in 2013 celebrated 100 continuous years of operations. “This beautifully designed 309-page hardcover of pithy paragraphs and penetrating photos” that “places the story in context of the American experience” (Wheels of Time, March/April Issue) marks the centenary of one of the transportation industry’s great names.


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