“Never resort to mathematics until you have exhausted the possibilities of two tooth-picks and a piece of string.” Such was the sage advice offered by William Bushnell Stout, one of America's most prolific inventive minds in the world of transportation. The impact of Stout's achievements has been generally overlooked. When we pause to reflect upon his many contributions to the aviation and motor vehicle industries and other fields, it seems ironic that Stout's basic tenets of simplicity and practicality were espoused at the same time he was designing airplanes, automobiles, buses, and trains which were considered to be too futuristic.
Many in the automobile and aviation industries considered Stout to be merely a gadfly and constant critic of the status quo in engineering. Yet the very same men who criticized him respected him enough to elect Stout as President of the Society of Automotive Engineers in 1935. He considered the honor to be one of the greatest thrills of his life. If s with a sense of deep appreciation and awe that we present some brief highlights of the career and especially the achievements of William Bushnell Stout.