Arthur P. Warner

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Arthur Pratt Warner
Born(1870-04-18)April 18, 1870
DiedMarch 22, 1957(1957-03-22) (aged 86)
OccupationInventor, businessman, aviator
Known forInvented the first automobile speedometer; first to fly in Wisconsin

Arthur Pratt Warner (April 18, 1870, Jacksonville, Florida – March 22, 1957, Beloit, Wisconsin) was an American inventor, businessman and pioneer aviator. His inventions include the electric brake and the speedometer.[1][2]

He was the first American private citizen to purchase an airplane,[1][3][4] the "first commercially built airplane".[5] He paid Glenn Curtiss $6000 for a disassembled one.[2][4] Once he had assembled it (without instructions or manuals), he became the first person to fly in Wisconsin, at Beloit on November 4, 1909.[3][4] He got 50 feet (15 m) off the ground and traveled a quarter mile (0.4 km).[2] This also made him the eleventh American pilot.[3]

A self-taught engineer, with his brother Charles he invented the first automobile speedometer, which made him rich.[2] The Warner Instrument Co. was incorporated in 1903, with Warner as vice president and general manager.[6] In 1912, he sold his speedometer company for $1.2 million.[2] In 1917, the Warner Manufacturing Co. came into existence, with Warner as president, to make automobile and truck trailers.[6] Inventions that he developed in connection with this business included the electric brake and power clutch.[2] He retired in 1934.[6]


  1. ^ a b "Hall of Fame Inductees: Arthur P. Warner". Wisconsin Aviation Hall of Fame. Retrieved September 16, 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Meg Jones (November 3, 2009). "First state flight to be commemorated in Beloit". Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
  3. ^ a b c "State of Wisconsin: 2009 Assembly Joint Resolution 37" (PDF). Wisconsin Legislative Documents. Retrieved September 16, 2012.
  4. ^ a b c "Wisconsin Celebrates Centennial of Flight". Experimental Aircraft Association. October 29, 2009. Archived from the original on February 24, 2013. Retrieved September 16, 2012.
  5. ^ "Curtiss-Wright Timeline". Curtiss-Wright Flow Control Company. Archived from the original on February 21, 2012. Retrieved September 16, 2012.
  6. ^ a b c "Warner, Arthur Pratt 1870 - 1957". Wisconsin Historical Society. Retrieved September 16, 2012.

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