Reuben Hopkins Plass was born in Hudson, New York about 1840. His father was John T Plass. At the beginning of the Civil War on 26 April 1861 he was a Lieutenant in Company A of the 7th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment. After serving for a few months, on 3 June, he returned to work for his father during the war making cannon and gun blocks. He claimed to have built his first car in the 1860s. He held patents from 1869 for a velocipede and 1874 for a gas governor. After the war Plass and his father manufacturered bandsaws. Between 1893 and 1895 Plass unsuccessfully sought appointment as Consul-General to Cuba.
Plass fell ill in 1904 and died from this illness on August 27, 1907 in Kings County, New York aged 67 years old. His wife, Isabella Caroline James, survived him.
Vehicle and designs
The same year Plass designed and patented a self propelled sleigh with centre wheels and runners at the front and rear, an idea reasonably similar to the concept of modern snowmobiles. Whether he made one is unknown.
In 1899 he patented a single seat dog-cart design with a mid engine,
- "Reuben Hopkins Plass". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, New York. August 28, 1907. p. 3. Retrieved September 15, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- http://www.datamp.org/patents/search/xrefPerson.php?id=22825 retrieved 15 September 2015
- http://vintagemachinery.org/mfgindex/detail.aspx?id=1527&tab=7 retrieved 15 September 2015
- "Would be Consul Generals alleged agreement with an investor". The Sun, New York. January 12, 1897. p. 1. Retrieved September 15, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- Miscellaneous. Daily Telegraph, Issue 9070, 22 January 1898, Page 2
- "Voluntary bankrupts". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, New York. January 20, 1899. p. 3. Retrieved September 15, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- Automobile Club formed, The New York Times, June 8, 1899
- http://www.google.com.ar/patents/US570952 retrieved 15 September 2015
- https://www.google.com/patents/US632278 retrieved 15 September 2015
David Burgess Wise, The New Illustrated Encyclopedia of Automobiles.
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