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Jack Mack

AKA John Michael Mack

Born: 27-Oct-1864
Birthplace: Mount Cobb, PA
Died: 14-Mar-1924
Location of death: Weatherly, PA
Cause of death: Accident - Automobile
Remains: Buried, Fairview Cemetery, Allentown, PA

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Occupation: Business, Engineer

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Founder of Mack Trucks

John "Jack" Mack ran away from home in 1878, when he was 14 years old. He supported himself by driving a mule cart, and worked in construction and as a mechanic on steam engines. He opened a carriage and wagon sales and repair shop in 1893, in a rented stable in Brooklyn with his brother Augustus as a business partner. Eventually joined by three more Mack brothers, the Macks were fascinated by the internal combustion engine, and after several years of effort they finished their first vehicle in 1900 -- the first self-propelled bus. Powered by a gasoline engine, the un-roofed vehicle carried up to fourteen passengers at a time on sightseeing rides around Brooklyn's Prospect Park.

Their earliest trucks were buses without seats, and by 1905 their truck business outgrew its original shop in Brooklyn and relocated to Allentown, Pennsylvania. For several years Mack Bros trucks were branded 'Manhattan' to distinguish the motor-powered products fromthe company's horse-drawn wagons, but the Mack name was restored when the brothers stopped making non-motorized vehicles. The company built seven-ton dump trucks that were used in the construction of New York City's subway system in the early 1900s, built its first hook and ladder fire truck in 1910, and by 1911 the Mack Brothers Company had 825 employees and was the nation's leading producer of trucks.

In the same year the Mack Brothers Company merged with rival Saurer Motors, bringing non-family members onto the company's board for the first time. Within two years Jack Mack and three of his brothers had left the company. Mack's innovations during the Jack Mack era included placing the driver atop the engine in a heightened cab, thus improving the driver's visibility, and a constant mesh transmission that allowed drivers to bypass intermediate gears when necessary. After leaving Mack, Jack Mack and a business partner, Roland Carr, established the Mack-Carr Company in 1912, which built mid-sized trucks until driven bankrupt in the Great Depression. Mack was killed in an auto accident in 1924, when his car was, perhaps ironically, sideswiped by a bus.

Father: John Michael Mack (farmer, b. 16-Dec-1824, d. 27-Oct-1880)
Mother: Christina Louise Laiblin Mack (b. 19-Nov-1828, m. Feb-1855, d. 11-Jun-1890)
Sister: Mary Louise Mack Jacob Schantz
Brother: William Mack (Mack Bros executive, b. 1859)
Sister: Carolyn Mack (d. infancy)
Sister: Lena Mack Reinhold
Brother: Joseph Sanford Mack Mack (b. 27-Nov-1870, d. 25-Jul-1953)
Brother: Charles William Mack
Brother: Augustus Mack ("Gus", ostrich farmer, b. 14-Jul-1873, d. 2-Dec-1940)
Brother: Joseph Mack (Mack Bros board member)
Sister: Lillian Fredericka Mack (b. 18-May-1876, d. 11-Apr-1890)
Sister: Harper Mack (d. childhood)
Wife: Mary Murtha Mack (b. circa 1871, m. 26-Jul-1901)

    Mack Brothers Truck Co. Founder & President (1900-12)
    Mac-Carr Truck Co. Co-Founder & President (1912-24)
    German Ancestry

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