WHITE, ROLLIN HENRY (11 July 1872-10 Sept. 1962), a founder of WHITE MOTOR CORP. and Cleveland Tractor Co., was born in Cleveland to Almira Greenleaf White and THOS. H. WHITE†. He graduated from Cornell University in 1894 and worked in Cleveland for his father's White Sewing Machine Co. during the 1890s when the company added roller skates, kerosene lamps, bicycles, automatic lathes, and screw machines to its production. Thomas left the automobile-manufacturing to his sons, Windsor, Walter, and Rollin. In 1899, Rollin invented a flash boiler that could safely be used on steam automobiles. In 1900, the Stanhope model, the first White Steamers, was introduced. To demonstrate White automobiles were safe, Rollin raced them; in 1901 he set a world's land speed record for steam carriages. In 1906, White became vice-president of the newly formed White Co., continuing production of White Steamers until 1909. In 1910, the first gasoline White trucks were produced. In 1914 Rollin left White Co. and in 1916 organized Cleveland Motor Plow Co. to produce tractors. In 1917, the company became Cleveland Tractor Co., or CLETRAC, INC., with White as its president. From 1921-23, Cletrac produced the Rollin, an automobile. In 1930, White became the company's chairman of the board; his son, W. King White, became president. White retired in 1944 when Cletrac merged with Oliver Farm Equipment Co. He married Katharine King in 1896 and had 3 children, Rollin Henry, Jr., Wm. King, and Elizabeth King. White died in Hobe Sound, Fla. and was buried in LAKE VIEW CEMETERY.
Last Modified: 23 Jul 1997 01:50:45 PM
White Family Papers, WRHS.
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