February 13, 1953 – Mack Truck founder dies

The Mack Brothers Company delivered their first successful vehicle, a 20 passenger bus named Old No. 9, in 1900. Powered by a 40 horsepower engine, some say the bus racked up more than 1,000,000 miles taking sightseers around Brooklyn, New York’s Prospect Park over eight years. By 1907 the company produced its first truck. In large part thanks to that first bus, brothers John M., Augustus F. and William C. Mack earned a reputation for building durable, heavy duty vehicles. It’s a legacy that has lasted for generations.

Above: A Mack truck on the Naval Station Key West on June 18, 1917. From the Ida Woodward Barron Collection. Top: 1900 Mack Brothers bus.

In 1922 the company name changed to Mack Trucks., Inc. That same year saw the approval of the bulldog as the company mascot. The family business prospered as America’s never ending expansion called for the use of big trucks. Mack trucks became a part of many iconic projects, including surveying and building America’s highway system and the construction of the Hoover Dam. Mack trucks could be found around globe during World War II, helping the allies on all fronts.

The Hale 100-inch mirror for Mount Wilson Observatory on its way up the Mount Wilson Toll Road on a Mack truck in 1917.

Just eight years after the war, William C. Mack, one of the original three brothers to start the company, passed away on this day in 1953. Today Mack trucks is a subsidiary of Volvo, which purchased the company in 2000.