In 1869 David Buick dropped out of school at age 15 to earn money for his family by taking a job at a plumbing supply company. When that business ran into trouble in 1882 Buick and a partner bought it out and revitalized it, once again making it profitable. In the 1890s Buick discovered a new interest, internal combustion engines. The plumbing company was sold and Buick used his capital to start the Buick Auto-Vim and Power Company in 1899, which produced engines for agricultural use.
He quickly turned to automotive development and after creating a revolutionary “valve in-head” overhead valve engine, he founded Buick Motor Company in 1903. Just three years later he accepted a severance package from Buick, leaving him with one share of the company he started. The president of Buick, William C. Durant, purchased this share for $100,000, approximately $2.6 million USD when adjusted for inflation. Following more than two decades of unsuccessful investments Buick died with nearly no money to his name on this day in 1929.