Clarence Spicer

Inducted 1995

Developed a universal joint to replace the chain method of transferring power from the engine to the wheels of a motor vehicle Founded the manufacturing company known today as the Dana Corporation, a leading maker of universal joints Patented 40 innovations that improved vehicle safety and performance Clarence Spicer unchained the early automobile with the introduction of his universal joint. As a boy, Spicer demonstrated mechanical aptitude while maintaining the equipment on his family’s farm. Spicer later became interested in developing a universal joint for motor vehicles while honing his skills at Cornell University. A similar innovation had improved wagon transportation centuries earlier. Spicer built an experimental car in 1903 that proved his universal joint superior to the awkward, easily broken chain drives that propelled automobiles of the era. Spicer’s later partnership with Charles Dana resulted in the mass production of the universal joint and other applications on motor vehicles around the world.

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