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Vincent Hugo Bendix

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Vincent Hugo Bendix
BornAugust 12, 1881
DiedMarch 27, 1945(1945-03-27) (aged 63)
Engineering career
ProjectsBendix Corporation

Vincent Hugo Bendix (August 12, 1881 – March 27, 1945) was an American inventor and industrialist. Vincent Bendix was a pioneer and leader in both the automotive and aviation industries during the 1920s and 1930s.[1]


Vincent Hugo Bendix was born in Moline, Illinois. He was eldest of three children born to Methodist clergyman, Reverend Jann Bengtsson, a native of Ångermanland, Sweden, and his wife Anna Danielson, also an immigrant from Sweden. While in Moline the family name was changed to "Bendix". They later moved to Chicago, Illinois and Vincent purchased the Palmer Mansion in 1930, for $3,000,000.[2][3]


In 1907 Vincent Bendix founded the Bendix Corporation of Chicago to manufacture automobiles, called Bendix Motor Buggies. After two years and producing 7,000 vehicles the company failed. In 1910 however, Bendix invented and patented the Bendix drive, a gear that could engage an engine at zero rotational speed and then (through the aid of a spring and the higher speed of the running engine) pull back and disengage automatically at higher speed (nominally the engine's running speed). This drive made the electric starter practical for automobile engines and later for engines in aircraft and other motorized vehicles.[4]

In 1922 his father was killed when he was hit by a car with drum brakes; his father's death inspired him to study braking systems. He found a French braking system that he considered to be superior to any braking systems available in the United States's market.[5] In 1923, Bendix founded the Bendix Brake Company, which acquired the rights to French engineer Henri Perrot's patents for brake drum/shoe design a year later.[6]

In 1929, he started the Bendix Aviation Corporation and founded the Transcontinental Bendix Air Race in 1931. In 1942, Bendix started Bendix Helicopters, Inc. Bendix Aviation and Bendix Brake would later be renamed Bendix Corporation.[6][7]


Bendix died at his home in New York on March 27, 1945, of coronary thrombosis.[8]

Bendix's grave
Bendix's grave


See also


  1. ^ a b Vincent Bendix. Enshrined 1991 (National Aviation Hall of Fame, Inc.) "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-12-09. Retrieved 2009-08-23.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ Vincent Bendix and Bendix Corporation (Bendix Radio Foundation)
  3. ^ Bendix, Vincent (Vincent Hugo) (Biology Dictionary)
  4. ^ The Bendix Story (from materials submitted by Rita F. Adrian)
  5. ^ "Bendix, Vincent" The Name's Familiar II by Laura Lee, 2001, Pelican Publishing
  6. ^ a b Bendix Brakes, History Archived 2012-03-02 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Vincent Hugo Bendix (American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics) "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-10-28. Retrieved 2009-07-19.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ Associated Press, “Victor Bendix Dies Of Heart Ailment”, The San Bernardino Daily Sun, San Bernardino, California, Wednesday 28 March 1945, Volume 51, page 1.
  9. ^ "Vincent Hugo Bendix". Hall of Fame Inductees. Automotive Hall of Fame. 1984. Archived from the original on March 8, 2016. Retrieved March 9, 2016.

Further reading

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Vincent Hugo Bendix
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