A CONVERSATION WITH THE FOUNDER'S SON
Pursuant to my on-going motometer research, I have had the honor and privilege to have communiqués with family members of motometer inventors. Each has been a remarkable personal experience for me.
During the week of March 19th, Motometer Company founder George Henry Townsend II’s grandson contacted me. He was excited that someone wanted to further research his grandfather and his legacy. And, I was excited to speak with him.
No names are mentioned to preserve privacy and only select excerpts of conversations are included.
Much of George’s grandson’s information on his grandfather, which was more or less accurate, came from discussions with his older brother who served as family historian. There were no great surprises for me at this time, just joy to hear the history retold from a family member’s perspective.
George’s grandson was kind enough to put his father, George Townsend’s son, in direct contact with me. A day later I was fortunate to speak with him.
I had dozens of questions in mind but was careful to let the man speak. This was obviously the right choice as he discussed his early friendships with the sons of notable automotive history icons and meeting certain ones directly, including memorable visits with Eddie Rickenbacker and Walter P. Chrysler among others.
I enjoyed him telling me about other parts of his life and an incredible military career in the Marines.
He stated that motometer items, but mostly motor boating items, were handed down to George’s children. George was an avid and very successful power boat racing champion. George won the 1926 and 1927 American Power Boat Association Championships, later served as its president (1932-’34) and had a championship medal named for him as part of the Gold Cup series.
George raced the Greenwich Folly motor boat to his back –to- back championships. It was a specially built and re-built Chris Craft boat originally manufactured shortly after the companies founding that was originally named Miss Motometer.
George kept various motor boat artifacts, including model period motor boats, a propeller and other items that he dispersed to various members of his family some of which were donated to a local boating museum near George’s Connecticut home.
Both gentlemen were gracious, generous, kind, authentically warm and very forthcoming.
He offered to send me a host of papers on his father and his motometer, scholastic and motor boat racing-related career experiences not viewed by him or anyone else in decades!
I look forward to receiving the information and pouring over it to see what new information it contains. Once we get a chance to sort through all of the information received a biography will be written and published. This is the opportunity of a lifetime!
This set of interviews completes the holy grail of key motometer history communications and personal accounts having spoken with and met Harrison Boyce’s grandson, George Townsend’s son and grandson and Paul Veeder’s great granddaughter. We really enjoy communicating with each other and sharing our time and resources.
~ Francis G. Clax
© 2017 Francis G. Clax, F & D Co. and MotometerCentral
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