Dreams and Wars of an American Inventor
An Immigrants Romance

(Number: BLB0130)
1982 Bay Village
253 pages
Size: 6" x 9"
Language(s): English

Additional Artists

Robert Hull (Author)

(Asadoor Sarafian) On January 2, 1979, shortly after approving this final draft of his autobiography, Oscar Banker, universally regarded as the father of the automatic transmission in cars and buses, died in his Bay Village, Ohio, home of cancer. "It would come as no surprise," wrote his close friend, Joseph Gilbert, general manager of the Society of Automotive Engineers, Inc., "had his story been written as romantic fiction. Who else's story of invention and an immigrant's trials in America could begin with birth in a cave, and, as its benchmarks, include the prophecy of a Gypsy fortune teller, flight from the invader's sword, and grim determination matched only by raw courage?" During bitter experiences, words of his Armenian mother shielded him: "Put up with any trouble for 40 days; God then will put an answer in your heart." Currently popular as the developer of the first "universal" needleless inoculation gun and holder of over 300 patents, Oscar still is considered by many as "the man who made Ralph Nader" due to his relentless stand vs. General Motors, the first to adapt Banker's automatic transmission for their 1940 Oldsmobile Hydramatic car—with "twists of their own." It was GM's "twists of their own" that jolted Banker into an exhausting confrontation in the name of public safety. His accomplishment: the standardized, safe shift-pattern in automobiles that we know today. Wrote Oscar, "America is yet the greatest country existing for opportunity . . . for achievement ... if a person can endure the hardships, ridicule, rebuffs, whatever . . . and keep on going! That is what counts. And absolutely nothing else."

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