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Ernest Holmes Towing

History of tow trucks

When a Model T landed upside down in a creek, this mechanic’s invention launched a whole new industry. Hear the story behind the world’s first tow truck.

What they do:
Invented the first “tow truck” for emergency road service

One day, when business school executive John Wiley and his son were driving near Chattanooga TN, their Model T Ford veered to the right, crashed down an embankment and flipped upside down in a creek. They called auto mechanic Ernest Holmes for help.

About the business:
It took Holmes eight hours to pull the car out of the creek — using rope, block & tackle and six men. Vowing he’d never go through that again, Holmes went back to his shop. There, he mounted poles, pulleys and chains onto the back of a Cadillac chassis and created the first tow truck. Within a few years, Ernest Holmes tow trucks dominated the emergency road service industry.

Read the Blog:
Ernest Holmes and the First Tow Truck

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