Ernest Holmes, originally from Chattanooga, Tennessee, was asked to assist his former business school professor John Wiley in 1916. Wiley had crashed his Ford Model T into a creek bed and Holmes managed to get the car out of the bed with the help of six men over a period of eight hours. Believed to be the first tow truck ever made, it was constructed using a 1913 Cadillac chassis, not a heavy-duty truck.
In 1917, Holmes patented an invention for a crane and pulley system in an old Cadillac car. It was designed to tow broken or damaged vehicles back to the repair shop, with two outriggers for added stability. His business then shifted towards creating and selling Holmes Wrecker tow vehicles to mechanics and garage owners as a money-making opportunity.
Ernest Holmes Sr. was the inventor of the tow truck. Before he passed away in 1945, he had patented many designs of a tow truck, as well as other car tools such as lifts, creepers, and jacks. This information is sourced from a Wikipedia article.
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