Vincent Groby Apple

1874 – 1932

Vincent Groby Apple was a prolific inventor and businessman. In 1895, he developed the first dynamo used for ignition on internal combustion engines. He went on to originate the lighting and ignition systems used in cars, planes, and boats through the 1930s. He invented what some believe to be the first electric self-starter and designed the flywheel magneto eventually used in Henry Ford’s Model T automobiles. In 1899, he was one of the original incorporators of the Dayton Electrical Manufacturing Company, which became a key supplier of engine parts for the Wright brothers. Apple continued to improve automobile starters, lighting, and engines throughout his career: when he died in 1932, he owned
149 patents, had 42 patents pending, and was working on more than 250 inventions. He has more inventions to his credit than anyone else in Dayton. He was one of the first 100 to join the Engineers Club of Dayton and counted among his friends Thomas Edison and
Henry Ford.