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FAWICK, THOMAS L.

FAWICK, THOMAS L. (14 Apr. 1889-8 Jan. 1978), industrialist, inventor, and art collector, was born in Sioux Falls, S.D., son of Thomas and Lena Fawick. He quit school at 15, and at 20 built what was reportedly the first 4-door touring car in America. Throughout his life, Fawick patented over 250 inventions, disparaging the use of books as an impediment to ingenuity. In 1917, Fawick was one of 3 incorporators of Twin Disc Clutch Co. in Racine, Wis., selling his interest in 1936 to organize the Fawick Clutch Co, which he moved to Cleveland in 1942. For the airflex clutch, used in industry and naval landing craft during WORLD WAR II, Fawick in 1949 received the Franklin Institute's John Price Wetherill Medal. Fawick also invented in other fields, patenting a handgrip for golf clubs in 1965 and establishing an Akron company to manufacture it. He also designed and improved sound systems for Public Hall and the Stadium.

A self-taught violinist, Fawick composed and published numerous pieces and owned 2 Stradivarius violins. Interested in making violins, he developed a treatment that accelerated wood aging and kept the instrument even-tempered during temperature fluctuations. His Fawick violin gained international acceptance. In 1968, the Fawick Corp. merged with EATON CORP. and Fawick retired to devote his time to his private Fawick Museum, containing art he had collected, which was auctioned in 1979, following his death, for $1.2 million, two thirds of which went to the CLEVELAND MUSEUM OF ART, and the remainder to BALDWIN-WALLACE COLLEGE.

Fawick and his wife, Marie, had two children, Florence and Dorothy. He was buried in LAKE VIEW CEMETERY.


Depke, John E. The Tom Fawick Story (1972).