John Charter: Charter Member

John Charter is credited with building the first internal combustion traction engine.

The Williams & Orton wire rope making factory in Sterling, Ill., stands out (in red) against the backdrop of the Rock River, with it’s weir for power generation. The township of Rock Falls was on the opposite side. When John Charter was president of Williams & Orton, he led the company into gas engine manufacture.
Illustration courtesy Dr. Graeme R. Quick