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Tow hitch on a classic

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Ok here is a question a guy I work with asked.

When was the first tow hitch used on cars??

I know it isn't like today where you I have seen a tow hitch on almost anything.,

It is safe to say hitches on automobiles have been around since the WWI period and most certainly by the early 1920s. Americans took to the roads (such as they were) with travel trailers of a myriad of designs as soon as roads were paved with gravel and tires could take the beating.

It is considered the first hitch utilizing a ball was invented around 1919 by Thomas J. Jacob who owned a forging company known as Hammer Blow Tool Company. There is indication that company may have evolved into today's Cequent Trailer Products which produces both BullDog and Draw-tite hitches.


Edited by Jim_Edwards (see edit history)
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In 1957 I had a tow hitch on my 33 Ford coupe. I towed my boat with it and it was very uncommon to see a trailer on the road.

I coulden't afford a ball hitch so I used a 1/2" bolt with two nuts on it.

(now that I think of it, today you can see many hitches with two balls on it) :o

Edited by Roger Walling
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The original owner used this 1940 Ford 15 years to tow his fishing boat. The ball size 1 1/2 inch and showed signs of much use. It was purchased by the 2nd owner in 1967 with the trailer hitch already installed. The photos were taken in April 2008 when I removed it from his garage.

I sold it in Aug of 2009 with new tires, new fuel system, complete brakes, other things to get it running. The current owner has installed a complete wiring system, new seals on windshield, including passenger side headlight and tail light assemblies. This car has the original paint and interior, a true survivor.



Edited by huptoy (see edit history)
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The RV MH Hall of Fame Museum shows a 1916 tent trailer. It must have had some kind of hitch.

RV/MH Hall of Fame - Museum - Library - Conference Center

This may not be the first trailer hitch on a car but close.

Now who knows when a car maker first offered a factory hitch or towing package.

I know the big boom in trailers was in the mid to late thirties. One noted economic forecaster, Roger Babson, said in 37 that if the trend continued, in ten years half the country would be living in trailers.

But, the first factory trailer hitches I know of were in the mid fifties. Does anyone know of older ones.

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