Business: Vortox

Last week as U.S. tanks charged across northern Africa, a short, bespectacled, white-haired man working in a small cluttered office in Claremont, Calif, (outside Los Angeles) had reason to feel particularly proud.

His name is Herman Hastings Garner, president of the Vortox Manufacturing Co., inventor and by far the largest builder of a complex carburetor air cleaner, without the like of which tanks would bog down in the desert, their engine cylinders irreparably scored by sand and dust.

Garner invented the basic design for the filter while working on an experimental tractor during World War I. Later he sold filters to C....

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