Business & Finance: The Drive

In 1908 Otto Zachow, a blacksmith in Clintonville, Wis., noted how often automobiles bogged down in Wisconsin's muddy roads. It did not occur to Zachow that roads would be improved. He decided that automobiles would not be practical until their power was transmitted to all four wheels so their front wheels could pull their hind wheels out of mudholes. Blacksmith Zachow went to work in his brick machine shop, devised the world's first four-wheel drive car. The sprawling factories of Four Wheel Drive Auto Co. now employ almost a fourth of Clintonville's 3,500...