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May 17: Horace Elgin Dodge was born on this date in 1868

May 17, 2013

Horace Elgin Dodge was just another poor kid born in Niles, Mich., on this day in 1868, but by the time of his death 53 years later, he and his brother John Dodge would be two of America's richest, most successful industrialists.

Inseparable in life and beyond — both are buried in the family's massive crypt in Detroit — the Dodge brothers punched their way into the auto industry, from barroom brawls to deals with Henry Ford and others that made their own company a massive success. As for that badge: No one really knows why the Dodge Brothers chose the sign we call the Star of David, which hadn't yet become a symbol for Jewish nationalism in the early 1900s.

Flickr photo by Joe Shiabotnik