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The first tow truck was on top of a 1913 Cadillac by Ernest Holmes, a mechanic in Chattanooga, Tennessee. One day Ernest got a call from his old business school professor, John Wiley, who had driven his Ford Model T off the road and into a creek bed. Holmes eventually got the T out of the creek bed and upright, but it took eight hours and six men and untold amounts of manual labor. The experience gave Holmes an idea. Back at his shop, he outfitted a three-year-old Cadillac with a crane and pulley system that would lift broken-down and wrecked vehicles and tow them back to a nearby mechanic’s shop. After reconstructing his idea with a pair of outriggers to provide stability while hoisting other vehicles, Holmes filed for a patent for his amazing new idea (US Patent 1254804) in November of 1917. Holmes didn’t stop there, though. With his new patent in hand, he refocused his business to building Holmes Wrecker tow trucks and selling them to other mechanics and garage operators. He became a prolific inventor, patenting about a dozen improvements on the general tow truck theme as well as at least another half-dozen vehicle lifts, creepers, and jacks before his death in 1945. The information in this article was found using Wikipedia.