"The Thing"

Registered Site L0824

"The Thing"

Thomas Clegg (1863-1939) and his English-born father, John, built "The Thing," the first recorded self-propelled vehicle in Michigan (and perhaps the country) in 1884-85. The Thing, driven by a single cylinder steam engine with a tubular boiler carried in the rear, seated four. The vehicle was built in the John Clegg & Son machine shop here in Memphis. It ran about 500 miles before Clegg dismantled it and sold the engine to a creamery. The shop was razed in 1936, just a short time before Henry Ford offered to buy it for Greenfield Village.
photo of "The Thing"

Erected 1981

Location: Boardman Road at east village limits
Memphis, Macomb County


Latitude: 42.89654, Longitude: -82.76420

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