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A Chat With The Producers Of Clessie Cummins: Hoosier Inventor


What inspired you to make this program?

We had spent some time a few years back with the folks at Cummins, and we learned of Clessie there. It was intriguing to us that even though his last name is plastered all over Columbus, few people know of him.

What was your favorite part of the documentary to film?

We especially enjoyed our time with car enthusiasts and historians, looking at classic cars and engines. Honoring Clessie as part of the Indiana automotive landscape was a thrill.

What was the most surprising fact about Cummins that you learned in this production?

Clessie was a unique person – full of energy. What he didn’t have as far as business acumen, he made up for with enthusiasm.

Why is Cummins so important to Hoosier history, in your opinion?

All of the beautiful architecture in Columbus came as the result of a Diesel engine. The ethos of Cummins and the Irwin-Sweeney-Miller family along with their ingenuity and good decision-making kept an industry alive while others had to close up shop. Cummins is an important part of the Indiana economic fabric, as well as an international company committed to fairness and making sharp decisions.

What do you think is Cummins’ best invention and why? (Alternatively just pick your personal favorite)

Our favorite engine was the Model U. Many developed in the early part of the 20th century are still in working order today.