If you dig deep enough into any family tree you will find at least a tenuous connection to fame and fortune.
Here are some famous members of the Quackenbush family.
the 8th President of the United States, serving from 1836-1840. Early records are incomplete,
but most of the evidence says he was the great-grandson of the Dutch immigrant Pieter Van Quackenbosch.
I'm more interested in the history of science and technology than the history of politics and war, but Van Buren had
a pretty interesting career for a politician.
held the influential position of California Insurance
Commissioner during the 1990's. He resigned his position on
June 28th, 2000
after some kind of scandal involving campaign contributions. He once sent me email complimenting this site.
I grew up in the Chicago area and lived in Pennsylvania for many years. I remember visiting a client in San Diego while Chuck was in office.
After learning my name someone asked if I was any relation? I wasn't sure if they meant
the children's author, the hockey player, or my great uncle Clarke so I asked to who? I'll bet there's at least one Californian named Blagojevich who is unaware
that he shares his name with the Governor of Illinois.
- is an award winning author of children's books.
I've never met him but his books are popular bedtime stories in our house.
Science and Engineering
- invented a number of electronic components including the locking vacuum tube socket
and the PL-259 UHF connector. The locking tube socket solved the 'bump in the road' problem and made it practical to put a radio in an automobile.
The UHF connector, still standard equipment on CB and HAM radios, is one of the few electronic components in use today that predates the transistor.
The late Clarke was my grandfather's older brother. Their late brother Alan
once claimed that Clarke personally installed the world's first
car radio. It went into a Packard that belonged to his boss Paul Galvin.
Clarke ran the antenna wires the length of the car and fastened them to the large
tube that enclosed the Packard's drive shaft. The radio worked perfectly until
the car was put into gear and driven. Upon investigation it turned
out that, while the Packard's unusually large drive shaft was not enclosed
by a tube, it did have a long section of
antenna wire wrapped tightly around it.
The Galvin Manufacturing Corporation, founded in Chicago in 1928, is still in business today. They introduced the car radio in the 1930's under
what is now a well known trademark. In 1947 they officially adopted their trademark Motorola as the
- H.M. Quackenbush (link to M.I.T. site)
Dr. Quackenbush Skis the Headwall is a slapstick silent film featuring a fictitious daredevil skier named Dr. Quackenbush.
It is probably still be available on VHS tape from the New England Ski Museum.
The Marx Brothers film A Day at the Races introduced a recurring character named Dr. Hugo Z. Hackenbush.
The story is that Groucho's original script was changed after a search by studio lawyers revealed no less than
thirty-seven actual doctors named Quackenbush in the United States. To this day many people, despite the script change, remark 'oh
— just like the Marx
Brothers!' upon hearing the name Quackenbush. I don't think the change to 'H' made much difference.
played professional hockey in the late 40's and early 50's. He played for the Boston Bruins and the Detroit Red Wings. In 1949 he won the Lady Byng Trophy for gentlemanly conduct and sportsmanship, and he’s also in the hockey Hall of Fame. His brother Max played pro hockey for nine years, mostly in the minor leagues in Canada, but he played for Boston 50-51 and Chicago 51-52.