A genius for mechanics.

Greensboro Daily News 4 23 1917

Greensboro Daily News, 23 April 1917.

The same day, in the Wilson Daily Times:

A Genius.

There is a little negro in this town named Luther Mack, whose genius for mechanics should be developed and given unrestricted rein.

This boy, though only about 13 years old, has constructed an automobile all by himself and drives it along the streets.

With an engine closely resembling the one used in motorcycles, he made the connections with wire that he picked up around and the body he built out of a woodbox. It just shows what talent and application will do. The boy has a future before him if given an opportunity to apply the talents that are demonstrated in the toy auto.


In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: David Jeffers, 47, wife Ethel Jeffers, 42, step-son Luther Mack, 18, and in-law Stephen Ray, 55. The family was from Cumberland County, North Carolina.

In the Wilson city directory issued the same year, Mack is listed as an auto mechanic.

L Mack 1920

Mack’s love of cars apparently lead him to self-employment as a taxi driver, but he would not live long enough to fulfill his potential as a “genius for mechanics.” Luther Edgar Mack died of kidney disease just before his 24th (or 23rd) birthday in 1924.



    1. He died. In 1924. (He was a Mack, actually. See death cert below article.) It’s heartbreaking that he died so young and that he lived in a time in which his genius had no chance of being nurtured.


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