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Kenworth founders inducted into American Trucking and Industry Leader Hall of Fame – Truck News

The founders of Kenworth Truck Company, Harry Kent and Edgar Worthington, were inducted into the 2023 American Trucking and Industry Leader Hall of Fame this week during a ceremony at the American Truck Historical Society (ATHS) headquarters.

The recognition, honoring the contributions of trucking industry pioneers to society and the economy, coincides with Kenworth’s 100th anniversary. The event commemorated the company’s milestone by displaying Kenworth trucks through the years, including two special edition models introduced in 2023: the T680 Signature Edition and W900 Limited Edition.

Three men standing in front of a wall filled with plaques
(Photo: Kenworth)

Kenworth’s 100th Anniversary tour trailer and historical exhibit, featuring an extensive timeline of Kenworth’s history, video presentations and vintage Kenworth badges, was also displayed.

In January 1923, Harry W. Kent and Edgar K. Worthington combined their names to create Kenworth. They established the company’s headquarters in Seattle, Washington, and the first truck rolled off the manufacturing line two months later.

In Kenworth’s first year, the Seattle truck manufacturer produced 78 gasoline-powered trucks. Since then, Kenworth has grown from a Pacific Northwest truck manufacturer to a global brand producing more than a million Class 5 to Class 8 models, including diesel, battery-electric and fuel-cell vehicles.

“A century ago, Harry Kent and Edgar Worthington successfully built a rugged and dependable truck for Pacific Northwest loggers to haul heavy loads down tight, muddy roads – an achievement that addressed a seemingly unsolvable problem at the time,” said Kyle Kimball, Kenworth director of marketing.

“We were proud to participate in this recognition from the American Truck Historical Society in honor of that first logging truck and all the Kenworth transportation innovations since and to come that will help our customers drive the next 100 years.”

100th anniversary

The ATHS Hall of Fame induction ceremony marked the last public event for Kenworth’s 100th anniversary trailer and exhibit, which covered 20,405 miles (32,838 km), stopped at 28 industry trade shows and community gatherings across the United States and Canada, and was visited by approximately 92,000 people.

To commemorate the end of the tour, Kenworth conducted a ceremonial key hand-off to Chris Koenig, whose family owns the history trailer and allowed Kenworth to restore and update it for the 100th anniversary. The trailer was originally used for Kenworth’s 75th anniversary tour in 1998 before it was purchased by the late Allen Koenig, founder of Midwest Specialized Transportation.

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