Henry Alonzo House (April 23 1840 - December 18 1930) was an extraordinarily prolific American inventor, who secured over 300 United States and Foreign patents.
In the spring of 1866, Henry House and his brother James constructed a steam carriage for their own amusement and recreation. In addition to the driver and the fireman, who rode on the back seat, it carried five passengers. Its 15 hp engine reportedly propelled the vehicle as fast as 30 mph on a flat, straight road. Such an unusual vehicle apparently frightened both horses and men, thus its very short life. No illustrations of this vehicle are known to survive.
While in England, House returned to motorized land transportation between 1989 and 1904 based in his factory on the Island of East Cowes. Here he formed the Liquid Fuel Engineering Company, LiFu. He received numerous patents for inventions used on his LiFu steam cars. His LiFu Company also made luxury power boats for European Royalty. They featured an oil fired water tube boiler.
House was famous for being the first person in East Cowes to be convicted for speeding in a motor vehicle. His conviction is memorialized with a bronze plaque at the corner of York Avenue and New Barn Road on the Isle of Wight.
In 1899 was driving his LiFu Steam Wagonette. He was charged with "Furious Driving" after several police officers armed with stop watches at both ends of a measured lane, clocked his speed at eighteen mph. This was eight miles per hour faster than the acceptable safe speed. The Magistrates on the Isle of Wight found him guilty and fined him £3 plus 11 shillings in costs.
Among House' other inventions were a button hole sewing machine invented during the Civil War, a kindling wood bundling machine, a device to fold paper bags, a paper plate making process, a machine for making felt hats, seamless paper boxes, and an "electric phonetic telegraph sender."
House worked on a flying machine in England, but he was most proud of his work with the Shredded Wheat Company at Niagara Falls. He invented and built a new system not only to bake Shredded Wheat, but also to handle and pack the biscuits. House's machinery could make as many as 456,000 biscuits every 24 hours.