Rough & Tumble Engineers
Kinzers, Pennsylvania

John Willcox

John P. Willcox, PhD, Delaware Ohio
August 18, 1937 - September 1, 2010

Husband to Pat and step-father to daughters Sandy and Laura.  John was a long time member of Rough and Tumble having spearheaded many of the Improvements and innovations that make up the Large Gas Engine area that we are privileged to have today.  John could usually be found hanging out at the Otto Langen engine, his particular favorite.

John graduated from Ohio State University with a bachelor and master of sciences degree in mechanical engineering in 1960 and a PhD in 1969.  The OSU College of Engineering honored him in 1986 as a “Distinguished Alumnus”.  His professional career was with Columbus Laboratories of the Battelle Memorial Institute.  He received several patents and worldwide recognition for projects such as Front Wheel Drive concepts, an early prototype electric car, steel belts, golf club swinging machines and tank tacks. 

He had a lifelong passion for all things mechanical; collecting and restoring old stationary gas engines and other antique machinery.  Additionally, he was a founding Director of the Coolspring Power Museum in Coolspring PA.   As chief cartographer for the Cave Research Foundation he spearheaded the discovery and mapping of a connection between the Fling Ridge Cave system and the Mammoth Cave in Kentucky.  Now the longest cave in the world, John was featured in Roger Brucker’s Book, The Longest Cave as well as a National Geographic TV special, Mysteries underground and the Guinness Book of World records.