James Ashbury Allison (11 August 1872-1928), born in Marcellus, Michigan, was an American entrepreneur and businessman. He was the inventor of the Allison Perfection Fountain Pen and with Carl G. Fisher a founder of Prest-O-Lite, a manufacturer of automobile headlights. It hit the market with perfect timing as the automobile industry was growing rapidly and the ability to see at night was naturally a great benefit. Prest-O-Lite brought the already successful Allison and Fisher wealth well beyond what they had enjoyed earlier. With Carl G. Fisher, Frank H. Wheeler, and Arthur C. Newby he was a founder of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway continues to evolve and expand as it approaches its centennial year in 2009. Allison died of pneumonia in 1928 at the age of 56 and was buried in Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis, Indiana. His Indianapolis home, Riverdale, is now part of Marian College.


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