About Kibbey Couse
A significant addition to the history of the Couse house is found in the laboratory, workroom, machine shops, and archives of the Couses's inventor son, Kibbey. Their only child had demonstrated an interest in mechanics at an early age. After graduating from Stevens Institute of Technology in 1917, and briefly serving in World War I, he began to market some of his inventions in the East.
After the death of his mother in late 1929, Kibbey moved his family to Taos to care for his widowed father. He set up a machine shop in the family garage and developed the prototype for a mobile machine shop to repair mechanical equipment in the field.
After his father's death in 1936, he abandoned his Taos workshop and built a plant in New Jersey to manufacture the truck- and trailer-based shops. He produced well over 1,000 for the U.S. military, which were extensively used in both theaters of World War II, as well as for private use. After he retired, the company records and drawings, as well as his library of early 20th century technical books, were returned to Taos and now form an adjunct to his early machinery and equipment.
Our largest acquisition to date is a vehicle nicknamed Rosie—the last Couse Mobile Machine Shop Aviation Model in existence, to the best of our knowledge. Rosie was in continuous use since at least 1945 and was bought from her second private owner after the military. The acquisition and exhibition of this vehicle represents a huge step forward as we interpret the “Kibbey story” and highlight its historical importance.
Kibbey Couse at his drafting table, age 18.