Howarth and Rodgers
Copied from the 1912 Automobile Topics Magazine
Ultra Six Appears in
The first Ultra car has made its appearance, in Amesbury, Mass.,
from the shops of Howarth & Rogers Co. The machine is a six-cylinder one, and has been
designed by R. H. Randall, a member of the Society of Automobile Engineers. It is to be
made in a seven-passenger car for $3,200, fivepassenger for $3,000, and roadster for
$?,800. The cylinders are cast in threes, and the motor develops 38 horsepower. The
transmission is of the four-speed type. The first body which has been built is entirely an
Amesbury production, and gives promise that the new cars will be handsome ones. The
radiator is of the pointed type, aiding materially the sweeping lines in securing a low
and speedy appearance. While the car is low hung, the clearance is ten inches. A point
where the car resembles a foreign one is in the wheels, which are of wire,
interchangeable, with a fifth wheel carried in the rear for use when it becomes necessary
to change a tire. The wheelbase is 128 inches. The first machine to be turned out will be
used as a demonstrator in and around Boston. It is probable that the Ultra Motor Co. will
locate in Amesbury and build a plant, the Howarth concern having acted merely as
assemblers for the first machine.
Cut from Beverly Rae Kimes "American Automobiles from
Bela Body Company
1913 Winton Six
Winton Motor Carriage Co. Cleveland, OH
In 1913, Pettingell Machine Co. moved to 79 Elm Street which is on the
corner of Clark and Elm Streets.Walker-Wells had recently moved their compnay to the
corner of Chestnut and Oakland Streets. A.G. Bela was the owner of the and in 1913 started
making automobile bodies Under the Bela Body Co. name. His first contracts were with
Winton Automobile Co., Cleveland. OH and Franklin Auitomobile Co., Syracuse, NY, with
Biddle and Smart doing the decorating. In 1915, Pettingell Machine Co. was reorganized and
Charles Pettingell, son of the founder, went to work with Walker-Wells.
1917 Lincoln Model L
1916 Packard Touring
1917 Marmon Touring
1915 Franklin Coupe
Bela also built small numbers of full-custom bodies for Boston's automobile dealers.
Liberty, Lenox and National chassis were displayed at Mechanics Hall during the 1917
Boston Auto Show with Bela bodies and the firm is known to have built bodies for Cole,
Marmon, Mercer, Packard, Peerless and Simplex..
By mid-1916 orders were sufficient to require additional manufacturing capacity and a
vacant factory in nearby Framingham was purchased from the Standard Woven Fabric Co. in
order to keep up the demand. Subassemblies built in Amesbury were transported to the new
Framingham plant for final assembly, painting and trimming.
The Pettingell Machine Company continued making machines and sold
them to United States, Great Britian, and Canadian governments. They were the largest
seller of automobile body machinery in the world. They continued to do business into the
early 1940"s At one time, Fisher Body had over 500 of the automatic hammers and there
was no large repair shop without one. In late 1917, they began to manufacture parts for
Due to the war effort causing a great shortage in body making materials
and Pettingell Machine Co. was now making machines for the United States, Canada, and
Great Britain governments, Bela sold his body company to Richard Long of Framingham.
These advertisements appeared in the 1917 Hub Magazine
The United States Government
when calling for proposals and bids for
recently specified machines made by the
PETTINGELL MACHINE CO., AMESBURY, MASS.
In an emergency the United States Government
Engineers want the bestmachines that can be
depended on to do the work at all times, so they
SPECIFIED THE PETTINGELL
MACHINE CO.'S MACHINES
THIS FACT SPEAKS VOLUMES
When you want the best order PETTINGELL Machines
Bevel and Mitre Saw Tables ---
Improved Saw Toners--- Irregular Shapers
Automatic PowerHammers --- Friction Drive Rotary Metal Cutters
Beading and Moulding Formers --- Rolling Machines
Foot Presses -- Cornice Brakes, Etc.
THE PETTINGELL MACHINE CO.
In addition to our regular line of metal and
auto body and aeroplane machinery, we have
opened a department for the manufacture of
and are now in a position to supply many parts
Windshields --- Pedestal
Bases --- Rocker Plates --- Hinges
stock clamps (for use in wood mill)
Special Parts --- Aeroplane Hardware
Special tools (for body machinery)
We would suggest that manufacturers place their orders for
hardware parts soon, as our supply is to be limited. If in need of any special parts WRITE
US and we shall be glad to give you all information possible. Automatic Machinery enables
us to turn out parts rapidly and at a low figure.
Get our prices before placing
Bryant Body Company
Bryant Body Company was founded as the result of the Walker Body Co.'s not being able
to fill required or contracted orders. In 1918, Mr. Jordan, of the Jordan Motor Co. came
to Amesbury to have the Walker Body Co. build a certain number of Jordan bodies for him
per month, but it was found that under no circumstances could the desired number of bodies
be fabricated by the local concern. Thus the Bryant Body Co. was founded which engaged
only in the construction of sedans for the Jordan chassis, producing eighteen bodies daily
from its three plants.
This company was one of the first to use the paint spray machine, which
eliminated much of the hand painting and varnishing. Modern trim stitchers were also made
use of in these factories. Some four hundred men were employed by the Bryant Body Co.
before it went out of business. Orders for Jordan bodies decreased until the Bryant Body
Co. was forced out of business in 1926. The machinery and much of the skilled labor was
turned over to the Walker Body Co.
1924 Jordan Two Door Sedan
Jordan Motor Car Co. Inc. Cleveland, OH
Amesbury Specialty Company
Amesbury Speciality Company made bodies for Ford Model T
Series. They also did custom work for other Amesbury companies.
1921 Ford Model T Coupe
1915 Ford Touring
1921 Ford Model T Sedan
1923 Ford Model T Touring
Ford Motor Co. Detroit, Mi
Amesbury Metal Body Company
In 1907, J. Albert Davis, retired partner of Gray and
Davis, who was a leading proponent of matal bodies, decided to begin building metal
bodies. With Charles Prescott,and Fred English, chief machinest for Gray and Davis, the
Amesbury Metal Body Co. was formed for making metal bodies. They were one of the first to
do so. James Walker, of Walker-Wells, funded the company. Later Fred England moved to
Detroit. In 1911, When the company moved to Detroit,Walker-Wells moved in with its
machinery and kept the Amesbury Metal Body's name. Aluminum panels were made for Walker
1908 Amesbury Metal Body Company Advertisement
1907 Packard Limousine
Packard Automobile Co. Detroit, Mi
1912 ALCO Touring
American Locomotive Automobile Co. Providence, Rhode Island
1913 Studebaker Touring
Studebaker Corp. South Bend, IN
1911 Stevens Duryea Touring
From Springfield, MA
Amesbury Body Company
Market Square, between Boyle's Drug store and Hollander and Morrill
Backed by local investers from the employees of Biddle and Smart and
Walker Body, this company made bodies for the Haynes Automobile Co. and Holmes Automoble
Co. Maybe, this was a joint venture between the two companies in order to handle an
increased workload because Biddle and Smart was making bodies for Haynes and Walker was
given the contract for the newly formed Holmes Automobile Co. and Jordan Automobile Co.
1923 Haynes Model 55 Touring
Haynes Automobile Co. Kokomo, IN
1919 Holmes Series A
The Holmes Automobile Co. Canton, OH
1923 American Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost
S.R. Bailey Carriage Co.
In Margaret Rices Book "Sun on the River" 1955,
Bailey Family History, she states that when S. R. Baileys son, Edwin, returned home
from the Spanish American War in 1899, he was taken to the factory to see his
fathers surprise. It was a Bailey Electric Victoria Phaeton automobile. He described
it to be the most beautifully designed automobile that he had ever seen. He wanted to take
it for a drive, but his father told him that battery was too heavy for the motor. (The
1898 date is taken from the Britannica Encyclopedia.) This was the first automobile built
In the meantime, Thomas Edison was experimenting on how to build a lighter and better
battery. S. R. Bailey & Co. were masters at square wood bending. Edison contracted to
have boxes made by this method to eliminate the heavy wooden type. Good news finally came
one day when Edwin returned home from a visit to Edisons factory and told his father
that by using these wooden dividers, it had greatly reduced the battery weight to where it
could now be used in his automobile. The automobile was ready for serious production in
1907, but because of the years experimenting with his car, financing was non-existent and
the company was forced to sell shares to raise the necessary capital. The company name was
changed to S. R. Bailey & Co., Inc.
Copied from the December 6 issue of the Horseless Age Magazine
S. R. Bailey & Co. to Manufacture an Electric Runabout.
S. R. Bailey & Co., carriage manufacturers, Amesbury, Mass., informed
us that they have decided to manufacture a high grade electric runabout with Queen phaeton
top and victoria body, 72 inch and 80 inch wheel base and Bailey "Pivot" axles.
The weight with a leather top is 1600 lbs. They will build the entire vehicle except the
The Bailey Electric Victoria Phaeton was put into production in 1907
using the 1898 model as the prototype.
Copied from1908 Horseless Age Magazine
"The 1908 electric victorias built by S. R Bailey & Co., Amesbury, Mass., are,
in the main, unchanged from the 1907 model, but among this season's alterations is the use
of a novel form of steering post. This is essentially a centrally placed direct acting
tiller, but the end upon which the hands arc placed is in the form of the segment of a
wheel. Upon this is placed the controller lever arm operating over a quadrant. In
steering, the wheel is moved from side to side, as in all tiller steering arrangements.
Automatic interconnections prevent the introduction of the starting plug unless the
controller is in the "off' position, and also the application of the transmission and
hub brakes without at the same time shutting off the current. An electric siren operated
by a button on the tiller is used as an alarm"
S.R. Bailey was the largest and most successful automobile maker in Amesbury. In
K. Doubleday's book "The Automobile Bodybuilders of Amesbury, Ma." There were
two others before him. Arhtur English built one in 1901 and displayed it in his father's
garage. A year later, John Miller of the Miller Brothers Co. completed and started a
production company named "Boston and Amesbury Manufacturing Co." and
built the 1902 Boston and Amesbury Automobile.
1911 Bailey Model Victoria
S.R. Bailey & Co. Amesbury, MA
1911 Bailey Victoria Phaeton with The Baileys at Lake Gardner, Amesbury
Electric Victoria Phaeton
1912 Bailey Coupe
1913 Bailey Coupe
1914 Bailey Touring
1915 Bailey Special
1915 Bailey Delivery Van
1913 Bailey Runabout
S.R. Bailey & Co. Amesbury, MA
With the original 100 mile battery
Only one known and in exceptional unrestored runing condition
Courtesy of Bart Bailey, owner
For a detail view, click on Bailey Automobile
Copied from the 36th Annual Report of the Bureau and Statistics of
1905 Gardner Serpollet Automobile
The Essex Motor Car Company of Boston was incorporated during the
spring of 1905 by Arthur Hovering, Lawrence Cushman, and Frank Branan for the purpose of
building a steamer with a four cylinder single acting 15-20 horse power engine featuring
poppet valves. Only one model would be offered at $3,000, a side entrance tonneau on a 107
inch wheel base which resembled the famous Serpollet from France. Early in 1906, it was
revealed that Essex had contracted with the Bailey Carriage Company of Amesbury, one of
the largest carriage manufacturing plants in New England, for the building of the Essex..
There were not many made before it went under. There are no pictures known of the Essex.
The photograph is a picture of the 1905 French Serpoliet, the only one in existence.
Graves & Congdon CO
Crown Motor Vehicle Co.
1908 Crown High Wheel Stanhope Runabout
Graves & Congdon Co.
1910 Crown Automobile
Copied from the 1910 Automobile and Cycle Trade Journal
The 1910 model has a running board and fenders.
Article from the February, 1908 issue of the Horseless Carriage
"The Crown Motor Vehicle Company has been incorporated in
Massachusetts with a factory in Amesbury to manufacture High Wheel Cars for business and
pleasure to sell from $600 to $1000. The officers are W.A. Shafer, President; Frank Dodge,
Treasurer; W.A Grayson, Secretary. They were to be shown at the following Boston
Automobile Show. " It was the company's belief that a high-wheel vehicle was needed
in rural areas.
In 1909, minor improvements were made to the running gear and was renamed
the the "Graves & Congdon" sutomobile Very few were made before
shutting down in 1910
C.C.Witham Body Co
100 Friend Street
Those little bumper cars, or the original name
"Dodgem", that you see and your children drive at all the amusement parks, were
manufactured in Amesbury from 1916-1925 by Carlton Witham of Merrimac.
The Witham Body Co. was incorporated in November of 1922, and was a
continuation of the C.C.Witham Body Co., which was organized in 1916. Although in business
for a very short time this body firm manufactured some of the finest sport closed bodies
that were ever built in the country. This body company, which had a capacity of eighty
bodies per month, built entirely for the Stearns-Knight Motor Car Co. of Cleveland, Ohio,
and the Wills Sainte Claire Motor Co. of Marysville, Michigan. The factory was located at
100 Friend St. where the former Rollins Carriage factory was located abd across the
street wher Miller Brothers had theit body business.
1922 Wills Sainte
Claire A6B Sports Sedan
Wills Sainte Claire Co. Marysville, MI
F. B Stearns Co. Cleveland, OH
Wentworth Body Company
Unit Body Company
The one on the right is a GMC bus and on the left is the
In 1918 The Chelmsford. MA. School Board ordered a GMC and a
Pierce-Arrow truck to be taken to the Wentworth Body CO. Amesbury, to have bus bodies
made. School buses, then known as barges, was a novel idea, especially for a small
town. When the school board received the buses, they were very satisfied with the results.
Standard Anti-Friction Equipment Company
1901 Standard Anti-Friction Equipment Company Chassis
The 1901 Standard Anti-Friction Equipment
Company was created by the Empire Ball Bearing Axles, Chicago, Il, joining
forces with Amesbury Pneumatic Gear Co. with help from the Sheldon Axle Co to
manufacture axles, gears, wheels and any part of a vehicle that any part a company needed
from light to heavy commericial. . They also manufactured a complete line of their own
James Leitch Company
In 1900, Leitch joined with Currier, Cameron, & CO. and Shields
Carriage to make most of the bodies for the regional manufactures. Like Hollander and
Hollander-Morrill Companies, he built bodies for several taxi companies, including Sultan
of Springfield, MA
Pictured below are the eleven examples taken from a Leitch catalogue of
bodies manfactured by Leitch and Co. Almost all of the major companies built similiar
1908 Catalogue Cut
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