History of Early American Automobile Industry

Chapter 15


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Addendum 1    Addendum 2   Addendum 3

In the middle of 1908, manufacturers proclaimed that the Bank Panic of 1907, that wrecked havoc in the business with producton figures and a large number of receiverships and bakruptcies were over and production was once more increasing at a great rate. Although this was was true, the damaged had already been done to a large number of companies. Some of them that survived the year stumbled along in and out of receiverships and into bankruptcy within two years. Waltham Manufacturing Company, the maker of car models since 1898 was sold back to its original owner, Charles Metz, who came out with his Metz Plan a year later. Matheson was no longer able to be the company that it was before and in 1910, Palmer and Singer purchased it. 1912 was its last year as a marque. The Berkshire car was a parallel story of the Matheson

Two Articles Copied Verbetem from the June Issue of the 1908 Horseless Age Magazine

An Impending Crash Happily Avoided.

Last summer at the end of the selling season prospects in the automobile trade looked anything but bright. Many important manufacturers had large stocks of vehicles left on hand, which they were forced to sell to "scalpers" at a great sacrifice. A little later the financial panic made things take on an even more depressing hue, and it became evident that the automobile industry had reached a critical pointthat its course of development must henceforth be turned in a different direction.

To sober minded observers it was obvious that the underlying cause of the unhealthy state of the industry was that it had developed too much along fad lines; nevertheless, there were many who held that the only reason for the depression in the trade was the financial flurry which was then sweeping over the country, while still others, in conformity with the truism that 'there are none so blind as those who do not want to see," continued to shout prosperity, maintaining that everything was pursuing its proper tenor, and that business was "just fine."


At that time The Horseless Age came forth with an editorial in which the real situation of the industry was exposed. It was pointed out, first, that there had been an overproduction, and, second, that the main reason why the demand had not held up was that the nerve racking road locomotives, which had become the chief product of the industry, had proven more expensive to maintain than most of their purchasers had expected. The industry was counseled to produce a better car with simpler mechanism and less costly to maintain, and to give up the ruinously expensive publicity methods it had been employing. A still greater decline in the demand for overpowered cars was freely predicted.

The series of editorials which we devoted to this subject did not fail in their purpose. They brought many manufacturers to a fuller realization of the. actual conditions in the trade generally, and guided them in preparing their plans for the present season. In many instances where unbounded enthusiasm as to the immediate market possibilities had been the rule, a policy of conservatism took its place. The announcement of models and prices was wisely deferred until the trend of the market cpuld be carefully studied, and the volume of the output was cautiously restricted, it being thought preferable to risk the loss of profits on a few cars rather than the much greater loss involved in unsalable surplus stock. We have been given to understand that these editorials have been the means of saving numerous firms from bankruptcy.

The manner in which the industry has taken up the suggestions made in these columns is now clearly apparent. Prices are dropping. The customer receives more for his money, partly in consequence of more economical manufacturing methods, but mainly as a result of the elimination of expensive sales methods. More attention is being paid to serviceability in the cars offered to the public and freak constructions and fake advertising methods are being abandoned.

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Buffalo Bill in his 1908 Atlas Automobile

The Autmobiles of 1908


The Bergdoll Broters, Erwin, Louis J., Orf Grover Clebeland, made some of the finest cars ever made in this country for 1908 to 1913 at their Louis J. Bergdoll Motor Compam=ny in Philadelphia, PA. Their factory was on of the finest factories in that city. Their models 30 and 40 guaranteed   speeds og 50-60 miles per hour. They car was one of the first self-starters in 1912.

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1908 Berghdoll  Berliet Limousine

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1910 Bergdoll 30 with their officers.

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1910 Bergdoll Touring

Their business acumen was not was not what it should be and in 1913, the company went to receivershipan sold. A few leftover models were finished in 1914.

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1910 Bergdoll Automobile Advertisement

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1911 Bergdoll Advertisement


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1908 Zimmerman Automobile

In 1907, Zimmerman Manufacturing CO, Auburn, IN, a long time buggy builder, decided to enter into manufacturing automobiles and in 1908, they introduced their high wheel buggy. It was a spectacular example of a buggy of that period with a two-cylinder, air-cooled engine. It was powned by the Zimmerman family with Elias Zimmerman as president.

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1909 Zimmerman Automobile Advertisement

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1910 Zimmerman Automobile

THe company soon realized that the buggy type automobile was going out of fashion and in 1910, they introduced a four-cylinder saandard-type model to their linethat was built by the Auburn Automobile Company.

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1910 Zimmerman Automobile Advertisement

1913 de Soto Six 55

1913 deSota Six Automobile Advertisement

A Zimmerman Six was added in 1913 and a deSota model was built a subsidery factory. By this time all of the brothers except John was dead. In 1914, the Zimmerman line was discontinued, bu John established the Union Automobile Company that was a suibsidery of the Auburn Automobile CO.


The original Name was Amesbury

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"The Crown Motor Vehicle Company was 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. Very few were made before shutting down in 1910.

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1909 Crown Advertisement



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1908 Burns Physicians Automobile, Open

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THe Burns Brothers, owners od the Burns Brothers Company, Havre De Grace, MD, were long time cariage builders who decided to enter into the automobile market in 1908 with their high-wheel. to put it lightly, they were dismal sellers through out their four years of production. In 1912, a decision was made to discontinue their automobiles.


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1908 Auto-Bug Automobile

The Auto-Bug was the brain child of its designer, Arthur E. Skadden, formerly the supertindendent of the Pressed Steel Company, New Castle, PA. After displaying his model at several shows, he organized his Auto-Bug Company in that city in 1908. In 1910, he  moved his company to                 Norwalk, OH, as the Norwalk Motor Car Company. Only a few Auto-Bugs were made before he called it quits.


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1908 Enger Model D High-Wheel Stanhope Automobile

Frank Enger, Cincinnati, OH, designed his high-wheel automobile in 1908 and formed his Enger Motor Car Company in 1909 to put his automobile into production. The were the standard two-cylinder cars of that period. However, before long, he standarized the model and used  a four-cylinder, overhead valve engine of his own design. His 1915 model used a conventional six-cylinder and later two six-cylinders, placed side-by-side were used as a twelve-cylinder. With his mechanism, they could be operated individually as six-cylinders. He needed new capital in 1916, so he reorganized the company, but it went into receivership in 1917. He committed suicide that year and to protect her interest in the company, his wife put it into receivership. The Enger company began to manufacture war materials later that year.

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1910 Enger Automobile Advertisement



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1908 Brunns Touring Automobile

Henry Brunn had been building carriages for fifty years at his Brunnn Carriage Manufacturing Co. in Buffalo, NY, when in 1906 he decided to enter the automobile field. His first model was an electric. In 1908, his nephew was in charge of  the new Brunn & Co, Inc. The new automobile was a gasoline model, designed by J. S. Burdick, and put into production that year. The information concerning this company is limited, but the company was still building automobiles in 1912..

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1912 Brunn Combination Sheltered Phaeton Automobile

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The same automobile, showing the seating arrangement


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1907 Brunn Automobile Advertisement


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1908 Elwell-Parker Electric Victoria Phaeton

The Elwell-Parker Electric Company, Cleveland, OH, made electric motors and controllers that were used by several electricc automobile manufacturers. However, they did manufacture a car of their own in 1908.  In 1909, the company was absorbed by the Anderson Carriage Company who were building the Detroit Electrics.

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1908 Devon Landaulet Automobile

The Devon automobile that is described i Beverly Rae Kimes's Catalogue of American Cars has this model as being connected to the Club Car Company of New York that was organized in 1910. However this 1908 model was made by the Devon Engineering Company of Philadelphia, PA. Its carriage work was done by the Harry Williams & Sons of Ogontz, PA.


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1908 Continental Touring Automobile

It was originally manufactured in 1907 by the University Automobile Company in New Haven, CT. It was produced in three models: a runabout with a 25 hp 100 inch wheelbase, priced at $2,400, a 30 hp 112 inch wheel base tonneau that had a price tag of $2,700, and a 35 hp 120 inch wheel base touring at $3,000. In 1908, the company changed its name to Contenital Automobile Company. There was a large box enclosing the right wheel brake drum. The body was made of rattan by the Amesbury Reed and Rattan Body company, Amesbury, MA. Its sales were dismal and it closed down in 1908.


The Griswold Motor Car Company, Detroit, MI,  placed its car on the road in 1907 for the 1908 season. It had a unique verticle motor crank-shaft and a symetrical friction drive The wheel base was 100 inches with a unusual 55 inch tread. The motor was an opposed two-cylinder, four cycle, water cooled set lengthwise of the car under the middle of the hood. The crank shaft was verticle with the fly wheel fixed to the lower end and the friction wheel was placed in the middle under the fly-wheel with a beveled gear to the divided rear axle.

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1908 Griswold Three-Seat Runabout Automobile

The Griswold did not last to the end of the year and was sold to C. H. Bloomstrom who renamed it the Gyroscope.


In 1905, Albert C. Menges, owner of the Menges Engine and Manfacturing Company, Memphis, TN, was hired by the Harrison Wagon Works, Grand Rapids, MI, to build cars for them. The "Car Without a Crank" was displayed at the 1906 Chicago Automobile Show as a Harrison model. There was trouble within the company about producing this car and in November, Menges left the Harison Company to build his own car in Grand Rapids.

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1908 Menges Automobile

His Menges Motor Company  was organized in July, 1907 with a capital of $300,000.  Two models of chassis were produced for the 1908 season. One was a four-cylinder eight-passenger tonneau all facing the front and the other was a smaller six-cylinder tonneau for five passengers or a smaller three-passenger model. Like his first car, these  were also started without a crank, being started by a less than a dependable clutch-operated electric motor. The four cylinder had a 122-inch wheel base that had a far-fetched reported 100 mph. The price tag was $5,000.. However, there is no evidence of any quantity being made. The rights to the company was sold in 1908 to Beck and Clausel of Memphis, TN, but none were built.



The Hay-Berg Motor Cororation, Milawaukee, WI, was incorporated in 1907 and began its operations planning to produce several models of cars which the three-seated roadster was the first to be place on the market. The Hay-Berg was an assembled car with parts bought from the best manufacturers and was guaranteed as such.

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1908 Hay-Berg Roadster Automobile

The wheel base was 118 inches with a 56-inch tread with 34-inch tires. The motor was a four-cycle, four-cylinder, and air-cooled made by Carrico with 5 lbs of compression and 20 H. P., sliding gear transmission with the forward speeds  and a reverse, bevel gear drive to sa divided rear axle. The body was made of wood especially made for the Hay-Berg Company. The weight was 2,000 lbs and with complete accessories, the price was $2,000. Even though the car was very well built, the inexperienced people in the company was its down fall. A touring car was planned, but only a few roadsters were made before it went out of buisiness in 1908.


The Modern Tool Company, Erie, PA, decided in 1906 to enter the automobile market. Gilbert Loomis, former of the Loomis Company, Westfield, MA and maker of the famous Loomis Bluebird model, was hired to design the Payne-Modern automobile. Three different chassis were planned, a four-cylinder, five passenger touring car, a six-cylinder, two, three, and four roadsters, and a six-cylinder, five-passenger touring car. .After designing this car, Loomis left the team for the Speedwell Automobile Company.

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1908 Payne-Modern Five-Passenger Six-cylinder Automobile

The wheel base of this car was 118 inches with a 56 inch tread with 34 inch tires. It had a four-cycle, air cooled and 36 H. P. motor that could attain 65 mph. The change speed was a lever on the stering wheel that eliminated the hand bar on the side. The gearing mechanism was truely modern, but complicated, and the motor was 60 degree, v-shape, the first of its kind. Fully loaded, the car weighed 2,500 pounds and was priced at $4,000. The company went out of business in 1908.


U. S. Motor

The U. S. Motor Car Company, Upper Sandusky, OH announced plans to build a new car for the 1908 season which was a runabout. It was a spiffy looking car with a lot of class.

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1908 U. S. Runabout Automobile

The wheel base wa 96 inches with a 56 inch tread. Both front and rear tires were 36 inches with four full  48 inch elliptic springs. It had a four-cylinder, air-cooled, 12 H. P.  motor. The weight was 1400 lbs.With fully furnished accessories, the price was $900. The company lasted for six months before closing.

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U. S. Motor Automobile Advertisement


C. H. Blomstrom left the C.H. Blomstrom Motor Car Company, builder of the Queen Automobile, in 1906, he quit over legal problems and went across town in Detroit and formed Blomstrom Manufacturing Company. His first car was the Blomstrom "Thirty" and ready for the 1907 market.

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1908 Blomstrom Automobile

It had a 120 inch wheel base.The motor was a vertical four-cylinder, four cycle, water cooled with 30 H. P. that was made by Blomstrom as well as the clutch. It had a selective sliding gear transmission. With all the accessories, the runabout and 5 passenger touring were priced at $2,250. The trouble with Blostrom was that he was never satisfied with what he was presently making, but thinking of another different car. His next car was to be the Gyroscope. The Blomstrom model suffered from indefference and was out of business by 1910.


Copied and edited from the 1908 Automobile and Bicycle Trade Magazine

The firm of Pickard Bros., of Brockton, Mass., is composed of  B. J., E. J., and K. L. Pickard, who started a small machine shop at that place In 1896, working upon shoe machinery and bicycle repairs and taking up automobile repairs as soon as there were any machines to work on or about eight years ago. They built their first automobile in 1903, a 5 H. P., 5-passenger machine with vertical motor, single cylinder. They ran this machine themselves for 4 years and then sold it still in good order for $300. For three years they have been doing special machine work under contract for other automobile manufacturers, while carrying on experiments for themselves. They are  now placing on the market the "Pickard," a car of their own make. These three brothers are all practical machinists and draughtsmen and having practically no overhead charges in their factory, are able to give a lot of car for the money. 

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1908 Pickard Touring Automobile

Copied and edited from the 1908 Automobile and Bicycle Trade Magazine

The firm of Pickard Bros., of Brockton, Mass., is composed of B. J., E. J., and K. L. Pickard, who started a small machine shop at that place In 1896, working upon shoe machinery and bicycle repairs and taking up automobile repairs as soon as there were any machines to work on or about eight years ago. They built their first automobile in 1903, a 5 H. P., 5-passenger machine with vertical motor, single cylinder. They ran this machine themselves for 4 years and then sold it still in good order for $300. For three years they have been doing special machine work under contract for other automobile manufacturers, while carrying on experiments for themselves. They are  now placing on the market the "Pickard," a car of their own make. These three brothers are all practical machinists and draughtsmen and having practically no overhead charges in their factory, are able to give a lot of car for the money. 

This first model is 4-cylinder, 4-cycle, air-cooled, 25 H.P. engine with a maximum speed of 45 mph. The equipment consists of a clock, speedometer, rail for robes, foot rail, two gas lamps, two oil side lights and a tail light, also a generator and horn. Two large tool boxes are supplied on the running boards. The price of the five-passenger car is $1500, and for the four-passenger model $1450. On the road the car handles nicely and shows splendid power compared with its weight. It carried five people on a grade of ap proximately 7 per cent, with the speedo meter showing 35 miles and made 81 miles on 4 gallons of gasoline and 1 pint of oil. Certainly a creditable showing.

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1909 Pickard Automobile Advertisement

In 1910, the Pickard company was in dire financial straits and sought help from the community, but no help was offered and no other help was given. Even with reducing the prices did not help and by 1912, the company ceased the automobile making business.


The first car that was made iin the Sterling-Hudson Whip, Elkhart, IN., was a Menges prototype in 1907. In April, 1908, E. C. Crown, William W. Sterling, and F. O. Hudson joined together to form the Elkhart Motor Car Company. Crow andhis son Martin left the company immediately after corporation and Sterling and Hudson was left to run the company in their whip factory and produce the Sterling automobile. Two models were made with four cylinders and the motto was "Sterling Cars with Sterling Values". In the eighteen months, the capital fund was increased to a million dollars and the company had big plans were made.


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1909 Sterling Touring Automobile

They were met with a devasting lawsuit in 1910 by the Model Gas Engine Company, Peru, IN, for breach of contract for non-payment of 882 engines. Elkhart claimed that they were defective, but lost the lawsuit. The company was immediately sold to a group that continued to build several different model names before they closed down in 1911.

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  1909 Sterling Automobile Advertisement



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1909 Meteor Touring Automobile

The Meteor Motor Car Company, Bettendort, IA,  was established in March of  1908. The owners were two young  friends, Arno Peterson and Bodo Liebert, who wanted to get into the automobile buisiness. They had made a prototype in 1906 and announced to the press that they were building three models, but financing did not come until 1908. Its first one was finished in May with more in the works by December, 25 had been finished.

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1909 Meteor Automobile Advertisement

The Meteor had four-cylinder with 50 hp.It had selective type change gears of three forward and a reverse. It was shaft driven with a wheel base of 120 inches and 34-inch wheels. It  was designed for five passengers, but could hold seven by the addition of two seats. It had Circausian walnut trim with matching upholstery.  The weight was 2950 lbs. The price tag was $3,000.

Production for 1909 was doubled to 50 and 75 were planed for 1910 and five were made before a fire seriously damaged the factory and the loss was too much for the factory to stay in business. An attempt was made to relocate to Davenport, but it never did.

Benner Six

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1908 Benner Six Automobile

The Benner Motor Car Company of  New York City was incorporated in May of 1908, after a thorough testing of five months of the prototype. In August, work was begun for the year's output of 100 cars. R. P. Benner had for the past eight years buying and selling, repairing, disassmbling , and reassembling cars to the point that he could make a better car than had been previously made.

He,  J. C. Welwood, and A. J. Mochaelbacker formed the Benner company with  a capital stock of $40,000. The Benner Six, as suggested by the name, was a six-cylinder four-passenger touringcar priced at $1,750. It had a 25-30 H.P. water cooled engine and a sliding gear  two-speed transmission. All cars were sold by the factory to customers in the New York City area. There were no show rooms or agencies and the selling price wa $1,750. 200  were built.

The motor buggy was gaining in popularity in 1907 and   in 1908, the enthusiam continued and the industry was taking notice of this inexpensive vehicle that was specially built for the midwestern roads. By the end of 1908,   the high-wheel love affair began to wane.

The Motor Buggy Business to Be Overdone?

From all parts of the country come reports that carriage builders are taking up the manufacture of high wheeled runabouts, and the indications are that competition in this branch of the industry will soon be very keen. The buggy type of car has been particularly attractive to newcomers, for the reason that no concern in this line manufactured on a very large scale, and prices, therefore, ruled comparatively high. But it is a foregone conclusion that this state of affairs cannot last indefinitely. A few of the makes now on the market will probably prove good sellers, and in consequence their manufacturers will expand and shortly produce vehicles by the thousands, and in order to find a market for all their product will 'be forced to reduce prices. Moreover, in nearly all cities and in a large part of the country no particular advantage is to be derived from large diameter wheels, and here, therefore, the motor buggy conies in direct competition with the regular type of runabout.

Carriage manufacturers planning to enter the automobile business should realize that the automobile, even in its simplest form, is a complicated machine which cannot be economically produced in a small way. To be sure, it may be the intention of most of these carriage builders to buy the power equipment complete and simply do the running gear, body work and assembling, but it is to be doubted whether the power equipments for motor buggies that can now be purchased in the open market are sufficiently developed to warrant the expectation of a very large demand for such cars. Large numbers of concerns are already engaged in this branch of the business, and any additional candidates desiring to enter it would do well to pause and consider carefully what the prospects are

H. B. Motor Buggy

The Hasse Brothers, carriage makers,  made their second foray into the manufacturing business in 1908 in Chicago, IL,  with high wheel car using their iniials for its name. Their first venture was making the Hasse cars in 1903 for the Northwest Furniture Company in Milawaukee, WI.

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1908 H. B. Motor Buggy Automobile

It was fitted with a 10 H. P. double opposed, air-cooled motor that was 27 inches long. The wheel base was 76 inches and had a standard tread width.   They also made motor buggy parts that they continued to make after stop making the car at the end of 1908. It had a price tag of $500.


The Eureka Motor Car Company, Beavertown, PA, made a high wheel in 1907 for the 1908 trade season.  It was equipped with a friction transmssion, solid tires, and could have either right or left hand wheel-steering. The engine was air cooled two or three-cylinders as desired. The car did not sell. Trying to find out the reasoning for its not selling, they began to search for a solution. They got a local business man, Maxwell Keans, to invest in the company.

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1908 Eureka High Wheel Automobile

When Kearns took over, he renamed the car after himself and organized the Kearns Motor Car Company. Some 1909 Kearns were sold as Eurekas.

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1907 Eureka Automobile Advertisement

Cole Solid Tire

In 1904, Joseph Cole had enough money to buy the Gates-Osborne Carriage Factory in Indianapolis. His success with the carriage business was so great that he changed its name to the Cole Carriage Company. His first car was a high-wheel motor-buggy named the Cole Solid Tire automobile. He took it on a test drive in 1908 and discovered that when he tried to go around the Soldiers' Momunment in downtown Indainapolis, he had not installed any brakes. The car was driven around the momunment until it ran out of gas.

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1909 Cole Solid Tire Automobile

The Cole automobile was mainly built with the middle class purchasers in mind aiming for a more reliable production, always in use, reasonable prices, and enough power for country roads. Above all, it was to be free from the cost and delay caused by tire punctures and replacements. The wheel base was 87 inches. The front wheels were 36 inches and the rear ones were 38 inches. It had a two-cylinder, four-cycle, 14 H. P. air-cooled engine to a divided rear end. It weighed 1200 lbs and had a price tag of $750.00.

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1910 Cole Automobile Advertisement

Cole cars were some of the top selling cars during the teens, its annual output continued to increase It was finally finished with electrical starting an lighting in 1918. The Cadillac was Cole's main competition and it was never sold in the lower market level.  General motors tried to purchase the company, but it was not for sale. 6,225 were soldi n 1919, just behind the Cadillac.

1923 Cole by sjb4photos-catching up.

1923 Cole Sportser Sedan Automobile

The post war troubles began to take its toll on the Cole and production dropped  each year until in 1926, rather than risk any more money, he closed it down.


In 1908, Charles Middleby from Connecticut purchased the Duryea Power Company from Charles Duryea  in Reading. PA  and moved in to build his automobiles. He used what materials that he could from the leftovers from the Duryea automobile, including some of Duryeas ideas for his cars.

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1909 Middleby Runabout Automobile, Model A

The first one to be produced was a runabout in 1908 for the 1909 trade season. It was a four-cylinder, air cooled motor with two sets of exhaust valves with a three speed, sliding gear, shaft drive  transmission. It had a 108 inch wheel base and 30 in. tires. With all accessories supplied, the price was $850.00. Model B was a   touring sitting on the same chassis that was priced at $1,000.

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The cars was somewhat successful with 400 being produced, by 1910. In 1911, he decided that bigger was better and increased the wheel base to 120 in. The runabout was made with 36-inch wheels. The pubic did not take to them and their sales decreased to the point that the Middleby Auto Co. was out of business by the end of 1912.


There were three different companies in three citties that made an Eagle model car within a three year span. The one shown here was made by the Eagle Motor Carrriage Company in Elmira, NY in 1908.

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It had wheel steering and was driven by a four-cycle, two-cyliner opposed air-cooled engine. A rope steel cable was used to drive over rear wheel sheaves. It had 48 in. rear wheels and 32 in. front. The body sat on two 74 inch cantilever springs stretched from the rear and front axles.  There was no transmissin, differential, shaft drive, and no fritction clutches. Its lightness and still-running qualities with easy riding springs placed it in a class by itself. Evidently, this did not help in its sales, because it was out of business by year's end. The other two Eagle models did not last a year.

Hobbie High Wheel Buggy

Leslie Hobbie had a blacksmith shop in Hampton, Iowa at the turn of the century when he decided to enter the automobile field by having an agency named Hobbie Automobile Company. The idea of making an automobile was too much to resist and in 1908, he built two models of his Hobbie High Wheel Buggy which he nicknamed the "Hobbie Accessible". They were claimed to be as " strong, simple, and acccessible" as humanly possible. However if any suggestions for real improvements would be acceptable. However, they must be kept within the ideas of their motto.

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The runabout was his Model A and it had a two-cylinder, opposed,  air-cooled, 12 H. P. engine under the body with a counter shaft and side-chain drive. The battery, gasoline tank, and tools could be stoed under the hood. The weight was 1100 lbs and the price was $750 at his factory.

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1910 Hobbie Automobile Advertisement

It had a limited production until its end in 1910. Hobbie continued to sale many makes of cars until 1938.


C. S. Peets founded the C. S. Peets Manufacturing Company in 1908 in the hear of New York City to produce the P. M. C. High Wheel Runabout. It was two-cylinder, air-cooled, 12 H. P at a with a price tag of $550.

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1908 Peets P. M. C. Runabout Automobile

It had right hand steering and 38 inch wheels. New York City customers appeared to be non exestent and the country customers were few and far between and was not enough to keep him in business and he closed down in late 1908.

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1908 Peets P.M.C. Runabout Advertisemen


De Schaum

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1908 De Schaum High Wheel Automobile

Wlliam Schaum built his first automobile in 1900 in Baltimore, MD, and in 1906, he was in Buffalo, NY, as William de Schaum designing a high wheel model for the C. Rossier Manufacturing Company. Disatisfied with this venture, he found enough backing to form his De Schaum Automobile Company. In 1908, he designed another high wheel model that he named after himself and this was a very beautiful model.

The De Schaum was a two-cylinder, air-cooled, 10-horsepower that would travel 15 mph. The wheelbase was 74 inches with 38-inch wheels and the usual solid rubber tires. It had cable drive and a friction transmission and the price was $600. He also built a surrey with a wheel base of 84 inches that sold for $700 in 1909.  Ther were very few sales and the factory closed down after building 36 cars.


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1908 Snyder High Wheel Automobile

The Snyder Carriage Company, Danville, IL, decided to enter the automobile industry as a full-time manufacturer with their Snyder piano-box high wheel model. The motor was two-cylinder, air cooled, four-cycle model that could produce 12 horsepower. There were two speeds forward and  reverse. The steering was done by a tiller and it weighed 800 lbs. A surrey and delivery wagon bodies could also be purchased for $450. The company went back to making buggies afer two years


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1908 Dixie Flier Runabout Automobile

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1908 Dixie Touring Automobile

In 1908, E. M. Pevey was building his experimental models in Huston, TX, and was looking for financial backing to  manufacture them and if he got the backing in Huston he would build his factory there. He got the money that he needed and soon he was able to organize his Southern Motor Car Company there with a $60,000 capital fund. aand the Dixie cars were soon being made. His first model was a runabout that was called the Dixie Flier and then came the five-passenger touring model. They were both built on the same chassis with a four-cylinder, 24-horsepower motor, multiple disk clutch, two speeds forward and reverse and direct drive on high with shaft drive. The wheelbase was 102 inches with 32-inch wheels. The price for the each one was $2,000.

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1908 Dixie Junior High Wheel Automobile

The Dixie Junior was of the ordinary type autobuggy that was built to accomodate ther farming community. A delivery wagon was also made and both were priced at $700. By the end of the year, it became apparant that the high wheel was a loser and his Flier models were overpriced. In 1909, the buggy was discontinued and the Flier was now the Tourist which was made bigger and cheaper. Adding to his problems was the failure of the bank where he kept his money. He tried to reorganize in 1910, but failed. His total output for three years was 37 cars.


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1908 Star Touring Automobile

The five-passenger Star automobile was the continuation of the Model automobile that E. A. Meyers had been building in Auburn, IN, since 1903. His Model Gas and Gasoline Engine Company was building both automobiles and component parts for other automobile companies. Bank failures in 1904 in Auburn forced the company into receviership. He aquired a new bank loan and continued his business. By 1906, 300 cars had been made. He reorganzed that year and moved to Peru. IN,  and split his company into two parts; the Model Automobile Company and the Model Gas Engine Works. Realizing now that he was competing with his customers, he decided to change the name of the car to "Star" The 1908 Star was identical to the 1907 M\odel.

The Star was a five-passenger, tilting body, touring car priced at $1,250. It had a two-cylinder, water-cooled, 24-horse-power motor. The wheelbase was 100 inches and the wheels were 32 inches. The weight was 1,800 pounds.

In 1909, he reorganized his company into the Great Western Automobile Company and now his models were called the Great Western.


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1908 Bugmobile, Model A, High Wheel Automobile

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1908 Bugmobile, Model B,   High Wheel Automobile

Two models of the Bugmobile were made in Chicago, IL, by the Bugmobile Co. of America in 1908. The company was organized in 1907 and made models for the 1908 season. The first one called model A was a typical piano-box with the same mechanical features that were being made throughout the midwest and each one looked alike.The wheelbase was 68 inches.Its one difference was that it had an automaticdifferential without gears and was priced at $500.  His Model B had a more modern style stanhope body that had a 76 inch wheelbase and was priced at $750. Evidently, the car was not well received for it was closed down that year.


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1908 Mier Model A High Wheel Automobile
Torpedo style stern

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1908 Mier Model B High Wheel Automoble
Square Stern

The Mier Carriage and Buggy Company, Lionier, IN, had been making carriages for several years before they decided to get into the business of manufacturing automobiles in 1908. They made a body of their own style and placed it on one of their buggies. It had a two-cylinder, water-cooled, four-cycle, 12 horsepower motor that was under the hood. The clutch and transmission were friction drive with double side chains. The wheelbase was 86 inches with 36-inch tires. The weight was 1,000 lbs nd the price was $575. The company went back to building buggies in 1909.


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1908 Chief Runabout Automobile

The Chief runabout was manufactured in 1908 by the Chief Manufaturing Company, Buffalo, NY. Its appeaance was identical to most of the runabout cars in this year. The engine was a small two-stroke, water-cooled 12 horsepower with friction transmision and it sat on a 84-inch wheelbaseIt was priced at $600. There was not much attention paid to it and the factory ceeased operations before the coming of the New Year.


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1908 Hennegin High Wheel Automobile

The Hennegin was manufactured by the Commercial Automobile Company, Chicago, IL, in 1908 as a model F physician's vehicle. It was powered by a two-cylinder, four-cycle, air cooled, 12-horsepower motor under the foot boards.  It had a no-clutch friction transmission with no set positions for speeds with roller side chain drive. The wheel base was 74 inches . It could carry three persons and weighed  1100 lbs with a price tag of $650. A utility vehicle with a a 86-inch wheel base was priced at $725. It to was out of business after only one year in existence.


Lenox Electric

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1908 Lenox Electric Phaeton Automobile
Sometimes referred to as Maxim-Goodridge Electric

In 1907. Hiram Maxim resigned his position with the Electric Vehicle Company as chief engineer and had severed all conections with them.Hiram Maxim teamed with Col. Pope in 1896 to design Columbia's first gasoline and  stayed with the transition from Columbia Automobile Company to the Electric Vehicle Company's takeover. He was in charge of the Columbia gasoline car division. He teamed with T. W. Goodridge, a former general manager for Studebaker, to produce an electric model of their own  design. Their design was a victoria phaeton that was still popular in the industry, but with tiller steering, it resembled some of Columbia's earlier models.

It was powered by Exide's 800-pound, 30-cell, 60-volt battery in the rear. The brakes were double independent operated by a foot pedal. Total weight was 1600 lbs and priced at $1,800. The car never went into production for they decided to end theitr partnership. Maxim was just beginning to perfect his machine gun. Maxim sold his patented worm-drive gear system and Goodridge became Matheson Automobile Company's sales manager.

Webb  Jay

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1908 Webb Jay Touring Automobile

Because of a racing accident in 1906 almost cost Webb Jay's life, he decided to give up racing and pursue a safer occupation. This led to a White Dealership in Chicago. His brother Frank was selling the Stanley Steamer. The two of them decided to build a steamer of their own in 1908 that he called it the "Webb Jay". The price was $4,000. One of its troubles was that it looked like every other automobile on the sreet and at that time, one could buy two gasoline models for the price of his steamer. It was only built in 1908 when the brothers returned to selling cars.


J. Victor Lindsley, whose father was a wealthy business in Dowagiac, MI, traveled to Chicago to start his own business and established the J.V. Lindsley and Company to start building cars. He designed a high wheeler, but he soon learned that it took lots of money to buld one, he returned home to get help from his father. He purchased the Dowagiac Automobile Company that two local machinist, Frank Lake and Doras Neff,  had just started in the business. His idea was to build chassis that he could sell for $250 and let the purchaser put their own body on it. When this didn't work, he decided to build complete cars.

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It had a piano box body, two-cylinder, 10 horsepower, air-cooled motor and was located under the body. The two-speed transmission was planetary by a lever and foot pedal. The drive was by double chain. Its wheelbase was 70 inches with 36-inch wheels. Steering could be either by tiller or wheel. The weight was 850 lbs and the price was $475,  Production was 26 cars per year. Lindsley soon learned that he had better leave the automobile business to some one else and he sold the company to the former owner, Frank Lake.


The Deal was a typical high-wheel buggy type that was made for the use in farming communities. It had 38-inch solid rubber-tired wheels with an 82-inch wheelbase and was priced at $1,250.

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1905 Deal Runabout

Jacob Deal, owner of the Deal Buggy Company, was a successful buggy maker in Jonesville, MI, since 18645 and he owned the . His son George  became a partner in 1891 and the company was reorganized as J. J. Deal & Son. George made his first automobila in 1905 and a few more for special customers. In 1908, he put into production his Deal automobile that he designed and the Deal Motor Vehicle Company was organized.

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1910 Deal Five-passenger Tonneau Automobile

It was a 30-horsepower with extra brass trimmings thatwas indicitive of the Brass Era cars. George died in 1908 and Omar Dickeson, an in-law, took over the company. The car was discontinued in 1911 and Dckerson left the company in 1913


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