History of Early American Automobile Industry

Chapter  5


1 2   3  3-A 4 5   7 8 9 10 11 12 13  14   15 16 
17 18  19 20    21 22 23   24 25  26 27  28 29   30  31  32 33

Addendum 1    Addendum 2   Addendum 3

The New Century had arrived and the automobile industry was bursting at the seams with all of its activity. With so many different models that were being made either by an individual or a well known company, it is impossible to give an estimate on how many there were. All of the several automotive magazines were filled with advertisements for everything from bolts to a finished car. There were some routine body types to very radical ones, but they were all automobiles. The name for the vehicle was now known as an "automobile".

1900 saw the ending of the relationship between Col. Pope and Whitney. Whitney was under investigation for manipulating company stocks. This stunk to high heaven with Pope. He wanted no part of it and sold his share of the company to Whitney. Pope concentrated on his American Bicycle Company for the next two years.

Before he left, he bought out Riker Elrctric Motor Vehicle Company, Elizabethtown, NJ, in 1900 and the Riker company was part of the deal that Pope sold to Electrical Vehicle Company. Shortly thereafter,  Col. Pope began to concentrate on his Pope bicycles and began to buy up all of his competitors and one of these was the American Bicycle Company of Toledo, OH.

Flim-Flaming the Industry

his is the first advertisement for an American Automobile and is cut from the 1895 November Issue, the first one, of the Horseless Age Magazine, the first automotive trade magazine in the world.

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One of the world's greatest flim-flam artist was E. J. Pennington who came to Racine, WI, in 1894. After selling his Pennington engine that he had invented to Thomas Kane, a furniture manufacturer, they formed a partnership and made the Kane-Pennington car that was finished in 1896,  in time to be exhibited at the race on November 2, . However, because from the lack of participants, the race was delayed until Thanksgiving. In the meantime,  he took his car and engine and left for England. He stayed there for four years, and scamed millions of dollars from British car makers before returning to the the U. S. and established the Anglo-American Rapid Vehicle Transit Company. He established his business in Barnes Bicycle plant owned by E. C. Stearns of Syracuse, NY. Stearns owned a huge automobile parts supply store and was owner of the Stearns Automobile Co.

However, unknown to E. C. Stearns, he had left England after his so called Anglo-American Rapid Vehicle Transit Company had been declared bankrupt in England and with no further hoped of carrying on his phony companies there, he returned to this country.

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1900 Stearns Electric Automobile

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1900 Stearns Steamer Automobile

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1900 Advertisement

It wasn't long before Stearns joined with the Anglo-American  Rapid Transit Co.making the Stearns company a subsidery.  the money was drained from the Stearns company and it went bankrupt. Stearns continued in his parts supply business.

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1901 Stearns Steamer Tonneau Automobile

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1901 Stearn Steam Delivry Wagon

E.J. Pennington was not finished yet! He showed up in Carlisle, PA in 1900 with a real loser, the Tractmobile.

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1901 Tractobile Steamer

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1901 Tractomobile Advertisement

The Tractobile was built by E.J. Pennington's Pennsylvania Company of Carlisle, PA and was built from 1900-1902. It was a device that could be attached to a carriage and the carriage could be motor driven instead of horses. The steam motor was connected to a removable frame built  between two bicycle wheels with a tiller connected to the right wheel. A full automobile could be ordered. Only a very few were built. This was a disaster!

Motor-Car Journal, December, 1902

News from the United States is frequently interesting, and many readers Pennington and will regard the following item from the Millions. "Motor Age" with a certain amount of curiosity. "It is announced that the plant of the Racine Boat Manufacturing Company, of Racine, has been sold for 300,000 dol. to the. American Automobile Company, which was recently incorporated for 500,000 dol. According to newspaper reports this capital is to be increased to 5,000,000 dol. and the concern is to endeavour to build 100 automobiles per week. Then comes the information that among the directors is the long lost E. J. Pennington, who has scalped clouds and small investors with flying machines, jumped material and financial ditches with -motor-bicycles, and planned numerous wonderful automobile enterprises. It is to be sincerely hoped, if the report is true,, that the other directors are as well ported in company organization as Mr. Pennington."

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He next appeared back in Racine, WI, in 1903 to work on his next scam or as called in the article as his latest freak

Copied from the 1903 Horseless Age Magazine

The American Automobile Company, of London, England (American Works, Racine, Wis.), the latest promoting scheme of the notorious E. J. Pennington, is sending out and has been distributing at the recent Tri-State Vehicle Show at Cincinnati a circular addressed to the carriage trade, which reads, in part, as follows:

"Do you want to make money? If so, come and see us. Instead of making less than $100 on each vehicle, why not triple it by buying one of our automobile attachments by which you can realize from $200 to $400 profit?

"We are not automobile or carriage builders, but we build the automobile horse or locomotive which is applied to the horse drawn vehicle the same as is a horse viz., we draw and steer with our locomotive attachment applied to any horse drawn vehicle as does the horse.

"We are the oldest automobile manufacturers in England and amongst the oldest on the Continent, having devoted over twelve years to the business. We have also taken out over 400 patents throughout the world on automobiles, etc.  Our shareholders in England have decided to spend $1,500,000 in putting in more machinery and equipment, so that by next year we hope to be able to turn out 50.000 locomotives. We have now over sixty customers in this countrynone of them ordering less than 100 outfitsand shall have over 400 by March 1.

"Everybody that wishes to make money and be in the swim should get in line, as we give exclusive territory, and it is being taken up very fast."

The scheme of giving exclusive territory for a cash deposithas been "worked" before in the automobile line in this country by irresponsible parties, and it is to be hoped that none of the vehicle dealers or vehicle manufacturers may fall into the trap laid for them. Pennington has been exploiting the ignorance of the general public in motor matters for over a decade; he has organized in succession the Pennington Mo;or Foreign Patents Syndicate, Limited, the Anglo-American Rapid Vehicle Company, the Pennsylvania Steam Vehicle Company, the American Automobile Company, etc., with an aggregate capitalization of over a hundred million dollars, but is not known ever to have placed a practical vehicle in the hands of a purchaser. None of his vehicles have ever taken part in any road contest in this country, nor abroad as far as our knowledge goes, and in view of this fact the vehicle men will do well to think twice before they listen to the claims of this combine. If they want any further particulars about the career of Pennington the back volumes of The Horseless Age will be of service to them

After scamming for another nine years, he wound up in Springfield, MA trying to convince the city to build an electrical railway. While standing on a curb in downtown Springfield, he fell into a puddle of water and died from pneumonia.



All signs point to a resuscitation of the Anglo-American Rapid Vehicle promotion in Philadelphia. The Pennington war machine is now getting itself arrested there, as it did in the vicinity of New York some time ago. Gibbs, the well known stock-jobber of the City of Brotherly Love, identified with this scheme in its inception, has been relieved of his official duties in several other watered corporations of which he was the chief promoter, and now has leisure to devote to the automobile project. The widows, the orphans and the omnipresent gudgeon in finance will again be invited to bite.


Copied from The Genealogy History

Adrian Hazen Hoyt, M.D., youngest child of Joseph and Susan (Currier) Hoyt, born at Magog, Province of Quebec, March 7, 1862, attended the public schools of his native town, and the business college of Davis and Dewie in Montreal, and subsequently matricuated at Dartmouth College, from which he was graduated with the class of 1887, with the degree of M.D. Returning to Magog he began the practice of his profession there, but finding it not congenial to his bent of mind, he went to St. Johnsbury, Vermont, where he entered the employ of the Standard Electric Company. A year an a half later he removed to Manchester, New Hampshire, and engaged in electrical experimental work for several years. Later he accepted the position of manager of the Whitney Electrical Instument Company, when it began to operate in Manchester, and when it removed to Penacook he continued as superintendent and manager of the company, filling those positions until 1905. In that year he build his present residence in Penacook, and engaged in business for himself. He has since erected a shop and employs a number of mechanics in the manufacture of electrical instruments and automobiles, and in doing repair work. In addition to his other work, in the year 1905 he was instructor in manual training and electrics in St. Paul's School. Dr. Hoyt displays the same energy and entusiasm in his industrial employment and in inventing, that his forefathers, "the fighting Hoyts," did in subduing the wilderness. and carrying on ware against the enemies of their country. He has secured twenty-five or more patents on electrical measuring instruments and scientific apparatus.


When the Hoyt Steamer first appeared on Jeff Theobald's web site it was described as a Hoyt Steamer, Penacook, USA. There is only one Penaccok in the United States and it is in New Hampshire abutting Concord, which is one hour drive from where I live. I decided to drive there and see if I could get some information on it. To my amazement, the Hoyt Electrical Instrument Company is still in business with Adam Hoyt, grandson of Adrian, as president. He was really happy that I was interested in the Hoyt automobile. I showed him the picture of his grandfather's car on Theobald's site which he had never seen one before.

He said that the only information that he could give about them is what his grandmother told him. His grandfather had died before he was born. He said that his grandfather had made six electric and five steam cars before he gave them up. He had no pictures of any of them. Afterwards he had a repair shop until 1912.


According to this article, Dr. Hoyt began to build his steam cars at this time at his American Manufacturing Company in Penacock. On my visit there, I was shown the original wooden  factory building. The new brick factory was built in 1950.

In Beverly Rae Kimes book she has these Hoyt steam cars pictured with the descriptions

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1898  Concord Steamer, Designed by Adrain Hoyt and built by the Concord Motor Coach Company, Concord, NH,  for a Special Customer

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1899 Hoyt Steamer Automobile Prototype

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1900 Hoyt Steamer Automobile

Copied from the Concord Insider Newspaper, This Day in History"

"May 8, 1900: Having made several battery-powered cars at his American Manufacturing Co. in Penacook, Adrian Hoyt secures a 10-year local tax exemption for his auto-making concern. He hopes to employ 150-250 men and make three cars a day. A few days later he will drive one of his cars through downtown Concord to show how efficiently a car can deliver the mail. The car business never takes off, but Hoyt Electric does."

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1901 Hoyt Steamer

Including his previous electrics and steamers, he built 11 cars.

Copied from the 1902 Automobile Topics Mgazine

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Dr. Hoyt on the right with J. M. MacAlman in MacAlman's 1902 Locomobile

Three months afer this picture was taken,  an advertisement apeared in the journal

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1902 Locomobile  Automobile Advertisement

Dr. Hoyt owned the first automobile in New Hampshire and was one of the founders of the New Hampshire Automobile Club in 1900.

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A number of these devices are used in the construction of automobiles, in which Dr. Hoyt has always taken a deep interest, he being the first owner and user of an automobile in the state of New Hampshire. He is the inventor of the alternating current ammeter, and was one of the first in America to make practical use of the X-ray.


Detroit Automobile Company

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Three months after riding behind Charles King's automobile, Henry Ford tested his Quadracycle.With te help of King, his quadracycle is was tested in late 1896. He kept experimenting with his vehicles. In 1899, William Murphy, one of the largest land owner in American, saw Ford's designs and hired as the engineer for his new company, Detroit Atomobile Company. Several models were planned, but only a few were made. This included abiout ten runabouts and a couple of delivery wagons.

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1899 Detroit Runabout Automobile

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1899 Detroit Victoria Phaeton Automobile


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1899 Detroit Surrey Automobile


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1899 Detroit Touring Automobile

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1909 Detroit Delivery Wagon


Copied from Gardner Hiscox 1902 Book,  Horseless Vehicles, Automobiles and Motor Cycles

This company has brought out a line of gasoline motor vehicles that make a complete outfit for all the wants of automobile work for pleasure or business. The general outline and finish of all their vehicles are designed with similar parts and the running and motor gear are interchangeable on all the light carriages. The touring cart is a convertible vehicle most desirable for its kind. In place of the rear box for parcels or hand grip, its removal gives place for a trunk, or a seat may take its place and you have a stylish dos-a-dos. The suspension steel wheels and rubber tires are alike in all their carriages and the forward steering wheels are pivoted at the hubs. Among the distinctive features of these vehicles are, the single lever which by a forward and backward movement through the space of about 12 inches, starts the engine, and controls the forward speeds and the backup, doing away the confusion arising from a multiplication of levers.

The automatic feeding device gives perfect combustion at any speed, leaving no odor from unconsumed gases. A perfectly balanced engine, with absolutely no vibration. A device, actuated by a button under the foot, which controls the speed, which may be varied from a slow walk to about 40 miles per hour, for the pleasure vehicles. An absolutely new sparking device, which is positive, never fails, and is practically indestructible. Every part is encased and is dust and water proof. No chains or belts of any kind, the driving gear being connected direct to the rear axle, through the compensating gear. The frame is rigid, but flexible

The style and finish of these vehicles are most acceptable to good taste in the purchasers of the automobile type of pleasure carriages. The delivery wagon is built on the same lines as their other vehicles in motor and running gear, and is a light and quick moving vehicle for light trade.


Copied from the 1901 Automobile Topics Magazine

What was originally the Detroit Vehicle Company  has since its reorganization become known by its new name, the Henry Ford Company, and its engineer, Mr. Henry Ford, has designed a new automobile which, he says, will outclass the first one he manufactured at every point, though the latter proved itself a very fast machine at the races at the Grosse Pointe track. The officers in the Henry Ford Company are as follows: Clarence A. Black, president; Albert E. F. White, vicepresident; Wm. H. Murphy, treasurer; Lem. W. Bowen, secretary. The new company will begin to manufacture machines at once in the plant of the old Detroit Automobile Co., which went out of existence a year ago. The plant is located at 1343 Cass Avenue, Detroit.

William H. Murphy, the treasurer of the company, is the man who is responsible for the new company. When the old company went out of existence he furnished the funds for Ford to continue his experiments, and when the first machine was completed it had cost him several thousand dollars. The new machines will have greater power with less weight. The capital stock of the company has been fixed at $60,000

Henry Ford  Company

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1901 Detroit Vehicle Co. Runabout, Detroit, MI

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1901 Ford Racer

In 1899, a company called Detroit Vehicle Co. was formed to manufacture Henry Ford's automobiles. Ford had been working for Thomas Edison for a number of years and when he was hired to be the chief engineer for the new company, he immediately left the Edison company. The Detroit Vehicle Co.was in business for less than two years when the investors pulled the plug and shut down the factory. Only a very few cars were built..

Ford Motor Car Company continues in Chapter 9

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Victor Exibhit at the 1900 New York Automobile Show

Century Motor Vehicle Company, Syracuse, NY

What could be more fitting for the new century than an automobile named "Century" made by The Century Motor Vehicle Co. Syracuse, NY.

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The Century Motor Vehicle Company, Syracuse, NY, was a great name for the new century and plans were made to build automobiles of all types of motor power. Five men were the founders that included Charles F. Saul, Charles Listman, Charles A. Bridgman, Hiram W. Plumb, and William W. Wagoner. Vangoner had made its protype in 1899. The new steam and electric protypes were finished in 1900 and were put into production in early 1901.

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1900 Century Steam Automobile

Most unusual for the period  was is shaft drive for the steamer. By November, 60 had been finished. Some of these were exported to England under the Jackson name.

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The 1901 advertisement suggests that they could be built as an   electric or a steamer.

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1901 Century Runabout Automobile

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1902 Century Tourist  Steamer Tonneau

Gasoline models followed in 1902 powered by a single-cylinder, 7-horse power engine on a 72 in. wheelbase known as the Century Tourist and priced at $750. By this time all of the steam and electric models had been sold and none of these would be further produced.


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Copied from the 1903 edition of the English Motor-Car Journal

1903 Century Dos-A-Dos Automobile

It is driven by an 8-h.p. horizontal single-cylinder motor, located at about the centre of the frame. The cylinder is 5 in. diameter by 6 in. stroke, the normal speed being 700 revolutions per minuto. The ordinary system of electrical ignition is employed, the timing of the spark being mechanically accomplished in connection with the throttling of the mixture, which is furnished by a float-feed carburettor. The water circulation is maintained by a gear-driven pump and radiator, about six gallons of water 4being carried. The motor is coupled direct to the transmission gear by means of a flange coupling. The change gear is of the Crypto type, giving two speeds forward and a reverse, and is operated by a single lever. On the top speed the power is transmitted direct, without the intervention of any gearing. A single roller chain connects the change-gear shaft with the rear live axle. A spur gear differential is used. The two gears are firmly keyed to the axle .Artillery wood wheel are used.

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1904 Century Landaulet Automobile

Funds were running out in 1903 and production slowed down to almost a stamd still. In early 1904, the company declared bankruptcy.

Holyyoke Automobile Co. Holyoke, MA

Charles R. Greuter was a Swiss Born engineer who designed and built the American Automobile called the Holyoke. The Holyoke, was named after the Massachusetts town by the same name. The Holyoke used one and two cylinder over head valve engines. Grueter invented the over head valve engine. The first Holyoke was large touring car with a two cylinder engine. In1903, one of the Matheson brothers visited the Holyoke factory and Grueter drove him back to Grand Rapids. MI, a distance of 1000 miles, in his Holyoke car witout any trouble.

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1900 Holyoke, "Little Elephant" Gasoline Trap,

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1901 Holyoke Tourer

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1902 Holyoke Runabout

They powered by a 24hp 4-cynlinder ohv engine In 1903, Matheson Brothers of Grand Rapids, MI, owners ot the Matheson Automobile Company, purchased the Holyoke factory and moved the Marheson company to Holyoke. Charles Grueter was hired as the designer and engineer for Matheson. He stayed with the until 1908.


Stanley Mfg. Company, Lawrence, Ma

In 1899, Frank Stanley owner of the McKay Sewing Machine Company in Lawrence, founded the Stanley Mfg. Co.to build a steam automobiles using Whitney's patents. They were named Whitney-Stanley and they were runabouts built with or with a canopy top for two persons. However, by lowering the backboard for a foot rest, four passengers could be accomodated. The car weighed 850 pounds. The engine was was two cylinders, the water tank held 23 gallons, and the gasoline tank held 8 gallons ennough for 90 miles with an average speed of 12 mph, or if desired a higher speed could be obtained. The Whitney-Stanley automobiles were superior in construction that the former Whitneys. Late In 1900, the Whitney-Stanley  name was changed to MacKay.  

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1899 McKay Stanhope Automobile

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1901 McKay Steamer Automobile

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1900 McKay Automobile Advertisement

The McKay Manufacturing Co, was owned by the McKay Sewing Machine Co. in Lawrence, MA. with full patent rights of the Whitney automobiles.

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1899 McKay Surrey

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1902 McKay Stanhope

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1901 Mc Kay Automobile Advertisments

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1900 Mckay Delivery Wagon

The McKay was first shown at the 1900 New York Automobile Show with a price tag of $1,800.nad 25 cars had been built by the end of the year. McKay automobiles cease production in 1902 and the facatory focused on its sewing machines.


The Steammobile Company of America, Keene, NH

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In 1901, The Keene Steammobile, built by  the Steammobile Company of America, Keene, NH, superceded the Trinity Bicycle Company who had  built the Keene Steammobile in 1900. The only change was the name automobile and company names.

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1900 Keene Steamobile Runabout Automobile

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1901 Steamobile Runabout Automobile

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Steamobiles Display at the 1900 New York Automobile Show

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1901 Steamobile at the 2009 London to Brighton Race

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1901 Steamobile Automobile with Victoria Top

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1901 Four-passenger English Coach Steamobile Automobile

The engine had a 31/2-inch stroke with 3 inches in diameter and the weight of the vehicle was 1125 lbs. The running gear was 93 inches with 54-in tread with 35-in wheels and 31/2 pneumatic tires. Capicity of the water tank was 26 gallons and the gas tank held 8 gallons. The color was black and Brewster Green. Price of the runabout was $1,100 and the coach was $1,300 F.O. B.

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1901 SteamobileAutomobile

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1902 Steamobile with W.S. Rogers, Designer, and Family

William S. Rogers, from Boston,who had built a gasoline car under his name took over as supertendent in 1902. and continued with the same model, a runabout. 25 had been sold by this time at $850 each. Later that year a dos-A-dos was added for $900.

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1902 Steamobile Advertisement

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1902 Transit Model

The Standard Roller Hearings Company, of Keene, N. H., will build steam vehicles at the factory they recently purchased from the Steamobile Company of the same place. The new machine is to be called the Transit. It is built for two, but will carry four persons. The carriages have water tube boilers and burn kerosene. The water capacity is 30 gallons. A condensing apparatus is attached, and provides for the continued use of the water supply. The regulation of the water is automatic, as is also that of the oil, which is not under pressure. The fuel tank has a capacity of 16 gallons. The frame construction is all steel. The lubrication of the engine and of all the running parts of the vehicle is automatic. As will be observed from the view of the vehicle given above, the design is a complete departure from all types now on the market, and is built either for high speed on level roads.

It was announced in late 1902 that the company had too many vecicles to be sold and no more was to be produced. It was the country's first victom of over production.

The Steam Vehicle Co. of America, Reading, PA.

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In 1900, Irvin D. Lengel, made his Reading Steamer prototype and tested on the streets and long distance driving before putting it into production in 1901. He would advertise it as "running definitely without any trouble".1900 Reading Runabout Prototype became the 1901 Model.  Most steamers at this time were two cylinders, but the Reading Steamer had a four-cylinder engine.

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1900 Reading Steam Carriage, The Steam Vehicle Co. of America, Reading, PA

It was only a very short time before his creditors showed up and it was incorporated as the Meteor Engineering Company. Lengel was amongst the incorporators and the name was changed to Meteor.

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1902 Meteor Stanhope

The Meteor Steamer Company and the Reading Steamer shared the same facility. The customer who placed the first oder for a Meteor thought that he was buying a gasoline car, but cancelled the order when he learned about his mistake. For the 1903 New York Show, three Meteors were built to look like a gasoline car. Not one vehicle was sold. They did make a gasoline prototype before gong under that year

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1903 Meteor Steamer Tonneau


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1900 Canda Quadracycle, Canda Mfg., Newark, New Jersey

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1900 Canda Advertisement

In 1896, Canda Mfg. Co acquired the rights to the Duryea engine and hired Charles Duryea to be their supertendent to build express and deivery wagons. Before production began, Duryea backed out of the deal and not so long after, he left for Peroia, IL. In 1900, the company decided to build their own cars and put into production the Tandem Quadracycle. A new typical runabout model was offered in 1901 before closing down. George W.  Condon bought remains and sold the remaing cars for $195 each with 25 per cent down. The original price was $485.

Foster & Company, Rochestert, NY

In 1899, Foster & Company, Rochester, NY, were piano makers decided to build automobiles and made their prototype. a year later, the Foster Automobile Company was incorporated for $100,000 to build steam and electrical vehicles. The compamny was sold immediately to Paul Dinsmore and all the investors left the company except G. G. Foster. It was incorporated as the Foster Automobile Mfg. Company. Both steam and electrics were made and 165 were sold by the end of 1901.

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1900 Foster Advertisement

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1901 Foster Runabout

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1901 Foster Advertisement

The electric model was dropped  at this time and the steamer was its primary model. A gasoline model was made for 1903, but, because Whitney had brought infringement of patents against the company non were made. and since the the president, Densmore, had absconded with the company's assests in 1903, bankruptcy was declared. Foster was also a suspect because in 1904, he disappeared from sight.

Copied from the 1901 Horseless Age Magazine


Our readers will remember the Jonathan B. West litigation at Rochester. N. Y., which has now been in the courts for nearly two years, the defendant having meantime died. The plaintiffs. Mason Brothers, laundrymen, oi that city, sued for $41 damages, alleged to have been sustained by a runaway caused by defendant's steam automobile, claimed to be noisy and a terror to horses. Plaintiffs secured a verdict, but the case was appealed, and the decision of the lower court was reversed by Judge Sutherland, who held that the automobile in question was not a nuisance and that the automobile in general had as good a right to the road as the horse. Another appeal was taken to the Appellate Division, with the result that the decision of Judge Sutherland is overruled, the court holding that defendant was negligent in running a machine tfirough the streets that emitted steam in Such quantities. Automobiles must be quietly conducted to establish their right upon the highway. Presiding Justice Adams hands down a dissenting opinion, holding that no negligence was shown.

The case will be carried to the Court of Appeals by the widow and son of the late inventor.

Buffalo Electric
Buffalo Electric Carriage Company, Buffalo, NY

The Buffalo Electric Carriage Company, Buffalo, NY, exibited their   electric vehicle at the 1900 New York Automobile Show. It was guaranteed to travel 45 miles per charge which was nort a great seller and by 1906

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1900 Buffalo Electric, Buffalo Carriage Co., Buffalo, NY

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1900 Buffalo Electric Advertisement

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1903 Buffalo Electric Advertisement

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1902 Buffalo Electric Golf Brakes

The cars were very slow sellers and F. A. Babcock, an investor in the company, took control in 1906,  and began to build the automobile as Babcock models.

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1906 Babcock Electric Automobile

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1907 Babcock Electric Automobile

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1910 Babcock Electric Automobile Advertisement

The Babcock Electric automobiles were also slow sellers and they struggled along until 1912 when the company was sold to the Bufalo Vehicle Company. The prices were much higer than the two previous two electric models, but the only thing that save them was a contract with Wannamaker Department Stores that lasted until 1914. The company soon ceased operations and closed down.

Pittsburgh and Autocar

Autocar's Early Business Vehicles
This information was taken from an article showing the early automobiles in the 1912 Issue of the Automobile Review Magazine

About the same time as the Pittsburg Motor Vehicle Company was producing cars in Pittsburgh, the Auto Car Company of Swissville, Penn., was experimenting along the same line, and in 1897, the vehicle shown herewith was produced. This is believed to be the first commercial vehicle offered in America for general use.  The pleasure machines were made by the Pittsburgh Motor Vehicle Company, and the two concerns were merged into the Autocar Company in 1899. (Cruishank Screw Mfg. Co., Providence, RI had made a delivery van for its on use a year ealier.)

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In 1897, a group of businessmen formed an automobile company known as the Pittsburgh Motor Vehicle Co. The first vehicle was a three-wheel, gasoline driven with a wicker body holding two people with a bicycle seat for the driver at the rear. It was changed to a four-wheel in 1898 and to a regular runabout body in 1899.  The company was moved to Ardmore, PA in 1900 and its name was changed to Autocar Co. The first production model was in 1901 with twenty-seven cars being finished.

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1897 Pittsburg Three-Wheel Automobile

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1898 Pittsburg Four-Wheeler Automobile, Wicker Body


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1898 Pittsburg Runabout

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1899 Pittsburg Runabout

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1899 Autocar Advertisement Showing the Pittsburgh Runabout

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1900 Autocar Automobile Advertisement

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1901 Autocar Stanhope

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1902 Autocar Model
Jones on the ground is talking with John and Lewis Clark

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1901  Autocar Advertisement

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1902 Autocar Tonneau

1904 Autocar

1904 Autocar Tonneau Automobile

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1905 Autocar Advertisement

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1910 Autocar Automobile Advertisement

The company was one of the premier builders until 1912, when they decided to focus on trucks. The Autocar Trucks were some of the best on the road and are still in business,  even though White Motors bought the company in 1953

National Automobile and Electric Company, Indianapolis, IN

The National Automobile And Electric Company was organized in 1900 by L. S. Dow and Phillip Goetz. Goetz was a former engineer with the Waverly Electric Company, owned by the American Bicycle Company. Their first experimental car was built that year. Their first models were a typical runabout carriage body that was offered in several body styles. At the beginning, they also made horse-drawn carriages, but discontinued them in 1902 and the company was reorganized as the National Vehicle Company and concentrated on its electrics.

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1900 National Dos-A- Dos

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1901 National Runabout
National Automobile & Electric Vehicle Co. Indianapolis, IN

The advertisement claims of a 100 mile drive on one charge was called impossible by the Waverly Automobile Co.  However, the model name "Long Distance" was given to it. The company was reorganized as the National Motor Vehicle Company.

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1903 National Advertisement

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1901 National Trap Automobile

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1904 National Model C Touring Car Automobile

The company introduced its gasoline model in 1903 and in a letter to their customers in 1905, they were advised to also buy the electric for quick short trips. They were hedging their bets hoping that both models would be desired. This did not work and the electric pleasure car was phased out in 1906. Their new president, Arthur Newby, was a enthusiastic fan of gasoline cars. It was initialed offered as a light car, but by 1905, it had a four cylinder motor.

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1905 National Automobile Advertisment

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1905 National Advertisement

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1906 National Side-Entrance Tonneau

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1907 National Advertisement

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1917 National Advertisement

The  company continued  to make cars along the lines that other makers were making until 1922 when it merged with eight other companies to become the Associated Motor Industry with Clarence Earl as its president., The  Dixie Flyer and Jackson.were among them. The Jackson was discontinued, but the Dixie Flyer stayed in production until 1924 when the parent company went bankrupt.

Col. Albert Pope's Motor Car Companies

Disagreeing with the direction that the Electrical Vehicle Company was going, Col. Pope sold his interest in the Electric Vehicle Company to Whtney and started concentrating on his Pope Bicycle enterprises.

In 1900, Pope was contacted by Albert Spaulding , who owned a large sporting goods company, and suggested that his bicycle company and Pope's should merge.  Pope agreed and the new company was formed as The American Bicycle Company. The American Bicycle company began to buy out all of its competitors. The first one to be bought was the Indiana Bicycle Company which owned the Waverly Electric Vehicle. Next was the Thomas Jeffrey's Rambler Bicycle Co. and with this sale was Jeffrey's 1900 Rambler model.

Copied from the Sept. 26, 1900 issue of the Horseless Age  Magazine

The First International Automobile Exhibition and Tournament at Chicago, under the auspices of the Inter-Ocean, closed Tuesday, September 25, it being continued two days in order to make time for races delayed on account of bad weather. The exhibition may be considered a success from the standpoint of the builders, as they report many sales at the grounds. However, very little was shown which was new in principle, only the familiar types being exhibited. The attendance was rather light.. The American Bicycle Company displayed several types of Waverly electric vehicles, a Rambler gasoline carriage, and tricycles.

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1900 Rambler Stanhope
American Bicycle Co. Chicago, IL

Jeffery was allowed to keep the Rambler name.

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Waverly Electric under the American Bicycle Company

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The New 1901 Toledo Steamer

Also in September, The American Bicycle Company Company announced that its factory in Toledo, OH would devote all of its energies into making automobiles that would be steam driven. It was shown at the New York Automobile Show in November as a Billings named after its designer. Billings sold his rights to the American Automobile Co. and in 1901, the American Bicycle was reorganized as the International Motor Car Company and the car was made as a steam car in two models, the Westchester and the Toledo. That year the two models became the Toledo.


Robinson and Pope-Robinson

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1900 Stanhope

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1900 Robinson Advertisement

In 1900, the partnership of Bramwell-Robinson broke up with each one making cars under their names. The 1900 Robinson was identical to the 1899 Bramwell-Robinson, with left hand wheel steering, making it the first lef-hand steering automobile in America.

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1901 Robinson Touring with Left Hand Steering


Albert Pope left the Electrical Vehicle about the time that Hiram Maxim left and within two years, he was building another automobile empire under his name, Pope Automobiles. His first purchase was the Robinson, built by John T. Robinson & Co., Hyde Park, MA. Pope-Robinson bodies were made by Currier-Cameron & Company, Amesbury, MA.

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John C. King of Chicago, IL, in his 1902 Pope-Robinson Touring car

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1902 Pope-Robinson Runabout

Late in the year, it was aquired by Albert Pope and immediately renamed   Pope Robinson Pope's nephew, Edward Pope, became the secretary-treasurer and Robinson was the president.

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1902 Rear Entrance Tonneau

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1904 Pope-Robinson Tonneau

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1904 Pope Robinson Touring with Canopy
The only advertisement known of a Robinson car

Pope always required the very best engines and construction and the Pope-Robinson met his requirements, but it carried a heft price tag of $6500, twice as much as the previous year. The sales became very sluggish and the price was dropped to $4500, but too late to save the car. Buick Motors bought the company to gain entry into ALAM.


Toledo and Pope-Toledo

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1901 Toledo Runabout

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1901 Advertisement of the 1900 Toledo Automobile

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1902 Toledo Advertisement

1902 Dos-A-Dos Automobile

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1902 Toledo Advertisement

In 1902, a  gasoline moel was made for the first time.

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1902 Toledo Gasoline Automobile Advertiement

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1902 Toledo Gasoline Rear Entrance Touring

In 1903, one of the steam models was dropped

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1903 Toledo Touring Surrey

This would be the last models under the Toledo marque because in May of that year, the International Motor Car Company would be succeed by the Pope Motor Car Company and all models would have Pope as a prefix to their names. The Toledo was now Pope-Toledo.

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Newman's 1904 Pope-Toledo Race before the race

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Newman's Pope-Toledo during the race


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1904 Pope-Toledo


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1904 Pope Toledo Advertisement


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1906 Pope-Toledo Side Enrance Tonneau

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1906 Pope-Toledo Limousine

From 1907, the quality of the car was more emphasized, such as "The Car That Meets Every Requirement"  The body was an all steel one in 1908. This was its final full year and it went into receivership in 1909 and did not recover.

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1908 Pope-Toledo Touring

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1908 Pope-Toledo Advertisement

Copied fom the 1908 Issue f the Automobile Topics Magazine

Touring-Runabout Latest Pope Model

"What is styled a touring runabouta car designed to be readily converted from a two to a three or four-passenger vehiclehas been brought out by the Pope-Toledo factory of the Pope Motor Car Co. It is produced in response to a demand for a car which can quickly be made large enough to carry friends or family and have the comfort and appearance of a handsome touring car, or be converted into a two or three-seated runabout and possess all the style of this class of vehicle.

The new model is to be known as Type XVIII. It is, of course, a car with detachable seats, but the special feature is that as a touring car it is comfortable, roomy, stylish and handsome, while as a runabout it is racy and rakish in appearance. In the rear is a large seat, arranged to carry a folding, reclining top, which may be raised and extended over the front seat. This rear seat can be substituted by an artillery "seat, or taken off altogether if desired. In this way the car is made to hold two, three or four persons, as the case may demand, by merely a few minutes work in changing seats. The car is light, making a saving on tires, and has great strength and speed."

In 1908, Col. Pope was in financial difficulties and had to sell all of his marques except Pope-Hartford. Pope-Toledo's factory and machinery was sold to Overman Motors in November of 1908 and the overman company moved in.


Waverly and Pope-Waverly

Evidently there were two American Electric Vehicle Companies in Chicago. One had been in business since 1896 and this one that was newly created and was looking for a manufacturer to build their wheelss. They contacted the Indiana Bicycle Company to build wheels, but this company was anxious to build cars. They bought the Chicago Electric Vehicle Company and their new cars were introduced as the Waverly.

Copied from the 1898 Horseless Age Magazine

The extensive factory of the Indiana Bicycle Company, at Indianapolis, Ind., is to be devoted to the manufacture of electric vehicles, employing nearly 1,ooo hands, when all arrangements are completed.

Nearly three months ago the Indiana Bicycle Company entered into correspondence with the American Electric Vehicle Company, of Chicago, about constructing wire wheels for the vehicles. The Indiana company has two motor-carriage enthusiastsPresident C. F. Smith and Secretary L. S. Dow. The correspondence resulted in an investigation of the vehicle being manufactured by the American company, which expressed a desire to make an arrangement with the Indiana company to manufacture the vehicles. A month ago the American company sent a vehicle to Indianapolis for test. An attractive run-about was sent, and Mr. Smith and Mr. Dow and others gave it hard serice. It was tried on rough roads and received numerous tests of hill-climbing, all proving satisfactory. Mr. Smith, Mr. Dow and Philip Goetz then purchased the controlling interest in the American company, and reorganized it with Mr. Smith as president, Mr. Goetz, vice-president; Mr. Dow, secretary, and Mr. Richards, treasurer.


This is the name under which the vehicles manufactured by the American Electric Vehicle Co., now consolidated with the Indiana Bicycle Co., will be made and sold. A number of different types are now ready for market and others will be added soon. By October 1 the company expect to have 25 vehicles in stock ready for delivery.  

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1898 Waverley Stanhope

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1901 Waverly Runabout


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1900 Waverley Advertisement

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1902  Waverly Tonneau

When Pope bought the Indiana Bicycle Company in 1900, he was now the owber of the Waverley Electric.

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Henry Fournier In A 1900 Waverly Electric

Fournier was the world champion race car driver and in 1902 became a partner in the Searchmont Company that made the Fournier-Searchmont automobiles. In 1901, Pope reorganized the company as the Internation Motor Car Company

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1902  Waverly Advertisement Showing the International Motor Car Company

In 1904 the name was hyphenated as Pope Waverly

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1904 Pope Waverley Advertisement

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1905 Pope-Waverly Electric Chelsea Model

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1906 Pope-Waverley

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1907 Pope Waverly

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1906 Advertisement

The Pope-Waverley Company went into receivership in 1908 and was purchased by long time executives of the company and they changed the name back to Waverly.

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1907 Pope-Waverly with Rumble Seat

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1908 Pope-Waverly Advertisement. last year of the Pope-Waverley automobiles

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1910 Waverley Brougham

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1911 Waverly Electric

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1912 Advertisement for the Silent Waverley



Pope-Hartford was the only one that was soley built by the Pope company and was built at his factory in Hartford, CT. The prototype was built  and tested in 1903 and was produced in 1904 with a single-cylinder. Fours were introduced in 1906 and a six in 1911.

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1904 Pope-Hartford Automobile


1905 Pope-Hartford Automobile

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1905 Pope Hartford Advertisement

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1906 Model F Touring, front and side views

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1905 Pope-Hartford Advertisement

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1909 Pope-Hartford Touring

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1913 Pope-Hartford

When Pope died in 1909, his brother George took over and by this time he had lost all of his other models, but the Pope-Hartford was still enjoying modest success because of its reputation as a solid built car. It went into receiver ship in 1913, but was able to continue. By 1914, too many styles of Pope-Hartfords were being made for the amount of its annual sales which was around 700 per year. It was too late for the company to reduce the car to only three to a single chassis and in 1915,  the company began to sell all of its property. Pratt and Whitney, makers of aircraft parts and planes, bought the factory.

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1912 Pope Hartford Police Patrol Wagon for the City of Hartford, Ct



The Pope-Tribune was built in Hagerstown. MD, starting in 1904. Its factory once made the Crawford bicycle before Pope's American Bicycle Company added it to list of acquistions. The 1904 model was a runabout that debuted with a price tag of $650. It was cheapest model of Pope's automobiles

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1904 Pope-Tribune Automobile

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1904 Pope Cars Advertisement

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1906 Pope-Tribune Automobile

Twin-cylinders and a 12  HP was made in 1905 and the 1906 model was a heavier than the previous models and the runabout was the only model made.

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