History of Early American Automobile Industry

Chapter 16

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1908 Advertisement of Blue Ribbon Cream Metal Polish

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1908 Hoyt Electrical Instrument Works

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1908 Oilzum Advertisement

Copied from the 1909 Automobile Topics Magazine

Conviction Secured Through a Photographic Instrument

In the Roxbury District Court, Boston, Mass., last week, a photographic instrument was introduced as evidence in the case of a motorist accused of speeding. Largely on the strength of this instrument the accused was found guilty. The inventors of the new photographic speed recorder are Daniel F. Comstock and Herbert T. Kalmus, instructors at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Professor Gilbert M. Lewis, of the same institution, testified in behalf of the accuracy of the photographic instrument. The method used by the operator of the camera is to step out behind the automobile as it passes, hold the lens in a vertical position and press the button. This registers the first picture, and about a second later the shutter works automatically and registers another picture on the same plate. Naturally, when the machine is moving, the picture first taken is considerably larger than that taken in the second instance.

Inside the camera, and just where it will show between the upper and lower picture, is a small dial, around which a hand works, as though on a clock. When the operator snaps the button for the first picture the hand starts and continues around the dial until the second exposure is made, when it instantly stops. There are little notches on the dial, which have been worked out by mathematics for timing purposes. As soon as the picture has been developed the proces of calculation begins. A small steel scale, with the fraction's of an inoh carefully marked off, is used to measure the distance between the treads of the two rear wheels, as shown in the first photograph, and then the measurements of the same section of the machine are taken in the second picture. By a system of mathematical formulae the measurements of the rear of the machine are worked out, and then a comparison is made with the notches on the small dial in the camera over which the hand has passed. This method, the inventors testified, has been used before for scientific purposes, but only within the last week or so for the purpose of timing automobiles

Conviction for Man Who "Borrowed' a Vehicle

Last week Judge Warren W. Foster, sitting in the Court of General Sessions, New York, sentenced Frank Kenny to three months' imprisonment upon a conviction of the defendant by a jury for petit larceny of taking and using a horse and wagon, although the defendant had not actually converted the property and claimed that he had taken it merely for the purpose of a ride. The Judge charged the jury specifically that if they found that the defendant took the horse and vehicle with intent to deprive the owner of the use of the same, even for a limited period, that they might convict him of petit larceny. "This is the first conviction that I know of under similar circumstances," writes W. W. Niles, of the A. C. A. counsel in commenting on the case. "It is, I believe," he adds, "the first time that any judge has charged that a conviction might be had under such circumstances. "If this conviction is upheld on appeal it will probably put an end to the 'joy ride,' so-called, where a chauffeur or other person takes a motor car without the consent of the owner with intent merely to use the vehicle temporarily; or if it does not stop the practice it will at least make it possible to punish any one guilty of this offense


Putting a Stop to "Joy Rides"

The heaviest blow that has ever been dealt "joy rides" fell last week when Judge Foster, in the Court of General Sessions, New York, took action in a typicalcase. He sentenced a man who had been brought before him, after conviction by a jury, to three months imprisonment. Two extremely curious features marked the case. In the first place, the offence of the prisoner consisted in the taking of a horse and wagon, and using it for his own purposes. In the second place, the judge charged that if the accused was found by the jury to have committed his offense with intent to deprive the owner of the horse and wagon of its use for even a limited period they might convict him of petit larceny. The jury did find him guilty in this manner and the judge sentenced him, as already stated. It is held by lawyers that this is the first conviction of the kind ever obtained. Its importance lies in the fact that it affords a means for reaching the many chauffeurs whose fondness for "joy rides" has become notorious. Hitherto it has been impossible to inflict, for offences of this character, such punishment as would prove a deterrent. If this conviction is upheld on appeal, however, it will probably put a stop to the practise. All that will be necessary will be to prosecute a few of the offenders and secure jail sentences against them. Then it will end.

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Billiken in Bronze for Your Hood

The rabbitt's foot as a token of good luck never had any particular affinity for automobiles, hence the selection of Billiken, the jolly, care-free little god, for the purpose leaves no heart-burnings. If you want to be right up to the minute this year you must, it is being asserted, tie up to Billiken. Fashioned from government bronze and looking pert and chipper, the saucy god will make a fine appearance on the hood of your car and protect you from the machinations of evil gods. Perched there, with his toes turned up and a saucy smile on his face, Billiken will rule the ranch and bid defiance to all who attempt to belittle him



Along with he Overland and the Hudson automobiles, the Hupmobile was another great car to come on the market shortly after the 1907 Bank Panic and had a reputation of being one of the best in its class.

The first model, Model 20, was completed on Nonember 1, 1908 with a four-cylinder, 10 hp, water-cooled engine with a price tag of $750. It was shown at the 1909 Detroit Automobile Show in February. It was put into production in March by the Hupp Motor Car Company.that had been organized in Detroit shortly after the model was finished . Charles Hastings, former employee of Thomas-Detroit was sales manager and Emil Nelson was the designer.

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1909 Hupmobile on the 1909 Glidden Tour with Mr. Hupp.

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1911 Hupmobile Advertisement

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1910 Hupmobile Model 20

A 1910 Model D that had just come off the assembly line, started a round the world trip of 48,000 miles and returned in 1912 to a different organization. Hupp left the Hupp Motor Car Company in September, 1911 over disagreements with the board about dividends payout. He wanted to emulate Ford's policy that the dividends would be put back into the company. When the board disagreed, he left to start a new car which would be an electric model. Hupp would make four other different cars, R.C.H, Hupp-Yeats, Monarch, and Emerson, but he would never have the success that the one with his name would obtain.

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1913 Hupmobile Model 32

In the interim, the Hupmobile was growing by leaps and bounds with one success after another. 1912 saw the Model 32 with a new more powerful engine and sales for 1912 and 1913 were 12,000. In 1917, with the takeover of the American Gear and Manufacturing Company of Jackson, MI, the company reorganized into Hupp Motor Car Corporation. 

1916 Hupmobile Tourer

1916 Hupmobile Model N

By then, some of the original team had left to follow their own ideas had left and new people took their places with a much grander car in mind.

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1918 Hupmobile Model R

It was decided to build a model that was like its original Model 20 called Model R.

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1928 Model A

The 1928 model was designed by the well known Amos Notrhup and sales leaped to 65,000 that year. Due to this, they bought out Chalmers-Clevelanfd Motors of Cleveland, OH for and expected 100,000 sales for 1929, but only 59,000 sold. By then the stock market had crashed. The Hupmobile survived the depression years, but closed down in 1941.


It was announced that the Hupp Corporatioin was going to make the Hupp-Yeats Electric and a gasoline car in 1911. Hupp Motor Corporation owner of the Hupmobile car put a halt to this for they did not want Hupp to put a name on a rival car. The court agreed. Hupp was able to form a company using his initials to formed the R.C.H. Corporation. Both The electric and gaoline model, R.C.H.,  were manufactured under this corporation.

1911 Hupp-Yeats electric car

1911 Hupp-Yeats Electric Sedan

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1911 Advertisement

The 1911 Hupp-Yeats was one of the best looking electric cars on the market. It could travel 80 miles on a charge. The elecric was a very good seller, but the gasoline model did not fare so well. 1000 electrics were sold. Hupp sold his company in 1913 to a group of investors from Detroit. The revived the electric, but the gasoline model was gone. The electric car it had modest sales until 1919 when the company closed down.


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1912 R. C. H. Touring Automobile

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1913 R.C.H.Touring

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Copied from the July 4, 1912 issue of the Automobile Magazine

1913 R.C.H. Touring

Believing that full equipment will be the keynote for the coming year, the R-C-HCorporation has announced its models for 1913 with this as the talking point. Practically no changes have been made in motor, transmission or in body design, the car presenting the same general lines that characterized it when it first made its appearance in the motoring world less than a year ago.

The equipment of the new models will be most complete, consisting of non-skid tires on all four wheels, size 32 by 3 1-2 inches, electric lighting, Bosch magneto, Warner Auto-Meter, demountable rims, extra rim holders. Tally-ho horn, Jiffy side curtains, top and top-cover, windshield, rear-view mirror, roberail, tool-kit. tire-repair kit, jack, and pump. In so equipping this machine. R. C. Hupp is of the opinion that 10,13 will be a season in which the convenience and comfort of the passenger and driver will be demanded. The fitting of electric lighting, non-skid tires, special curtains and Warner Auto-Meter to cars in the $900 class is an innovation for which the R-C-H is responsible.


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1912 H.C.H Touring

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R. C. H. Automobilr Advertisement

Copied from the 1912 Issue of Automotive Magazine

Hartz to Manage R. C. H. Company

Detroit, Mich., Nov. 11At a meeting of the directors of the R-C-H Corporation November 8. J. F. Hartz. president of the J. F. Hartz Company and officer and director of various other leading Detroit business concerns, was chosen general manager and treasurer of the corporation. Other officers for the coming year are: President. R. C. Hupp: vice-president, C. P. Sieder: secretary. L. G. Hupp and assistant general manager, F. R. Hupp. The directors are G. W. Rogers and J. G. Robertson of Akron, C. G. McCutchin of Jackson. Mich.. ]. F. Hartz, John Kelsey, C. P. Sieder. F. M. Randall. J. H. Clarke and R. C. Hupp of Detroit. The active management rests with an executive committee of five composed of Messrs. Hartz, Kelsey, Randall and R. C. Hupp of Detroit.

In entrusting the affairs of the corporation to Mr. Hartz. one of Detroit's most successful business men is brought actively into the industry. He is president of the J F. JIartz Co.. Ltd., of Toronto. Canada, and the H. H. Hester Co. of Cleveland, allied firms of the local concern. Mr. Hartz became actively associated with the automobile business 4 years ago when he organized the C. M. Hall Lamp Co. He is also vice-president of the Williams Brothers Company, director of the C. W. Warren Co.. publisher of the Detroit Medical Journal and director of the Detroit Times Company.

F. R. Bump becomes assistant general manager.

As stated in these columns last week, 16.500 R-C-H cars have been contracted for by dealers in American and foreign countries for delivery during the season. Export business for the year was exceedingly good, over 1,000 cars having been sold abroad in 41 foreign countries. From contracts already entered into abroad it is believed that between 3,000 and 4,000 cars will be required for export alone during the next 12 months. The R-C-H plant consists of a completely equipped foundry, forge, machine shop, paint shop, assembly buildings, large power house, administration and other buildings. It has a capacity of 60 cars per day and during the heavy output season gives employment to 1.600 men. The corporation maintains branches in N'ew York, Philadelphia, Boston, Buffalo, Cleveland, Atlanta. Chicago. Minneapolis, Kansas City. Denver. Los Angeles, San Francisco, Detroit and Walkerville, Canada.


In opening salesrooms in the Plaza Hotel, New York, last week, the Carhartt Automobille Corporation, of Detroit, Mich., placed on the market its new car, known as the Carhartt "35." R. C. Kelsey, manager of the Carhartt Automobile Sales Co., the Eastern distributors, says he believes the car marks an epoch in the medium-priced, medium-powered cars now on the New York market. The Carhartt bases its claims for public recognition on its refinement of detail, both in its external appearance and its internal construction. The motor in the Carhartt car is compact in design, and all repair parts and replacements axle is of the full-floating type, with bevel-gear differential. Timken roller bearings are used throughout. The steering gear is on the worm type, with a large hand wheel with hard rubber rim and solid aluminum spider. The channel section of the frame is of pressed steel, arched above rear axle. The artillery type wheels are 34 by 4 inches, and the base is 118 inches, with a tread of 56 inches. The tires are 34 by 4 inches and are mounted on quick detachable rims. That the Carhartt Company is in the business to stay is demonstrated by the fact that it

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1910 Carhartt Touring Automobile

Hamilton Cathartt, clothing manufacturer in Deroit, decided to build autombiles in 1911 and incorprated his Carthartt Automobile Corporation in March of that year. It was in production by August with several models on a single chasis that offered 25 hp and 35 hp. His model numbers were trimmed in 1912, but increased horsepower and another chassiss.

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1910 Carhartt Automobile Advertisement

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1910 Carhartt Automobile with a dog enjoying a ride

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1911 Carhartt Automobile Advertising

Not very many were known to have been made before he decided that the clothing business wasn't so bad after all.  The Monarch automobile moved into the factory building.



The Monarch Motor Car Co., R. C. Hupp's latest organization, was located at the corner of Jefferson and Baldwin avenues, Detroit, Mich. They had brought out a new touring car which contains some features of  unusual interest, notably a radiator in front of the engine which is covered by a slopping hood. A distinctive appearance is further insured by the use of wire wheels.

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1913 Monarch Automobile

In the early part of 1913, Robert Hupp, a very familiar name in the automobile industry, convinced his brother-in-law, Joseph Bloom, that it was a good idea to produce his new automobile that he called Monarch. Bloom oversaw the details of organizing the Monarch Motor Car Company in Detroit and  to find a factory building. The one that they found was the former Carhartt Motor Car Company. The car to be built was a small 16-hp four cylinder selling in the $1,000 price range.

By may of 1914, approximately 150 had been built and shortly a smaller car was produced at $675. But Hupp wsn't satisified for he wanted a bigger car with a eight cylinder motor, but to do this, he needed more money and a press release was that he had been able to get a very large sum to put the car on the market. However, for some unknown reason, this did not happen and the car was never made. Monarch Motor Car Company went bankrupt.

The Carter Brothers bought the bankrupt company and did make a few of the Monarchs with their new name, C.B.'s which stood for Carter Brothers.


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1917 Emerson Advertisement

After an exhaustive research on this automobile, this advertisement was the only definite information that could be found other than press releases in the 1917 Automotive Industries and an article in the June, 30, 1918 edition of the New York Times newspaper

They are copied verbetem and uneditied.

$395 Car from Long Island City.

A new automobile manufacturing company Is to be added to the colony In Long Island City, N. Y., when the Emerson Motors Co., Inc., obtains the necessary equipment to commence operations in the manufacture of a four-cylinder car selling at $395. Several men prominent In the industry are interested in the new company which has already produced several cars In a New York garage and machine shop. T. A. Campbell, formerly treasurer and general manager of the Imperial Automobile Co., is president; R. C. Hupp, formerly of the Monarch Motor Car Co., is vice-president and engineer; George N. Campbell, formerly secretary and factory manager for the Imperial company, is treasurer, and M. L. Shanks, lately secretary ol the Monarch company, Is assistant secretary. Offices have been established at 47 West 34th Street

About 2 weeks ago the company had a stock of about 200 bodies on hand, a quantity of frames, wheel rims and other parts. It stated that it was having some difficulty getting transmissions but that cars were being driven out at the rate of five a day.


June 30. 1921, MOTOR AGE

Stock Jobbers Ride to Fall In Car Promised at $395 United States Court of Appeals Affirms Conviction of Principals in Emerson Motor Case

New York, June 27The United States Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed the conviction in June, 1918, of Nicholas Field Wilson, Robert T. Matches, William Loomis and C. R. Berry & Co., for using the mails to de- fraud, in connection with the sales of stock in the Emerson Motors Co. It was charged that $1,500,000 was realized by boosting to $7 a share, stock that had been bought for 17c a share. The company was shown to have a plant worth not more than $100,000.

Wilson, who was the promoter, was sentenced to seven years in prison, while Matches, who handled the stock in Bostcn, was sentenced to three years. Loomis was given one year and Berry & Co. was fined $13,000. Since their conviction the defendants have been at liberty on bail.

The original allegations of the stockholders who filed a petition for a receiver in bankruptcy, were that the company was originated as a "stock jobbing scheme." At the time the petition was filed the liabilities were "far in excess of $500,000." The promoters of the company claimed they intended to manufacture a car which would sell at retail for $395 and ihat they had orders for 60,000 cars. It was asserted in October, 1916, that a plant had been purchased at Kingston, N. Y., and that 500 cars would be built that year with 30,000 in 1917. The manufacture really was begun on a small scale, but no dealer contracts were made. The car was designed by R. C. Hupp, who formerly was with the Hupmobile Co., but he retired as vice president and general manager before the affairs of the company were taken into the court.


If one would carefully study the histories of the R, C. Rupp companies, he would have to conclude that he was the biggest scammer in the history of the American automible industry. He created all of these companies and after one year, he sold out and built another.

White Star

The White Star Automobile Company, Atlanta, GA, was organized in 1909 with a capital fund of $150,000 with Clarence Huston as president, N. P. Moss, treasurer, William Miles, secretary, and Fred Sawyer as the general manager. It was a high wheeler built by the Atlanta Buggy Company.

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1911 White Star Automobile Touring

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1911 White Star Roadsterm Automobile

It had a two-cylinder 20-hp engine. By August, the company's name was changed to Atlanta Motor Car Company and the engines were upgraded to four cylinders.The roadster became a 22 hp. model and was priced at $800.00 and the touring that was priced at $1,600 had a 36 horsepower motor. The high wheel, chain drive was now a standard model that was shaft driven with a selective transmission. The company went into bankruptcy in 1911 when an investor could not collect on a $500 bank draft.

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1911 White Star Automobile Advertisement


The Lexington Motor Car Company was founded in 1909 by Kinsey Stone, a Kentucky race horse promoter. In 1910 a group of Connersille, IN businessmen visited the plant and gave them enough incentives to persuade the owner to move to that city.

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1909 Lexington Model A Automobile

Copied from the 1911 Atomotive Industries Magazine


"There are very few motor cars manufactured in the "Sunny South," so that the few are more noticeable than would be the case were their number larger. One of them, the most recent addition, by the way, is worthy of special attention, and its product, equally so. This is the Lexington Motor Car Company, Lexington, Ky., which is announcing the details of its Model A touring car, the output for this year being confined wholly to the one model.

Rather than use an indifferent lot of parts, as constructed in their own shop, the same having been running but a few months, the company have given prospective customers the benefit of the doubt, and will use only tried and proven parts as made by the country's best specialists in those particular lines.

So it is that Model A is seen to be powered with a 40-45 horsepower engine of the famous Rutenber make. The size of this is four cylinders, 4 1-4-inch bore and 5-inch stroke, the cylinder castings being made individual for easy and cheap replacement, if necessary. This engine is too well known to require mention of all of the details, but it may be worth while to state that it is of the standard water-cooled type, with five bearing crankshaft of large diameter, double ignition, if specified, a vertical shaft in front forming the source of power for all accessories except the fan, which is belt-driven from the extension of the crankshaft. This accessory shaft drives in succession, from the bottom up, the oil pump, magneto, and the timer. The latter is used with the battery system, which is regularly furnished, but provision is made for a magneto, and the Bosch will be fitted as an extra."

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1909 Lexington Touring in the 1909 Glidden Tour

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Front view giving a close inspection by local automobilest

The Lexington Factory  in Connersville, IN

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1911 Lexington Aiutomobile Advertisement

Two years later, it was bought out by E.W. Ansted, who owned a spring and axel company in Connersville, giving him two cars to make, the four cylinder Lexington and six-cylinder Howard.  Anstead had recently agreed to manufacture the cars for the Howard Motor Car Company of Chicago and the two were built at the same time. The company was renamed to Lexington-Howard. When the Howard was discontinued in 1914 and the company was reorganized once more into the Lexington Motor Company..


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1914 Howard Automobile Advertisement

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1919  Lexington R-19 Touring

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1920 Lexington Racers

The Lexington continued to be a very popular car with a variety of four and six cylinder models added to its Lexington name such a the Concord  and Minute Man, giving it hstorical references. The Lexington proved its model names by placing first and second in the famous Pikes Peak Hill Climb.

1920 Lexington Wins Famous Pike's Peak Hill Climbing Race

1920 Lexington Advertisement

The 1920's models were smart looking and had the powerful Amsted Engines, but a lawsuit filed by Alanson Brush for engine patent infrigements in 1921 hurt the company and it went into receivership. It ts production was cut into half but it kept in business until it was bought by the Auburn Automobile Company. The Lexington was dropped immediately.



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1911 Colby Underslung Touring Automobile

In 1910, Wlliam Colby, a businessman in Mason City, Iowa, who was very successful in promotion and organizing companies decided to get into automobile manufacturing. He hired David Henry, whose Henry automobile had recently gone bellup in Muskegon, MI, to be his engineer. They quickly found a factory building and production began in November. Four cars were ready by January, 1911, for the 1911 Chicago Show. The first models were 40 horsepower. Soon, they were made as 30 horsepower.The Colby race car finished third in the 1911 Indianapolis Speedway Race.

The next three years Colby spent more time fighting with the Mason City officials trying to get help in tax accentives than he did atending to his business and trying to move. In the mean time, Henry had been fired and several attempts to emerge with two other automobile manufacturing companies had failed. In late, 1913, the company was acquired by the Standard Motor CO and Colby was out. The new man in charge was C. H. MacNider. He found out that the whole company was in disaray and need money. They managed to get another from a rich widow, who had been financing the company. When her son found out, he stopped all notes and took over as her guardian. Useless notes were now through out Iowa. and the Colby investors found out that in the three years of existence, a thousand dollars a day were lost. They madeonly 550 cars while in business.

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1912 Colby Automobile Advertisement


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1911 Penn Touring Automobile

Having been organized in late 1910, the Penn Motor Car Company began production in 1911 with its Penn Thirty roadster and touring.  "We have no apology to make for the Penn Thirty. We honestl believe that it is fully up to the high standard that we have set for it and the best at any price" was its motto.

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1911 Penn Automobile Advertisement

A 45 horsepower  was added for the 1912 models and announced that it would be moved to New Castle where a factory was being made.It moved to its new factory and before anycar was made, it was moved out. The backers lost interest  and petioned for bankruptcy. 

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1912 Penn Runabout Automobile

Detroit Electric

The Andeson Carriage Company had been making carriages in Port Huron, MI since 1884 and moved to Detroit in 1895. Around 1900, they began to make automobile bodies for several small companies around the area.They starting thinking about building their own automobile. Their first car, an electric model, was produced in June of 1907, and rather calling it by the Anderson factory name, they chose to call it the Detroit Electric. 125 cars were made by the end of the first year. The next year the coupe was made featuring an inside drive. Each proceeding year saw a doubling of sales over the previous year.

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1909 Detroit Electric Advertisement

Copied from the 1909 edition of the Automotive Industries Magazine

"Anderson Carriage Company is pushing electrics in a surprising way and the big new plant is busy almost to overcrowding. This company, it will be remembered, are the builders of the well known "Detroit Electric." This company turned out but 78 cars two years ago, while the output for the past season has increased to 525. For the ensuing year, plans now under way will result in a production which totals 1,000 electrics. The company is now working 465 men and rapidly increasing this force."

In 1909 Anderson bought the Elwell-Parker Company of Cleveland, that had built motors for the Baker automobile, and now could build all of its components for their cars except the tires and wheels.

1910 Bailey Electric with Edison, driver George Langdon, Newburyport, MA , and Edwin Bailey, Amesbury, MA

In 1910, Thomas Edison sponsored an endurance run known as the "Ideal Tour" from New York City to Bretton Woods, NH, a distance of 1,000 mIles to test his battery. Two electric cars were involved, the 1910 Bailey Electric and the 1910 Detroit Electric. They both left together, traveled through Connecticut, Massachussets, Vermont, and over the White Montains onto Bretton Woods, N.H. They were traveling together. Neither one had any difficulty. The Detroit Elecric left Breton Woods to return home. The Bailey Electric climbed Mt. Washington before it returned home.

All of Edison batteries were to be sold to the Detroit Electric except what the Bailey Electric needed.

The company was renamed the Anderson Electric Car Company in 1911 and business was booming . It was built for urban use, especially for women drivers. Henry Ford's wife owned one. It was advertised that it would take you any where you wanted to go in a day. Almost 5,000 cars were built in 1914, but sales dropped to 3,000 the following year.

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1916 Detroit Electric Automobile

In 1916, Anderson bought out the Chicago Electric that had been in business since 1899. William Anderson retired in 1918 and in 1919, the name was changed to Detroit Electric Car Company, but the body building remained under the Anderson name. While other electric car makers were slowly closing down, Detroit Electrics still remained popular.

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1922 Detroit Electric

However, in the 1920's, they focused more on commercial vehicles. The Detroit Electric did not escape the ravages of the Great Depression. They did not close down completelty, but automobiles were made only on individual order basis and limped along until sometime before 1940, when it shut down.


Chicago Electric

A group of former employees of Wood's electric car company decided to build an electric car of their own in 1913 in Chicago, IL. They named it after the city of Chicago. It feature a low -slung shaft driven chassis and a high arched door and was available in two brougham styles. Two horizantal levers, onefor steering and the other for change of speed. The experienced company official was almos a certain that it was going to be popular, but it didn't happen. No more than a few months in business, it was bought by the Carl Electric Vehicle and the machinery was moved to Toledo, OH.for the purpose of making commerial vehicles.

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1916 Chicago Electric Brougham

Walker Vehicle Company of Chicago bought the designs and was continued to be made in 1914. The company had an unique way of marketing the car. A customer could buy the car and rent the battery. In an arrangement with Rental Battery Company of   Chicago, a  charge of $20 per month was the rental price that also included servicing. However the battery rental company went out of business in 1916. The Chicago Electric was sold to Ohio Electric in 1916.


Albert Broomell and Samuel Bailey were both industrialist in York, Pa. Broomell, who built steam equipment, who in 1903 built his first car a six wheeler and called it a Pullman.  He tore that car apart and built another model that he thought was better.

1903 Pullman Six Wheel Surrey

Baily, who was a carriage maker, agreed and they got together in early 1905, to publish a booklet to test the marketing possibilites for the new design that was called a York. The brochure brought great results and by mid 1905, James Kline who was a master mechanic who was hired to assist in the formation of the York Motor Car Company and to oversee its production.

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1905 York

The prototypes were displayed  at the York County Fair. By now the name was rechanged back to Pullman, but the York name was on the cars. The cars were always marketed as Pullmans.  Samuel Baily was the president and James Kline was the general manager.

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1908 Pullman Model H Touring

The first line of cars were big and expensive with a shaft drive and a 40 hp motor. The cars were reasonable sellers, but the 1907 Bank Panic put them in a precarious position finacially and they had to seek help. The help came from two fininaciers from New York, Thomas O'Conner and Oscar Stephenson. Within a year Bailey and Kline were eased out of control. They joined hands to build a new car called the Kline Kar.

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1909 Pullman

The  Pullman, Jr., a five-passenger, four-cylinder car with a 110-inch wheel-base, selling for $740, with complete equipment, including the Apple electric cranking and lighting system was produced in 1917

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1914 Pullman Automobile Advertisement


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1917 Pullman Junior Automobile

In 1909, the company was reorganized as the Pullman Motor Car Company.The pullman had many successes in racing. Sales were very high and in the rush to meet the demand, quality was spared and its reputation was tarnished . In 1915, bankruptcy seemed to be unavoidable, but a group of businessmen ame to the rescue and to make it into a profitibele comapany, the Pullman Junior was produced. But it was too little and too late and Bankruptcy was deckared in 1917. Over its lifetime, 20,000 cars wee made.


Kline Kar

James Kline, a Jack of all businesses who owned a machine shop, built his first automobile in Harrisburg, PA  1899. and became Harrisburg's first automobile dealer selling Locomobiles. He also had  the Oldsmobile and Franklin franchises. In 1905, he joined Samuel Baily of York, PA to redesign the York automobile that was later called the Pullman. In 1909 after he and Baily were eased out of the Pullman organization, the two joined with Joseph Carroll to establish the B.C.K Motor Company. They located the business at Bailey's carriage works in York. The new Kline Kar was in production in 1909. and the six cylinder was competing in all phases of races immediately. 

Copied from the 1909 Issue of the Automotive Industries Magazine

New Kline-Kar Scores

Two Kline Kars took part in the sociability run of the Harrisburg, Pa., Motor Club from Harrisburg to Cornwall and return, and both acquitted themselves creditably in the gymkhana contests which were held at Cornwall. Robert Morton, the manager of the Keystone Motor Car Company, won the vibration contest with his six-cylinder, 40-horsepower Kline-Kar, and J. A. Kline, general manager of the B. C K. Motor Car Company, which makes the Kline-Kar, won the potato race with his 6-40 roadster.

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1911 Kline Kar Touring

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1911 Kline Kar Advertisement

The father and son racing team gained national attemtion and a group of business men in Richmond, VA,  who were paying attention how well the Kline Kar was selling bought the B.C.K Motor Car Company in 1911 including Kline's services. It was reorganized in 1911 as the Kline Motor Car Company and moved into a new factory in Richmond VA in 1912. Everything but the engine was made at the factory. The engine was made in Bath, NY,  probably to increase in production. The price of the Kline Kar was never cheap and was always promoted as a quality vehicle. The touring was $2,585 and the runabout was advertised as "a young man about town" automobile. It was not so much for the country folks in Richmond as it was for the government types of Washington, D.C.

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1916 Kline Kar Model 6

In 1915 the company survived a receivership, but in 1917 there were nearly 500 hundred cars made and was on solid footing. The post war recession was not so kind to the company and the car became an assembled car in the 1920's. It went bankruptcy in 1924.


The Owen Brothers, Ralph and Frank, of Cleveland, OH, who owned a rug and carpet cleaning company decided to build an automobile in 1899 that could be used as a delivery or a passenger model. They built a few more for sale. They were previously allied with F. B. Stearns and Company. In 1900, they worked for the Oldsmobile company, but shortly, Raymond left fot New York to set ups an Oldsmobile agency and Ralph went to Lansing, MI to become the factory manager for Olds Motor Works. When Ransom Olds left the Olds Motor Works in 1904 to set up his Reo company, Ralph went with him and the Oldsmobile agency in New York was changed to a REO agency.  In 1910, the Owen Brothers decided to build their own company.

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1899 Owen Gasoline Automobile

In January, 1910, Ralph Owen, Angus Smith , and Frank Robson organized the Owen Motor Car Company in Detroit, MI, with a capitalization fund of $500,000 to produce the Owen automobile. It was a big and powerful car with a 60-hp motor, 42 inch wheels, and a 120-inch wheelbase. The touring model was priced at $3,250 and a closd body was $4,800. Thirty-five were built the first year. However, they had no sales agents to market them.

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1910 Owen Touring with a gun-boat body

Ralph contacted his brother Robert, who owned the R.M. Owen and Company and was the distibutor for the Reo automobiles. The Owen Motor Car Company was sold to the Reo company in October of that year in exchange for stock for the owners of the Owen Company. The arrangement between the Owen-Reo company was for Reo to making cars with the parts on hand which thirty-five were built and thirty-one was sold through the Reo sales organization. This was an indication that the Reo company was not going to make any more Owen cars.The Owen cars were discontinued  and none were made in 1911.

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1910 Owen Advertisement for the 1911 models that were not made.

Copied from the August issue of the 1910 Automotive indusrries Magazine

The car complete with a gunboat type of body, left-hand steer, control amidships and large diameter wheels

"COMBINING, as it does, the results of past years of experience as mechanics, designers and producers, unhampered by any questions of factory equipment, firm policy or executive prejudice, it follows that the 1911 product of the Owen Motor Car Company, of Indianapolis, Ind., should represent the last word in latter-day motor car construction.

The fundamental points upon which the Owen product has been built include, among others, these primary essentials: longstroke engine, left-hand steer, right-hand control, low gravity, closed-front, straight-line body and high wheels. While much has been said and written as to the relative merits of right and left-hand steer, it is the experience of many qualified drivers that a car can be handled much better from the left than from the right. With the traffic rules in force in this country it is more essential that a clear view of the road to the left be had than to the right; a left turn is fraught with more danger than one to the right; besides, it permits the occupant of the guest seat to alight directly on the curb and not in the mud of the street, at the imminent risk of being run down from the rear by an automobile traveling in the same direction."

Ralph Owen sold the last four himself and left the company. Robert stayed with the Reo company until 1914 when he joined with his brother Frank to manufacture the Owen Magnetic car.

The Krit Motor Car Company moved into the vacant factory.

Owen Magnetic

Justin B. Entz introduced his automobile at the 1914 New York Automobile show.  It was tested throughout the summer months and demonstrated it to the Society of Automobile Engineers at their summer meeting. It never went into production.  Baker Electric had previously bought the patents for the Entz's transmission in 1912.  The R. M. Owen & Company, owned by the Owen Brothers, bought license rights for the transmission from the Baker Electric Company shortly thereafter. They began experimenting with it and in 1914,  R.  M. Owen & Company fitted it into their new model car, the Owen-Magnetic. It was shown at the New York Automobile Show in 1915.

250 cars were made in New York before moving to Cleveland the following year.

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1916 Owen-Magnetic Hybrid

In 1916, Baker Electric and Rauch & Lang Electric automobile companies were well aware that the electric cars were losing their popularity and   they merged  as the Baker R & L Company. Later that year, R.M. Owen & Company joined in consolidating the three companies. The two former companies would manufacture the Owen-Magnetic and R.M. Owen & Company would direct its sales. The Owen-Magnetic line was greatly expanded and became a large luxury car selling up to $6,000. making it one of America's most expensive production cars.

Due to the war, very few cars were made in 1918 as the company turned to making war products. When the company decided to stop making the Owen-Magnetic in 1919, Raymond Owen took his car to Wilkes-Barre, PA, and allied with Frank Matheson and resumed production in the former Matheson plant as the Owen Magnetic Motor Car Company. Their biggest order was from the Englis firm, Crown Limited, and they were exported as Crown Magnetic. The Crown Magnetic went into receivership in 1920. The company was authorized a $100,000 loan to complete the 25 models that were in production.  Frank Matheson turned his factory into a dealership

1921 Owen-Magnetic Automobile

The passenger car part of the of  Rausch and Lang was sold to the Stevens -Duryea organization and moved to Chicopee Falls, MA. In 1922. The Rauch & Lang Inc. started producing electric powered taxi cabs

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1925 Rauch and Lang Electric Taxi

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1930 Rauch and Lang Gasoline and Electric

This automobile was built by coordination between General Electric and Rauch and Lang  financed by Edward Green, son of  Hetty Green who was was the richest woman in the world in 1912. The cost for developing it was one million dollars. General Electric and Green owned controlling stock in Rausch and Lang. By using General Electric's engineers and Green's finances they designed and built the prototypes in 1929 and 1930. This Sedan is the only one still in existence and was shown at the Silverado Concours dElegance in 2001.


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1910 Photo of the KRIT factory in Detroit

Copied from the Sept 1909 Horseless Age Magazine

A New Detroit Automobile Company

The Krit Motor Car Company has been organized in Detroit to manufacture cars from the designs of Kenneth Crittenden. The capital stock is given as $100,000. of which $50,000 is subscribed for and $23,000 invested in models, specifications, machinery and completed cars. The incorporators are B. C. Laughlin, W. S. Piggins, Claude S. Briggs, Kenneth Crittenden and C. W. Whitson, each of whom holds 100 shares of $100 each. It is stated that four cylinder cars will be manufactured

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1910 Krit Model A Runabout

In the fall , the former Blostrom factory was bought for productiom. The model year was the four-cylinder 1910 K.R.I.T., later Krit,  with left hand drive. They proved their ability as hill climbers by winning several events from Georgia  to Kansas City, and to New Jersey.

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Interior of Krit Company automobile shop

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1912 K-R-I-T Coupe Automobile

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1912 K-R-I-T Modle U underslung Automobile

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1913 K-R-I-T Touring Automobile

Except for the 1913 Six that was shown at the  Chicago Automobile, they remained four cylinders in their entire production. The company had experienced financial troubles from the very start. Ownership changed  hands in 1911 when a syndicate headed by Walter Rusell purchased control of the company. Crittendent remained as vice-president and head of the engineering department. The former Owen factory was bought and was now used as the Krit factory.

Sales dopped drasticlly in 1913 and its creditors took over the company.Krit's troubles deepend even further unt it went into bankruptcy in 1915

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The original Columbus Buggy Company 
factory in Columbus, Oh.

Beginning in 1903, the Columbus Electric automobile was manufactured by the Columbus Bugggy Company that was a well established company with origins in the late 1800's. Its Victoria Phaeton body style was similiar to most of all the other electric automobiles at that time.

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1903 Columbus Electric

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1903 Columbus Automobile Advertisement

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1905 Columbus Electric Advertisement

It continued with a single body style until 1906 and it began an extensive advertising campaingn that saw its sales start to boom and by 1910, a thousand a year were built. The company had begun to build gasoline models prior to this with a typical high wheeler in 1907 and 1908 as the Columbus.

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1908 Firestone Automobile

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1909 Firestone- Columbus Advertisement

In 1909, it was produced as a large standard type automobile that was called the Firestone Columbus named after the president of the company, Clinton Firestone. Shortly after that, sales began to fall  and bankruptcy was declared in 1913. and its creditors took over.

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The photograph shows Eddie Rickenbaker in a Firestone-Columbus, driving orator, statesman, and politician William Jennings Bryan (seated behind Eddie) on a Texas speaking tour in 1909. Eddie was in Texas helping the Columbus Buggy Company establish dealerships for the Firestone-Columbus and offered to drive Bryan as an advertising stunt.

Eddie raced in the first Indianapolis 500 on Memorial Day, 1911. He raced for the Columbus Buggy Company until 1912, when he left to become a professional racer with the Mason Team, headed by the Duesenberg brothers, who made the Duesenberg cars in 1919.

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1911 Firestone Advertisement

In August of that year, Clinton Firestone started another company known as the Columbuls Electric Vehicle Company, This was a shell company so that Firestone could bid on the Columbus Buggy Company assests when the creditors were ready to sell. The did sell, but Firestone was not the buyer. It was sold to a group of business men from Buffalo, NY


The first car that the Duesenberg Brothers, Fred and August, made was a two cylinder in  Des Moines, Iowa in 1903. It was called the Marvel, but when a local attorney named Edward Mason offered the financial assistance, the name was quickly changed to Mason  It was incorporated as the Mason Motor Car Company in 1906 and was built in that city from 1906-1910.

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1906 Mason Touring Automobile

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1906 Mason Automobile Advertisement


1907 Mason Runabout

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1907 Mason Advertisement

The Mason proved to be one of the best in hill climbing and on the regular race courses. In 1908, it was reorganized as the Mason Automobile Company.

In early 1909,  the Mason compnny announced plans for building a new factory. However, in June, F.L.Maytag and his son, Elmer, who built washing machines and farm equipment in Newton, IA, bought the controlling interest in the company and moved it to the former Waterloo Motor Works,  Waterloo, IA. It was reorganized as the Maytag-Mason Motor Car Company.

1910 Maytag Touring

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1911 Maytag Touring

The plan was to keep the two-cylinder car as a Mason and to introduce a four-cylinder as a Maytag and it was introduced in 1910 as a Maytag. The two cylinder car was still named a Mason through the 1910 season. However, it was referred to as a Maytag. Both models were Maytag models for the 1911 season. The Duesenberg brothers reclaimed the Mason name and it was the name of their racing cars.

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Eddie Rickenbacker and his mechanic in a 1912 Mason Racer, later
called Duesenberg

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The Mason Racing Team from left Eddie Rickenbacker, Eddie O'Donnell, his mechanic, Billy Chandler, and Fritz Walker

By then, the Magtags were gone from the company for they had bought so many parts that they could not make cars fast enough to pay their bills. The creditors moved in for lack of payment and Mason reclaimed his company and it was name once more as the Mason Motor Company. From then on, the cars were known as Masons.

In 1913, the Duesenbergers left to establish their Duesenberg Motor Company in St. Paul, MN. Their ties with Edward Mason were not broken. A 1913 Mason-Mohler with a four-cylinder, 65 hp  Duesenberg motor was made for the 1914 Model year. By then the company was in receivership and never fully recovered. The company was sold at auction in 1917. The Duesenbergs went on to build their famous Duesenberg automobiles

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1910 Maytag Automobile Advertisement


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