History of the Early American Automobile Industry


Chapter 14

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Addendum 1    Addendum 2   Addendum 3

Just as the year, 1906, was the one of the best years in the industry, 1907 and 1921 would rival to be the worst. It all started in early 1907 when the banks realized that the public was mortaging their homes to buy cars at an alarming rate. Fearing that this would lead to an eccessive amount of foreclosures, they stopped giving loans. This lead to a huge backup of automobiles at the factories and production came to a standstill.

It would be forever known as the 1907 Bank Panic. The middle of the road car sales took a nose dive and stocks of these models began to pile up in factories and show rooms. Since 1902, as it is today, the new model years would start in July so enough could be made to meet the automobile show orders the following year.  Not knowing what 1908 would bring, except for mechanical changes, no new models were made for the following year. It became doomsday for a lot of well known names during these time.

Some of the new companies that were just getting started had bank managers seizing their stock and a lot more escaped foreclosures by the skin of their teeth. However, there was a great number of new companies who were in the midst of developing their cars who continued to proceed into production. They had no other choice. This page shows a great number of them that started production in late1907 and all but two were out of business by the end of 1909. They were S. R. Bailey & CO, Amesbury, MA and Staver Carriage Company, Chicago, IL By 1914, both of these were in dire trouble and out of business within two years.

Several manufacturers  in the big cities sent their surpluses to other regions of the country that were hurting for automobiles and were able to withstand the downturn. Cadillac had a thirty percent drop in sales and Oldsmobile sales were pitifulluy low and was ripe for Durant's acquisition for his General Motors dream. Durant hid his surpluses in a vacant yard behind his factory. Buick, Ford, and Maxwell were amoung the few that had increases in sales. However, the big factory that Durant was building in Flint was put on hold and 4,000 workers lost their jobs.

Col. Pope lost all of his Pope automobile companies, except Pope Hartford and saw each one of his factories being sold to other manufacturers. It put a strain on him that he never recovered from and he died within two years at the age of 63. The flagship of the Selden Patent, Columbia, was sold to Ben Brisco, owner of the Maxwell Automobile Co., in 1909. The irony of this is that George Selden had re-entered into making cars with his 1908 Selden andhad to pay Brisco his percentage of each sale.


S. R. Bailey &Sons

By 1898, the automobile was making inroads into the carriage making industry and some carriage makers were also making automobiles. Up until now, the only known record of Bailey's entrance into this field in 1898 is in Margaret Rice's book given to me by Bart Bailey, great , great grandson of S. R. Bailey, and I saw a reference to it and starting researching the date. A reference to the date was found in Britannica Encyclopedia.

When the carriage industry was badly damaged by a worker's strike in 1903, most of the smaller companies were forced out of business, but the larger ones began making automobile bodies and Amesbury became known as the automobile body building capitol of the world with its twenty-eight builders.The carriage workers and now the body workers were known as the finest workers any where.

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Babcock No. 5 Building


Copied from the  36th Annual Report of the Bureau and Stastistics of Labor Magazine, December, 1906

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The Essex Motor Car Company of  Boston was incorporated during the spring of 1905 by Arthur Hovering, Lawrence Cushman, and Frank Branan for the purpose of building a steamer with a four cylinder single acting 15-20 horse power engine featuring poppet valves. Only one model would be offered at $3,000, a side entrance tonneau on a 107 inch wheel base which resembled the famous Serpolliet from France. Early in 1906, it was revealed that Essex had contracted with the Bailey Carriage Company of Amesbury, one of the largest carriage manufacturing plants in New England, for the building of the Essex.. There were not many made before it went under. There are no pictures known of the Essex. The photograph is a picture of the 1905 French Serpoliet.

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Cut from the 1906 April Issue of the Automobile Industry Magazine

The Essex Model X had a 15-20 Horsepower, four cylinder acting poppet valve double opposed engine located under the forward footboard and a flash boiler. The wheelbase was 107 inches with a 56-inch tread. and the tires were 34 inches and it weighed 2200 lbs.  It was driven by double side chain drive.Its semi-flash generator was located under the hood. With all accessories, it was priced at $3,000.

S. R. Bailey and CO

Bailey  Electric

In Margaret Rices Book "Sun on the River" 1955, Bailey Family History, she states that when S. R. Baileys son, Edwin, returned home from the Spanish American War in 1899, he was taken to the factory to see his fathers surprise. It was a Bailey Electric Victoria Phaeton automobile. He described it to be the most beautifully designed automobile that he had ever seen. He wanted to take it for a drive, but his father told him that the battery was too heavy for the motor. (The 1898 date is also taken from the Britannica Encyclopedia.) This was the first automobile built in Amesbury.

In the meantime, Thomas Edison was experimenting on how to build a lighter and better battery. S. R. Bailey & Co. were masters at square wood bending. Bailey was the inventor of the wood bending and rounders in early 1860's that he used for his carriage making.

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Wood Bending

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Wood Rounders for poles and axles

Edison contracted to have wooden dividers to eliminate the heavy wooden type. Good news finally came one day when Edwin returned home from a visit to Edisons factory 1n 1905 he told his father that by using these wooden dividers, it had greatly reduced the battery weight to where it could now be used in his automobile. For two years, Bailey started experimenting with his car to make sure that it would be the very best one that could be made. This put a financial strain on the company's finances to such an extent that in order to produce his car, he would have to find investors and incorporate his company.

Copied from the December 6 issue of the 1906 Horseless Age Magazine

S. R. Bailey & Co. to Manufacture an Electric Runabout.

S. R. Bailey & Co., carriage manufacturers, Amesbury, Mass., informed us that they have decided to manufacture a high grade electric runabout with Queen phaeton top and victoria body, 72 inch and 80 inch wheel base and Bailey "Pivot" axles. The weight with a leather top is 1600 lbs. They will build the entire vehicle except the electric motor.

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1907 Bailey Electric Victoria Phaeton Automobile

Copied from the March Issue of Automotive Industry Magazine

S. R. BAILEY & CO. (INC.),

Amesbury, Mass., established builders" of horsedrawn vehicles, are exhibiting a superbly finished and gracefully designed electric victoria phaeton. Special attention has been paid to developing a low hung, easy riding car of pleasing lines. The frame is of special steel side members, united by steel angles. These side members are of unusual spread, curved to follow the body lines, and are adapted for great strength and rigidity in a vertical plane, but permiting of a certain flexibility under twisting stresses. The wide vertical spread of the special side members permits of the use of a light wood body without sacrifice of strength.

Semi-elliptic springs of 40 inches in length support the body upon solid axles. The wheels are 34x31/2 inches, with specially shaped spokes and no wood felloe, running on plain bearings with special oil distributing arrangements, which are said to secure adequate lubrication for an entire season. These axles are known as the Bailey "pivot axles." Steering is by means of wheel and column, which passes through the dash high enough to clear the knees, and also releases and swings sideways to facilitate entrance and exit. The front mud guards turn with the wheels and prevent splashing on curves. Band brakes are applied to the rear wheels and also to the motor shaft. The thirty cell battery is underslung, and the 60 volt General Electric ball bearing motor, with its differential countershaft, is held upon a flexible frame. Motor and countershaft are connected by a Morse silent chain, and are maintained in perfect alignment. The double chain drive to the rear wheels is fully encased. The General Electric controller furnishes four forward speeds up to 18 miles per hour, and two reverse speeds.

The controller handle is a lever mounted upon the steering wheel, which interlocks with the brake and prevents current being put until the car is free to move. A safety device also prevents the insertion of the battery plug unless the controller handle is in the "off" position. The car is fitted with a victoria top, and a rumble seat may be attached if desired. A mileage of 40 to 50 miles is claimed under ordinary conditions.

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1908 Bailey Electric Victoria Phaeton Automobile

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1908 Bailey Electric Advertisement

Copied from 1908 Horseless Age Magazine

"The 1908 electric victorias built by S. R Bailey & Co., Amesbury, Mass., are, in the main, unchanged from the 1907 model, but among this season's alterations is the use of a novel form of steering post. This is essentially a centrally placed direct acting tiller, but the end upon which the hands arc placed is in the form of the segment of a wheel. Upon this is placed the controller lever arm operating over a quadrant. In steering, the wheel is moved from side to side, as in all tiller steering arrangements. Automatic interconnections prevent the introduction of the starting plug unless the controller is in the "off' position, and also the application of the transmission and hub brakes without at the same time shutting off the current. An electric siren operated by a button on the tiller is used as an alarm"

Copied from the 1907 Motor Age Magazine

The S. R. Bailey & Company of Amesbury, Mass., U.S.A., offer a unique small electric vehicle for city use in their 1908 Phaeton. These well known carriage makers embody in their vehicle all the points of superiority of their horse-drawn bodies and furnishings. It will be seen from the accompanying photograph the carriage is extremely graceful in outline and trim in appearance.

General Specifications

The machine has a wheelbase of 78 1/2 inches and a 34-inch wheel fitted with 31/2-inch tires both on front and rear. The battery consists of 30, 9-plate cells, 60 volts. A 21/2 to 7 H. P. motor is used and the drive is by side chains. The vehicle complete weighs 2000 pounds and sells for $2000.00

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1908 Bailey ElectricVictoria Phaeton
Notice the unusual D-shaped steering tiller


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Top Up

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The 1908 and 1909 chassis showing the tiller steering

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Cut from the article about the 1909 New York Automobile Show

The Bailey Electric Vehicles. One Of the most attractive automobiles 0n the market is the Bailey Electric Victoria Phaetona characteristic product of this old and' noted company. For more than   fifty years their vehicle products have been known for beauty of design, ingenious mechanical construction, and superlative grade in handicraft and materials. The two generations of skill in handling the ingredients of light draft have been applied to the electric automobile problem, and three years to the perfecting of this one vehicle. The electric vehicle herewith illustrated is different in design from other electrics, both in style and mechanical appointments. The wheels and tires are larger, and the weights are hung lower than in any other, it is claimed. The batteries are hung under the floor. It is made with both wheel steer and with long lever, the motor control in both cases being on top of the steering column and under the operator's hand. The three brakes are operated from one pedal, though separately connected, for the purpose of safety. The manufacturers say the seat is about six inches wider than in other cars of this type, thereby af fording comfortable room for three people. , There is no machinery within the body of the car, the entire space under the seat being used for stowage. S. R. Bailey &  Co.  have manufactured carriages for fifty years, and are manufacturing this car in the same high grade as their well-known road wagon.

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1909 Bailey Electric Automobile Advertisement

Copied from the 1909 Motor Age Magazine

The Bailey electric victoria is claimed to be the lightest electric vehicle ever made of its type or size. The battery is hung by three point suspension beneath the floor, and a special design 60-volt motor is used, which is placed well in the rear and from which the drive is delivered to a countershaft by a Morse silent chain and thence by side chains to the rear wheel. One of the unique features of the electric vehicle manufactured by S. B. Bailey & Co. is the control. Although the concern furnishes the conventional wheel, its latest idea in this line is a long lever which is pushed in the direction in which the driver desires the car to go. It is in the form of a D-shaped wheel, carrying the controlling lever, and in appearance greatly resembles the ordinary wheel control.

Several other changes are to be noted, among them being the suspension of the motor by three points which is done to keep it in line with the countershaft during the twisting of the frame while the car is underway. Care is guarding the bateries is noticeable, the companynow keeping them inone box which is placed under the middle of the car where it is figured there is the least possible motion. The battery bx is made of metal hung in three-point  suspension in order to protect the jars from breaking or twisting. The mud guards turn with the front wheels, being placed on the knuckles of the axles. Instead of using chrome nickle and and nickle steel in the axles, the company pins its faith to rewekded mild open R steel. The body. to, is a novelty, being made of bent wood frame and three-ply laminated wood panels. The company's very large Victoria body weighs only 30 pounds in the wood, and will seat three ordinary-sized personscomfortaby on one seat.

(It is to be noted that S. R. Bailey was the first carriage maker in the country to use bent wood  and while in Bath Me., he invented a machine to make wood so thin that when glued together in three layers, it was much stronger and easier to form than ordinary wood. Aso bent wood was much stronger)in construction. His bent wood machines were being used in Austria where bent-wood furniture originated.)

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1909 Advertisement shows the same type of steering and no noticeable changes in body style.

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1909 Advertisement

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1910 Bailey Electric Advertising

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1910 Bailey Electric with Thomas Edison and Colonel Edwin Bailey



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This advertisement was taken from the 1910 Amesbury Town Registery

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1911 Bailey Electric Automobile 
The step has been replaced with a full running board, the first model to have one, and a 1911 Klaxonet electric horn is attached above it. Acetylene lamps are still in use.



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1912 Bailey Electric Roadster

Magazine Article

1912 Bailey Electric RoadsterA somewhat novel vehicle in the electrical field is the Bailey roadster, a specially low-hung type, with a 106-inch wheel base in length and resembling a gasoline car. The make-up of this vehicle combines wood frame with steel bracing, and the battery equipment of Edison cells, which is guaranteed to give a big mileage. The car is geared for high speed, a rating of 30 miles an hour being standard. The chassis design is different from the ordinary in that the motor is located in rear of seat and transmits by chain to the jackshaft.


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1912 Bailey High Speed Roadster 

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1913 Bailey High Speed Electric Automobile Advertisement

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1912 Bailey Electric Runabout

Copied from the November, 1911 Carriage Monthly Magazine

An Electric Car That Does What a Gasoline
Car Will Do

Made by S. R. Bailey Co., Amesbury, Mass

There has been in the minds of motor vehicle buyers and the motor vehicle trade, itself, the impression that the electric car can only be considered as practical in city work, involving very short runs, but it has remained for the S. R. Bailey Co., Amesbury, Mass., to prove that an electric car can be made that will do what a gasoline car will do, and made without any freak features at that. At the recent electric exposition at the Grand Central Palace. New York City, the Bailey company exploited an electric runabout, designed by them to meet the requirements of the Edison Illuminating Co. of Boston, who use at the present time a number of horse vehicles and gasoline cars for getting from place to place over the large area covered by their service. The car was run from Boston to New York, previous to the Exposition, covering the distance, 244.8 miles in 12 hours' and 4 minutes' running time. This was done without any unusual delay in making the trip, the battery being "boosted" during lunch times. The occu- pants of the car, Colonel Bailey and a representative of the Edison Illuminating Co., put themselves to no inconvenience or unnecessary delay whatsoever in having the car replenished with "juice." In other words, the operation was exactly the same as filling the tanks on gasoline cars, which would be the ordinary procedure during lunch times on a long run.

On the strength of the performance of this car, the Edison Illuminating Co., Boston, placed an order for six duplicates with the Bailey company, and it has been formally announced in the advertising of the Edison Illuminating Co. that they will replace all of their gasoline cars and horses with electric cars as quickly as practicable. The car, which is illustrated herewith, has a wheel base of 104 inches and 34 x 3 1/2 -inch tires. As will be noticed from the picture, it has a very low center of gravity (less than 18 inches), while the road clearance is 11 inches full. The seat is 30 inches from the ground to the top of cushion. The car has wheel steer with the famous Bailey control on the top of the steering wheel. The control is arranged to provide a top speed of 26 miles an hour, and intended to maintain an average of 20 miles an hour on the road, an unusually good average. The drive is by chain.

The power equipment is on three point suspension. The battery is a 60-cell, A-4 Edison, and the motor is a 60-volt G. E. The total weight of the vehicle is 2,200 pounds, and the price, including top, electric horn, speed meter and lamps, is $2,500. A very useful and valuable feature is incorporated in the lamps, which are arranged to give three degrees of brillianceone for normal use on the road; a dimmer light for standing at the curb; and an above normal light for use on very dark country roads or in muddy and rough places where a good light is necessary to see the way satisfactorily.


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1912 Electric Victoria Phaeton is now in the Frick Automobile Museum
The running board was designed with flowing lines with no corners. Electric headlights are used.


In 1913, Mr. Bailey donated two automobiles to the Ford Museum. One was a 1913 coupe with fold-down top. The other one was a 1911 Victoria Phaeton that Edison used to test his batteries known as "Maude". The Ford Museum deaccentioned the Bailey automobiles in 1975.

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1912 Bailey Electric Roadster with Weather Gear


Copied from the March 15, 1913 Edition of the Electrical World Magazine


Electric Apparatus at the Boston Automobile Show


The Boston Automobile Show, for pleasure cars only was opened at the Mechanics' Building, Huntington Avenue. Boston, Mass., on the evening of March 8, to last one week, and was characterized by a representative display of the latest models of gasoline and electric machines, ranging in character from the motor cycle to the highest powered and most luxurious touring cars. There were about 300 exhibitors, including accessory manufacturers and dealers. The use of electric self-starting methods and electric lighting has become standard practice with the makers of the highest grades of gasoline cars. The electric automobile display is somewhat scattered this year at Boston, but contains many admirable examples of the brougham and roadster types of equipment. One of the latest models shown, which has been brought out since the New York and Chicago exhibitions earlier in the season, is a new roadster built by S. R. Bailey & Company, of Amesbury, Mass. This machine, known as the company's Model "F." is said to give 125 miles per charge at an average speed of 20 miles per hour, the maximum speed being in the neighborhood of 27 miles per hour

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1913 Bailey Electric Model F Roadster
Donated to the Henry Ford Museum in 1913


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1914 Business Roadster


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1914 Delivery Van

S. E. Bailey & Co. of Amesbury, Mass., have introduced two styles of commercial vehicles in the 1914 electric salon, one a light service runabout with baggage carrying facilities at the rear of the seat and the other a 300-pound delivery wagon mounted on a roadster chassis.

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1914 Electrical workers car

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The 1914Bailey Rlectric Roadster Taking a charge


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Electrical worker's car showing the special ladder hookup on front end
A similiar hookup was on the rear end connected to the tool box

In the 1914 Motor Age Magazine, there were several articles that Ford Motor Company was going to build an electric car. Henry Ford kept denying it. However in Margaret Rice's book "Sun on the River", the Bailey Family History, she states that negotations had been on going with the Ford Company and Biley Electric to join forces in building an  electric car for Ford, but nothing came of it.


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1914 Bailey Electric Open Touring Automomobile


This model was evidently made as a prototype for1915 production. Is not mentioned in ny publications of the period or in Margaret Rice's "Sun on the River" book of the Bailey Family History. It is mentioned that his last invention was a special made single-glass windshield that he patented. Even through 1922, most models were still using the double -glass window shields


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Copied from May 5, 1913 Electrical Magazine

Bailey  had taken the trip to Chicago to try to raise financing for his company which he failed to do. The S.R. Bailey & Co was in dire financial troubles. The company owned the largest factory building in Amesbury and had several other tenants that were in the automobile industry, including Biddle and Smart. Several of these tenants were unable to pay their rents and with no bank support, he was faced with the only thing that he could do was to close down. In October, 1915.  He sold his building to Biddle and Smart, but he kept his machinery and leased a sectioBaileyn of the building. One evening, he and his son, Edwin, walked through the empty building and gave his keys to Biddle and Smart.


Copied from the February 13, 1907 issue of the Horseless Age Magazine 
The Western Buggy Type of Automobile.

The most casual observer at the Sixth Annual Automobile Show held in Chicago could not help but observe the numerous exhibits of what might be called the buggy type of automobile. These machines are distinctly of American origin and were necessitated by the peculiar road conditions existing in many of the more unsettled districts of the country. Such roads as are met with in these localities practically do not exist in France, Germany, or England. The modern touring car represents the gradual development of a machine which is adapted to conditions in Europe, and is not by any means a suitable vehicle for use on the American roads referred to. The buggy type of automobile, as its name implies, looks very much like a buggy with a piano box body, is fitted with large wooden wheels shod with iron tires, which gives it road clearance sufficient to pass through deep mud holes and over protruding stones and stumps without scraping the differenial or striking the flywheel. A single horizontal or two cylinder opposed air cooled motor is usually used, and the drive is by means of a rope or steel cable working over a large sheave clamped to the spokes of the rear wheels.

These vehicles are certainly anything but prepossessing in appearance and are not capable of developing much speed, but are well suited to the needs of persons whose misfortune it is to travel over stretches of country where the roads are all but impassable. On fairly good roads a speed of twelve to fifteen miles can be attained, but in many of the places where they will operate four miles an hour would be considered good progress. These Western vehicles supply a want for which the standard type of touring car is not at all suited. For doctors they should prove of special service, and if properly constructed, suitable material being used, such automobile buggies should last for many years of comparatively hard service. We believe they are destined to become a
distinct factor in the development of theautomobile industry in America.

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1907 Continental Runabout

Beverly Rae Kimes lists this company as being organized in Springfield, IL, in 1907. Wherever it was made, it was not put into production.


Diamond T

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1907 Diamond T Roadster Automobil


The Diamond T Motor Car Company was formed in Chicago, IL, in 1905 by C. A. Tilt, who had just completed his first car. He was a cautious man and did not start its manufacturing until 1907 with two model styles, a runabout and a touring. Fifty cars were built the first year. They were big and rugged..The roadster could be had as a two or four passenger. It had a four-cylinder, four-cycle, vertical, water cooled, 50 H. P. engine. It had a reverse and three forward speed sliding change gear with shaft drive to rear axle. The wheels were 36 inches, the wheel base was 114 inches. The gas tank held 25 gallons and was located behind the rear seat and the total weight was 2,600 lbs. The touring car was priced at $4,300 fully equipped.

He built his cars until 1911 when he built a truck for a friend. He concrentrated on trucks and they were the hallmark of the trucking industry well into the 1950's.



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1907 Duer High-Wheel Automobile

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1907 Duer High Wheeler

The Chicago Coach and Carriage Cmpany, Chicago,IL, began experimenting with manufacturing an automobile in 1905, but it was not put into production until 1907. Like the Hosman models, it was a high class High Wheeler that used rope drive until 1908, the air-cooled engine was moved from under the seat to a hood and a fake radiator. However, the alterations did not spark sales and by 1910, it faded intto oblivion.



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1907 Williams Electric Vctoria Phaeton

In 1906, Harry J. Williams, Akron, OH, introduced a an automobile made out of sheet iron. It had a few features that he called revoluntiary. The body was very heavy for the car, but he did find some backers and the Williams Motor Cariage Company was formed. The company was moved to Cleveland before production was begun and took over the Blakeslee Electric Automobile Company which had been The Williams electric is a copy of the Blakeslee electric victoria. It was put into production in 1907, but ceased shortly for absymal sales. Williams left the company in 1907.



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1907 Vandegrift Autocycle.

James N. Vandegrift, of Philadelphia, has invented an autotomobile built on the principle of the bicycle. In its design he has had the assistance of Henry G. Morris and Pedro G. Salom, also of Philadelphia, who were among the first to build electric vehicles in this country. The machine weighs 380 pounds, carries two passengers, and has a 6 horse power two cylinder gaso-line air cooled motor. The maximum speed is claimed to be 45 miles an hour. It can be turned around in a radius of 7 feet. The small "balance wheels" on the sides carry little or no weight, and as the speed of the vehicle increases the load on these wheels decreases. The axl; connecting them is provided with a link check spring device under either side of the body. These springs under normal conditions take little or no weight, but are adjustable to carry any weight desired.


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1907 Klink Tonneau Automobile


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1907 Klink Runbout Automobile

John Klink was a photogapher who lived in Dansville, NY. In 1906, he asked Harvey Toms, a bicycle repairman to build a car for him, which he was able to drive by July. He liked it so much that he decided to go into business making them and he asked another Dansville businessman Charles Day, to join him. They sold enough stock to organize the Klink Motor Car Manufacturing Company. In March of 1907 with a capital stock fund of $400,000. A vacant chair factory was furnished and fifteen workers began building the Klink cars. Charles Day was the superintendent and Harvey Toms was the foreman. In May, the first one was finished and it went to a stock holder in California who had put up more money than anyone else into the company. Three models were made that consisted of a six-cylinder 30 H.P. runabout, a five passenger touring, and seven passenger touring. Good reviews of the Klink cars were made at the New York Automobile show.


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1909 Klink Automobile Model 35

Charles day walked out of the business because of a disagreement with Klink in July, 1909  and severely short of cash, the factory was closed in late September. Klink tried again in 1910 by assembling cars from left over parts, but no one was interested. Klink gave up and went back to his former profession.

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1907 Klink Automobile Advertisement



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1907 Holmes Runabout Automobile

Copied from the 1907 Mtor Age Magazine

The Holmes Motor Vehicle Company, of East Boston, Mass., are exhibiting two types of friction driven cars which possess certain points of novelty. Type H is a four cylinder, five passenger vehicle, and Type S is a double cylinder opposed car of the same passenger capacity. The former is equipped with a Reeves
4x4 inch, 24-28 horse power engine, cooled centrifugal pump, and six bladed aluminum, belt driven fan.Its ends carry the sprockets of the double chain
drive. The engine and its auxiliaries are, on the other hand, slightly movable on a sub-frame which is capable of sliding in a fore and aft direction upon four sets oflarge steel balls, six in a set, upon the main frame of the car. In order to cause engagement of the frictional drive, the engine upon its ball supported sub-frame is drawn toward the rear by means of two spiral springs. A ratchet pedal of the usual form serves to throw the engine unit forward against the action of these springs and breaks frictional contact between the flywheel and the friction wheel, which as usual is arranged slidably on the cross shaft. The fore and aft motion of the en-gine unit and its sub-frame is very slight.
The crank shaft is extended somewhat to- Control is by means of the engaging and disengaging pedal before mentioned, a side lever, moving on a notched quadrant, which determines the speed by sliding the friction wheel, an internal expanding foot brake acting on the rear hubs, and spark and throttle levers mounted above the steering wheel, but not turning with it.

The Holmes automobile was put into production in 1906 by the Charles Holmes Machine  Company, Cambridge, MA. with an air-cooled 30 mph five-seat air-cooled  touring car priced at $1,375.00 or a water-cooled model for $1,400. Also offered were either a two-cylinder runabout for $650 or a four-cylinde for $750. The company went into bankrupptcy in 1907.


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1907 Kermath Speed-Away Automobile

The Kermath Motor Car Company, Detroit, MI, specialized in one model known as the Kermath Speedway roadster. It was known as a gentleman's roaster.  It had a high-powered, eight-cylinder, water-cooled motor with 4 inch bore and a 43/4 inch stroke that produced 50-60 hordepower.

The company quickly ran out of finances and folded before the year's end.



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1907 Hewitt Touring Automobile

In 1906. the Hewitt Motor Car Company, New York City, owned by Edward Hewitt,  bought the Selden license from the defunct Standard Motor Construction Company and made its first car that had a single -cylinder engine. A four-cylinder touring and a limousine was also offered. Most of the single-cylinder models were exported to Europe. The 1907 models were eight cylinders which he claimed to be the first made in America, but evidently, he did not know that the 1905 Buffum cars had eight cylinders. Trucks were also a part of the Hewitt company and  it was absorbed by the Metzger Motor Car Company in 1907, the Hewitt trucks were continued until 1912 when it was absoerbed by a corporation that included the Mack trucks. 

Pratt Six Wheeler

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1907 Pratt Six Wheel Automobile

Charles  C. Pratt, owner of the Pratt Chuck Works, Frankfor, NY, built his 75-horsepower, six-wheel vehicle in 1907. The wheel base was 168 inches and there were three rows of seats. It was driven by the rear wheels with the middle and front wheels doing the steering with the middle set at a lesser angle than the front. Two steering wheels in the front did the steering. He made it for himself and it never went into production.



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1907 C. F. Touring Automobile

In late 1907, the Cornish-Friedberg Motor Car Company put its C. F.model    into production for the 1908 season. For all practical purpose it was one of the many generic automobiles that were being built during this time. It was a five passenger touring model with a four-cyclinde, four-cycle, water-cooled motor that produced 35 horsepower, The selective transmission was a three-speed and reverse with sliding gears. 114-inch wheelbase. 32 X 4-inch tires, weight 2400 lbs and priced at $2,250. The company went out of business before the end of the year.


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1907 Albany Automobile

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1907 Albany Runabout

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1907 Albany Touring Automobile

The original Albany automobile was designed in 1905 by John L. Lulley and it was a typical model with the engine under the seat and tiller steering, steel wheels and no fenders. It was produced as a touring and a runabout. The  2-cylinder air-cooled motors produced  18-20 hp. With several local backers, the Albany Automobile Company, Albany, IN, was formed in late 1906 and production began in early 1907. However, within a short period, the backers wanted some asthetic changes made to make it look like a proper motor car. A false hood and wheel steering were added.


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1908 Albany Automobile

The engine was changed to three cylinders and the motor was under the hood.   These changes did not improve its sales and after 850 were produced, the company declared bankruptcy.



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1907 Servitor Rubabout Automobile

1n 1907, the Barnes Manufacturing Company, Sandusky, OH, owned by H. C. Barnes, began to manufacture automobiles with two models, Servitor and Barnes. The Servitor by stated that "It is all the name implies". It was advertised as "A Car for Service" It was powered by a 20-horsepower motor on 90-inch wheel base with shaft drive and a patented two-speed planetay transmission. Only a two-seated roadster was offered and sold at $1,250. It was built only in 1907


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1907 Servitor Automobile Advertisement

Barnes continued to build cars in his name, but, there is no clear cut records as to how long that the Barnes automobile was in production, nor the one the same Barnes who took over the Anhut Motor Car Company, Detroit, MI, in 1910


Late in 1906, Charle B, Hatfield and his son, Junior, incorporated their Hatfield Motor Vehicle Compnay in Cortland, NY, to build a high wheel vehicle to be called a Buggyabout ot Unique. It was put into production in early 1907. The motor was of the two cylinder opposed, air cooled, four cycle type, rated at 12 horse power, and was located transversely under the seat. The drive was by means of friction discs, countershaft and side chains to the rear wheels. The wheel base was 74 inches with 38-inch front wheels and 42- inch rear wheels, giving a road clearance of 16 inches. Full elliptic springs placed crosswise at the  front and rear are used, the axles being separated by reach rods. The complete vehicle weighed 800 pounds.


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The company was relocated to Miamisburg, OH, in 1907 and the name was now the Hatfield. It was a typical high wheeler of that period, but it had a double-chain drive. The running gear and body were made by the Kauffman Buggy Company also located in that town. When it wen into receivership in 1908, it was merged with the Kauffman Company. Advanced Motor Vehicle Company was formed to make the Kauffman cars. Charles Jr. went on to make the O-We-Go cycle car in 1913. 


Copied from the 1907 Horseless Age Magazine

The Town Car

No doubt the enormous demand for pleasure cars, expressly designed for touring purposes, and the large prices which can be obtained for them, has until now deterred manufacturers from entering the rather prosaic field of providing gasoline cabs and town cars. These occupy a field between the pleasure car and the strictly commercial vehicle, and partake, in a measure, of the characteristics of both. The passenger vehicle of utility must possess the luxurious qualities of the former in combination with the serviceability of the latter. Fortunately, the technical problems presented by the town car do not possess the
difficulties met with in connection with the strictly commercial vehicle. In fact, in some respects the town car or cab is an easier proposition than the touring car. While the handling of parcels and freight is strictly a matter of cost, when animal power and mechanical power are competing for favor, the transportation of persons is rather more a matter of luxury and speed than of dollars and cents. The motor cab problem, from a business standpoint, is thus
a much easier one than the commercial vehicle problem.

In a way the demand for town cars has been met for several years by the use of touring car chasses fitted with closed bodies; but it has been evident to all thoughtful students of the subject that this expedient offers but a crude solution of the problem. For convenient town use, both as public cabs and as private town vehicles, it is evident that chasses of considerably shorter wheel base than common in touring car practice are advisable in point of ease of handling. Furthermore, the necessarily lower speeds prescribed by city conditions call for vehicles of lower horse power, which means cars of less weight, and hence
cars which are easier on their tires. As comfort must not be sacrificed, and as city pavements must be traversed, town cars must be provided with the best possible springs and large wheels and tires. The motors of town cars should be silent and self-starting. Doubtless there will be developed a distinct type of vehicle embodying these and other desirable qualities.

It is always of advantage for an industry to be founded upon a utilitarian demand rather than upon the requirements of pleasure or sport, and it would seem that excellent business sense underlies the proposition of entering upon the manufacture of vehicles of utility for city service.If manufacturers decide to devote a portion of the energy which they have hitherto lavished upon large, high powered, high speed pleasure cars, to the development ofthe urban car, and also a portion to the working out of the low priced runabout, it canot fail to place the industry upon a more substantial basis than at present. More than "one string to the bow" is a safe thing in any line of business.


Copied from the 1907 Horseless Age Magazine

The Gearless Transmission Company, Rochester, N. Y., who are well known to the trade as manufacturers of frictional  transmissions, have now entered the lists of automobile makers with two large and fine appearing touring cars, both employing the novel system of frictional transmission recently brought out by
this company. These vehicles are capacious seven passenger cars, with attractively designed straight line bodies, and are practically identical as to their running gears and transmissions, differing principally in respect to their motors. Model 75 is propelled by a six cylinder, fourcycle, 75 horse power engine, , while Model 60 is equipped with a 60 horse power, four cylinder, two cycle motor of 5 inch bore and 5 inch stroke. Model 75 is known as "The Great Six"Model 75 has a wheel base of 128 inches and Model 60 of 124 inches, while the former is stated to weigh 3,000 pounds and the latter 2,800 pounds.


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1907 Gearless Model 60 Touring Automobile


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1907 Gearless Model 75 Touring Automobiles

In the fall of 1905, the Geerless Transmission Company was incorporated with a capital fund of $500,000 by I. L Fairbanks, John Breyfogle, and L. A. Burleigh and production was started in late 1906 for the 1907 season an they price was not cheap. A Greyhound roadster with the hood being the half the lenght of the car. The high prices were a hindrance for profits and some thought was given to the friction drive as being the cause. In 1908, the company was reorganized as the Gearless Motor Car Company and additional financing was made available.The 1909 models had lowered-powered    four-cylinders with cheaper prices and a model with standard transmission that was named the "Olympic".  Before it had a chance to turn a profit, the company went bankrupt.


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1907 Gearlwss Automobile Advertisement


Copied from the 1907 Horselles Age Magazine

The Buckboard as a Commercial Vehicle

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1906 Waltham Light Delivery Wagon

The very light commercial car of the buckboard type has of late invaded many fields, being used by several electric lighting plants, in the West and Middle West, for trouble service; for light goods delivery, dry goods, florists, plumbers, painters and decorators, and rural mails. One Chicago concern uses twenty of these cars, which have a carrying capacity of 600 pounds each, besides the driver, for the city retail delivery of dry goods. Another firm located in Schenectady uses several for the carrying of parts and material from one part to the other of their plant, which is very extensive, covering a strip of ground
upward of a mile in length.

A great many people look with contempt upon these little cars because of their unconventional appearance and the exposed location of the mechanism. When one stops to consider impartially, however, the merits and demerits of such a construction, as applied to light commercial work, it takes on a different aspect. The vehicles are very light (as they should be), provided with a small high speed engine, air cooled, using very little fuel and oil, and are low geared, giving them ability to pull a load and at the same time keep the speed within reasonable limits. For short quick trips the exposed position of the engine and power plant is very satisfactory, making it readily accessible when adjustment is necessary, and thus shortening the time of delays. In addition to this their light weight makes them very easily handled and also easy on their tires. These tires do not therefore need to be so large and expensive as those of a heavier car must of necessity be. This is an item in both first cost and upkeep that cannot well be overlooked. The low first cost and small cost of upkeep and the satisfaction given in service in the majority of cases seem to indicate that cars of this type will be even more largely used in the commercial field, to which they are adapted.


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1907 Anderson High-Wheel Model B Automobile

The Anderson Carrige Manufacturing Company, Anderson, IN, decided to make automobiles and their car was a two-cylinder, air-cooled friction-drive vehicle that was nothing else but a high-wheel vehicle that was built for a  segment of customers of certain needs. A model C with smaller wheels with pneumatic was reluctly offerd. They were in busiess for three years before closing down.



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1907 Bailey Runabout Automobile

Copied from the 1906 Motor Age Magazine

The Bailey Automobile Company of Springfield, Mass., is manufacturing a runabout fitted with a 20-24 horse power, revolving cylinder, two cycle air cooled motor. The motor has four cylinders, arranged radially around a crank chamber of manganese bronze. All the four pistons are connected to a single throw crank shaft, which is held stationary. Both the pistons and the cylinders revolve, and there are no reciprocating parts in the engine. These
revolving parts also serve the office of a flywheel, and no special flywheel is required.The cylinders are in a sense double actinging the up stroke it is compressed in the outer end of the cylinder and exploded at the end of that stroke. The whole cycle is repeated for each two strokes of the piston, and there are four power impulses in all during each revolution of the engine. The burnt gases are led from the cylinder through ports uncovered by the piston at
the end of its inward stroke, half of these ports being on each side of the cylinder, and at the same time that the spent gases are being discharged a new charge is coming in at the cylinder head. The lubricating oil is forced through a channel in the crank shaft to the crank pin, thus oiling the crank pin bearings. The oil working through this bearing is distributed over the inside wall of the crank chamber by  centrifugal force. As in a stationary motor

All the wheels are 32 inches in diameter, contain twelve 13/4-inch spokes and are shod with 31/2 inch tires. The wheel base is 100 inches, and the weight is given at 1,500 pounds. The car seats two persons, while a rumble seat can be supplied as an extra. The motor of the new runabout is of the four cylinder water cooled type. The crank shaft has five bearings, the rear one being lubricated by a chain oiler.

Two brothers, Julian and James Perkiners, owners of a machine shop,    made a runabout prototype that they named the "Perkins". Not having the finances to produce it, they sought financial help and it was given to them by Bertram Bailey in the amount of $20,000. The Bailey-Perkins Motor Car Company was established. The brothers quickly spent the money and still did not have a car. More investors were convinced to invest and the Bailey Automobile Company was capitalized for $500,000. Production was begun in February of 1907 with a runabout. More body styles were soon made followed by going back to the roadster in 1910. The Bailey company was trying to figure why there were not many sales. The running board was two feet from the ground and making a person have to crawl to get into it. Consequently, they went out of business in 1910.




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1907 Pennsylvania Touring Automobile


The Pennsylvania Auto-Motor Company, Bryn Mawr, PA,  was organized in late 1906 to manufacture their Pennsylvania model automobile.It was introduced at the Grand Central  Palace , New York that fall as a 1907 model year. It had a four-cylinder, 45-horsepower motor. The following models had the company's designed motors that were four and six cylinders ranging fom 29-75 horsepower with price tags from $2,100 to $4,750. J. M. Quinby & Company made the bodies and the cars used this in their advertisements. The company was in financial trouble in 1910, but a plan was agreed to let the company keep working. Quinby sued for reneging on the contract before the full amount was delivered. The company went into bankruptcy shortly thereafter.


Silent Knight

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1907 Silent Knight Touring Automobile


Charles Knight was the publisher of the Dairy Produce Magazine in Chicago, IL. The constant knocking noise from his car as he drove around irritated him  and he decided to build a noiseless engine. In 1904, he designed a sleeve-valve engine that was noiseless and he called it the Silent-Knight. He formed a partnership with  L. B. Kilbourne in 1905 to build a number of his engines. This led to  his building the Silent-Knight automobile to induce other manufactures to license his engine. However, when put to test, problems were found that gave the engine a bad name. In 1907, he then decided to go to Europe to try his luck there.

The English Daimler Motor Car Company saw that his engine could be very successful with a few modifications and bought a license. Shortly thereafter, most of the other Europen manufacturers followed suit.  Wanting to capitalize on his success, he returned to America and before long, several prominent makers were buying licenses. There was one stipulation to this and that the Knight name would be used as part of the model name..Hence, Moline Knight, Stearns Knight, and others adapted his motors.



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1907 Harper Automobile Runabout

Thye Harper runabout was produced in January of 1907 by the Harper Buggy Company, Columbus City IN. The little runabout was powered by a two-cylinder, water-cooled , 14 power engine. The transmission was a planetary change speed gear with two forward and reverse settings. The wheel base was 76 inches and the weight was 1250 lbs. The price was $800. In 1908, Harper gave up on the automobile and returned to buggy making.




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1907 Jenkins Special Touring Automobile

William Jenkins was a shoe maker in Rochester, NY, who in 1907 decided to manufacture automobiles. He formed the Jenkins Motor Car Company to build his Jenkins Special that was a water-cooled , four-cycle, four cylinder with a top speed of 45 mph. A side lever operated the three speed transmission that had a shaft drive . The wheelbase was 112 inches with 34-inch wheels. Five or seven passenger models could be ordered. the weight was 2,600 pounds and the price was $3,000 fully loaded. The Jenkins was just and ordinary car that never changed and in 1912, he decided to quit the business.




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1906 Ariel Touring Automobile

Because the Ariel, made in Boston, MA, owed the Siinclair-Scott Company, Baltimore, MD,  a huge sum of money for parts and was unable to pay, the Ariel was absorbed by Sinclair-Scott in hopes some of its money could be recouped. The 1906 Ariel became the 1907 Maryland automobile with the Maryland name on the radiator. It was a four cylinder, water-cooled with overhead valves that delivered 26 horsepower. The wheelbase was 112 inches and weighed 2,350 pounds and priced at $2,500.

It was shown at the Baltimore Automobile Show in January, 1907. The car was was a money losing proposition for its duration to 1910, when Sinclair-Scott shut it down.



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1907 Okey Roadster Automobile

Perry Okey was a sixteen-year old electrical apprentice for the Columbus, OH, Electric Company in 1896 when he decided to build a gasoline automobile. It was a tricycle with a four-stroke water-cooled engine of his design. His work was experimental until in 1900, he started building and selling one car a year. By 1905, he had switched to two cylinders, two-stroke engines and was now making five cars  a year. The Automobile Cycle and Trade Journal columnist, Hugh Dolnar, drove the car and was so impressed wit it that he tried to get investors to put it into production. Just enough financing came forth for Okey to start his Okey Motor Car Company in January, 1907. It was a three-cylinder, two-stroke, 20 horsepower runabout with shaft drive on a 92-inch wheel base that was priced at $1,400.  The money ran out iin November and the company went into recership with the understanding that its production would continue until parts were exhausted.



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1907 Euclid Roadster Automobile


In 1907, Herbert Palmer made a second attempt at making automobiles shortly after his Palmer model had gone under in Astabula, OH. This one would be named Euclid and was manufactured by his new Euclid Motor Car Company, Cleveland, OH. It would be a roadster with seating for two or three passengers. The motor was three cyclinders, two cycles, and ait cooled  developing 20 horsepower. The wheelbase was 100 inches with 30-inch tires and priced at $850. A touring car was also offered at $1,000 and both models came complete.




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1907 Triumph Automobile

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1907 Triumph Roadster Automobile

John H. Behrens organized his Triumph Motor Car Company, Chicago, IL, in1907 to manufacture his Triumph automobile. The marketing was done by Christopher Brothers who owned an automobile  dealership. The motor was a four-cylinder, four-stroke, and water-cooled that was 30 horsepower. The wheelbase was 113 inches and the tires were 36 by 4 inches.  The touring car sold for $3,000 and the roadster sold for $2,250. In August of that year, the company was sold to Vincent Bendix and O. M. Delany who refined the compressedair starter. The management was left to Delany while Bendis busied himself with two new models which one was called the Bendix. 1912 was the last year for the Triumph.

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1907 Triumph Automobile Advertisement




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1907 Ranger High Wheel Roadster

The Ranger Motor Works was organized in Chicago, Ill, in 1907 with Oscar S. Smith as the owner. For the first three years, the model was essentially the same. The company was reorganized in 1909 as Ranger Automobile Company and in 1910, the model was introduced as a more convettial roadster model. By the end of the year, the company went into receivership

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1907 Ranger Automobile Advertisement


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