History Of Early American Automobile Industry

Chapter 18


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Addendum 1    Addendum 2   Addendum 3

1912 could be considered as the year for major improvents of automobiles, especially with the accessories. Tires was one of them. Non-skid tires had been around for some time, but they were mosty tires with imbeded spikes. These tires did not have along life due to the damages cause by thes spikes.   Severalcompanies began to make tires with molded patterns such as the illustration shows

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1912 Nonskid Tires

Copied from the 1912 Motor Age Magazine

There are several features to be noted 'in the field of motor car tires for the coming year in which there is shown a decided development. The chief of these is in the matter of anti-skid devices. The number of accidents with injury to passengers and damage to cars which has occurred on account of skidding on slip- pery pavements or muddy streets has shown the need for some method of pre- venting slipping of the wheels. The original method of overcoming the difficulty feature with the tire itself; in other was by the use of tire chains, which, so words, a non-skid tread. Tires with treads far as th» of this kind have been on the market for many years with gradually increasing popularity. But this year marks a great addition to the number of non-skid treads which, it is probable, is merely an answer to the demands of the users during the past year. There were two types of non-skid tires. One was patterns that were molded in the tires and the other had small spikes inbedded inbedded in the tires.

Electric lights with lighting systems was one of the most important improvements features to appear that year. Chief among these were Dayton Electric Company (Delco) and Gray and Davis. Gray and Davis was the leader in this category and was a pioneer in automobile lighting. They were the largest manufacturer of lighting in the world

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1909  Electric Lighting System Advertisement

Consisting of two lamps, style 967, Gray and Davis lens mirrors and type G generator, all of our best quality, thoroughly guaranteed, suitably for Maxwell, Ford, and Reo. Lamps are strongly made splendied light givers and generator is simple, strong, and serviceable. Users send in your orders direct or through your dealer. Dealers--Send for new lists and terms. Don't delay

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1912 Gray and Davis Advertisement

Automobile Topics May 28, 1910
Electric Light System  

The Gray & Davis unit system of electric lighting for automobiles, consists of a generator, driven by the engine through a friction clutch, which stores a battery from whence the lighting current is drawn. The speed of the generator is governed by a mechanical device operating on the centrifugal principle, so that notwithstanding the speed of the engine, the armature of the generator revolves at a uniform rate. Should the generator provide more than the battery discharges, an automatic cut out switch breaks the circuit, remaking it again when the voltage of the battery has fallen below the amount furnished by the dynamo. In this system the armature of the generator revolves all the time the engine is running.

Combination gas and electric lights are made by this firm, with selective devices whereby either form of illumination can be used as desired. The lights are controlled by a series of switches conveniently placed to the driver's hand, so that any or all the lights may be switched on or off as desired. Other devices can be added to the ordinary lamp equipment, such as a dome lamp for the limousine, an electrically operated horn, a fan for use in the limousine in hot weather, a trouble-finding lamp and an electrical cigar lighter.

The next step was enevitable which was for an automatic starting and light incorporated into one system. In 1911, Charles Kettering, Owner of Dayton Electric Company, Dayton, OH, invented the electric starting system that was first used on the 1912 Cadillac. General Motors acquired the patent rights and it was used on all General Motors automobiles. However, at the same time, Gray and Davis had been experimenting with their electrical starting device and was put on the market in the summer of 1912. Their system began to be installed in other company's models and was cheaper to buy. Gray and Davis's name began to appear on automobile advertisements as an inducement to purchase. It was very simple for any good garage mechanic to install.

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1912 Motorized Roller Skates

The Early Days of the American Motor Car

This article is the only one that was written that gave Frank Duryea the credit that he deserved for winning the 1895 Race.

This year's grand prize races, beginning on the sixteenth anniversary of the first power vehicle contest in the United States, brought from old-timers some amusing and interesting reminiscences of the early days of the American motor car. The remarkable rate of progress in automobile design and construction in this country cannot be better illustrated than by the fact that the inventor of the first successful motor carwho, incidentally, built the original "horseless wagon," as it was then called, with his own handsis still among the inventors developing and refining automobiles. This is J. Frank Duryea. With his "Duryea wagon" he won the first "horseless carriage" contest, in Chicago, November
28, 1895, and with a wagon improved in the light of that experience he carried off the honors in the Cosmopolitan race on Memorial Day, 1896, which was the first American speed event.

The Stevens-Duryea car of today is the lineal descendant of the "Duryea wagon" that performed at Chicagofor that was the first practical gasoline motor vehicle produced in this country and its performance was remarkable in many ways. Through the slush and over the ice which filled Chicago boulevards after a November snowstorm, the Duryea wagon and its "horseless" companions covered the 54-mile course in the face of difficulties that would be considered
serious in a motor contest even today. The winner set the record at 10 hours and 23 minutes, but beat out the horse-drawn vehicles at that, for, in his account of how he followed his brother's motorwagon, Charles Duryea mentioned, time and again, that he arid the party who accompanied him had to stop for relays of horses and sometimes, too, to resort to railroad trains.

The pioneer Duryea was a high-wheel, "hose-pipe" tire, rangey-looking open buggy, with a two-cylinder gasoline motor in the body. Its mechanism showed several distinct improvements over the European designs which then prevailed in motor cars; the carburetor¦which has always been a strong feature of Stevens-Duryea constructionand certainty of control, both in steering and in locomotion, were referred to as the specially noteworthy features. In spite of its
topheavy construction the pioneer American car made what would still be average speed in many cities, negotiating narrow wheel rut¦the running gear of the "horseless" was several inches wider than that of the horse-drawn vehicle thenat a speed of more than eight miles an hour in actual running, something over three hours of the elapsed time between start and finish being lost in stops for repairs. From the lessons learned in the Chicago contest, J. Frank Duryea got out a new model which embodied the fundamental principles on which the present Stevens-Duryea is built. With two cars of this second model the Duryeas carried off all the prize money in the Cosmopolitan race the following May.

There was great discussion because of the attempt to make this a speed event, and when the drivers went over the course from City Hall in New York to Irvington-on-Hudson at a 12-mile-an-hour gait and coasted some of the hills at 25 to 30 miles an hour, they were regarded as foolhardy and reckless dare-devils. The second Duryea had a four horse-power motor in the box of the body; a water cooling system; a brake worked by a button at the front corner of the seat and so efficient as to give absolute control even at the speed of 12 miles; three "normal speeds" forwardof 3, 6 and 10 miles an hour, the maximum ability of the car being 16 milesand one reverse; and a wonderful lever which wholly controlled the carriage, the lateral movement of the lever steering the vehicle, and the vertical movement, starting and stopping, changing speed and reversing. Up to ten miles an hour the changes in speed were made by means or gears, without the speed of the motor being changed. Beyond that, however, up to twenty miles, which was the carriage's limit, the speed of the motor had to be increased in order to increase the rate at which the wagon traveled, a button at the front of the seat being the means of managing this control. This second model was built lower than the first one.


Two of the greatest stories for the first half of 1912 concerned two well known companies adding two other companies to their portfolio.

May 2, 1912 MOTOR AGE

Handley in a New Deal

President of American Company Heads Interests That Buy Marion Concern from Willys-OverlandWill Be at Head of Both Concerns, But There
Will Be No Merger

Of the most important industrial events of the week is the purchasing of the Marion Sales Co., Indianapolis, Ind., from the Willys-Overland Co., by new capital headed by John I. Handley, president of the American Motor Car Co. of that city. Up to the present the Marion company has been a corporate part of the Willys Overland interests, the Marion car being being built in the Indianapolis factory and marketed through the Willys-Overland selling organization. The chang means that a new company, to be known as the Marion Motor Car Co., with a capital of $1,000,000, has been organized with Mr. Handley as president and general manager. This new company will continue the manufacture of Marion cars in the present plant until probably August 1, when a new factory location will be obtained and the present factory given over to the
manufacture of Overland cars for the 1913 season. In the meantime plans are being arranged for new factory facilities. It is understood that John North Willys will be only interested in the new Marion Motor Car Co. as a stockholder. Mr. Handley, who is at present president and general manager of the American Motor Car Co., will continue in this capacity and there will be nothing in the nature of a merger between the American and
Marion companies. It is planned that wherever possible the two lines will be retailed from the same agencies, but where separate agencies exist at present little if any effort will be made in the immediate future to bring them together. It is rumored that there will not be any direct conflict in the
line of cars built by the two companies, the American line comprising two, four and six-passenger cars and the Marion line featuring a five-passenger vehicle. The new Marion car will be a continuation of the present type in practically every respect. The exact personnel of the officers and directors of the new Marion company has not been made as yet by those in the present deal.


                   May 2, 1912  MOTOR AGE

Million- Dollar Concern Officered Newly Organized Buffalo Electric Co. Has Samuel J. Dark for President and Will Make Both Pleasure and Commercial VehiclesBabcock Among Those in Big Consolidation of Trade Interests

Buffalo, N. Y., April 28During the past week the Buffalo Electric Co., the million-dollar concern for which papers of incorporation were filed with the secretary of state about a month ago, elected officers. Samuel J. Dark was elected president. Other officers chosen were: Vice-president in charge of manufacturing, A. A. Landon; vice-president in charge of sales, William A. Morgan; treasurer, Harry Yates; secretary, Alfred W. Thorn. The officers are prominent business men of this city, all of whom are connected with important enterprises in Buffalo.

The capital stock of the million-dollar motor organization is divided into $700,000 common and $300,000 preferred. The preferred stock has been entirely under- written by Buffalo people and a large part of it already has been purchased by local residents. The unsold portion of the stock will be sold to the public about May 1. A feature of the incorporation of this great motor industry is the amalgamation of four prominent motor establishments of Buffalo. The million-dollar concern has purchased the entire capital stock of the Babcock Electric Carriage Co., 226 West Utica street; the Clark Motor Co., 2665 Main street; the Buffalo Automobile Station Co., 240 West Dtica street; the Buffalo Electric Carriage Co., 240
West Utica street. The officers of the Buffalo Electric Vehicle Co. also have been elected officers of the subsidiary companies which cements the management of the great motor industry. By the purchase of these companies the new corporation comes into possession of one of the best factories in Buffalo for the manufacture of pleasure and commercial motor cars, and the garage to be used by the new industry will perhaps be the finest in New York state. The firm will do business throughout the United States and, it is said, will export machines to other countries should sales warrant this. John T. Steele, broker, is handling the stock of the new corporation.


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1912 Delco Electrical Starting System

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1911 Ward's Bread Advertising Truck, Built by the Rech-Marbaker Co., Philadelphia, PA

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Another One by the Same Company

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A Familair Name , Pabst Blue Ribbon Delivery Wagon, Made by the Mack BrothersMotor Car Company, Allentown, Pa


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1911 Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show Wagon, Built by the Martin Carriage Works, York, PA


From Pillar to Post

Copied from the 1911 Automobile Topics Magazine

Garford Makes His Own Car

Following an amicable termination of its contract with the Studebaker Automobile Company, of South Bend, Ind., the Garford Company, of Elyria, O., will present its product to the world under its own name, thus realizing the dream of years of A. L. Garford, inventor and dominant factor of the Elyria plant, who has long sought this opportunity.

For years the Garford engine and mechanism has been widely and favorably known in the first grade Rainier and Studebaker cars and for the last two years the entire production of Garford chasses has been taken and used by the Studebaker Company. The Garford car will be exhibited at all the big shows of the circuit cities.'

No other company in the industry makes in its own plant any more of its chassis that the Garford Company. Plans for the extension of the plant to include a body factory are now under consideration.

Historically the Garford Company is fortunate. The Federal Manufacturing Company, from which the Garford Company was a development, began the production of high grade cars about seven years ago. For a considerable time there was probably no automobile in this country for sale at a retail price exceeding $3,000 for which the Federal Company and its subsequent successor, the Garford Company, did not make some important component part. Chief engineers of the various manufacturing companies conferred with high grade talent utilized in the Garford plant. The exigencies of the demands worked for the perfection of the Garford ideas, plans, plant and men. It was but a step from the making of component parts to the complete chassis. It was but another step to the supplying of every available complete chassis the plant had on hand to the companies demanding the finished product.

Copied from the 1912 Automobile Topic Magazine

MOTOR AGE July 4, 1912

Willys Takes Over Garford Company Purchases Controlling Interest in Elyria Concern and Will Handle Line from Toledo HeadquartersMany Improvements in Plants Contemplated

Toledo, Oh., June 28The finishing touch to the ambition of President John N. Wllys, of the Willys-Overland Co., was given today when the deal was consummated by which Mr. Willys purchased the common stock of the Garford Automobile Co., of Elyria, O. There is $2,000,000 worth of the stock and the product will be handled through the Toledo sales department of the Willis-Overland Co. Mr. Willys' ambition has been to make gasoline cars to suit every purchaser and he feels that this can now be accomplished with the increased facilities placed at his disposal by the latest acquisition.

The Garford plant in Elyria is capable of employing 3,000 men and the concern makes a high-priced six-cylinder passenger car and 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6-ton motor trucks. The Elyria plant will in the future be operated at its full capacity, 3000 men. Mr. Willys now controls not only the Overland business at Toledo but the Gramm Motor Truck Co., at Lima O., the Auto Parts Co., at Elmyra, N. Y., and the Garford Co. They will all become
part of the proposed $15,000,000 corporation which will be organized as soon as the secretary of state authorizes the increase in capital stock application for which will be filed within a very few days.

Enormous improvements are planned for the local plant of the Willys-Overland Co., and of the Kinsey Mfg. Co., both of which concerns will be doubled in capacity. It is expected to turn out 40,000 cars from the local factory during 1913. According to a statement made by a member of the Overland Company, orders for from 2,000 to 3,000 cars have been turned down within the past 6 weeks because of inability to turn them out.
Orders for several thousand cars were lost during August September and October of last year on account of inability to turn them out fast enough to supply the demand. Among the smaller improvements to be made by the Willys-Overland Co., will be the refitting and refinishing of the drop-forging department, the old garage and other buildings. Two huge drop forges are already on the ground ready to be installed, each having a pressure of
6,000 pounds to the square inch. New modern machinery will be intalled in the new building and will be constructed along the most improved lines for factory buildings. Several new additions have been platted near the Willys-Overland Co., and nearly 1,000 new houses are being constructed to take care of the men who are expected to move to the city to take positions in the factory when the improvements contemplated have been made.


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1912 Omaha Touring Automobile
The only known photo of this car

Early in 1912, David W. Henry, former engineer of the Colby Automobile Company, Mason City, IA, came to Omaha to get financing for his new design. It was a five-passenger touring car with an underslung frame, powered by a 233 cubic inch, four-cylinder engine with a shaft drive. His effort to find capital was successful and the Omaha Motor Car Company was incorporated in 1912 with $500,000 capital stock. While waiting for the new factory to be built, production was started in April at the Stroud Machine Company. The first delivery with a price tag of $1,250 began in April. The number of cars produced is not known, but in September 1913, it petitioned for bankruptcy.

1912 Stewart-Warner Advertisement

The Making and the Breakup of  The United StatesMotor Car Company of America


After Benjamin Briscoe sold the Buick Motors to Whiting, he continued to make garbage cans and metal parts for cars. He had no intention of making cars until his friend, Johnathon Maxwell, who, with Charles Brady King, were working for the Norhern Mfg. CO,  got him interested in making a car that he had newly designed.

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1904 Briscoe Automotible Parts Advertisements

Needing machinery and a factory was not hard to find. John Brisbane's Mobile factory in Tarrytown, NY was for leasing. With a $150,000 loan from J. P. Morgan, the Briccoe-Maxwell Motor Car Company was formed and production for the 1904 Bricsoe-Maxwell automobile began. Ten cars were made in the first year and 800 the following year.

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1904 Maxwell Prototype

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1905 Maxwell Advertisement

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1905 Maxwell Runabout

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1906 Maxwell Advertisement

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1907 Maxwell Advertisement

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Jack Benny, Eddie Anderson, Phil Harris
and Wilbur Shaw at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, 1950

Jack Benny shown here shaking hands with Harry Truman

Jack Benny made the 1908 Maxwell famous for his jokes about his car that he still used and was too cheap to buy a new one.

Cadwallander, Carl to his friends, Kelsey was the sales manager and he was the best in the business. He was the one who sponsored all the sales gimmicks for the car such as climbing church steps and for persuading Alice Ramsey and three of her companions to drive a Maxwell from New York City to San Francisco in 1909. Maxwell won the light car race to the top of Mt. Washington, NH. and several other stunts that were filmed and shown in theaters. Maxwell's sales rose to be the third in the country. \

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Kelsey was also very familiar with automobile manufacturing.  In 1899, at the age of seventeen he made the three wheel Kelsey car.

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1899 Kelsey Three Wheel Runabout

Briscoe had been friends with Durant the day that he bought Buick Motors and they had worked together in several of  Durant's acquisitions and Maxwell  was a go-between Durant and Ford's meeting about Durant buying the Ford Automobile Co. In 1909,  Briscoe approached Durant about selling the Briscoe-Maxwell Company. The offer came too late because Durant had just bought Cadillac and would not be able to arrange financing for the Maxwell car.

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1909 Maxwell Special for the King of Siam

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1911 Maxwell Runabout

After several months of thinking about the future of the Maxwell-Brisco car, he detrermined that his survival depended on forming a corporation as his friend Durant was doing. In 1909, Briscoe allied with Alfred Reeves. They knew each other very well because Briscoe was a prominent member of American Motor Car Manufacturers Association and Reeves was the president of A.L.A.M and both of these groups were soon to be non-existent. Reeves readily accepted Briscoe's offer to join.

The United States Motor Car Company

His salvation came when he received a phone call a short time later and the caller was Anthony Brady. Brady had made his fortune in street railways and utiltities. He was one of the smartest men in the business and he knew everyone and everything that mattered.  He offered Briscoe a million dollars to get started if he would buy the Columbia Motor Car Co.which had changed its name from the Electric Vehicle Company two years earlier. Brady knew automobiles and he also knew that Maxwell was having a record breaking year in sales. The Columbia car did not appeal to Briscoe and as he put it " it had been engineered to death". The bait that sealed the deal was that the Columbia company owned the Selden Patent and held rights to the famous Knight sleeveless valve engine. .

With Brady on his team, he knew that the banks would act favorably on financial backing on his company. They contacted Eugene Meyer, Jr. who agreed to finance the venture and in February of 1910 with a $30,000,000 capitalized fund, the United States Motor Car Company was formed. With all of the money to spend, Briscoe was ready to spend and spend he did. He became the owner of 126 companies. He built a seven story office building in New York and made it his headquarters. Maxwell was flabbergasted that Briscoe would make such a deal and showed his disapproval. Briscoe gave him the vice-president's job as an enticement. Maxwell very seldom visited the New York office.

Copied verabitem from the 1910 January Issue of the Automobile Magazine


BENJAMIN BRISCOE, having just returned from Detroit, L-J where a conference was held with Frank Briscoe, President of the Brush Runabout Company, and the Briscoe Mfg. Company, carried in his wake a series of persistent rumors which have for their purport much more definite matter involving the future of the United States Motor Company, than that which passed current in recent days. The best information available at this time is to the effect that the Maxwell-Briscoe, Columbia, Brush Runabout, Briscoe Mfg. Company, Ajax-Grieb Rubber Company, Westchester Appliance Company, and other concerns of a representative character, are the moving spirits in this monster re-arrangement of automobile interests. To what extent this nucleus will gather force is a matter which will have to be confined to speculation. The character of the men and the companies represented in this new line-up is such as to whet the imagination, and it is anticipated by the knowing ones in the inner circle, that the United States Motor Company is destined to rival the Napoleonic movements of the most ambitious efforts in recent times; it being the idea, according to reports, to coalesce a series of companies, each one of which is to be a leader in its particular line of endeavor, financially self-sustaining, and so situated with respect to the market that the united concerns will add their respective quota without overlapping. In this way, it will be possible to reap advantages in all directions, because each unit in the big combination will be habitually expert in its own particular line, and the sum of these units will be of concentrated advantage, due to the combined ability under conditions of economy of management, which should result in the greatest good to the purchasing public, taking the form of superior product at the minimum cost.

It has long been understood by those who keep informed as to the strength of the undercurrent in automobile circles, that the General Motors Company had its eye on the Maxwell-Briscoe series of plants, which it hoped to augment by taking over the big new plant in which Brush runabouts are made. Frank Briscoe seems to have been adamant in the face of all these tempting offers, and perhaps the present proposed creation represents the gist of the real answer; at all events the market has evidently suspected something from the quarter which is dominated by the Maxwell-Briscoe interests, and the activities of the General Motors Company in the direction of acquiring these interests led to speculation of the groundless sort.

The market was merely blinded by the known fact that the General Motors Company wanted to make a combination, and while rumor mongers basked in the light of this one idea, the real scene was being shifted into presentable shape behind an asbestos curtain.

The United States Motor Car Company was quietly incorporated under the laws of the State of New Jersey, and the capitalization was stated to be $2,000, which inconspicuous sum lent an air of mystery to the project when it was learned that the Maxwell-Briscoe string of capital had its finger in the pie. C. W. Kelsey, of the Maxwell-Briscoe Company (head of the sales organization), is arranging to take up his new duties in Hartford, and the old Columbia Motor Car Company is bound to feel the energizing presence of Kelsey, as soon as he is able to find a suitable residence for himself and family, which, however should not be an extremely difficult task in Hartford.

That it is considered a move of the greatest importance for the United States Motor Car Company to acquire the Columbia Company is readily seen when the point is made that the Columbia Company, under the skillful management of the late George H. Day, secured control of the Selden patent, and this company has always represented the dominant situation in the management of the Selden patent. When the Maxwell-Briscoe Company, Premier, and five or six others, came down the A. M. C. M. A. tree, it was little thought that by a skillful move on the part of the Maxwell-Briscoe interests, they would climb to a more favorable position on the other tree which the Court put its mark of favor on. Around Hartford, the situation seems to be fairly well understood, and the automobile fraternity there is aroused to a high pitch of anticipating excitement.

There are quite a number of side lights to be attached to the latest move, as, for illustration, the string of capital which controls the destinies of some well-known Philadelphia electrical companies (one in particular) is said to be allied with the Maxwell-Briscoe line-up. This should not be surprising since the connection which has ever existed between Philadelphia capital and the Columbia Company would still have to be taken into account. (End of article)

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1912 Maxwell Automobile Advertisement

Another assest that has not been mentioned before is that according to an article published in the December 29th, 1909 Horseless Age Magazine, Eddie Bald had rejoined the Columbia race team.

Eddie Bald Rejoins Columbia.

Eddie "Cannon" Bald is back to his first love, behind the wheel of a Columbia motor car again. The Columbia was Eddie's first motor love, just as the Columbia bicycle was Eddie's mount in the days when he was the international cycling champion. When Bald first became associated with motoring he sat in racers built for him in the Columbia factory at Hartford, Conn., following an apprenticeship in the Columbia factory. Bald's track generalship won him many events, and he also drove in one of the record breaking Columbia dashes from Chicago to New York. Bald is now associated with the agency for Columbia cars in Pittsburg, which city is now his home.


Automobile Companies Acquired by the United States Motor Car Company

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1910 Columbia Advertisement



Copied from the November Issue of the Motor Magazine


Another of the Big Carriage Builders to Enter Field for Motor-Cars.

The recent formation of the Oakland Motor Car Co., of Pontiac, Mich., a development of the Pontiac Buggy Co., one of the largest manufacturers of high wheel wagons in the west, marks the addition of another carriage building concern to engage in building horseless vehicles. Alanson P. Brush has been serving as vice president and consulting engineer of the newly-organized company and under his direction a big brother to his Brush runabout will be marketed. The new machine will have a two-cylinder vertical motor, 20 h.p., with a new balancing device and planetary transmission; a wood frame, 96-inch wheel base, 30-inch wheels equipped with pneumatic tires, and will be shaft driven. The line to be offered will include a touring car and a rumble runabout, the price of which is to be in the neighborhood of $1,250. The American Ball Bearing Co. have agreed to manufacture the motors, transmissions and axle sets, so that the machine will merely be assembled by the Oakland Motor Car Co., who will make use of their facilities for body, upholstering and finishing work. Other officers beside Mr. Brush are Edward M. Murphy, president and general manager, and Martin L. Pulcher, secretary and treasurer..

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1907 Brush Runabout

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A 1909 Brush as a participant in the 1909 Glidden Tour

Brush cars were runabouts that in its four short years of existence was one of the best little cars in the country. It won more races that it entered than any other models including much larger and powerful ones. Alanson Brush helped design Cadillac's two cylinder engine and later he help design the Oakland automobile. His company was started during the height of the 1907 bank panic and was made for the middle class workers.

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1907 Brush Advertisement

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1910 Brush Advertisement

The opportunity came when he discussed a merger with his younger brother, Frank, who was financing the Brush Automobile Co., about a merger. Frank readily accepted the offer



The Titan was made from 1911-1913 by the Central Motorr Car Co, a division of the Untited States Motor Company to be used as a taxicab. It was built on the single cylinder Brush chassis in the Brush factory at Detroit. It was primarily to be used in New York City which was the company's headquarters.

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1912 Titan Taxicab

It had a short turning wheel base that was slightly lengthed a little longer than the Brush's. The price tag was $850.00 and it was economical to drive getting three times more gas mileage than usual. Thus, fares were much lower and still made more proft than its competetors. This was a fine little taxi rhat was hindered by its parent company and met its demise along with the other cars of the Untied States Motor Company in 1913.


Alden Sampson

The Moyea Automobile Company was formed in 1903 in Middleton, OH and was incorporated by Henry Cryder. Its headquarters was in New York City. They were to be initially built in Middletown until its factory was finished in Rye, NY.   It was an exact copy of the French Rochet-Schneider having given rights to the Moyea company for production. Moyea Automobile Company changed its name to Consolidated Motor Company.

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1903 Moyea Tonneau

Because the chassis needing to be strenghtened, the manufacturing of the prototype was given to Alden Sampson of Pittsfield, MA. Alden Sampson was so impressed with the car that he bought out the Consolidated Motor Company and began production at Pittsfield. 

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1904 Alden Sampson Type 3-A Touring

The Alden Sampson was a five passenger, gasoline touring car with four cylinders, 16-22 hp motor amospherically operate inlet valves; centrifugal governor acts upon th throttle; jump spark ignition; with four or single coil; gravity feed lubrication, cellular radiator; pump and syphon cooling system; Bladour sliding gear transmission giving four forward and a reverse speeds; double side chains; wheel steering; 88 in. wheel base; 32- in. wheels; four-inch clincher Goodrich tires; 15 gallon gas tank and 6 gallons of water; nickel steel gearing; weight 2180; price $4,000. The body was built by the Springfield Metal Body Co., Springfield, MA.

At the 1904 New York Automobile Show, the Alden Sampson, Moyea, and a truck were shown in the same booth.

Shortly after starting production, Sampson changed his mind and started building trucks. No production numbers are known, but one is known to exist. In 1909,  Sampson died and in 1911, his widow sold the company to the United States Automobile Company.


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1912 Sampson Touring

In 1912, the United States Automobile Company decided to build a touring car with only the Sampson name..

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1911 Sampson Truck Advertisement


From its very first automobile that was built in 1905, the Stoddard-Dayton automobile built by the Stoddard-Dayton Motor Car Co., Dayton, OH, was one of the best cars of its time. It was widely accepted and sales increased each year. In 1909, another model named the Courier was added to its line as a less expensive model. The company joined the United States Motor Car Company in 1910. Its fate was it would be out of business within two years.

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1905 Stoddard-Dayton Side-entrance Tonneau

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1905 Stoddard-Dayton Advertisement

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1910 Stoddard Dayton Runabout

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1910 Courier Runabout

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1911 Stoddard-Dayton Automobile Advertisement

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1911Stoddard-Dayton  Pace car for the first Indianopolis Speedway Race

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1912 Stoddard Dayton Touring



The United States Motor Car Company had every price range of automobiles except the high price one. Briscoe bought The E.R.Thomas Company just  before it went into receivership.

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1911 Thomas Touring

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1912 Thomas Advertisement


In 1912, Brisco ran out of money and his United States Atomobile Company was on the brink of disaster. One by one, his executives began to jump ship. His brother Frank was the last to go and he left for France to study French engineering.  Brisco knew that it was the end for him and he could not stay to see what he had accomplished come tumbling down. He announced that he knew another  person would be better suited for the job. This was most agreeable to the board. He left for France to join his brother. The new man for the job was Walter Flanders. Maxwell stayed on to try to pick up the pieces of the company and to save the automobile.

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1912 Flanders "20" Touring Automobile

None of the creditors knew him, but he had a good resume. He was one of Ford's men that helped to make his automobile a profitable one. He also owned the Flander's company that to say the least, was not a good one. The bankers wanted to know if he were available and he consented to become the  president, but he wanted one million dollars in cash, and that his automobile company would be bought for $2.75 million in stock in the new company that he would start. After taking a look around, he decided that the Maxwell car was the only thing worth saving so he jettisioned all other companies including his Flanders car. The company, now known as the Maxwell Motor Car Co. Inc, was moved to Detroit and the factory at Tarrytown was put up for sale.

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Copied from the 1913 Automobile Jiurnal Magazine

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1913 Maxwell 35-4 Touring Automobile

Maxwell stayed with the company as the president and designed his next Maxwell car for the 1914 season.

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1914 Maxwell Automobile Advertisement

By 1917, Maxwell Motor Car Co. had sold 100,000 cars but at the end of the war, the company was overstocked with 17,000 cars. In 1922, Maxwell and Chalmers Motor Car Company merged, , but the company was still in trouble


Kelsey did not agree with the direction that Briscoe was going so he resigned from the company and started building another car under his company's name, Kelsey Car Corp. in Hartford, CT.

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1911 Kelsey Three Wheel Motorette
Kelsey Car Corp. Hartford, CT

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1913 Kelsey  Motorette

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1911 Kelsey Motorette Advertisement

After selllling 200 of his Motorettes from 1912-1914, Kelsey decided to quit the business and go into banking to recoup some of his finances. In 1916, he quit the banking business and started working on his new project, a new type of a friction transmission. He wanted to build a new car using his transmission, but he was delayed by the war. In 1920, he came out with his six-cylinder automobile

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1921 Kelsey Six Cylinder Touring

Copied from the 1921 edition of the Automobile Journal Magazine

"The inventor of this unusual combination of practical engineering principles is C. W. Kelsey, formerly sales manager of the Maxwell-Briscoe Motor Co. of Newark, N. J., which is manufacturing this new six-cylinder car. The Kelsey car is stated to be the first to successfully employ the friction type of transmission, admittedly the ideal method of speed change mechanism when used under proper working conditions. As in any modern car, the power is conveyed to the rear axle unit through a direct shaft, completely enclosed, only instead of sending this power through a clutch and gearset before delivering it to the rear axle, the Kelsey design takes the power back without transmitting it through any intermediary mechanism whatever. The friction disc and friction wheel and the friction clutch are all embodied in the rear axle rnit. There is nothing experimental about the new car, as it is claimed that every part has been worked out in detail after careful research, numerous experiments and practical tests extending over seven years. Body styles include a touring car, runabout, and sedan."

By the time he was in full production a new selective transmission was invented an in use by the majority of the manufacturers. Several hundred cars had been made. One day a group of infamous lawyers showed up and with the help of inside worker, they claimed mismanagement. Ths caused the company stock to fall and the investors showed up and wanted more cars built. He handed them the key and walked out. That was the last of his automobile business.


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1912 Detroiter Touring Automobile

Shortly after Frank Brisco agreed to have his Brush company join with the United States Automobile Company, its sales manager, Claude S. Briggs, joined forces with John A. Boyle of Detroit to incorporate the Briggs-Detroiter Company to manufacture their Detroiter model. It was bigger and much better Brush automobile and was priced at $850. The company anounced that there would be no yearly models and would be built in 1,000 car lots and improvements would be made in each lot. By doing this the purchaser would not have to wait for seasonal changes.Three models would be built on one chassis.  The model A, with all accessories including a top and side curtains,  was priced at $850, Model A-1, with a Prest-O-Lite gas tank had a $900 price and the A-2 with all electricallighting was also $900.   It was introduced at the Detroit Automobile in January, 1912. Its initial sales were very high , but went down hill thereafter into two receiverships until finally closing down in 1917.


Chalmers-Detroit and Chalmers


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Three Chalmers-Detroit cars waiting for the 1909 Glidden Tour to begin

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1910 Chalmers Touring

Hugh Chalmers, owner of the National Cash Register Company, bougth the Detroit-Thomas Company and changed its name to the Chalmers-Detroit. When Howard Coffin and Roy Chapman, left the company to start the Hudson Automobile Co., and after reorganzation of the company in 1910, it became the Chalmers Motor Car Company. His company was in trouble in 1922 along with the Maxwell company so they joined forces.

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1908 Advertisement

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1910 Chalmers-Detroit Advertisement

In 1923, Walter Chrysler was  hired to save the company. Maxwell cars had been sold with serious faults and Chryslers had a recall to fix them free of charge. In 1924 Chrysler became president of the company. He introduced his Chrysler automobile in 1925 and the company's name was changed to the Chrysler Corporation. In 1925 the former Maxwell was introduced as a Chrysler. In 1928, it became a Plymouth.

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1928 Plymouth Couple with a rumble seat.


Paige and Paige-Detroit

Harry Jewett was a millionaire coal dealer who wanted to start an automobile company.In 1909 he took a ride with three cylinder roadster designed by Andrew Bachle and promoted by Fred Paige. Jewett knew that Paige  had once been the president of the Reliance Co. before it was purchased by General Motors. He figured that if Paige was promoting this car, it must be a good one. That fall he capitalized the company with $100,000 of his money, he started the Paige-Detroit Motor Car Company with Paige as its president. The car turned out to be a bummer and Paige was eased out of the company. He installed himself as the president, closed down the assembling and fired all the engineers and in 1911, the Paige, without the Detroit, was produced. All the models had names, such as Kenworth, Brunswick, etc.

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1912 Paige-Detroit Touring Automobile

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1910 Paige-Detroit Automobile Advertisement

1913 Paige DetroitTouring Automobile

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1912 Paige-Detroit Automobile Advertisement

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1921 Paige Detroit Coupe

In 1921, race car driver, Ralph Mulford, broke the land speed record at 103 mph  at Daytona Beach. in a sporry three-passenger Paige Roadster

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1922 Paige Detroit Larchmont Model Automobile

In 1922, a companion car to the Paige, called the Jewett, was introduced

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1922 Jewett Touring Automobile

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1926 Jewett  Sedan Automobile

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1927 Jewett Sedan Automobile

After surviving the First World War and the recessions yars of 1922 and 23, the Paige automobile still had very healthy sales.and was tenth in the country. In 1926, there was a slowdown of sales and in 1927, the company was sold to the Graham Brothers and was reorganized as the Graham-Paige Motors  Corporation.

1928 Graham Paige by sjb4photos-catching up.

1928 Graham-Paige Boattail Speedster

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1929 Graham Brothers Screen Side Van

The Graham brothers continuesd making some of the country's finest cars until 1962.


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Addendum 1    Addendum 2   Addendum 3