Amesbury Body Builders

The most definitive history of automobiles and bodies built in Amesbury with photos and a short history each builder

S. R. Bailey & Co's 1898 Electric Victoria Phaeton was the first car made in Amesbury.

There were some cars built that were one of a kind and were never put into production. These include the 1899 Amesbury Electric.

Copied from the 1899 Horseless Age Magazine

Amesbury, Mass., the carriage-making center of the East, has a new $150,000 automobile manufacturing company, under the management of Joseph T. Clarkson, Charls F. Worthen and Edward B. Brungs, well-known carriage builders. Electricity will be the motive power.

,John England's 1900 gasoline, a model that was mentioned being made by B & H Mfg. Co in 1904. This was taken from the 1904 issue of the Massachusetts' Business Register. No other records are known. It was not listed in the 1904 Amesbury City Dicterory. Another model was being made in 1907 that never was completed.

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Currier, Cameron, & Co.

From 1895 to 1932, Amesbury had the most body manufacturers than any city in America. The quantity and quality was recognized world wide, just as their carriage building. Frank and Charles Duryea of Chicopee, MA are recognized as making the first successful gasoline driven automobile in the United States in 1893. In 1895, they were ready to place their car into production. They called on an old friend John Currier, a partner of Currier, Cameron, & Co. Carriage Company to build the bodies for the first production car in America. Currier, Cameron, & Co. continued building Duryea bodies throughout their existence. In the meantime, they also built some Duryea chassises

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1894 Duryea Runabout

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1898 Duryea Delivery Wagon

From 1896 to 1912, Currier, Cameron, & Co. Carriage Company made bodies for more automobiles than any other body maker in the world, including Fisher Body of Detroit. A very big statement for such a small company.

This was the beginning of the body building industry in Amesbury that lasted until 1932 when Walker had to stop making bodies for the Franklin automobile. During this time, there were at least thirty Amesbury manufacturers who were making bodies and at least twenty companies that were making parts.

Not until the early 1920's, the body builder was able to have the name on the body of the automobile. Not until 1923 would Hudson Automobile Company reveal that Biddle and Smart made their bodies and then after being questioned from their dealers. This being the case, unless records were kept by the builder, there was no way one would be able to identify the body builder. There were a very few exceptions to this. A lot of research that has been done to publish this page came from such company records published in books and on the internet. There was tremendous amount of information that has been gathered that had never been recorded anywhere. Luckily, after spending one year and going through thousands of web sites, reading hundreds of digitized automobile related material, some several times, and following every lead that was available was this information put together. Every bit has been carefully verified before being written. Because of the internet, information has been found that was impossible to find before. Nothing is written in stone.


The Stanley Twins in their 1898 Stanley Steamer

In 1898, The Stanley Motor Carriage Co.of Newton, MA, commissioned Currier, Cameron, and Co. to construct ten bodies for its new steam-operated automobile. As was their practice at the time, Currier & Cameron constructed the coach work and subcontracted the painting and trimming to the Shields Carriage Co. In 1899, John Walker bought the Stanley Automobile Co and in turn, sold half interest to Anzi Barber

Two hundred more were ordered by the new owners. Within six months, the partners split with Walker naming his share the Locomobile Co. and Barber moved his share to Tarrytown, New York calling his company the International Automobile Co. A little later, it was changed to the Mobile Co. The Locomobile car was one of the most successful companies in the country while the Mobile Co. lasted three years. However, Currier, Cameron, & Co. was making bodies for both companies.





















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1899 Locomobile Runabout
Locomobile Co. of America, Bridgeport, CT

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1901 Locomobile Runabout
Locomobile Co. of America, Bridgeport, CT

  The Locomobile Company of America was founded in 1899.  John Walker bought the Stanley Automobile Co. for $200,000, with all of one car built, but 199 more ordered, then sold a half interest to paving contractor, Anzi Barber. Their partnership was a very short one. Walker went on to found the Mobile Company of America in Tarrytown, NY, while Barber kept the Locomobile name and moved to Bridgeport, Ct. I cannot find definite proof, but my belief is that the one hundred ninty-nine bodies remaining to be built were given the Locomoble name.  In 1900, Locomobile  gave them a contract to produce 20 bodies per week in three varying styles; a runabout, a Victoria, and Stanhope. Shown here are two different styles of the same model.


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1898 Grout Gasoline Stanhope
Extremely rare photograph

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1899 Grout Gasoline Runabout
Grout Bros. Automobile Co. Orange, MA


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1900 Grout Runabout Driven by one of the Grout Brothers
Grout Bros. Automobile Co. Orange, MA

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1901 Grout Stanhope
Grout Bros. Automobile Co. Orange, MA


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1901 Grout Light Delivery Van


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1901 Grout Runabout
Grout Bros., Orange, MA

1900 Grout

1901 Grout Queen Stanhope E
Grout Bros., Orange, MA

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1904 Grout Touring
Grout Bros Automobile Co., Orange, MA

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1899 Victor
Overman Wheel Co., Chicopee, Ma.

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1899 Eclipse Runabout
Eclipse Automobile Company, South Easton, MA

A horseless carriage

1899 Eclipse Runabout
Eclipse Automobile Co., South Easton, MA

In 1899, Everet Cameron, owner  of the Eclipse Automobile Co. of South Easton, MA, contracted with the Boston Postal Service  to build its first automobiles. Cameron, Currier, and Co. was given the contract to build the bodies.

Copied in full from Beverly Rae Kimes Standard Catalog of American Cars published in 1979

At the turn of the century, Amesbury was among the leading carriage manufacturing centers in the United States. Organized in 1899, with a capital stock of $150,000, was the Amesbury Automobile Company. Involved in the venture were a number of local carriage builders, including J.T Clarkson, C.F. Worthen, and Edward R. Briggs. The chief engineer was C.J. Bagley, a well known electrician in town, who had designed an electric motor which was claimed to be the lightest and most efficient appliance yet built. Prospects bode well for this venture. "There are no better carriages in the world than those built in Amesbury" The Motor Review stated, "and its high reputation will give to the new company a prestige that a town of leser reputation cannot acquire for years." It appears that the Amesbury Automobile Company proceeded no further than building a prototype or two, before the carriage makers involved returned to their horse drawn efforts and Bagley returned to his electrical work. (End  of article).

But Amesbury had its first made automobile that is on record.
In 1901, Arthur England, a machinst, built an automobile and he displayed it in his father's machine shop.
In 1900 Briggs Carriage Company joined with Currier, Cameron, and company making automobile bodies.
In August 1905, a company was formed in Amesbury, Mass., to manufacture a 15 horse power car from the designs of Chas. H. M Monroe

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1901 American Daimler Delivery Van
Daimler Mfg. Company, Long Island City, NY
Body Made By Currier Cameron, & Co.
There is no other record that this car existed
Copied from James Homans 1902 book "Self Propelled Vehicles"

In 1888, William Steinway, maker of the Steinway Pianos, secured the rights to manufacture engines and automobiles under the Daimler Motor Co. in Hartford, CT. He died in 1896 and  the company was reorganized as the Daimler Manufacturing Co. in Long Island City, NY making engines, but a very  few commericial vehicles were made. In 1905 the company started making exact copies of the Mercedes, but stopped in 1907. The company is still in business

In 1901, Stanley Motor Carriage Co. contracted Currier , Cameron, and Co. to make bodies for their new edition of the Stanley Automobile.  With all of these body orders, Currier-Cameron could not do all the work themselves, so three other carriage companies, Shields, Leitch, and Briggs were contracted to help make the bodies.  These four companies were involved in supplying these bodies. Leitch and Briggs were also independent makers.

Stanley bodies were made from 1901 to 1922.

1901 Stanley Runabout
Stanley Mfg Co. Lawrence, MA 1899-1901
Stanley Motor Carriage Co. Newton, MA

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1922 Stanley 735 Touring, possibly the last automobile body made by Currier-Cameron & Co.

Over the next several years, contracts were made with many manufacturers, including Briscoe, Maxwell, Mobile Steamer, Orient Buckboard, Pope Robinson, and chassis for Stevens-Duryea. It is recorded that they were also body makers for most automobile companies in the region with no names given.

With the help of the computer, I have been able to find most of these companies with photographs of their automobiles. It was done by comparing bodies with the Stanley and Locomobile bodies of the same years.

1899-1900--Steam car built by Howard Coffin while in college using the Locomobile body, but with a larger engine



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1900 Locomobile with Prince Kuhio and his wife of Hawaii


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1900 Mobile  Runabout
Mobile Company of America, Tarrytown, NY

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1901 Safety Steamer
Safety Steam Automobile Co, Ipswich, MA


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1902 Stevens-Duryea Stanhope
Stevens Duryea Automobile Co. Chicopee, MA

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1899 Gasomobile Stanhope
Automobile Co. of America  New York, NY


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1901 Steamobile
Keene Automobile Co., Keene NH.


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1900 Mobile Steamer Dos-a-dos Park Car
Mobile Company of America, Tarrytown, NY


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1902 Puritan Runabout
Locke Regulator Co. Salem, MA


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1901 Concord Steamer
Concord Motor Coach Co., Pennacook, NH


1901 Whitney Runabout
Whitney Machine Co. Brunswick, ME

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1904 Pope Robinson Tonneau
Pope Robinson Automobile Co. Hyde Park, MA




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1902 Binney-Burnham Nine passenger Surrey
The Binney & Burnham Co., Boston, MA


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1901 Rochester Runabout
Rochester Cycle Mfg. Co. Rochester, NY


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1902 Waltam Steam Buggy Runabout
Waltham Automobile Co. Waltham, MA

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1903 Orient Buckboard
Waltham Mfg. Co. Waltham, MA


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Front View
Courtsey of the Wells Automobile Museum


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Rear View

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Buckboard Engine, Number 4+P 821



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1909 Metz Runabout
The Metz Co. Waltham, MA
The first Metz


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1904 Waltham Orient Deluxe Touring
Waltham Mfg. Co. Waltham, MA


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1905 Waltham Orient Deluxe Touring

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1901 Skene
J. W. Skene Cycle & Automobile Co. Lewiston, ME


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1903 Bridgeport Steamer
Bridgeport Boiler Works, Bridgeport, Ct.
Only one known

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1908 Maxwell
Maxwell Motor Corp. Detroit, MI

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1915 Briscoe Runabout
Briscoe Motor Corp. Jackson, MI




Hume Carriage Company

Somewhere in my researching Amesbury body building, I came across an article which stated that Alexander Pope, owner of the Columbia Automobile Co,   Hartford, CT,  had ordered automobile bodies from Amesbury prior to 1900. I have assumed all along that this would be Currier-Cameron & Co. Carriage Co. The only mention of Hume making automobile bodies was for Grout Brothers in Orange, MA.

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1897 Columbia Stanhope

While reading the 1897 and 1898 Horseless Age Magazines, I came across these photographs of the 1897 and 1898 Columbia automobiles. By comparing the body frame to the Hume Carriage at the Bartlett Museum, I have no doubt that Hume Carriage Co. made these bodies.

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1896 Columbia Stanhope

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Hume Carriage at the Bartlett Museum


According to all former references concerning Hume Carriage Company, they ceased making bodies and stuck to carriage making. In the 1908 edition of the International Automobile Manufacturers Magazine, Hume Carriage Company is listed as making wood and metallic bodies, auto covers, foot rests, robe rails, auto seats, auto tops in Amesbury.

To view his work for Marmon, please go to the Special Automobiles Page

Also on this list is Amesbury's  Auto Body & Finishing Co. making wood and metallic bodies from 1906-1923. Coachbuilt website also makes reference to this company, but no automobile names are mentioned. K. Doubleday does not make make reference to this company in her book.

Briggs Carriage Company

In 1902, Locomobile awarded the Briggs Carriage Co. the contract for new styles of bodies. Briggs subcontracted the wood framing to Currier-Cameron, the result being that Locomobile was more than satisfied, with the job. Briggs closed his business in Amesbury in 1923



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1902 Locomobile Six Passenger Touring
Locomobile Co. of America, Chicopee Falls, MA

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1923 Locomobile 48 Series VIII
Last body built by Briggs
Durant Motors bought the Locomobile Co. in 1923



Boston and Amesbury
Boston and Amesbury Mfg. Co.

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1902 Boston and Amesbury Stanhope

This automobile was named the Boston and Amesbury because a Boston Automobile Co. was organized in 1899 in Boston and an Amesbury Automobile Co was organized in Amesbury in 1900 and made one automobile.

In 1902, John Miller, machinest, co-owner of the Miller Brothers Company and a  Boston engineer, H.A Spiller to form the Boston and Amesbury Mfg. Company along with two investers, Robert Patten and  C.V. Childs. Spiller made the engine and Miller made the body with the Shields Carriage Co. doing the decorating and trimming. It was a two passenger Stanhope with two passenger provided with an extra seat stored under the main one. When needed, it could be removed and attached to the front of the vehicle. The company propose building gasoline carriages in three styles, a two cylinder 4x4 inches, 8 horse power; a two cylinder 5x5 inches. 12 horse power, and a four cylinder 4x4, 16 horse power. The smaller size is herewith illustrated. Everything will be manufactured in the company's own shops except the Baldwin chains and the International Endurance tires.

Biddle and Smart Carriage Company

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1905 Biddle and Smart Advertisement

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Biddle and Smart commenced automobile body production  in 1902 and by late 1903, they had a contract to produce limousine bodies for Peerless. By 1907, proper metal sheeting over a hardwood frame was developed as the standard construction technique. The company embarked on limited series production for a growing list of satisfied customers: touring cars for Mercer and Alco, Abbott coupes, National roadsters, Packard and Winton sedans and assorted models for Lincoln, White, Chalmers, Marmon, Peerless, Haynes, Speedwell and Club. They became specialists in using aluminum, although steel-paneled bodies were also produced.

When the Hudson Automobile Company was formed in 1909 with initial help from E.R. Thomas of the Thomas Automobile Co., they chose Biddle and Smart to build bodies for them. Both touring and coupes were built. The relationship lasted until 1930. Biddle and Smart were the largest in Amesbury with Walker being the second largest.




Only two known and this one has never been restored. There is no known record of the names of automobiles that Biddle and Smart made in 1902. Thomas Automobile company was founded in Buffalo, NY in 1902. It was the earliest customer of Biddle and Smart and comparing the 1902 Thomas with the 1903 Peerless limousine, a known customer, the two are identical except for the hoods. This leaves little doubt that Biddle and Smart made this automobile.


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1902 Thomas Touring
E. R. Thomas Motor Co. Buffalo, NY


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1903 Peerless Limousine
Peerless Motor Car Co. Cleveland, OH

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1908 Packard Model 30
Packard Automobile Co. Detroit, MI

The First World War had consumed almost all of the metal used in the industry and the struggle to survive for the companies that assembled automobiles was too great for they could not get parts for their cars. Then, came the recession of 1921. A great number of companies that had been able to keep struggling along, simply gave up and closed down. Biddle and Smart lost their small companies, but Hudson Motors kept them busy.

The end probably started in 1926 when Hudson built its own body plant and by December 1929, when Hudson declined to renew its usual annual contract, the end was apparent. Additionally transportation charges to and from Amesbury made Biddle & Smart too expensive for Hudson to use as the prices on all new automobiles were falling appreciably. With the Depression worsening, Hudson turned more body business over to nearer suppliers, such as Briggs and Murray, and Biddle & Smart found itself not only without a major Detroit customer, but with no customers at all.

After completing the contract with Hudson for 1930 model bodies in the summer of that year, Biddle and Smart was advised that, beginning in 1931, it would no longer be the outside source for Hudson bodies. The custom-body firm tried for a brief period to market aluminum boats, but within months the company was out of business.

They were known as one of the best custom series bodymakers in the country.


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1909 Hudson Runabout
Hudson Motor Car Co. Detroit, MI
First year that Biddle and Smart made bodies for Hudson Motor Company


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1923 American Made Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost
Rolls-Royce of America Inc. Springfield, MA

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1929 Lincoln, Dietrich Design
Lincoln Motor Car Co. Detroit, MI
1917 - Date





1928 Hudson Phaeton
Hudson Motor Car Co. Detroit, MI

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1912 Abbot Detroit
Abbott-Detroit Motor Car Co. Detroit, Michigan


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1916 Mercer
Mercer Automobile Co. Trenton, NJ

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1906 Thomas Flyer Touring
E. R. Thomas Motor Co. Buffalo, NY


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1906 National Model E-7
National Motor Vehicle Co. Indianapolis, IN

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1908 White Model L
White Sewing Machine Co. Cleveland, OH


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1909 Winton Model 1
Winton Motor Carriage Co. Cleveland, OH
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1910 Chalmers Detroit Model 30
Chalmers-Detroit Chalmers Motor Car Co. Detroit, MI

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1913 Speedwell Tonneau
Speedwell Motor Car Co. Dayton, OH

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1910 Pope Hartford
Pope Mfg. Co. Hartford, CT

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1915 Cole Touring
Cole Motor Car Co. Indianapolis, IN


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1914 Haynes Touring
Haynes Automobile Co. Kokomo, IN

1913 ALCO Model 6 Berliot Limousine
American Locomotive Automobile Co. Providence, Rhode Island


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1913 Marmon Model 32
Nordyke and Marmon Co. Indianapolis, IN


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1930 Hudson Model T Coupe, the last automobile  body that Biddle and Smart made

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1927 Essex Boattail Speedabout-front view
Hudson Motor Car Co. Detroit, MI


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1927 Essex  Boattail Speedabouts-rear view
Hudson Motor Car Co. Detroit, MI

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1929 Essex Speedabout
Hudson Motor Car Co. Detroit, MI


The Speedabout was not offered in 1928, and although it reappeared in 1929, only five are known to have been built. The coachbuilding firm of Biddle and Smart of Amesbury, Mass supplied the custombuilt, stylish and attractive bodies. The boattail body was now fitted with a narrow rumble seat and although Hudson claimed it added seating for two (perhaps children) in reality it could only accommodate one adult; hence the three- passenger designation. Once again special gear ratios were fitted, but along with an overdrive the Speedabout was now capable of speeds of about 80mph. The engine remained stock with a 55hp rating at 3600rpm. The $965 Essexs curb weight was about 2,500 pounds. Reportedly, the Speedabouts were only built as show cars by Hudson, primarily to gauge interest in their production feasibility. (Remarkablecars)

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1929 Hudson Canopy Express
Hudson Motor Car Co. Detroit, MI


One very rare bird is an un-restored 1929 Hudson canopy express in the collection of Phil Williams of Remsen, New York. The cab on his vehicle is similar, if not identical, to that found on the Dover canopy express and includes a cab-mounted Biddle & Smart body tag. He writes:

"I've attached a couple of pictures of my Hudson.  They show that this is slightly different than the Dover.  First, it is a Hudson not an Essex.  Most obvious is the straight roof, not a humpback like the Dover pictures. The Hudson bumper (not pictured) and dual side-mounts also differ from the Dover.  IE: this is not identical to Dover, but unique as a Hudson.  It also has the rose pattern dash in addition to the body tag (Coachbuilt).

1929 Hudson by sjb4photos-catching up.

One of Their Best

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Last, but not   least, is the great 1907 Thomas Flyer, the winner of the 1908 New York to Paris Race
Thomas Automobile Co, Buffalo, NY
E. R. Thomas Motor Co. Buffalo, NY 1902-1913


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Both articles were cut from the 1923 Issues of the Hudson and Essex Triangle phamplet

Special work for Hudson with Walter Murphy's Designs

Walter Murphy, Pasedena, Ca., was one of the leaders in the automobile industry. He was one of the richest men in America who owned controlling intrerest in some of the leading companies at that time. In 1920,  he was given dealership's rights for the Lincoln automobile for California and shortly had them through out the state. In order to get the bodies that he wanted for his clientele, he set up a body building shop in Pasadena. His bodies were designed by his company and speciallly built for the rich and famous. His designs were considered to be some of the best ever.

For reasons that remain unclear, Harold L. Arnold, Hudsons California distributor, swapped distributorships with Murphy in 1926 - the former, now handled Lincoln, and the latter, Hudson. Now that Murphy had a direct relationship with Hudson, the Detroit automaker became interested in gaining the services of Murphys roster of talented designers. Biddle and Smart did all of Hudson's top of the line automobiles.

Murphy built a couple of prototype convertible sedans for Hudson in 1927.  Six cars were eventually commissioned by Hudson and ultimately delivered to Detroit: a landau sedan, a Victoria, a seven-passenger sedan, a convertible coupe, a convertible sedan, and a fixed-head coupe. Hudson management liked them, but Murphy lacked the capacity to build in quantities that Hudson needed, so the prototypes were sent off to Amesbury for assimilation by Biddle and Smart into 1928 production and eventually wound up in the hands of Hudson Co. executives. Murphy also designed a low, handsome 1928 Hudson convertible sedan that was later produced in quantity by Biddle & Smart, albeit with a roof that was three inches taller. Each of these Biddle & Smart bodies carried a cowl tag that announced "Designed by Walter M. Murphy, Coachbuilders, Pasadena.

Murphy was well aware of the quality work that Biddle and Smart did because he was using their facilities to build his Lincoln bodies. When Murphy decided to call it quits around 1931, Hudson bought the entire contents of the business. There was a large number of Duesenberg bodies that was included. Hudson Motors shipped the entire lot by rail to Biddle and Smart to have the tops raised for the 1932 Hudson automobiles. This was Biddle and Smart's last job for Hudson.

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1929 Hudson Model L Club Sedan
Considered a Classic
Designed by Walter Murphy
Built by Biddle and Smart

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1929 Hudson Sports Phaeton
The prize of the Hudson Automobile
Designed by Walter Murphy
Built by Biddle and Smart

Walker Carriage Company

George T. Walker left the Hume Cariage Co. in 1898 to set up his company, Walker Cariage Co. Because of the carriage workers' strike at Amesbury in 1903 moved his factory to Merrimac. There is no certain date as to when he began to make automobile bodies it is assumed to be shortly after moving. His sons, George Jr. and James joined the business.

His son, James , wanted to return to Amesbury and with Harlan P. Wells, the Wells -Walker Automobile body was organized and  was located at 77 Elm St. By 1913, the firm had outgrown its facility and bought vacant plant that once housed the Folger & Drummond Carriage Works on Railroad Avenue.

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In 1919 Walker Body Co. of Merrimac built a new factory on Oak Street to house the entire wood-working and body framing departments. The Merimac factory was closed. At its peak, the Oak St. factory employed 500 hands; 200 preparing the wood in the lumber yard, kiln and milling departments, and 300 assembling those pieces in the body framing division.

With the Merrimac plant now closed, the former Clark Carriage Co factory was purchased in 1920, in order to provide additional space for Walkers painting, trimming and finishing departments. Another Walker plant on Oakland Street housed the 120 employees who made the firms metal products. Walker made all their own door locks, forgings, molding and sheet-metal stampings, and supplied many of Amesburys other body builders as well.

The 5 Walker plants were widely separated, and to an extent each was a self sustaining unit, so that if one were destroyed by fire, the others could continue without interruption. From 1920 through 1932, the firms only customer would be Franklin, and their only product, closed bodies.

During the following decade, Walker became Amesburys second largest builder, producing from 8-10,000 bodies at its peak. According to former employees, Walker employed 1500 hands in 1926-27, its peak years, and consumed over two million board feet of white ash lumber. During this period, Walker produced an average of 75 aluminum-clad bodies per day, making them the nation's largest consumer of sheet aluminum.

Walker produced bodies for a number of automakers that included Abbott-Detroit, Buick, Holmes, Jordan, Lexington, Packard, Paige, Reo, Studebaker, White, Winton, Jackson, and Buick, but they were closely associated with the H.H. Franklin Mfg. Co. of Syracuse, New York. From 1910 through 1932, Walker produced bodies for the air-cooled automaker, and for most of those years Franklin was Walkers largest customer and Walker was Franklin's principal supplier of coachwork.

Because both companies worked together, there is bo distinction of which one made the bodies that are shown.

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1910 Franklin Touring
H.H. Franklin Mfg. Co. Syracuse, NY
The first body built for Franklin

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1932 Franklin 163 Oxford,
Franklin Automobile Co. Syracuse, NY
Body by Walker, the last body built in Amesbury


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Jordan Playboy Advertisement
Considered to be the best automotive advertisement of all times


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1920 Jordan, Playboy Coupe
Jordan Motor Car Co. Inc. Cleveland, OH
The 1920's most famous coupes

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1917 Abbott-Detroit Touring
Abbott-Detroit Motor Car Co. Detroit, Michigan
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1916 Studebaker Coupe or Runabout
Studebaker Corp. South Bend, IN

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1921 Lexington Touring
Lexington Motor Co. Lexington, KY 1909-1910
Connersville, IN 1910-1928 

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1913 REO  Model S Demi-Tonneau
REO Motor Car Co. Lansing, MI


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1926 Paige Sedan
Paige-Detroit Motor Car Co. Detroit, MI


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1921 Holmes Limousine
The Holmes Automobile Co. Canton, OH

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1915 Packard   1-35 Touring
Packard Automobile Co. Detroit, Mi.


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1920 Chevrolet Touring
Chevrolet Motors, Flint, Mi.


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1911 Jackson Touring
Jackson Automobile Co. Jackson, MI

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1912 White Touring
White Sewing Machine Co. Cleveland, OH


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1919 Buick Roadster


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1930 Franklin Sedan


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1930 Franklin Car for John D. Rockerfeller

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1932 Special Built Franklin Airman? with special paint decoration


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1931 Victoria Coup

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1930 Franklin Pirate?

Clark Carriage Co.

In 1910, William Durant, owner of the Buick Motor Co. in Flint, MI, came to Amesbury to persuade the Clark Carriage Co. to make bodies for his Buick automobile. He wwas the president of General Motors and was an old friend of the Clark Family. By this time Thomas Clark was the owner of the factory and consented to start building bodies which included Buick and Oldsmobile.

They continued to do work for this company during their entire career in the automobile business, specializing in the touring cars. In 1913, seven to ten bodies per week were finished. A large brick factory at the corner of Oakland and Chestnut Street housed the establishment where in 1916 one hundred and twenty-five men were employed. The Walker Body Co. bought out the Clark Carriage Co. in 1920.


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1910 Buick Model 10
Buick Motors, Flint MI
1904 -Date


1915 Chevrolet, Amesbury Special Coupe, the only known photo
Named for the City of Amesbury


1911 Oldsmobile Limited Image

1911 Oldsmobile Limited
Oldsmobile Automobile Co. Lansing Mi.

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Body Tag for the 1911 Oldsmobile

In 1915, Durant paid another visit to Amesbury to inform the citizens about the 1915 Chevrolet Coupe that he had named the Amesbury Special in honor of the people of Amesbury.

1917 Buick Touring
Buick Motors Co. Flint, MI
Last year for Clark Carriage Company

Lambert Hollander

Carriage Avenue

Lambert Hollander was a supplier of taxicab bodies for firms in Boston and New York and both he and J.N. Leitch, another Amesbury coachbuilder, supplied bodies to Harlan P. Whipples Taxicab Service Co. which was headquartered in Boston. At the time Taxicab Service was using Sultan, Berliet, and ALCO chassis. Hollander and Morrill assumed supplying these same firms.

Lambert Holland Carriage Co. Factory
Later Lambert and Hollander Automobile Company

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1908 Sultan Touring Automobile
Sultan Motor Co. Springfield, MA


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1909 Haupt Tonneau
New Departure Mfg.Co. Bristol, CT

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1909 Sultan Landaulet Town Car
Sultan Motor Co. Springfield, MA

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1909Sultan Taximeter (Taxi)
Sultan Motor Co. Springfield, MA



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1909 Sultan Taxicab Advertising,

Hollander and Morrill
Carriage Avenue

Successor to Lambert Hollander

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On September 1st, 1909 an Agreement of Association was signed by George H. Hollander, Gayden W. Morrill, Lambert Hollander and Frank F. Morrill creating Hollander & Morrill Inc.  Hollander and Morrill continued building bodies that Lambert Hollander had been supplying.  Maxwel-Briscoe and Pierce-Arrow also contracted for bodies.

By 1913 they had started building bodies for Inglis M. Uppercus Detroit Cadillac Motor Car Co., a firm that would soon become their best customer. Detroit Cadillac, the Manhattan Cadillac distributor, had a custom body department that was headed by J.R. McLauchlen, and prior to Cadillacs association with Fleetwood, many of Uppercus town cars, landaulets and limousines were designed by McLauchlen and built by Hollander & Morrill.

In December of 1915 Hollander & Morrill started moving out of the former Lambert Hollander factory on Carriage Hill to much larger facilities leased from the Merrimac Valley Power & Buildings Co. The new factory was located in Amesburys upper millyard and was built by the Hamilton Woolen Co.

The firm prospered until 1923 when sales began to decline and by 1924 were struggling to stay in business. Finally, on August 17, 1925 the Board voted to accept the offer of Biddle & Smart Company effective as of June 30, 1925, and voted to dissolve the Corporation and surrender its charter as of the close of business August 17, 1925

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1910 Maxwell-Briscoe
Maxwell-Briscoe Motor Co.  Tarrytown, NY and Detroit, Mi


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1913 Cadillac Four Door Touring
Detroit Cadillac Motor Car Co, Manhattan, NY
One of the first bodies built for Detroit Cadillac

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1913 Pierce Arrow Touring
The George N. Pierce Co. Buffalo, NY


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1922 Cadillac Town Car, Uppercu Taxi Co.

1918 Cadillac

In December of 1915, Hollander & Morrill moved out of the former Lambert Hollander factory on Carriage Hill to much larger facilities. The new factory was located in Amesburys upper millyard and was built by the Hamilton Woolen Co.

1924 Cadillac Town Car Advertisement

Miller Brothers

After Currier Cameron , and Co. and Hume Carriage CO.  the Miller Brothers were next to make bodies. Their first auto body, a two-seater runabout, was finished in August of 1901. Almost all of their bodies were either experimental or special pieces of work which were mounted on many different style chassis. From 1901 to 1907 this concern did not accept any form of contract for production bodies from any individual motor car builder. In 1907 a very small contract was drawn up with the Cleveland Auto Co. of Ohio for twelve bodies per week. This organization was composed of four brothers: Thomas, William, Robert and John Miller. The last of these, however, severed relations with the company in 1903. All of theses men were skilled carriage artisans, having worked in the ranks over a period of many years. During the first nine years of auto body-building, the directors of Miller Bros. moved their business four different times. They were the first located on Market Street opposite the Amesbury Fair Grounds, but due to expansion they moved, over into a building on Carriage Avenue.

The other occupant of this factory desired more floor space and forced them to move a third time, which was into one floor of the Babcock's No. 5 plant on Chestnut Street. Because of trouble among the executives of the business organization, the company ended up shortly after 1910 in a garage at 99 Friend Street, with only one of the original four brothers a member of the firm. During their relations with the auto body industry of the town, they never employed more than forty workers.

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1902 Boston and Amesbury Stanhope
Boston and Amesbury Mfg. Co, Boston, MA

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1908 Cleveland Tourneau
Cleveland Motor Car Co. Cleveland, OH


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1909 Advertisement copied from the 1909 Hub Magazine



Amesbury Rattan and Reed Company

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1925 Advertisement


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1910 Automobile With a Rattan Body by Amesbury Reed Body

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1908 Continental  Tonneau Automobile, wicker body

Copied from the 1910 Automobile and Cycle Trade Journal

The Reed body, illustrated herewith is manufactured by the Amesbury Reed & Rattan Co., Bailey Building, Chestnut Street, Amesbury, Mass. This concern also manufcturers a tw0-seated body with a basket on the back, also separate baskets inreed or willow. The bodies are built on a 5/8 in. steel platform, and are made of the best imported rattan. They can be colored to suit the purchaser and can be upholstered with any material desired.  The bodies are made to fit any chassis and are rubber lined making them dust and water proof. The seats are eithe the divided or straight back type and upholster may be  moved for washing and cleaning.

Amesbury has the unique distinction of being the first town in the country in which a rattan automobile body was ever manufactured. When these bodies were placed on the market in 1906, they were a great novelty to the automobile world. The firm that designed these bodies was the Amesbury Rattan and Reed Co., which was located in one corner of Babcock's No.5 plant. During the companys short existence it enjoyed a high reputation for excellence in construction and beauty of design in its claims for the bodies. Having been exhibited at several of the larger auto shows of the East, and having gained the approval of the automobile critics, these bodies were said to be the most durable on the market at that time. Such exhibitions created a considerable demand for the basket bodies. They were made to fit any chassis although the firm specialized in fine custom work. The bodies were rubber lined with straight back upholstering, making them water and dust proof. Due to uneasiness among the directors, George Ayscough and Arthur Skinner, thie body building was discontinued,but rattan accessories were continued until 1925.



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1906 American Reed Body

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1906 Reed Body
The automobile canot be identified


Howarth and Rodgers

1912- 1914

Copied from the 1912 Automobile Topics Magazine

Ultra Six Appears in Amesbury

The first Ultra car has made its appearance, in Amesbury, Mass., from the shops of Howarth & Rogers Co. The machine is a six-cylinder one, and has been designed by R. H. Randall, a member of the Society of Automobile Engineers. It is to be made in a seven-passenger car for $3,200, fivepassenger for $3,000, and roadster for $?,800. The cylinders are cast in threes, and the motor develops 38 horsepower. The transmission is of the four-speed type. The first body which has been built is entirely an Amesbury production, and gives promise that the new cars will be handsome ones. The radiator is of the pointed type, aiding materially the sweeping lines in securing a low and speedy appearance. While the car is low hung, the clearance is ten inches. A point where the car resembles a foreign one is in the wheels, which are of wire, interchangeable, with a fifth wheel carried in the rear for use when it becomes necessary to change a tire. The wheelbase is 128 inches. The first machine to be turned out will be used as a demonstrator in and around Boston. It is probable that the Ultra Motor Co. will locate in Amesbury and build a plant, the Howarth concern having acted merely as assemblers for the first machine.

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Cut from Beverly Rae Kimes "American Automobiles from 1805-1942" Book


Bela Body Company


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1913 Winton Six
Winton Motor Carriage Co. Cleveland, OH

In 1913, Pettingell Machine Co. moved to 79 Elm Street which is on the corner of Clark and Elm Streets.Walker-Wells had recently moved their compnay to the corner of Chestnut and Oakland Streets. A.G. Bela was the owner of the and in 1913 started making automobile bodies Under the Bela Body Co. name. His first contracts were with Winton Automobile Co., Cleveland. OH and Franklin Auitomobile Co., Syracuse, NY, with Biddle and Smart doing the decorating. In 1915, Pettingell Machine Co. was reorganized and Charles Pettingell, son of the founder, went to work with Walker-Wells.

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1917 Lincoln Model L


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1916 Packard Touring

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1917 Marmon Touring

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1915 Franklin Coupe

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1915 White

Bela also built small numbers of full-custom bodies for Boston's automobile dealers. Liberty, Lenox and National chassis were displayed at Mechanics Hall during the 1917 Boston Auto Show with Bela bodies and the firm is known to have built bodies for Cole, Marmon, Mercer, Packard, Peerless and Simplex..

By mid-1916 orders were sufficient to require additional manufacturing capacity and a vacant factory in nearby Framingham was purchased from the Standard Woven Fabric Co. in order to keep up the demand. Subassemblies built in Amesbury were transported to the new Framingham plant for final assembly, painting and trimming.

The Pettingell Machine Company continued making machines and sold them to United States, Great Britian, and Canadian governments. They were the largest seller of automobile body machinery in the world. They continued to do business into the early 1940"s At one time, Fisher Body had over 500 of the automatic hammers and there was no large repair shop without one. In late 1917, they began to manufacture parts for automobiles bodies.

Due to the war effort causing a great shortage in body making materials and Pettingell Machine Co. was now making machines for the United States, Canada, and Great Britain governments, Bela sold his body company to Richard Long of Framingham.

These advertisements appeared in the 1917 Hub Magazine


The United States Government
War Department

when calling for proposals and bids for machinery
recently specified machines made by the


In an emergency the United States Government
Engineers want the bestmachines that can be
depended on to do the work at all times, so they


When you want the best order PETTINGELL Machines

Bevel and Mitre Saw Tables --- Improved Saw Toners--- Irregular Shapers
Automatic PowerHammers --- Friction Drive Rotary Metal Cutters
Beading and Moulding Formers --- Rolling Machines
Foot Presses -- Cornice Brakes, Etc.






In addition to our regular line of metal and wood
auto body and aeroplane machinery, we have
opened a department for the manufacture of
and are now in a position to supply many parts

Windshields --- Pedestal Bases --- Rocker Plates --- Hinges

stock clamps (for use in wood mill)

Special Parts --- Aeroplane Hardware

Special tools (for body machinery)

We would suggest that manufacturers place their orders for hardware parts soon, as our supply is to be limited. If in need of any special parts WRITE US and we shall be glad to give you all information possible. Automatic Machinery enables us to turn out parts rapidly and at a low figure.

Get our prices before placing order

Pettingell Machine Co.

Amesbury, Mass.






Bryant Body Company


Bryant Body Company was founded as the result of the Walker Body Co.'s not being able to fill required or contracted orders. In 1918, Mr. Jordan, of the Jordan Motor Co. came to Amesbury to have the Walker Body Co. build a certain number of Jordan bodies for him per month, but it was found that under no circumstances could the desired number of bodies be fabricated by the local concern. Thus the Bryant Body Co. was founded which engaged only in the construction of sedans for the Jordan chassis, producing eighteen bodies daily from its three plants.

This company was one of the first to use the paint spray machine, which eliminated much of the hand painting and varnishing. Modern trim stitchers were also made use of in these factories. Some four hundred men were employed by the Bryant Body Co. before it went out of business. Orders for Jordan bodies decreased until the Bryant Body Co. was forced out of business in 1926. The machinery and much of the skilled labor was turned over to the Walker Body Co.

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1924 Jordan Two Door Sedan
Jordan Motor Car Co. Inc. Cleveland, OH


Amesbury Specialty Company

Amesbury  Speciality Company made bodies for Ford Model T Series. They also did custom work for other Amesbury companies.

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1921  Ford Model T Coupe


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1915 Ford Touring

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1921 Ford Model T Sedan

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1923 Ford Model T Touring
Ford Motor Co. Detroit, Mi
1903- Date

Amesbury Metal Body Company

In 1907, J. Albert Davis, retired partner of Gray and Davis, who was a leading proponent of matal bodies, decided to begin building metal bodies. With Charles Prescott,and Fred English, chief machinest for Gray and Davis, the Amesbury Metal Body Co. was formed for making metal bodies. They were one of the first to do so. James Walker, of Walker-Wells, funded the company. Later Fred England moved to Detroit. In 1911, When the company moved  to Detroit,Walker-Wells moved in with its machinery and kept the Amesbury Metal Body's name. Aluminum panels were made for Walker Body Co.

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1908 Amesbury Metal Body Company Advertisement


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1907 Packard Limousine
Packard Automobile Co. Detroit, Mi


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1912 ALCO  Touring
American Locomotive Automobile Co. Providence, Rhode Island


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1913 Studebaker Touring
Studebaker Corp. South Bend, IN

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1911 Stevens Duryea Touring
From Springfield, MA


Amesbury Body Company

Market Square, between Boyle's Drug store and Hollander and Morrill

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Backed by local investers from the employees of Biddle and Smart and Walker Body, this company made bodies for the Haynes Automobile Co. and Holmes Automoble Co. Maybe, this was a joint venture between the two companies in order to handle an increased workload because Biddle and Smart was making bodies for Haynes and Walker was given the contract for the newly formed Holmes Automobile Co. and Jordan Automobile Co.

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1923 Haynes  Model 55 Touring
Haynes Automobile Co. Kokomo, IN

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1919 Holmes Series A
The Holmes Automobile Co. Canton, OH

1923 American Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost


S.R. Bailey Carriage Co.


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 battery was too heavy for the motor. (The 1898 date is 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. Edison contracted to have boxes made by this method to eliminate the heavy wooden type. Good news finally came one day when Edwin returned home from a visit to Edisons factory and 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. The automobile was ready for serious production in 1907, but because of the years experimenting with his car, financing was non-existent and the company was forced to sell shares to raise the necessary capital. The company name was changed to S. R. Bailey & Co., Inc.


Copied from the December 6 issue of the 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.

The Bailey Electric Victoria Phaeton was put into production in 1907 using the 1898 model as the prototype.

Copied from1908 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"

S.R. Bailey was the largest and most successful automobile maker in Amesbury.   In K. Doubleday's book "The Automobile Bodybuilders of Amesbury, Ma." There were two others before him. Arhtur English built one in 1901 and displayed it in his father's garage. A year later, John Miller of the Miller Brothers Co. completed and started a production company named   "Boston and Amesbury Manufacturing Co." and built the 1902 Boston and Amesbury Automobile.

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1911 Bailey Model Victoria
S.R. Bailey & Co. Amesbury, MA

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1911 Bailey Victoria Phaeton with The Baileys at Lake Gardner, Amesbury


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1912 Bailey Electric Victoria Phaeton



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1912  Bailey Coupe

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1913 Bailey Coupe

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1914 Bailey Touring


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1915 Bailey Special

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1915 Bailey Delivery Van


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1913 Bailey Runabout
S.R. Bailey & Co. Amesbury, MA
With the original 100 mile battery
Only one known and in exceptional unrestored runing condition
Courtesy of Bart Bailey, owner


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Rear View
For a detail view, click on Bailey Automobile

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Copied from the  36th Annual Report of the Bureau and Statistics of Labor Magazine,
March 1906

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1905 Gardner Serpollet Automobile

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 Serpollet 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, the only one in existence.

Graves & Congdon CO
owner of

Crown Motor Vehicle Co.

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1908 Crown High Wheel Stanhope Runabout
Graves & Congdon Co.

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1910 Crown Automobile
Copied from the 1910 Automobile and  Cycle Trade Journal
The 1910 model has a running board and fenders.

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Article from the February, 1908 issue of the  Horseless Carriage Magazine

"The Crown Motor Vehicle Company has been incorporated in Massachusetts with a factory in Amesbury to manufacture High Wheel Cars for business and pleasure to sell from $600 to $1000. The officers are W.A. Shafer, President; Frank Dodge, Treasurer; W.A Grayson, Secretary. They were to be shown at the following Boston Automobile Show. " It was the company's belief that a high-wheel vehicle was needed in rural areas.

In 1909, minor improvements were made to the running gear and was renamed the the "Graves & Congdon" sutomobile  Very few were made before shutting down in 1910

C.C.Witham Body Co
100 Friend Street

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1920 Adveisement

Those little bumper cars, or the original name "Dodgem", that you see and your children drive at all the amusement parks, were manufactured in Amesbury from 1916-1925 by Carlton Witham of Merrimac.

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The Witham Body Co. was incorporated in November of 1922, and was a continuation of the C.C.Witham Body Co., which was organized in 1916. Although in business for a very short time this body firm manufactured some of the finest sport closed bodies that were ever built in the country. This body company, which had a capacity of eighty bodies per month, built entirely for the Stearns-Knight Motor Car Co. of Cleveland, Ohio, and the Wills Sainte Claire Motor Co. of Marysville, Michigan. The factory was located at 100 Friend St. where the former Rollins Carriage  factory was located abd across the street wher Miller Brothers had theit body business.


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1922 Wills Sainte Claire A6B Sports Sedan
Wills Sainte Claire Co. Marysville, MI

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1925 Stearns-Knight Sports Sedan
F. B Stearns Co. Cleveland, OH

Wentworth Body Company
Unit Body Company


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The one on the right is a GMC bus and on the left is the Pierce-Arrow

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1918 Advertisement

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1921 Advertisement

In 1918 The Chelmsford. MA. School Board ordered a GMC and a Pierce-Arrow truck to be taken to the Wentworth Body CO. Amesbury, to have bus bodies made. School buses, then known as barges,  was a novel idea, especially for a small town. When the school board received the buses, they were very satisfied with the results.

Standard Anti-Friction Equipment Company

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1901 Standard Anti-Friction Equipment Company Chassis with wheels

The 1901 Standard Anti-Friction Equipment Company was created by the Empire Ball Bearing Axles, Chicago, Il, joining forces  with Amesbury Pneumatic Gear Co. with help from the Sheldon Axle Co to manufacture axles, gears, wheels and any part of a vehicle that any part a company needed from light to heavy commericial. . They also manufactured a complete line of their own design.


James Leitch Company

In 1900, Leitch joined with Currier, Cameron, & CO. and  Shields Carriage to make most of the bodies for the regional manufactures. Like Hollander and Hollander-Morrill Companies, he built bodies for several taxi companies, including Sultan of Springfield, MA

Pictured below are the eleven examples taken from a Leitch catalogue of bodies manfactured by Leitch and Co. Almost all of the major companies built similiar cars.

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1908 Catalogue Cut



Horworth and Rogers Carriage Co.
also built bodies similiar to the ones shown.

In 1905, Horworth and Rogers factory was desstroyed by fire with 25 completed

Article from the 1905 edition of Cycle and Automobile Trade Magazine

Howarth & Rogers Co., of Amesbury. Mass., whose factory was destroyed by fire recentlv, have purchased a new three-story brick building, which has been equipped with machinery and which will be devoted to the manufacture of automobile bodies exclusively.



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