History of the Early American Automobile Industry
1915Home Forward Contents
1915 was a boom year! The industries and the country as a whole certainly needed one. Across the board, production of automobiles and accessories increased to an all time high. Factories were now on double shifts and several were working three. Workers, hours were being nine hours with ten hours pay. Studebaker had gone to eight hours with no decrease in daily wages.
The farmers were harvesting their biggest crops in years and were begging for cars. Agencies in the midwest were complaining to their suppliers for lack of cars because the farmers were getting them. Europe was now in the midst of the Great War and England and France had turned all of their companies into making war materials and did not have the facilities to manufacture automobiles. Large orders for trucks and cars came pouring into the makers here for them and exports were far above any recent years.
State and local roads were being constructed in every section of the country and transcontinetal roads were in the process of being made by the Federal Government. The Lincoln Highway that was going from New York City to San Francisco was well under way. The Dixie Highway from Chicago to Miami, that began a year earlier, was finished by October and the first tour from Danville, Il to Miami got underway. Another Dixie Highway began to take shape. Tourism was one of the biggest promoters of the automobile industry and local and state automobile clubs were now making much longer distant tours.
New companies were being formed to alter touring models that could be used for sleeping and for hauling overnight camping supplies.
The 1915 issues of the Motor Age Magazine promoted "America First" to show the great places for tourist to visit in this country. Of all the attractions that were shown in these isuues, nothing could be more appealing than the Stone Face on Mt. Wilson in California. Yellowstone Park was opened for automobile touring with four entrances.
Another craze was the jitney vehicles. The jitney was a private owned vehicle that was for bus service. They came in all passenger sizes and the jitney owner was licensed by the city and had set fares during the day which was usually five cents. At night the driver could rmove his city badge and charge whateever he wanted. The jitney started in Europe and by the beginning of 1915, the jitney service caught on in a big way and soon almost every city of any size was clamoring for the service. Streets became crowded with them and street car owners were up in arms about their taking money from them while making streetcars harder to manuever in the streets. By fall, the fad for jitneys cooled off to the point that the owners were not making enough profit to keep them running and they disapeared as fast as the they had risen. Jitneys were made by several automobile makers including Studebaker.
Some of the most notable failures were Krit, Briggs-Detroit, and Knox. All four had their assests sold. Stevens-Duryea ceased production of cars, but kept making special orders and parts. The cyclecars had seen their day and only one new company, Sterling, was started. Some of the cyclecar manufacturers went into light cars and the rest became a name in the Defunct Automobiles category.
1915 Gulf Gasoline Advertisement
A major portion of the companies began making the following year's models as early as January and by July, they went on sale as such. Some models did not make it to the end of the year. To avoid any confusion, the manufacturers shown here began and made these models in 1915
This shows how eary in the year models were being made for the next years models.
In 1915, The Ross and Young Machine Company, Detroit, MI, who had been making automobile parts for some time, entered the automobile manufacturing phase of the business with their Ross model. The Ross Automobile Company was incorporated with a capital stock of $300,000. It was a V-8 with a 115-inch wheelbase. The 1916 model wheelbase was increased to 130 inches that was priced at $1,850 with more body styles. Later that year, the company was in trouble mand needing money, it was reorganized, but chaos set in. The V-8 was dropped for a six in 1917, but later changed back to the V-8. In February, 1918, the company was sold.
1916 Ross Automobile Advertisement
Copied from the 1915 Motor Age Magazine
A new four-cylinder car known as the Remington makes its appearance this
season in roadster and touring forms. The chassis upon which both cars are mounted is the
same, with the exception that 30 by 3.5 tires and demountable rims are used on the
touring, while the roadster has 30 by 3 tires with clincher rims. The motor is a
four-cylinder block-cast, 3.25 by 5 unit power plant, with three-point suspension.
All the valves are on the right side and are inclosed by a detachable cover plate. The
wheelbase for both cars is 106 inches. Both the touring and roadster bodies are fully
equipped. The dash is of Circasian walnut, with all the instruments mounted upon it. A
long cowl is used
The touring car was known as the Narragansett and sold for $695. An eight-cylinder car was made as a two, four, and six passenger version that was known as the Greyhound with a common price tag of $1495. The Greyhound models were dropped in 1916 and only the Narragansett model was made. The cyclecars were not selling in 1917 and with shortage of materials, the Remingington factory closed operations.
1915 Remington Automobile
In 1914, Philo Remington, owner of the Remington Arms Company and Remington Typewriter Company, made his third attempt to make a successful car. His first ar was the 1901 Remington that he called a complete failure and sold the company. His next one was at Charleston, West Virginia from 1910-1913. With Eliphalet Remington, he organized the Remington Standard Motor Company to manufacture automobiles and airplanes. He did succeeded in building a protype of a truck before he was sued for non payment of royalities for th patent of the engine. The company proceeded into bankruptcy in 1913. Finally, his third car was the 1914 Remington Cyclecar, which was considered to be one of the best on the market. It was powered by a twelve-horsepower , four-cylinder, water-cooled engine. The wheelbase was 100 inches and its tread was 42 inches. The engineer was Clarence Hollister, the inventor of the Hollister automatic transmission , which was a feature of the car. The standard equipment included a top, windshield, speedometer, electric starting, lights with a dimmer, aand horn. The price was $495.00
H. R. Averill, sales manager for the Pullman Automobile Co., York, PA, decided to strike out on his own in April, 1914. He wanted to make a good $700 touring car. After several months of raising capital for his new venture, and driving his prototype on a run to Detroit, he was ready. His Sphinx Motor Car Company was capitalized and ready for production.
1915 Sphinx Automobile
The Sphinz was designed by E. T. Gilliard and was put into production at the end of the year as a 1915 model. It had a 112 inch wheelbase, cone clutch and a three-speed transmission. The company was reorganized later that year as the DuPont Motor Car Company and the produced as a DuPont model.. The 1916 model was changed back to Sphinx. Total output for two years was 350 cars.
1915 Sphinx Automobile Advertisment
Later in 1916, Averill sold part of his factory to Pullman to build bodies. The rest of the factory was sold to a group that later made the Bell aautomobile.
Copied from the 1915 Motor Age Magazine
Announcement of a new car comes from Wichita, Kan., in the form of the Jones Six, the product of the Jones Motor Car Co. The car is assembled from standard parts. The new car appears as a five-passenger, six-cylinder touring car of 118-inch wheel- base at $1,150. The motor is built by the Lycoming Foundry & Machine Co., and has T-head cylinders, 31/2 by 41/4. The gearset is a four-speed selective type bolted directly to the motor, and is a part of the unit power plant. Final drive is through a single universal, inclosed in a torque tube, the drive taken through three-quarter elliptic springs. Tires are 34 by 5, and equipment includes Q. D. demountable rims with a spare on the rear. Starting and lighting is provided by a Leece-Neville system
1915 Jones Touring Automobile
Before this Jones model was put into production, there were twelve former companies that had been named Jones. But John J. Jones was different. He was an Iowa farm boy who worked in oil fields until he had enough money to buy a furniture store in Witicha, KS. From there, he opened the Jones-Sparks Auto Exchange who were used car dealers. Then he became a Model T Ford dealer. He made over $125,000 by selling the Ford cars. Then, he decided to go one step further and make his own automobiles.
With the help of his former mechanic, Carl Evans,who helped him in the restorations of the used cars, they cme up with a medium-priced car that he was sure to be a very good seller. He invested most of the money that was necessary to get started. He established his Jones Motor Car Company in 1914. His car proved to be very successful and monyed men became interested and the firm was capitalized at $500,000 in 1915, production began. The capitalization fund was increased to $2,500,000 in 1917. 4,000 Jones cars were sold in the first six years. By this time he was also building the Jones Truck and his employees were over 900. His sales were world wide. But in 1920, the unexpected happened. It was a disastrous fire that demolished two of his buildings and his automobile inventory. One week later, he resumed his business, but the fire and the post war recession killed the Jones automobile.
1914 Jones Automobile Advertisement
1915 Bailey-Klapp Automobile
The Bailey-Klapp, made by the Elwood Iron Works, Elwood, IN, was made as a prototype in 1915. It had an eight-cylinder motor and was to be offered as a touring and roadster models. Due the bankruptcy of the company, It never went into production. The rights to another car that the company was planning to make was sold to the Bimel Buggy Co., Sidney, OH, and went into production as the Elco.
Copied from the Motor Age Magazine
CANNOT DRAW COLOR LINE
St. Louis, Mo., Feb. 22A St. Louis police court judge decided that owners and
drivers of jitney buses in St. Louis could not draw the color line and should haul negroes
when the latter sought to be conveyed in the motor cars. The decision was in the case of
six negroes who had been arrested when they refused to vacate a jitney car after the
driver had declined to carry them. The blacks were dismissed and the motorist warned that
the color line could not be drawn, because the motor cars were public conveyances. It is
thought the motor people will seek a decision from some higher court before opening their
cars to the use of the negros, whom they say would drive away white patronage.
The Stewart Motor Corporation, Buffalo, NY, was a maker of commercial vehicles who decide to build passenger cars in 1915. They were built for two years before the Stewart Company concretated once again on its commercial trade.
February 25, 1915
Following the announcement some weeks ago of its intention to bring out a
passenger car, the Stewart Motor Corp., Buffalo, N. Y., which, for a number of years
Copied from the September, 1915 Motor Age Magazine
The Stewart Motor Corp. now is producing a six-cylinder roadster in
addition to the seven-passenger touring ear. The roadster is equipped with a Continental
1915 Stewart Automobile Advvertisement
Also was known as the Menominee Electric
The Menominee Electric Company, Menominee, MI, was the owner of the Dudly Tool Company of that city who was the maker of the Dudly Bug Cyclecar that failed in 1914.
1915 Dudley Electric Automobile Advertisement
Copied from the March, 1915 Motor Age Magazine
The first Dudly electric cabriolet which is to sell at $985 is to be sent to Chicago
this week for demonstration purposes. If the new car finds favor the Dudly Tool Co. and
Copied from the 195 Motor Age Magazine
The Lewis Spring & Axle Co., Jackson, Mich., has just announced an
eight-cylinder five-passenger car to sell at the record low figure of $985, equipped. The
car is known as the Hollier eight, and special emphasis is placed upon the fact that it is
not assembled, but is manufactured complete in the Lewis factory. Equipped with a 3 by
41/2, V-type motor, with the two blocks of four cylinders set at 90 degrees to each other
on an aluminum crankcase, the motor, in its general design, adheres to the recognized
1915 Hollier Automobile
Charles Lewis, former president of the Jackson Automobile Company, formed his Lewis Spring and Axel Company in Jackson, MI, and began to manufacture his Hollier in 1915. The hollier was designed by the company and was a 40-hp, V-8. It was a conventional car of its time and was made only as an open model. No closed cars were ever made. 1,000 cars were made in 1916, but this figure was never obtained again. Sales were not the best and the eight was droped for a six-cylinder in 1918. It was discontinued in 1918 because of the war, but resumed production afterwards until 1921 when the company closed down
1915 Hollier Automobile Advertisement
Schebler's 1908 12 Cylinder Car
MOTOR AGE ,March 25, 1915
With fours, sixes and eights occupying the attention of the motoring public at the present time, it may come as a surprise to some to know that for the last 7 years George Schebler, inventor of the carbureter bearing his name, has been driving a twelve over the country roads of Indiana. But such is the case and the odometer shows that the car already has covered something like 30,000 miles. It is a most remarkable twelve at that, it being of the V type, with the valves in the head and with the cylinders set at 45 degrees. That is not uncommon practice, but Mr. Schebler, who directed the construction of the big motor, which was built by Philip Schmoll, of the company's engineering staff, has made it ambidexterous, if one can apply this term to a motor car engine, by being able to run it either as a six or a twelve. He can use either set of six cylinders, or he can use the entire dozen, depending on the character of the road over which the car is running.
1915 Schebler Carburetor
Columbus, Ohio, April 26The Cummins Auto Sales Co. has made the
final announcement of the specifications of the new Monitor, which is to be manufactured
by the company. The plans are to drop the manufacture of the eight-cylinder car and to
devote all of the attention of the firm to the four. There will be one chassis with two
bodies, a touring car and a runabout. The Monitor 4-30, as the car will be known, is to be
built on a 108-inch wheelbase chassis. The car will be equipped with electric lighting and
cranking units and will sell for $795 when equipped with the touring body. The motor has a
bore of 31/2 inches and a stroke of 1/2 inches. It is manufactured by Golden, Belknap
& Swartz. The motor is part of a unit power plant with multiple disk clutch and center
control. The gearset is to be of the selective type, sliding gear. For ignition,
1915 Monitor Automobile
In 1915, The Cummins Auto Sales Company became the Cummins-Monitor Company with Charles Cummins, H. P. Jeffers, and E. S. Cummins as principal owners. The firm's intention was to produce the Monitor V-8 to sell at $1,275 and a Monitor Junior for $675. When it was put into production, it was a four-cylinder and a six-cylinder was made for 1916. It was an assembled car with either Herschell-Spillman or a Continential engine. In December, it the company was renamed as the Monitor Motor Car Company. Company stock was offered for sale in 1917 to get money for a larger factory. 3,000 cars were made that year and a larger factory was acquired in 1919. Prices after the war were escalated and the sales dropped jdrastically. In 1921, the company was in receivership for non-payment of engines to Herschell-Spillman. The company was sold in 1922.
1915 Monitor Automobile Advertisement
Josiah Dort was a partner with William Durant in their Flint Road Wagon Company when Durant decided to buy the Buick Company in 1904. Dort had no use for automobiles and stayed in the carriage business , but was always there when Durant need financial support. In 1915, he finally decided to enter into the automobile business and formed his Dort Motor Car Company. His slogan was " Quality Goes Clear Trough " showed in his first Dort automobile. Etienne Planche, who had helped Louo-is Cheverolet make his Chevrolet model, was the Dort engineer.
1915 Dort Automobile
From the begining, It was assembled in Canada as a Dort and by William Gray as a Gray-Dort. A four cylinder touring was the only model for 1916, but in 1917, a cloverleaf-roadster and a closed car was offered.
1915 Dort Automobile Advertisement
1917 Dort Automobile
The price of his automobiles were always around $1,000.. The largest production year was in 1920 with 30,000 being made. Dort sales began to slide in 1922 and by 1924, it was decided to close down production and call it quits.
Copied from the March, 1915, Motor Age Magazine
The plan of the Pontiac Chassis Co., Pontiac, Mich., a new concern whose
incorporation was announced last week, to build for the trade, chassis minus bodies and
The first design of chassis to be produced by the Pontiac concern, which i
doing its assembling in the plant formerly occupied by the Flanders Mfg. Co., now out of
business, is a 25-horsepower type using, the Perkins L-head engine, small
four-cylinder engine with cylinders in a block and three-speed gearset in unit.
The Crown Motor Car Company, Louisville, Ky., bought the Ohio Falls Motor Car Company in 1913 and moved its company Albany, IN. . The Crown company had made a cycle car in 1913. Shortly thereafter, the Crown Motor Car Co., was reorganized as the Hercules Motor Car Company. The oficers of the new company were B. F. Lamber, resident; A. B. Lambert as Vice-president; and C. H. Lambert as secretary-treasurer. Its product waa the Hercules with a cyclecar price at $490.00. It was not a cycleca.r. It ws a tourung car on a 100 inch wheelbase with a 54 inch tread. It was a 20 HP with a 100 inch base and standard 56 inch tread.
1915 Herucles Automobile
The Hercules barely made it into production before before trouble set in. C. F. Lambert and his son, A. B. Lambert were indicited on stock and deposits manipulations. Even tough a hundred cars had been made, the squabbles continued and stories in the press killed the Hercules. Its assets were sold to its former owner, the Kentucky Wagon Company where it was made with its new name, the Dixie Flyer.
Copied from the 1915 Motor Age Magazine
The Times Square Automobile Co., of New York and Chicago, has put on the
market an assembled car called the Mecca. The concern, until now, has marketed rebuilt and
used cars. The car is brought out to meet the demand of those wantinga new car at a low
price. It is made in Detroit. The car is assembled from parts made by well-known concerns
and standard specifications will be found throughout. The power plant is a four-cylinder
Golden, Belknap & Swartz product, having a bore of 31/2 inches, with a stroke of 43/4
inches. The whel base is 104 Inches. The speed range of the vehicle is from 3 to 50 miles
per hour. Steering is by adjustable worm and gear and either left or right drive may be
secured as desired. The standard body is a five-passenger touring with streamline design.
In addition there is a roadster or raceabout of two-passenger capacity. The cars are
finished in what the makers call Mecca blue, which is a blue somewhat on the shade of what
is commonly known as royal. The car is sold with full equipment, including two electric
headlights equipped with dimmers, electric tail-lights, silk mohair one-man top, two-piece
rain-vision windshield, tire holders, extra rim, pump and warning
1915 Mecca Touring Automobile
The Times Square Automobile Company, NYC, NY, a seller of used cars, decided to make a car of its own in 1915 . They named it after the Broadway area surrounding Times Square known as the Mecca of the theater world. The first one was a four-cylinder cyclecar that was priced at $450 and was shown at Cyclecar Dealers Show in Boston in 1914. Times Square made the car in Teaneck, NJ and the company was named the Mecca Motor Car Company. None were made. In mid 1915, Times Square changed its mind and decided not to have a cyclecar and to let some other company build it. The Princess Motor Car Company in Detroit was contracted to build its version and trimed with the Mecca name. It was sold as a Mecca for the 1916 season. Mecca disapperaed at the end of the year.
1915 Mecca Automobile Advertisement
Copied from the 1915 June Motor Age Magazine
Stop, Look, Listen!
To avoid accidents to motor cars at many of its grade crossings on Long Island, the Long Island railroad has started the erection of large signs along the main roads warning tourists to be careful at these crossings. These signs are not placed immediately in advance of the crossings but on the main roads leading out of New York so that the motorist is impressed early with the necessity of care at the grade crossings. With such signs 50 feet long and 10 feet high, there is no question but that they will attract at least a percentage of the attention of the motoring public and a considerable reduction in accidents should result.
This sign-board scheme should bring better results, and it is hoped
that many other railroad lines will actively take up the work of the Long Island road.
True the Long Island road has worse conditions to contend with than the majority of other
lines, in that it operates in a very thickly populated section and has nearly 1,000
intersections of highways. Today flagmen at crossings have not been sufficient; in fact,
where the grade crossing remains there is no precaution that is a positive assurance
against accidents, as some drivers seem bent on certain suicide if their method of driving
can be taken as any criterion of their thoughts. The careless driver we will have with us
always and nothing can be done to stop him from taking chances with his life and the lives
of those that ride with him.
Copied from the June, 1915, MotorAge Magazine
The Hupp Motor Car Co. took occasion at its dealers' convention just closed to reveal a national service coupon plan which is being put in effect at once. The plan is, briefly, that a coupon book is issued to the purchaser of the 1916 model Hupmobile, this being good for 50 hours of service labor on the car, same to be performed at any Hupmobile dealer's garage or any other authorized shop not a dealer in any part of the United States or Canada. The coupon book contains 100 coupons, each good for Vi-hour of service labor, but only ten of them, or 5 hours, is available in any 1 month. That is, when a car is purchased, the buyer receives 10 months' service along with it. The idea of distributing the coupons over 10 months is to assure the car being inspected and adjusted monthly.
The service plan contemplates a wide-spread organization of what are to be called
service representatives. These are repair shops, garages or other places where
Disco Electric Starter Advertisement
In 1914, the Thomas Motor Car Company was sold lock, stock, and barrell at auction for $51,000 to C. A. Finnegan of the Empire Smelting Company in Depew, NY. After giving it some thought , Finnegan decided to continue making the automobile in a factory across town from the present one. The sales were very small, mostly on orders, until 1918, when it closed for good.
1915 Thomas Automobile
The E. B. Thomas Motor Car Co. is again active in the motor car field and
announces a $4,000 touring car called model MF. It is a six-cylinder model. The Thomas
company proposes to build only about fifty of these cars yearly but each car will be a
distinctive job built to the tastes of the purchaser. The bodies will be made in the
Hary A. Lozier had separated himself from his much loved Lozier Company that he had formed eleven years earlier over a disagreement with the decision that the company had made to make a lesser expensive model. He decided that he would would make a model that he wanted. Using former practices that had been followed by such well known makers of using their initials, he named his model the Hal. His model made its entrance at the 1916 New York Automobile Show,
1915 HAL Touring. Automobile
1916 HAL Touring AutomobileIt
It was powered by a V-12 engine. and production began in June in Cleveland. Its original price was to be $1,750, but was raised to $2,100 and each year it became more expensive. Lozier had left the company in 1916 for reasons of ill health. As with almost all of the makers, the continuation of the war in Europe did great damage to the Hal Company. The were able to make onlt ten cars a day. Rumors persisted that they would join with the Abbott Corporation that had just moved from Detroit to Cleveland. This did not happen because the Abbott Company went bankrupt shortly after its move. In February, 1918, Losier declared bankruptcy and all assetess were sold.
1918 Hal Automobile Advertisement
August 1, 1915 White Automobile Advertisement
This advertisement was a cleaar indication of what was taking place in the industry. A price war was going on between the lower of makers and every advertisement stated that their product was the best in the country and at the cheapest price. But trying as hard as they could, no one was able to beat the Ford Company in prices. The Ford cars were never a great car by any means. It was simply the cheapest one that any one could afford. For the 1915 season, Ford sales were 350,000 units, more than the most of the other companies combined.
Copied from the August 1, Issue of the Motor Age Magazine
For 15 years too many of our engineers and designers have commuted to
European factories to pick up what they believed to be the final syllable in foreign
engineering and to incorporate it in their own cars. For a decade and a half this policy
has continued, but today we are in a new regime. Today our engineers cannot go to the
European factory, and if they could they would not find new car models to study. The net
result is that our engineers, in not a few factories, are standing on their own feet and
instead of being poor copiers are today real creators, building cars that even Europe did
not build, and if a few of her brightest engineers had similar conceptions of design they
failed to incorporate them in their cars.
Copied from the June, 1915, Motor Age Magazine
The Moore Motor Co. has begun preparations for the production of a new car
called the Moore which will sell for $660 in five-passenger touring form. The Moore
1915 Moore Automobile
George Moore owned a Ford dealership in Minneapolis, MN who organized the Moore Motor Vehicle Company to build a four cylinder 30 hp-motor automobile to compete with the Model T Fords. The price tag was $595. It was a a poorly financed operation that started assembling the car as its 1916 model. In 1918, the company moved to Danville, IL and was touted as "The Modern Motor Miracle". By now, the price tag was $1,000. Moore resigned as president along with his vice-president in 1919. It was in receivership in 1921 and all of it officials, including Moore, were convicted for fraud in the sale of stock.
1919 Moore Automobile
On November 1920, the officers of the Moore Motor Company were indicted for mail fraud
St. Louis, June 10, 1921 A verdict of guilty of using the mail to defraud in the case of five former officers and a former stock salesman of the Moore Motor Vehicle Co., of Danville, has been returned. The case has been on trial for four weeks. The charge arose from their sales of stock in the company. The convicted men are George L. Moore, of Los Angeles; Edward G. Gallagher, of Minneapolis; Albert C. Leonard, of Denver; John F. Bichl, of Chicago;. James H. Vickers, of Harvard, 1ll., and J. W. Patt, of Salt Lake City. The latter was a stock salesman; the others were officers of the company at some time between 1916 and 1920. Attorneys for the defendents made a motion for a new trial.
Moore, Gallagher and Leonard conducted an automobile plant at Minneapolis
from 1915 to 1917 when George Wilson, a promoter, suggested that they incorporate, sell
stock and produce automobiles on a large scale. The Minneapolis company, known as the
Moore Motor Co., was incorporated for $50,000. The Moore Motor Vehicle Co. was
incorporated under the laws of South Dakota for $5,000,000 and the company purchased a
plant at Danville, 111. Wilson obtained a contract whereby he had the exclusive sale of
the stock. During the trial it was stated that the company received about $906,000 from
the sale of stock. About $466,000 was accounted for on the company's books.
Copied from the August 9, 1915 Motor Age Magazine
A two-passenger roadster at $535 and a delivery wagon on the same chassis
at $500 are ready for delivery by the Fostoria Light Car Co., Fostoria, O., according to
information, from the newly-incorporated company. The passenger car is of light
construction throughout and uses a four-cylinder motor with cone clutch and three-speed
1915 Fostoria Roadster Automobile
The four founders who incorporated the Fostoria Light Car Company,
Fostoria, OH, in 1915, were J. H. Jones, Charles Ash, and A. O. George, who were
businessmen in Fostoria. Their intentions were to build four different models of a
low-priced four-cylinder assembled car. It was going to be known as th "Surprise of
the Season" By September of 1916, 260 cars had been made but the company found
themselves in deep trouble. The Sterling motors that they had bought were lemons. They
instantly ordered new Le Roi engines. The car needed a new name and it was changed to
Seneca. One of the original Fostoria stock holders, Ira Cadwallader, took over and put his
son, Lester, in charge. The Seneca was a successful car until 1924, when it went out of
Copied from the May Motor Age Magazine
The first of the Madison cars to be made by the Madison Motors Co.,
Anderson, Ind., has been on exhibition this week at the Severin hotel. The new car is a
six with a most attractive type of roadster body, and is to be known as the Dolly Madison.
The company is scheduling a production of 600 sixes with the roadster and touring body
1915 Dolly Madison Automobile.
The Dolly Madison roadster is exceptionally comfortable as it is supplied with a high door on either side. This makes a clean line with the hood besides protecting the passengers. There is a very large gasoline tank and the spare wheel is carried at the rear on a false-hub or carrier to which it attaches precisely as on an axle.
1917 Madison Automobile Advertsement
In March, 1915, Henry Nyberg, whose previouly Nyberg automobile was unsuccessful, decided to give it anothet go. He and Cecil Gibson, who once was with the empire Automobile Company, got together to build a new light-six model. and be called the Dolly Madison and the Motor Car Company was incorporated at $500,000. In 1916, they simply called it the Madison and was reorginized as Madison Motors Corporation with a non-funded $2,000,000 capitalization. It never went any wheres and was taken over by the Bull Tractor Company. Madison was unable to get ample parts to succeed and by 1918, the company became automobile decorators.
Three articles copied from the Editorial Pages of 1915 Motor Age Magazines
The Incompetent Repairman
Within the last few months an agent for a prominent make of car in a city
of over 25,000 in the Middle West lost the agency because his repair department was quite
inadequate, so much so that repair jobs rarely gave satisfaction and the factory was
charged with incompetency through this particular dealer.
The Stutz Example
This is a record unequaled by any other maker in America. This sweep of
victory in itself is a mead that rarely comes to any manufacturer, but when the pick of
THE closing of speedway racing with Saturday's 350-mile contest on the new 2-mile board
track at Sheepshead Bay, New York, demonstrated that more racing cars and fewer
speedways will'have to be major considerations in the 1916 program. Too many cars went out
too early in New York Saturday; thesame happened at Minneapolis, and the same was true to
an extent in Chicago and alio Indianapolis, this applying only to long-distance events.
Copied from the 1915 Motor Age Magazine
The Biddle car has made its debut in Philadelphia. Two types, a touring
car aud runabout, are featured. The maker is the Biddle Motor Car Co., Inc. The large car
sells for $1,880, and the smaller one for $1,700. A town car to sell for $3,000 is being
worked out, and another fashioned with foreign lines, with a Duesenberg motor, to sell at
the same price. Series D, by which the car is designated, is equipped with a unit type,
three-point suspension power plant, being incorporated with a Buda motor. The cylinders
are four in number with 1/2-inch bore and 1/2-inch stroke. Official rating gives 22
horsepower, while 48 is registered on the factory block test. The ignition, lighting and
1915 Biddle Automobiles
The Biddle Motor Car Company, Philadelphia, PA, was formed by A. Maris as president and Charkles Fry was the engineer and designer. It was designed and built for the upper crust clientel. To promote the car, it was named after A. Ralsto Biddle, a member of this group. It was well received by them for its looks and it was a handsome car. The company supplied the chassises that began at $1650 in 1916 and $2,000 by 1918. Purchasers could pick out a body style that he wanted . Bodies ranged from $2,000 to $4,000. and they were superb. The Biddle car was pictured on a number of advertisements for component parts.
1915 Biddle Automobile Advertisement
The number of cars that were produced was 100 for 1915 and the same for 1916. No more than 500 for the next three years. The Biddle production almost came to a halt after the war and moving to a new factory did not help. It was sold to the Maibohm Motors in 1920 and forty carsere ordered. These were assembled except for some parts that would be sent when its ills were paid. There was no money to pay the companies and the Biddle was once again sold to a group that was headed by F. L. Crane. It was renamed the Biddle-Crane and the company was reorganized as the Biddle-Crane Motor Car Company. The bills were paid for the parts and the forty cars were finished with bodies from Rausch & Lang and delivered. Only a very few were made before it closed down in 1922.
Copied from the 1915 Motor Age Magazine
First model to be brought out by Joliet concern makes its debut among the companies to enter the field for the first time with a car for 1916 is the New Era Engineering Co., Joliet,Il. Its product being the New Era passenger car to sell at $660. Included in the features of the chassis are simplicity, strength, proper distribution of weight and accessibility. Accuracy of manufacture has been the watchword of this company in designing its motor to develop a maximum of horsepower and at the same time reduce vibration and internal frictional losses. The power plant, which is a four-cylinder, 31/2 by 41/2 inches, is block-cast, the cylinders being integral with the upper half of the crankcase, while the lower half is a separate piece. The maker claims 24 horsepower for the New Era motor at a gear reduction of 41/2 to 1. Other features are thermo syphon cooling, Allis-Chalmers single-unit starting and lighting system, multiple disk clutch, four-speed transmission, three-quar-ter floating rear axle, semi-elliptic springs in front and elliptic in rear, and Atwater-Kent ignition. The wheelbase is 104 inches.
1915 New Era Automobile
The company was organized by Forrest Alvin, James Buckley, Winthrop Burdick, and W. J. Burdick. Alvin was the president and Buckley was the engineer. It lasted one year before going out of business.
Beginning with issue of November 25 Motor Age will commence its series of articles on
Outdoor Dixiewhat the motorist who goes into the southeast with his car during the
winter can see. Since 1864, Dixie to many has been a land of yesterday, a land of cotton,
of sugar plantations, but not a land breathing through every tissue of its structure the
virile force that has made America what it is today. When the great tide of settlement
moved west of the Mississippi instead of south of the Mason and
This city again is breaking into the passenger car field with the
announcement of the Farmack car, made by the Farmack Motor Car Corp., Chicago, IL. While
actual production not yet has been begun, it is proposed to build three models using the
same chassis. The price of the touring car will be about $750, including an electric
This newly formed corporation has its head, A. J. Farmer, who was last
connected with the Farmer Mfg. Co., Detroit, Mich., as vice-president, George H. McKenney,
1915 Farmack Cabriolet Automobile
Albert Farmack was probably on of the most learned men in he industry with his experiences with Smith-Mabley, superintendent with the Ranier Company and designer of engines at Northway that made engine moslty for General Motors. He designed a four-cylinder engine with an overhead camshaft that he built for himself and was of interest to a group in Chicago. The Farmack Motor Car Company was incorporated in Chicago in 1915. It just so happened there were other business men who wanted to invest in the company, but didn't like the name. The company was reorganized and the Farmack became the Drexel.
1916 Drexel Four Passenger Roadster
Alber Farmack needed money more than he needed his name on the car, and he readily agreed to the name change. THe same engine was used in the five-seat touring car that was priced at $885. He was concentrating on his new seven-passenger with a 63-horsepower engine with a double overhead camshaft with four valvesper cylinder and priced at a remarketale low cost of $1,650. His one fault was his business experience. He was asked to resign in 1917 for poor business practices. However, thje owners forgot that Farmack held the patent rights on their prized 16-valve engine. All was forgiven, All of this was mute when the two Chicago Banks that held the loans failed and Drexel was bankrupt. Farmack left the company. Plans were made to revive the companty, but were not carried through. Very few, if any Drexels had been built.
The history of the Harvard car has to be one of the most convulated that any automobile could have. To simplify it as much as possible, Not long after Charles Herreshoff had sold his automobile, he was anxious to build a light car for production that he had designed. He organized his Herreshoff Light Car Company in Troy, NY. to build his car. It just so happen to be another Herreshoff Light Car Company in Troythat was owned by Northrup Holmes. It was a sales agency for the previously built Herreshoff cars. He had known Holmes from his dealings with the previous Herreshoff automobiles and he suggested that Holmes that his car to be built in Troy and target New Zeland for its market.
1915 Harvard Coupe
Before anything was started, Herreshoff took off for South America, taking his prototype with him. Holmes still had all of the desings in his safe. Holmes asked Theodore Litchfield, a mechinic, living in Troy and a local agent for the Herff-Brooks, to join him to build the car. Litchfield promptly completed the chassis and Holmes named it the Harvard. and the compans name to be Harvard-Pioneer Motor Car Company. Harvard sales were never rgreat, but it was able to get through the war. In 1921, it became a victim of the post war depression.
Copied from the 1915 Motor Age Magazine
The Harvard is a four-cylinder car with 3 by 4 by 4-inch block motor, unit
gearbox and Detroit axle. It lists as a roadster at $750 and has a 100-inch wheel-base and
28 by 3 tires. The body seat is supplied with deep upholstery and the Pantasote top fits
snugly on the windshield when erected. On the same chassis a coupe body is also fitted and
sells for a very moderate price. The car is geared rather higher than the average car is
geared and adjustable foot pedals as found on the Haynes.The Briscoe clutch and control
pedals are adjustable should be capable of a fair speed on the road, a feature which will
be appreciated by owners.
The Bell Motor Car Co., recently organized, is the latest addition to the
motor car industry in this city. The new concern will engage in the manufacture of a
low-priced car, selling at between $700 and $800, and will be incorporated at $50,000.
Operations will be started July 1 in the large three-story factory building, now
occupied by the Bailey Manufacturing Co., engaged in the manufacture of commercial car
bodies.The Bell car will be manufactured in two models, a roadster and a five-passenger
touring car. The cars will be fully equipped. Ernest T. Gilliard, former chief engineer
and designer for the Sphinx Motor Car Co., this city, will act ias president for the new
company. The body
1920 Bell Advertisement
The Bell Company was organized in 1915 in York, PA, and was developed by the Bedll Motor Car Company that was owned Ernest P. Gilliard. He had been involved with the Pullman and Sphinx cars that had been made in York. Gilliard designed the Bell Automobile in 1915 for the 1916 season. The initial price was $775.00 but by 1921, the price had risen to $1,595.00. During that time, sales were adaquate, but not great. The company moved into the former Pullman when that company went out of business. Also, there had been two presidentss of the company. Charles Riess made the third one when he took over in 1921.and was going to make the Bell into his Riess Royal. It didn't happen and in 1922, the Bell became a victom of the times
Peter Pan is the name given to the new car put out by the Randall company. It is made in four-passenger touring and two-passenger runabout bodies on the same chassis. The wheelbase is 110 inches and although this length is as great as in some of the larger cars, everything about this new product has been made along light lines. The four-cylinder power plant has its 2.75 by 4.5 cylinders cast in a single block with the valves in the head. Cooling is thermo-syphon through a tubular radiator. A Berling magneto is the sole source of current for ignition and for starting a mechanical device is relied upon. A multiple-disk clutch transmits the drive through a three-speed selective sliding gearset. Control is in the center and the steering wheel on the left. The springs are floating cantilevers and the brakes, as regards the service set mounted on the propeller shaft with the emergency brakes on the rear wheel.
1915 Peter Pan Automobile
Peter Pan was made at the Wollaston Foundry Company in Quincy MA. and L. W. Newell was its general manager. The water-cooled engine was made at the factory and built by Wollaston. Its $400 price tag was very attractive for a car of this quality. However, it did not survive 1915.
Jan. 6, 1916, MOTOR AGE Magazine
Brakes Not Applied During 1915 by Motor Industry---Statistics Show that American Makers Traveled Prosperity Route with Throttle Wide Open
Like the seventh daughter of a seventh daughter, Alfred Reeves, general
manager of the National Automobile Chamber of Commerce, is endowed with the gift of
prophecy. For a crystal globe, the proverbial aid of the seers, he has substituted several
volumes of trade records, through which he has peered and from which he has made many
interesting deductions. Not only has he looked into the future, but he has pierced the
veil of the past and the resultant statistics are a poignant commentary on the prosperity
of the motor car industry and a promise of even greater prosperity during the coming 12
During 1915 we have shipped cars to eighty different countries. The value
of these exports exceeds $100,000,000, as compared to $28,507,464 in 1914. Reeves
estimates the value of 1915 motor truck exports, which showed an increase of 600 per cent
over the shipments of last year, at $63,000,000, and that of 1915 passenger car shipments,
which increased 90 per cent, at $37,000,000. John Bull was Uncle Sam's best customer,
spending $21,000,000 for 8,321 passenger cars and 5,306 commercial vehicles during the
fiscal year ending June30, 1915. The 892,618 motor vehicles sold during 1915 came from the
factories of 448 manufacturers, 257 of which are builders of trucks. Thirty-four of the
forty-five statescan boast of having a hand in this enormous production as only nine
commonwealths have no motor car plants. To realize the advances made by the industry,