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A Road Well Traveled
A ROAD WELL TRAVELED
PROFILES OF AMERICA’S GREAT AUTOMOBILE PIONEERS
BY DANIEL ALEF © 2010, 2011 NEW DIGITAL EDITION
Meta4 Press an Imprint of Titans of Fortune Publishing 47 Greenwell Lane Santa Barbara, Ca. 93105 (805) 245-3580 www.titansoffortune.com
A Road Well Traveled
PRAISE FOR DANIEL ALEF'S TITANS OF FORTUNE BIOGRAPHICAL PROFILES
"The great American automobile pioneers played a major role in creating the nation we have today and Daniel Alef's book, A Road Well Traveled, brings to life their stories, achievements, successes and, at times, failures. Some were mechanical geniuses; others great businessmen who could sell their dreams and make them come true. Anyone passionate about cars, vintage, antique or classic, and there are millions of us, will find a mother lode of information in this well written book." —Andy Granatelli, "Mister 500" and automotive icon "As the reader will learn, the automotive pioneers outlined in the following stories may represent the first group of true industrial entrepreneurs and may actually set examples of what can be accomplished today to rebuild our industrial base." —Thomas T. Stallkamp, Former Vice Chairman and President of DaimlerChrysler Corporation. ―I've read these wonderful profiles with such pleasure… —Barnaby Conrad, International best- selling author and founder of the Santa Barbara Writers Conference ―Your column on Otis Chandler was the best encapsulation of Otis I have ever seen.‖ —Marylin Chandler De Young, wife of Otis Chandler. ―I am a great fan of Titans of Fortune... Dan Alef has found a savvy combination of facts and feelings in selected bios —Fred Klein, Former executive editor at Bantam Books. ―As a fellow lawyer and writer, I was impressed with your easy style and eye for detail, and fluid prose--two hallmarks of a good storyteller. —Pierce O'Donnell, Author of Fatal Subtraction and In Time of War. ―A friend of mine, who lives in Santa Barbara, sent me the copy of Capt. Matson, that was printed in your paper. It was beautifully written and I will put it in my keepsakes. I am a granddaughter of the Capt.; my father was Walter Matson... —Carol Park ―For a long time, I have enjoyed your essays. They are concise, well-written and informative. I think we do not tell writers often enough how much we appreciate their work, so I thought I would drop you a line.
A Road Well Traveled
—Mashey Bernstein, Lecturer, Writing Program at University of California at Santa Barbara ―It was fun to see you, especially as your mind was still churning Getty's life story, and then . . . bam, it was there. You have a great reportial touch. —Doran William Cannon, Award-winning Hollywood screenwriter, author and founder of The Writers Academy
A Road Well Traveled
OTHER BOOKS AND BIOGRAPHICAL PROFILES BY DANIEL ALEF
Pale Truth, award-winning historical novel of America and California Sold! How America‘s Greatest Marketing and Sales Titans Pulled it Off The Great Creators: Profiles of America's Remarkable Inventors and Innovators Mark Zuckerberg: The Face Behind Facebook and Social Networking Steve Jobs: The Apple of Our i Walt Disney: The Man Behind the Mouse J. Pierpont Morgan: America's Greatest Banker J. Paul Getty: The Dysfunctional Millionaire Amelia Earhart: Never in Man's Shadow Walter Annenberg: King of Communication Elizabeth Arden: Beauty Queen Clarence W. Barron: Founder of Modern Financial Journalism Bernard Baruch: Lone Wolf of Wall Street Jeff Bezos: Amazon and the eBook Revolution Howard Hughes: The Mysterious Billionaire Henry Ford: King Henry the First Benjamin Franklin: The New Prometheus Katherine Graham: Doyenne of Publishing Hetty Green: Witch of Wall Street Clarence L. "Kelly" Johnson: From Skunk Works to the Edge of Space William Randolph Hearst: Media, Myth and Mystique John D. Rockefeller, Sr.: America's First Billionaire Sam Walton: Changed the Wold of Merchandising Cornelius Vanderbilt: The Colossus of Roads Andrew Carnegie: Prince of Steel and Libraries George Eastman: The Kodak King Thomas Alva Edison: Wizard of Menlo Park Jay Gould: Ruthless Railroad Tycoon Alexander Hamilton: The First Horatio Alger Armand Hammer: An Oil Baron of Many Contradictions
More Daniel Alef biographical profiles are available on Amazon (Kindle), Apple iBookstore, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Sony ebookstore, Borders and other ebook retailers.
A Road Well Traveled
FOREWORD INTRODUCTION DAVID DUNBAR BUICK ROY CHAPIN WALTER PERCY CHRYSLER JOHN AND HORACE DODGE FRED AND AUGIE DUESENBERG WILLIAM CRAPO DURANT CHARLES AND FRANK DURYEA HARVEY FIRESTONE THE FABULOUS FISHER BROTHERS HENRY FORD CHARLES GOODYEAR JOHN DANIEL HERTZ CHARLES HOWARD HENRY J. KAISER CHARLES F. KETTERING HENRY MARTYN LELAND CHARLES W. NASH RANSOM E. OLDS 1 3 5 15 22 31 37 46 54 60 67 76 94 99 105 110 120 133 139 149
A Road Well Traveled
JAMES W. PACKARD CAPT. EDDIE RICKENBACKER ALFRED P. SLOAN, JR STANLEY BROTHERS JOHN M. STUDEBAKER THE WHITE BROTHERS JOHN N. WILLYS AUTHOR BIO
156 164 178 185 192 201 209 219
A Road Well Traveled
The automobile, and the industry that created it, represents the best example of economic industrialization and entrepreneurship in history. During the 20th century it grew from a collection of fledgling start-ups to become the largest industry in the world, and in the process, changed the way people lived, worked and prospered. Because its product, the car, is universally known and used by almost every person in the developed world, we all have some knowledge of and connection to this enormous economic machine. But few know the fascinating and interesting history of its development. From its beginning, it is an industry dominated by strong-willed individuals whose egos sometimes got in the way of their success. We know something about these people because their names appear on the vehicles that are in our garage. Names that are familiar around the world, like Ford, Chevrolet and Dodge. But the stories of their personal contributions and trials are not widely known outside of automotive history buffs. Even lesser known are the efforts of names like Kaiser, Howard, and Duryea; men who at one time were a major influence on the development of the vehicle but about whom we know little today of their contributions. I am fortunate to have had a career that spans over 35 years in this industry, working for Ford and Chrysler and now advising suppliers to the global auto makers. Working at the OEM‘s, I thought I knew the more important elements of its history but not the personal aspect of these names that were familiar to me. ―A Road Well Traveled‖ provides a fascinating look into the work of these and many more pioneers. Their individual stories make up a collective work that shows how the technology developed, how dreams were turned into hard metal, and how they shaped the industry. As we ended the first decade of the 21st century, the impact of the automotive industry on everyone became apparent. The sudden immergence and rapid spread of the worldwide financial crisis affected each of the companies manufacturing cars and trucks around the globe. Firms that once were thought to be so strong that
A Road Well Traveled
they could not fail, did as General Motors and Chrysler declared bankruptcy and emerged only through federal government support. The reason that this historic financial bail-out was approved by Congress was the recognition of the economic importance of the auto industry. It seems that almost everyone has an opinion on this action. While the bail-out may be argued on philosophic grounds, what can‘t be denied is the number of people directly and indirectly employed by the car manufacturers. It still remains the largest manufacturing industry in the world. As we look back into the histories of these early automotive pioneers, it is an interesting reflection on just how far reaching their contributions have become. We often hear that the current economic recovery will be lead by individual entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship is about seeing opportunities, taking risks and creating solutions to problems. We associate it today with bioscience or computer software and not automobiles. As the reader will learn, the automotive pioneers outlined in the following stories may represent the first group of true industrial entrepreneurs and may actually set examples of what can be accomplished today to rebuild our industrial base. The lessons learned from these men should serve to highlight what imagination, risk-taking and perseverance can produce. So buckle your seatbelts and get ready to learn more about that ride that you have been taking. Thomas T. Stallkamp February, 2010
From 1980 to 1999, Mr. Stallkamp held various positions with DaimlerChrysler Corporation and its predecessor Chrysler Corporation, the most recent of which was Vice Chairman and President.
A Road Well Traveled
A Road Well Traveled: Profiles of America’s Great Automobile Pioneers provides a primer for the qualities and characteristics that made the great automobile tycoons so successful in establishing an industry that in 25 years evolved from horseless carriages to a culturechanging institution employing nearly one out of every eight Americans. Some of these pioneers amassed great fortunes; others died in obscurity, but they all had a splendid audacity. More so they had foresight. In 1897 there were a handful of primitive cars, essentially small, open carriages riding on modified bicycle wheels, with a tiller in lieu of a steering wheel and a tiny engine tucked under the seat. There were no paved roads in America where horses, mules and wagons reigned, the dirt roads rutted and muddy in winter, dusty and washboarded in summer. The notion that horseless carriages would prove useful or utilitarian was beyond the reach of most imaginations. Yet there were a small number of inveterate American automobile pioneers who invested their sweat, capital, and determination, fighting failure after failure and overcoming every conceivable obstacle, from developing new technologies to contending with a reluctant populace, to pursue their dream and vision of powered carriages ultimately replacing the horse and buggy. By the turn of the century there were 100 companies producing cars powered by steam, electric and gasoline engines and recruiting talent from the machine shops of railroads, bicycle and wagon manufacturers, and blacksmiths. By the end of the decade there were 140,000 cars registered in the U.S. In 1937, at the opening of the nation‘s major automobile show held annually in New York, the New York Times reported, ―the automobile, as an eager servant with a masterful way, has done such sweeping things to human work and play and life in general that the world today can hardly be recognized as the world it was.‖ ―It isn‘t the America it was forty years ago, and the automobile has to be held accountable for much of the change. Look at the paved roads that gridiron the land, smoothing the way to the country for millions of city people and the way to town for millions of farmers. Look at the traffic lights, the traffic jams, the traffic cops, the traffic courts; the fleets of motor trucks and the far-ranging buses, rivaling the railroad trains; the flocks of trailers, now Floridabound, making nomads of a people once deep rooted. Look at the tunnels, the bridges, the bypasses, the cloverleaf crossings, the gas stations, the broad new suburbs of the motor age, each house with garage attached.‖
A Road Well Traveled
During the twentieth century the automobile rapidly evolved from a toy for the wealthy to the standard mode of transportation for most Americans. The automobile transformed cities and reshaped the nation‘s landscape and economy, giving rise to extensive suburbs and larger manufacturing plants. It provided Americans with simple mobility. Vacationing motorists explored the nation and gave rise to motels. Factory workers no longer had to live next to their factories. Cities like Los Angeles expanded horizontally and rapidly, creating a new model of urban planning and evolution. And the automobile entered our culture in the form of songs, books and movies. In many ways America had adopted a car culture. In 1937 3,500,000 cars rolled off massive assembly lines, creating employment for more than a million workers and contributing billions of dollars to the financial pipeline. Even as early as 1925, nearly one family in every eight in the U.S. earned their livelihood directly or indirectly from the automotive industry. Today, more than 73 million cars are produced annually worldwide and according to a study by the Department of Transportation in 2005, there were more than 247 million passenger vehicles registered in the U.S., nearly one vehicle for every person—man, woman or child. Approximately 90% of all Americans drive to work and there are more than 5.7 million miles of paved roads in the U.S. But this explosive growth in automobiles has generated enormous problems from pollution and environmental degradation, to gridlock, and to the global economic and political impact of dependency on oil. General Motors, in concert with Standard Oil and Firestone Rubber, combined to reduce competition street railways systems posed for car sales in major American cities, buying the rail systems and slowly taking them out of service. Unfortunately, these railways, often running on electricity, would have helped reduce the problems we face today with gridlock and the noxious fumes emanating from too many cars idling in heavy traffic. Even though they were visionaries, the automobile pioneers did not and could not foresee all these problems. There were exceptions. Charles Kettering, for example, was experimenting with biofuels as early as the 1930s, concerned about America‘s potential dependency on foreign oil. And health professionals were pointing out the danger of lead additives in fuel half a century before it was finally banned. The success of the pioneers exceeded all expectations. They believed they were creating the basic building blocks for a stronger nation while providing greater freedom and economic potential for Americans. To a great extent they were right. B.C. Forbes, writing in 1926, said: ―America could not have attained such a dominating position in the greatest industry created during the twentieth century had not many of our best brains been attracted to it and devoted wholeheartedly to it. Our automotive giants are essentially men of courage, men of initiative, men of vision.‖ A Road Well Traveled is their story. Enjoy the journey. Daniel Alef January 1, 2009
A Road Well Traveled
DAVID DUNBAR BUICK
Buick is one of the best known automobile brands, with more than 17 million cars sold since Buick Motor Company was formed in 1903. Yet, unlike other recognized names such as Henry Ford and Horace and John Dodge, whose companies provided them with fortunes, making them some of the wealthiest men on the globe, David Dunbar Buick prospered not at all from his namesake. Bruce Catton, Pulitzer-Prize-winning historian and journalist, once said, ―In all the collection of strange tales that are told in Detroit, the automobile capital, there is no tale as strange as the tale of David Buick.‖ Like Andrew Carnegie, who emigrated to the U.S. from Scotland in 1848, and got his first job at age 13, Buick also hailed from Scotland. He was born in Arbroath, a fishing village, on September 17, 1854. His mother, Jane, was a servant at a nearby inn, his father, Alexander, a carpenter. The family emigrated to Detroit when Buick was two years old, but Alexander died three years later. Jane remarried in 1865 and by year‘s end Buick quit school—he threw an inkwell at the teacher—and left Detroit to work on a farm. Four years later Buick returned to Detroit and got a job with the Alexander Manufacturing Company making plumbing fixtures. He also apprenticed as a brass finisher with James Flower & Brothers Machine Shop, eventually becoming their factory foreman.
A Road Well Traveled
In 1878 Buick married Caroline (Carrie) Katherine Schwinck. They purchased a gingerbread-like house on Meldrum Avenue in Detroit, less than a block from the Alexander Manufacturing Co. shop. Four years later the Alexander firm failed. Buick and William Sherwood, a friend and coworker, acquired it and changed its name to Buick & Sherwood Manufacturing Company. It became one of the larger manufacturers of plumbing supplies in the nation. According to Buick biographer Lawrence R. Gustin: ―Between 1881 and 1889, [Buick] patented 13 plumbing inventions for a lawn sprinkler, flushing device, water closets, bathtubs, valves and the like.‖ His most enduring success in that business, creating a method of bonding porcelain to cast iron, gave us the white bathtubs and other fixtures we take for granted today. While Buick was the inventive genius, Sherwood was most likely the skilled manager of their operation. Not much is known about Buick‘s rise within the city‘s hierarchy, but his proposal to build a giant monument of Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, the founder of Detroit—an edifice 100 feet from shoulder to shoulder!—for the city‘s bicentennial celebration was ignored by civic leaders. Although the horseless carriage was relatively new in the Gay Nineties, the appearance of Benz models at the 1893 Chicago World‘s Fair, followed two years later by America‘s first car race—a loop from Chicago to Evanston and back—raised the public‘s awareness of the contraption, though few could envision its future utility or see any practical use for it. Buick did. ―I had a one horse-drawn dray to take my goods to town,‖ he recalled, ―but I needed another. I couldn‘t afford a new team, although I got my second dray on credit; and I got to thinking about making an engine that would move the dray without horses.‖ His interest in engines evolved quickly and in inverse proportion to his interest in the plumbing business. Buick may have started working on an engine as early as 1895 at Buick & Sherwood‘s facility and probably sold some engines, but ostensibly couldn‘t prevail upon Sherwood to join him in establishing a separate engine company. Contention between Sherwood and Buick arose and led to the dissolution of their partnership. In December 1899, Sherwood and Buick sold the assets of their company to the Standard Sanitary Manufacturing Company for $100,000. Buick retained the name Buick & Sherwood Mfg. Co. Sanitary Specialties and applied his share of the proceeds, the proceeds from the sale of his patents, and funds raised from other investors, $100,000 in total, to organize and capitalize a new company for the development and production of gasoline engines and automobiles, named Buick Auto-Vim and Power Company. Buick‘s first employee was his son Tom. But in 1899 he hired Walter Lorenzo Marr, who would be instrumental in designing a revolutionary engine for Buick. Their office was in the same six-story red brick building as Dodge Motor Works—the Boydell Building in Detroit. Development of a gasoline marine engine was one of their first projects. Buick was an avid sailor and a vice commodore of the Detroit Yacht Club. After placing their 3 H.P. engine in a 20 foot launch, it became the second fastest boat—the fastest had a 12 H.P. engine—on the Detroit River and one of the most durable. But the automobile was Buick and Marr‘s principal interest.
1901. Buick.449 shares to Buick. the Quadricycle. was perpetually short of capital and engrossed in design of engines and automobiles instead of selling them. What a day that was!‖ It may have been a great day for Marr. Marr helped Buick build the first car in 1900. as early as 1896. writing on the Buick & Sherwood letterhead. the Buick Motor Company issued 9. Marr‘s successor. Marr resigned. Jr. and one share to Briscoe‘s son-in-law. It may have been in desperation.000. Unless Marr was deaf. And Marr took that first Buick to his new job: developing cars for American Motor Carriages. made its appearance in 1896 and was a noisy contraption. .. he would have heard and known about Ford‘s work. This is highly unlikely. making his Buick the pilot for their future designs. However.‖ powered by a four-cylinder engine. perhaps for Buick. Benjamin Briscoe. . Buick continued to work on gasoline engines. almost from the beginning. In August Marr bought it for a mere $225. In 1903 many companies were interested in jumping rapidly into the emerging field of automobiles. 1903. intent on increasing power. remained in business with Richard as its chief designer. but that he had no knowledge of Henry Ford‘s work. Working with Buick at the Buick Auto-Vim and Power Company. developed the ―Valve-inhead. Buick offered to sell the first Buick to Marr for $300 and virtually all the engines in stock. Co. ―The Buick Motor Company prospered . and call it the Buick Motor Company with a capitalization of $100. and all because the company was unusually fortunate in its engine design. too. but on April 5. the $100. and with the help of Eugene C. It had a water-cooled engine.‖ one of GM‘s ad men recounted years later. Buick Mfg Co. Formed on May 19. 599 shares to his son Tom.‖ a revolutionary engine that one automobile journalist called ―one of the most important automobile advances ever. Richard. including carriage makers who saw both potential competition and an evolving .A Road Well Traveled 7 Marr‘s first shop in Detroit was close to Henry Ford‘s. but Buick was in financial difficulty. Buick turned to one of his former suppliers. Marr claimed he had built a ―motor wagon. and perfected it by 1898. Briscoe agreed to lend him more money if Buick would set up a new company. a chain transmission and a jump spark ignition. a man to whom he already owed money. transfer his and Buick Mfg. Ford‘s first car. patents and inventions to it.‖ Still in need of capital. And the two men had a falling out. Marr recalled the day it rolled out of the shop: ―I tried it out on the only proving grounds we had—Cass Avenue just north of Grand River.000 nearly exhausted.
According to Marr. the Model B. their power and durability. He offered the company to another Flint wagon manufacturer. It is the vehicle city of the United States .‖ The race demonstrated to Whiting the merits of proceeding with production of the Buick. 1024. 1904. though they did have one impromptu race along the way with an electric car. MI. though he would rejoin Buick in 1908. for a reported $10. he left for Lansing and landed with the Peerless Motor Company.000 note to creditors.500 of the 5. with himself as president and Buick as secretary.‖ On July 9. William Crapo Durant of Durant-Dort Carriage Company. Whiting. Buick sold the Buick Motor Company to the Flint Wagon Works.A Road Well Traveled 8 opportunity to convert operations to the manufacture of horseless carriages. . driven by Buick and Tom. Buick asked Marr to rejoin the firm and Marr agreed: ―I come back with this understanding. Buick ―showed the way. He was wealthy. In Detroit Tom bought car license No. Mr. and reticent to get involved—―I want nothing to do with it‖ he said— but allowed his friend Dr. 1903. Buick—If I‘m hot I‘ll wait till I cool off to talk. left Flint bound for Detroit via Lapeer for a test drive—a 115 mile-route. Whiting dissolved the Detroit Buick Motor Company in January.504 shares issued and endorsed Buick‘s $11. Hills. was spreading. . owner of the first Buick produced by the new Buick Motor Company. headed by James H. 1904. a vastly different company from the one he left in 1903. the reputation for his engines. Unfortunately Buick was not turning out cars or engines as fast as orders came in and cash outflow far exceed the cash inflow. One of these companies. focused on Buick. you wait till you‘ve cooled off. Durant was not starryeyed about automobiles. Even as Buick was building his first car in Flint. making headline news in The Flint Journal.‖ Richard did not accompany Buick to Flint. and soon had 90 employees. semi-retired. The corporation issued Buick and his son Tom 1. and father and son returned to Flint. the largest maker of horse-drawn vehicles in the nation. the first Buick. the Flint Wagon Works of Flint. if you‘re hot. . the exact reasons why and the sequence of subsequent events obscured by time. Other small automobile manufacturers began to buy them. Herbert H. Whiting established a new factory in Flint. The newspaper reported also that ―Flint is the most natural center for the manufacture of autos in the whole country. to give him a ride. Undoubtedly Buick‘s financial problems played a role. and reincorporated a new Buick Motor Company in Flint.000. Whiting found his company indebted to three Flint banks and began to lose interest in the project. and on September 3.
Some claim Marr kept driving a Buick in front of Durant‘s residence until Durant could stand it no longer. and Durant kept firing questions at me . In addition to the Model B. his son. Buick produced only 37 cars in 1904. sales skyrocketed. Buick Motor Co. Mabel. then one of the few paved streets in Flint. All the 1906 and 1907 models sported four-cylinder engines. in his diary: ―We started off with Durant and me in the front seat. On November 1. Buick must have felt as if Flint held him in high esteem when in the June 1905 Golden Jubilee celebration of the city‘s founding. they introduced a new Model C. became a director. and a reasonable price of $900. And in 1908 Buick Motor Co. and his younger daughter. led the parade in a 1905 Model C Buick filled with yellow flowers—she was one of the first women in America to drive a car. and in a twinkling stamped itself as a wonder. its successor the F. . and 19 days later to $500. Kearsley Street. 1904. was producing several models. was essentially insolvent. and the G runabout.‖ Briscoe recalled that the years following Durant‘s takeover were ―so fraught with romance that it made the Arabian Nights look commonplace.‖ Buick moved his family to Flint. . placing it not in Buick‘s hands. but after Durant came aboard.250. brought out the Model 10. In January he sent a Buick to the 1905 New York Auto Show and within a few days had orders for 1. however. Hills‘ Buick and drive it around to test it under all conditions and over all roads in and around Flint. 1904. We drove out East Kearsely Street. a sporty roadster with then state-ofthe-art components including acetylene headlights. and Mrs. Tom. Durant also spent time in Buick‘s little shack where Buick explained his engine and the workings of the car. and forced the stockholders to increase the capital stock to $300. The Model B Buick performed exceedingly well over the course of the next six weeks and Durant. Durant ultimately decided to borrow Dr. the new Buick car made its initial appearance. was sold on the car. two-speed transmission. Buick sold more .A Road Well Traveled 9 Hills described the event of September 4. but with a Flint Wagon Works director. leasing a house on E.000.108 cars.000. Durant reorganized Buick. was appointed to the Committee on New Flint. we didn‘t talk about anything else the whole time. the remarkable salesman.‖ There are different versions of what happened next. Durant and their daughter in the rear. The company. declined the presidency. The Motor World reported: ―In the class for cars between $850 and $1. or that his partner Dort learned to drive the car and pressed Durant to try it.
In 1908 Durant formed General Motors and had it acquire Buick Motor Company for $3. Buick boasted of his success in Kern County oil lands and some of his wells were producing large quantities of oil. Durant gave Buick $100. . the year he left for California either in search of health or in search of money and oil. Newspapers were flooded with reports about Buick‘s California activities. MI. but in California he established the Buick Oil Company. He had been ill in 1909. naming Buick Oil was one of the many companies involved in the swindle of investors. Buick did not seem to fit in with any of his colleagues.75 million. MI. Buick‘s stock holdings and role in the company diminished significantly. shooting a stream of oil high over the derrick. 1910. not Buick. The company and Buick were not traveling along the same path. Durant was beginning to rely more on Marr and when Durant later increased the company‘s capitalization to $1. It is unclear exactly when Buick left the company. Tom left the company in 1906 and Buick was relegated to experimental work.820 cars in 1908. was successful. Yet stock in the Buick Oil Company was sold as late as 1914. Reportedly. . Buick was once again broke. . roadster and limousine..A Road Well Traveled 10 than 8. Buick had no further role to play in Durant‘s new enterprise. Buick‘s descendants claim he never received the stock and was very bitter about it.000 when he left the company. Although he was a director of the company. Told by David D. It might have been as early as 1908 or as late as 1910. Life in California was far from sanguine. Buick Motor Co. Post Office inspectors and detectives arrested several men for engaging in fraud. coupe. a touring car. A plant opened in 1923 and the first car was described in one newspaper as ―a beautiful maroon with battleship red wheels . His oil deals brought in more lawsuits than oil. sedan. the Largest Automobile Concern of Its Kind in the World. Durant took pains to distance his automobile company from the Buick Oil Company. . most of his reports were not true and in November. the engine works beautifully and the . the inventor and Founder of the Great Buick Automobile and a Large Holder in the General Motors Co. A year later Buick made a last ditch effort to cash in on his Buick marquee with the incorporation of the David Dunbar Buick Corporation in New York with $5 million in capital to produce a car called the Dunbar in five models. with GM‘s president Charles Nash sending off letters to the press denying any relationship between GM or its Buick automotive division and the oil fraud.‖ Unfortunately. U.5 million. One paper‘s headlines proclaimed: ―Buick Makes Fortune in Oil.S. with the Lorraine automobile powered by Buick‘s overhead-valve engine. Buick‘s last fling with automobiles included a short stint in 1921 as president of Lorraine Motors Corporation in Grand Rapids. The Los Angeles Times reported ―Buick Gusher is Beyond Control . Here is the Truth About Claifornia‘s Greatest oil Producing District. Buick the man was not. he gave Whiting a large block of stock to set up and manage a plant in Jackson.‖ Buick and his namesake were famous and he was riding on the coattails of GM‘s success with its Buick division. much of it either too esoteric or too impractical to be of use. Buick. others claim Buick retained a large block of GM stock from the acquisition of Buick by GM.
‖ The stress probably sent Carrie Buick to an early grave.‖ According to Lawrence Gustin. Buick died March 5. In 1928 Bruce Catton found Buick teaching at the Detroit School of Trades.A Road Well Traveled 11 furnishings of the car were first class. penniless. Photos: David Dunbar Buick Marrs and wife in 1901/2 Buick 1904 Model B Buick 1907 Model G Roadster .‖ No other Dunbars were produced. leaving as one newspaper said. the family so impoverished it was evicted from 13 apartments for nonpayment of rent. . another dream dashed. 1929 in Detroit. ―only his name on a car. . .‖ Automobile historian Beverly Rae Kimes said it best: ―Fame beckoned to David Buick— he sipped from the cup of greatness . Buick. . No one knows what happened to the only Dunbar produced. . and then spilled what it held. with no money but rich in memories of his role at the beginning of the American automobile industry. . Seldom has history produced such an unrecalled—or misrecalled—man. David Dunbar Buick II remembered . was a man ―without means. ―The Buick family suffered through years of real poverty . . Buick and his key promoters were unable to line up enough investors and nothing substantive materialized. . .‖ Factoid: there is no known photo of Buick with a Buick automobile. Nash said.
Sherwood become partners. 1900 Buick Forms the Buick Auto-Vim and Power Company to sell marine and stationary engines to farm and lumber businesses. Terminates relationship with Marr and running out of money.000 to the Standard Sanitary Manufacturing Company. a manufacturer of enameled iron toilet bowls and wooden closet tanks.A Road Well Traveled 12 TIMELINE 1854 1856 1869 David Dunbar Buick born on September 17 in Arbroath. Marries Caroline Catherine Schwinck. The car is successfully tested. president of the Flint Wagon Works. offers to sell his first car to Marr for $300.000 and rename the company the Buick Motor Company. Gets a job with Detroit-based Alexander Manufacturing Company. Marr buys it for $225. Buick and William S. 1904 Car production begins in January. Family emigrates to the United States and settles in Detroit.700 of the company‘s stock. a manufacturer of enameled ―white‖ wash basins and bath tubs. In December Buick and Sherwood sell the plumbing company for $100. the Briscoes sell the company to James H. 1878 1882 1899 1901 1902 1903 . assume the company‘s assets and create the Buick and Sherwood Plumbing and Supply Company. Nervous about its financial problems. Scotland. the Briscoes own $99. Whiting. Buick announces his intention to form a gasoline engine company and hires Walter Marr. Alexander Manufacturing Company fails. convinces Benjamin and Frank Briscoe to invest in a new company called the Buick Manufacturing Company for the production of a car. Briscoes invest $100. Buick completely withdraws from plumbing and fixture business. Although Buick is the president. 37 cars are produced this year. Mich.
Wife Caroline dies. Buick invests in Florida real estate and loses all his money in the collapse of the Florida land boom. Buick. takes over from Whiting. Herbert Hills of Flint William Crapo Durant. Buick dies penniless in Detroit‘s Harper Hospital on March 5. to Dr. 1910 Buick moves to Los Angeles. president of Durant-Dort Carriage Company of Flint. Buick Motor Company makes its first sale. Buick develops the first valve-in-head double-opposed engine and produces the first Model B automobile in July. working with several investors including Harry C. and production increases to 8. and incorporates the Buick Oil Company in California.820 cars.A Road Well Traveled 13 Working with Walter Marr again.400 cars. a Model B.000 and relegates Buick to a minor role in the company. Buick returns to Detroit and becomes an instructor in the Detroit School of Trades. On October 1. recapitalizes the company for $300. Only one Dunbar is produced. 1905 1906 1908 Buick Motor Company sells 750 cars. Buick Motor Company introduces the Model 10. 40 years his junior. Mich. Marries Margaret Harrington. David Dunbar Buick resigns from Buick Motor Company. Sales of Buick increase to 1. Calif. Durant transfers the Buick Motor Company into his newly formed corporation General Motors. New York. 1916 1918 1921 1923 1927 1929 . Hoeft. forms the David Dunbar Buick Corporation. Buick attempts to create new cars and becomes president of the Lorraine Motors Corporation of Grand Rapids. 350 Lorraines were produced. headquartered in New York City with a plant in Walden.
Buick Gallery and Research Center. 2005 Dunham. 2006 . Gustin. The Buick: A Complete History. 2002. and Gustin. sixth (Centennial) edition. Flint. A Place Called Buick. Lawrence R. Lawrence R. David Buick’s Marvelous Motor Car: The men and the automobile that launched General Motors...: Bent. Mich.. Don. Sloan Museum. Automobile Quarterly. Terry B. Alfred P.A Road Well Traveled 14 ADDITIONAL READING Bent.
But his primary interest was photography. described by Motor Trend magazine as: ―A seemingly quiet country doctor (mechanic) with a mysterious past. a car named Doc Hudson (voice by Paul Newman). founded in 1909 by Roy Dikeman Chapin. After graduating high school. Coffin.‖ The real ‘51 Hudson Hornet was built by the Hudson Motor Car Company. Chapin‘s story begins in Lansing. . his father a prominent lawyer.A Road Well Traveled 15 ROY CHAPIN The 2006 Disney-Pixar animated film ―Cars‖ features a hero. Olds and asked for a job. approached automobile pioneer Ransom E. Howard E. Chapin pressed Olds until he got a job as a demonstrator for $35 a month. Unwilling to wait. . where he was born in 1880. but for Chapin the thrill of driving the horseless carriage was priceless. . Chapin spent a year working for the local weather bureau before enrolling at the University of Michigan in 1899 where he met a fellow classmate and future life-long partner. His parents were reasonably well off. . Forbes. According to publisher B. this 1951 Hudson Hornet is a cornerstone of Radiator Springs . Olds told him he would consider it and let him know after returning from a trip to California. surviving several bouts of pneumonia. MI. Respected and admired by the townsfolk. Doc is a car of few words . Although not robust physically.C. Chapin was active in sports and involved with the high school science club. in 1901 Chapin headed to the Olds Motor Works plant in Detroit. a cornerstone of the American automobile industry. . Coffin was already experimenting with steam automobiles. The salary was low.
Olds received a Western Union telegram from Chapin: ―Arrived here at eleven in good order total distance eight hundred twenty miles time seven one half days average 14 miles per hour used 30 gallons gasoline 80 gallons water. which would sell its cars through Thomas‘ network of dealers. After meandering along rutted and muddy horse and wagon roads and the Erie Canal‘s mule-paths.000. He needed a new catalog and advertising material. Chapin arrived in Manhattan.. formerly of National Cash Register to buy out much of Thomas‘s interest.000 share formidable. driving down Fifth Avenue. Thomas put up $100. smith. set up a dark room in the factory and compiled the catalog. The second New York Automobile Exposition was scheduled for the Fall of 1901 and Olds thought having the Curved Dash driven from Detroit to the show in New York would demonstrate its reliability. James J.000. Olds selected Chapin as the driver. However. They formed the E. Thomas. One car survived—the cheap Curved Dash runabout.R. Chapin. Howard E.000. He and Coffin convinced one of America‘s super salesmen. wanted large cars and more so. Olds‘ partner. streaked in dirt and grease.R. in March of that year Olds‘ factory burned down. wanted his sons to run the business. but Chapin and his partners found the task of raising their $50.‖ It was the longest automobile trip in American history at the time and demonstrated the durability of the Olds Curved Dash. Thomas was making $2 for every dollar the four partners earned and Chapin sought an alternative arrangement. 1901. Hugh Chalmers. There were problems at Olds. traveling throughout the country and developing a network of contacts he would find indispensible in the future. capitalized at $300. Brady and his old college buddy. watching the construction of the various models while talking to anyone who would lend an ear to answer his questions or offer knowledge or advice. a car with exceedingly good reputation. A New York dealer quickly ordered 1000 Oldsmobiles and by 1904 Chapin was general sales manager of the Oldsmobile Company. Thomas-Detroit Co. However. During reconstruction of the factory.L. The conflagration forced Olds to reassess his plans and formulate a new approach centered on the Dash. They had designed a car but lacked capital. Bezner.A Road Well Traveled 16 Olds had different models under development and Chapin wanted to learn everything he could about automobiles. Olds implemented a wider system of distribution. with his knowledge of photography. Fortunately the Old Detroit National Bank came to the rescue. losses replacing profits. manufacturer of the high-priced Thomas Flyer. lending them $40. Olds believed a car selling for about $650 would be successful if the public could be convinced such a cheap car would be reliable. In 1906 Chapin left Olds and organized a partnership to produce cars with Frederick O. Coffin. so Chapin met with E. S. Olds resigned and the company plummeted downhill. He spent time in the shops and in the factory. They produced their first car in the autumn of 1906 and sold more than 500 cars in the next 12 months. The new Chalmers-Detroit . On November 5.
750.‖ It sold for $1. Again Chapin found himself in a quandary. only 1.‖ which sold for $2. The Hudson emblem. At the same time Chapin and his partners formed the Metal Products Company to produce axels and other parts for Chalmers-Detroit. where Oldsmobile. Chapin began pressing for more and better highway construction. the huge modern factory was completed in time to fulfill sales orders for 7. saw an opportunity when Coffin designed the modestly priced ―20. gleaming teeth clasped together. At the same time Chapin and the trio sold their interest in Chalmers-Detroit to Chalmers for $707.‖ he wrote in a letter. Thomas Company offered to merge into a new consortium. General Motors. Chalmers-Detroit developed a new car. Hudson. Chapin. Chapin.225.P. Chapin. Production began slowly. V.000 in the second quarter of 1909. a wealthy Detroit department store owner. He became involved in the Lincoln Highway Association. financed by The Old Bank of Detroit. the Hudson Motor Car Company with Joseph L. with gross sales of $2. Chapin took another trip to Europe and acquired a ranch in New Mexico. As his assets multiplied. Hudson became president.500 and was soon followed by the more luxurious model.‖ and selling for $900 apiece. He visited many manufacturers including Benz and Bosch.165 cars to be delivered into 1911. Coffin and Bezner (Brady was not included) who agreed to go into all enterprises together. an organization created by Carl Fisher in 1912 to promote a coast-to-coast route ―of concrete wherever possible. with a smile reminiscent of Teddy Roosevelt‘s.A Road Well Traveled 17 Company was born.960. ―My first experience over French roads makes one wonder why one wants to tour in America after they have had the chance of touring over here. Writing . Coffin. as a principal investor. Chalmers. acting as a match-maker. Buick and Cadillac already resided. who believed the future of automobiles rested with cheaper cars.‖ Working with several former associates from Olds. He was earning 1/8 of the profits generated by Hugh Chalmers and less than half of Chalmer‘s salary.108 cars were built in 1909. the ―30. Brady remained with Chalmers and sold his interest in Hudson to the other three partners. and Chapin secretary. represented the relationship between Chapin. Chapin and his partners established a new company in 1909. Likewise in Berlin: ―There is a great deal of asphalt in Berlin so that it is easier on the cars than in Paris where all the roads are almost all in wood block or Belgian block. He also inspected the French system of national highways. Coffin and Bezner acquired land and built a major factory for Hudson.‖ Chapin was its leading money-raiser. Recalling his experience in Europe. the ―40. introducing Chapin to Inez Tiedeman a graduate of Smith College and the daughter of the mayor of Savannah GA.‖ In 1909 E.R. In the meantime the Chalmers-Detroit Motor Company was growing rapidly and becoming one of the four largest automobile producers in the nation. spent the summer of 1909 in Europe studying every phase of the automobile market across the Pond. keyed around the ―20. Completed in the fall of 1910. an inverted triangle. It was love at first sight.
350 with bakedenamel finish. Jr. heading a group of investment bankers. Five more children would follow. took the company public on the New York Stock Exchange. Chapin. was born a year later. with six children at hand. the ―Super-Six‖ followed the following year. Chapin remained optimistic and launched a new cheap car. The house warming included such guests as the Infante of Sapin. Chapin and the other shareholders received $7 million in cash. was elected to the presidency in 1928. . Chapin and Inez purchased a 7 ½ . making the closed car the standard type of American automobile. The Hudson cars were high-priced and Chapin established the Essex Motors company to produce cars for the mass market with prices close to $1. Army.000 were the Essex model. boy-girl order. Clair. in charge of improving motor transport. et de Bourbon. $16 million in stock. George Gershwin played the piano to the early morning hours. including steel. and converted to producing shells for the U. Essentially he was in charge of running America‘s road traffic.000.‖ The success of Hudson-Essex brought Wall Street to Chapin‘s door. Herbert Hoover. the company produced 41.566 cars. He also introduced a new model. three years later ―Chapin offered the Essex coach for only $100 more than an open model. Chapin decided Hudson would make more of its own parts.‖ priced at $1. Hudson ceased making cars.. Roy Dikeman. and still controlled two-thirds of the company. It was the first to come out at such a low price differential. When Chapin‘s friend. And with World War I on the horizon. Town & Country featured the house in 1932. Chapin said: ―I‘ve discovered there is such a thing after all—as missing someone in this world. With increasing sales but declining profits. of which 20. he wanted Chapin to serve as his Secretary of Commerce. In 1925. According to Chapin biographer J. was not financially impacted. Hornblower & Weeks and Bankers Trust Company of New York. slowed the progress of both companies. Long. however.A Road Well Traveled 18 to her. After the war Hudson-Essex acquired new machinery and expanded its plants. Their first son. and completed construction of an 18th century Georgian-style home overlooking lake St. Chapin received an appointment as chairman of the Highway Transport Committee under the auspices of the Council of National Defense. first cousin of the King. with Amelia Earhart as its official sponsor.C. The ten days you were here are the most pleasant memory of my life. Hudson. both military and civilian. but Chapin declined.acre parcel on Lake Shore Road. From the start Hudson Motors had relied on other companies to make parts to their specifications.S. In 1916 the Highway Act. But the unavailability of raw materials. By the end of 1919. a relatively conservative investor. passed by Congress and signed into law. always in a boy-girl. and it changed the public‘s buying habits. Don Alfonso. A year later the Great Depression began. Chapin spent the war years in Washington--at a salary of $1 a year. duc d‘Orleans. which he introduced in 1932.‖ They were married in 1914 and built a large home at Grosse Point Farms just outside Detroit. the ―Six. in time of war. took the brunt of the economic storm. established a national policy for highway construction. one he called the Terraplane.
. Photo: Courtesy Bentley Historical Library.A Road Well Traveled 19 In August. . F. defeated Hoover in the November 1932 election.R. Chapin finally became Hoover‘s Secretary of Commerce. University of Michigan . In his first general address on NBC he said: ―I am aware of the suffering our people have undergone.D. It turned into pneumonia and Chapin died at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. but looking to the future we should be able to lift the burden of gloom and discouragement . In January 1936 Chapin contracted a bad cold after playing tennis with Edsel Ford and other friends. a week shy of his 56th birthday.‖ It was a short term in office.
Clair. Arranges for Hugh Chalmers to buy out Thomas‘ interest and the company name is changed to Chalmers-Detroit.A Road Well Traveled 20 TIMELINE 1880 1899 1901 Chapin born on February 22 in Lansing. establishing a national policy for highway construction. Appointed chairman of the Highway Transport Committee under the auspices of the Council of National Defense and serves in this capacity to the end of World War I. Enrolls at the University of Michigan Drops out of University of Michigan on February 1st and goes to work for Olds Motor Works Fire destroys Olds Motor Works plant on March 1. Begins a trip from Detroit to New York in an Olds Curved Dash on October 29 and arrives at the New York Automobile Fair on November 1. Thomas-Detroit Company to manufacture the Thomas-Detroit automobile. 1909 1914 1916 Co-Founder of Hudson Motor Car Company and becomes its president. . and completes construction of an 18th century Georgian-style home overlooking lake St. Highway Act passed by Congress and signed into law. 1904 1906 Becomes sales manager of Olds Motor Works Establishes his home in Detroit and organizes the E. Marries Inez Tiedeman. a Smith graduate on November 4. Founded Essex Motor Company Builds first affordable mass-produced enclosed automobile 1917 1918 1922 1925 Purchases a 7 ½ .R.acre parcel on Lake Shore Road. Mich.
Pioneers. J.C. a week shy of his 56th birthday. Engineers. In August named Secretary of Commerce in Herbert Hoover‘s cabinet 1933 1934 1936 In January returns to Hudson Motor Car Company Resumes as president of Hudson. Wayne State University Press. Hudson in a friendly merger with Nash Kelvinator to become American Motors.A Road Well Traveled 21 1932 Launches a new cheap car called the Terraplane. PA 2005 . with Amelia Earhart as its official sponsor. Chapin dies February 16 at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. Detroit 2004 Kimes. Chain: The man behind the Hudson Motor Car Company. Warrendale. Beverly Rae. SAE International. Roy D.. Chapin inducted into the Automobile Hall of Fame 1954 1972 ADDITIONAL READING Long. and Scoundrels: The Dawn of the Automobile in America.
A Road Well Traveled
WALTER PERCY CHRYSLER
In November 1929, the stainless steel and terraced dome of the world's tallest building was installed in a matter of minutes -- 90 to be exact. The Art Deco crown was Walter Chrysler's signature, the building a testament to his children as much as to his automobile company. Today, the Chrysler Building is one of the most recognizable icons of New York City; the Chrysler name, a symbol of American automotive ingenuity. And the Chrysler story is one of humble beginnings in the best American tradition. Walter Chrysler was born in Wamego, Kan., on April 2, 1875. The family moved to Ellis, Kan. when he was three. His father, an engineer for Union Pacific, was away quite often. Chrysler‘s mother raised her children with a firm hand and Teutonic thrift, speaking to them in German when their father wasn‘t around. Kansas, in 1875, was very much a frontier; the ever-present danger of Cheyenne or Sioux attacks never far removed. If Chrysler wanted to buy things, he had to work for it. He sold milk and cream, dragging a tin can from house to house and carefully measuring the milk in a cup. He recorded every expenditure and his income in a small account book; a habit he kept for the rest of his life and strongly urged his subordinates to adopt. After Chrysler finished high school at age 17, he worked briefly for a grocer, but set his eyes on becoming a mechanic. When his father balked at letting him apprentice at Union Pacific, a defiant Chrysler got himself hired as a sweeper with the company and was promoted six months later to apprentice mechanic, earning 5.5 cents an hour. Chrysler enjoyed life. He played tuba in the Ellis band, played on the baseball team and fell in love in 1896. "Della Forker and I were waltzing in the G.A.R. Hall on a Saturday night. . . . We were engaged; we had music aplenty in our hearts, and it was no concern of ours what sort of squeaky tune the other couples heard," he wrote.
A Road Well Traveled
Mechanical things absorbed Chrysler. He read every issue of Scientific American and enrolled in correspondence courses to learn mechanical and electrical engineering. Although his bosses at Union Pacific were impressed with his skills, in 1896, Union Pacific went into receivership, forcing Chrysler to take to the rails in search of a new job. He finally landed a job in the roundhouse of a railroad. "Does anyone suppose I don't know what it means to look for work?" he asked years later. Chrysler and Della were married in 1901 and moved to Salt Lake City. Two years later they moved again, to Trinidad, CO, where he found employment with another railroad. By 1906, Chrysler had become master mechanic for the Chicago Great Western Railroad at Oelwein, Iowa. Chrysler biographer Vincent Curcio noted that Chrysler "had learned mechanics and how to manage men, machinery, plants and roadways in a vast transportation system." Although he worked with locomotives, Chrysler was fascinated by horseless carriages. His automotive epiphany took place in 1908 when he saw an ivory white Locomobile with red interior at a car show in Chicago. It was love at first sight despite the daunting price tag of $5,000. Chrysler, who did not know how to drive, bought it, plunking down $700 and borrowing the rest. Whether Della was miffed is unknown, but after the car arrived at their home in Oelwein, Chrysler spent three months tearing it apart and reassembling it until he knew every nut and bolt better than the palm of his hand. Then he learned to drive it! When the president of Great Western took issue with one of Chrysler‘s moves, Chrysler resigned and took the position of superintendent of ALCO, the American Locomotive Company in Pittsburgh. Although ALCO built locomotives, Walt didn‘t know it, but when he left Oelwein for Pittsburgh, he was heading to his destiny and the automotive world. Chrysler reorganized ALCO and introduced an assembly line production process. A grateful ALCO raised his salary to $8,000 a year. James Jackson Storrow, a major banker for General Motors, sat on the boards of ALCO and GM. In 1911 he sought out Chrysler. He wanted Buick, a division of GM, to hire a trained mechanical engineer. They met in New York City and Storrow hired Chrysler as works manager for Buick. ALCO‘s president tried to keep Chrysler, offering a 50% increase in his salary to $12,000, but to no avail.
A Road Well Traveled
Charles Nash, president of Buick, could only afford to pay Chrysler $6,000 a year; it was only producing 50 to 90 cars a day. Little about the Buick operation was organized. Chrysler, having produced $40,000 locomotives, where it was critical to know every element of production, including the cost of time, motion, labor and materials, introduced new cost systems to Buick. He also introduced new mass production processes. Buick sales soared to 124, 834 cars by 1916. In 1916, Nash resigned to take over the Thomas B. Jeffery Company, builder of the Rambler car. Chrysler had intended to join Nash, but William Crapo Durant, GM's boss, offered him the Buick presidency at the unprecedented salary of $500,000 a year. Chrysler accepted in the blink of an eye and soon joined GM‘s board. By 1919, Buick had become the most successful division of GM, and Chrysler was promoted to vice president of operations. Unfortunately, conflict between Durant and Chrysler, both forceful and energetic leaders—with incompatible management styles—was as inevitable as the sun rising in the morning. Durant was an extravagant spender, raising GM‘s capitalization to a billion dollars; Chrysler was a careful and methodical planner and circumspect about costs. Oil and water did not mix well. Repeating an old refrain, a group of bankers asked Chrysler to take over the ailing Willys-Overland automobile company. It was a risky undertaking. The company had accumulated $48 million in debt. Chrysler did not like its cars. But the offer was too rich to refuse—$1 million a year in salary, plus stock options—the highest salary paid to any American executive; and Durant was still running GM. In early 1920, Chrysler moved to New York, the headquarters of Willys unaware that the Du Ponts, GM‘s largest shareholders, were about to fire Durant. One of Chrysler‘s first steps was to cut John Willys' salary in half. "I guess we've put our problems in the right man's hands," Willys scoffed. Chrysler wanted to build a six-cylinder car, the Chrysler Six, the most advanced car of its time with outstanding performance capabilites. But the company was mired in debt even though Chrysler had cut it to $18 million and in late 1921 Willys put it into receivership. Three months before the Willys-Overland receivership, another group of bankers asked Chrysler, now known as ―Mr. Fix It,‖ to take over the Maxwell-Chalmers car company. He found the company destitute of money, product, production, organization and hope. It seemed futile, but Chrysler rolled up his sleeves and began to reorganize the company. After reorganizing Maxwell, Chrysler set out to produce the Maxwell Chrysler Six; the car made its first appearance in 1923. In 1924, the Chrysler Six was in full production in the old Chalmers plant in Detroit. Maxwell sold 84,000 cars that year, of which 32,000 bore the Chrysler name. Historian Mark Howell called Chrysler‘s Six ―second only to the Model T Ford in its revolutionary impact on the industry. Beyond a doubt, this car stands alone as the dividing line between what may be termed ‗old‘ and ‗modern‘ cars.‖ In 1923, Chrysler had purchased a 12-acre estate at King's Point on Long Island Sound, with a mammoth 82-by-30-foot pool. He also purchased several yachts and speed boats, using
Chrysler remained "one of the boys. Chrysler two years ago. Wilson Hill climb to the 1.000 mile endurance race in Culver City. Chrysler Corporation. "He was known by his men as Walter. endurance and dependability. He won races in California. Read & Company. was producing 700. Time Magazine hailed Chrysler as man of the year in 1928. His cars also performed well at Le Mans. In 1924 Chrysler began racing his cars and his victories were legion. but it was through this thinking that I conceived the idea of putting up a building. to compete with the fading Model T and GM‘s Chevrolet. because he was a practical. selfmade man. from the Mt. Read sold Dodge to Chrysler for $175 million in stock and bonds. Chrysler needed to expand his production facilities.000 cars a year. owners of the Dodge Brothers company. the owners of Dodge. He decided to buy and began negotiating with Dillon. How could my boys ever know the wild incentive that burned in me from the time I first watched my father put his hand to the throttle of his engine? I could not give them that." Despite his success. In 1928. He also set up trusts for his children. . but not for extravagance. He was respected . Chrysler found backing from Chase Securities and the Brady and Bache families and arranged to merge Maxwell into a new company. followed in May of 1928 by the DeSoto. to give them financial security." And Chrysler had become one of the wealthiest men in America and decided to build the world‘s largest building. proving its power. He purchased land on Lexington Avenue between 42nd Street and 43rd Street and retained architect William Van Alan.A Road Well Traveled 25 the yachts for the daily commute from King's Point to the New York Yacht Club. The result was a 77-story building. Dodge. . The Plymouth came out in 1927.000 cars. It noted: "Someone. Chrysler's relative obscurity from the public eye during the years when he was the greatest doctor of sick automobile companies that the industry had ever known. ―They had to work. I was well aware that a rich man‘s sons are likely to be cheated of something. generating $19 million in profits. a cradle to the grave approach.‖ . said: 'The biggest game stays in the deep forest. Chrysler introduced several new models to compare more favorably with GM‘s motto of a car for every purse and every purpose. with a market value of nearly $500 million." journalist Fred Haskett wrote. initially just a ploy to woo Dodge buyers but more probably. By the end of its first year the nascent company‘s profits exceeded $17 million! In 1926 Chrysler sold 162. to pressure Dillon. His Frolic III was a 75-footer.' The reference was to Mr. no cash was involved. Dillon. and the question was whether to build or buy. When Maxwell‘s bankers balked at further financing. talking about Walter P. speed. Reed.
Chrysler's skyscraper. 1940.87 a share -. and drove off. tumbled head-over-heels to the bottom. 18. encircled by half-vacant lofty towers. And on Dec.A Road Well Traveled 26 When the Great Depression struck.after the company reported $15 million in profits. but it was a harbinger of cars to come. 31. In one ad.he sold more cars in one year than Ford. Chrysler stock was $7. And Plymouth was the only car to show an increase in sales. Six months later it was $52. Photos: Courtesy of Walter Chrysler Boyhood Home The Chrysler Six. with Walter Chrysler. Chrysler celebrated -. managed to rent its space due to his shrewd management. made its first appearance in 1923 and was in full production by the following year. The day before FDR became president. Chrysler retired the following year but remained chairman of the board until his death on Aug. the Airflow was pushed over a cliff.75 a share. Chrysler continued to make innovations. . His 1934 Airflow was not a financial success.
A Road Well Traveled 27 CHRYSLER AGE THREE .
A Road Well Traveled
COMPARISON OF GM AND CHRYSLER CAR PRICES IN 1928
Chevrolet Plymouth Dodge Standard 6 Pontiac De Soto Dodge Victory 6 Oldsmobile Chrysler 65 Oakland Buick 20 Buick 40 Buick 50 Chrysler 75 Dodge Senior 6 La Salle Chrysler Imperial So Cadillac (Fisher) Cadillac (Fleetwood) $525 up $655 up $725 $745 $845 $845 $925 $1,040 $1,145 $1,195 $1,325 $1,525 $1,535 $1,575 $2,420 $2,875 $3,295 $4,195
A Road Well Traveled
1875 Born in Wamego, Kansas, on April 2 1892 Finishes high school and goes to work, first as a grocer, then as an apprentice mechanic for Union Pacific 1893 1893 Attends the World‘s Fair Columbian Exposition in Chicago Panic ruins many concerns including railroads, as depression sets into the nation‘s economy. Union Pacific enters into receivership and Chrysler is laid off Fell in love with Della Forker and they become engaged Gets job in the roundhouse of the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad Union Marries Della on June 7 in Ellis, KA, and moves to Salt Lake City Takes job as Master Mechanic in Trinidad, CO, with Colorado & Southern, on the route between Fort Worth and Denver City Master Mechanic with the Chicago Great Western Railroad at Oelwein, Iowa Purchases ivory-white Locomobile with red cushions for $5,000 Gets a job with ALCO, American Locomotive Company, in Pittsburgh Hired as works manager for Buick Appointed president of Buick with a salary of $500,000 a year and becomes member of the General Motors board of directors Becomes Vice President of General Motors and member of executive committee Becomes executive vice president and general manager of Willys-Overland Automobile Company with a salary of $1 million a year Becomes consultant to Maxwell Motor Company for $100,000 a year Willys-Overland goes into receivership Purchases major 12-acre estate at Kings Point, Great Neck, Long Island, NY, and the first yacht, Frolic, to commute to Manhattan The Chrysler Six wins several races including the California Wilson Hill climb and the 1,000 mile California endurance race Merges Maxwell Motor Company into a new Chrysler Corporation
1896 1900 1901 1903
1906 1908 1909 1911 1916
1920 1921 1923
A Road Well Traveled 1926 1927 1928 1928 1929 1934 1940 Sells 162,000 cars, generating $19 million in profits Introduces the Plymouth automobile Introduces the DeSoto automobile Acquires Dodge Motor Company from Dillon, Read for $170 million Chrysler Building, the world‘s tallest skyscraper is completed in November Introduces the Airflow, a revolutionary car Chrysler dies in New York on August 18
Curcio, Vincent. Chrysler: the life and times of an automotive genius. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.
Chrysler, Walter Percy and Sparkes, Boyden. Life of an American workman. New York : Dodd, Mead, 1937
VIDEO AND OTHER MEDIA
Walter P Chrysler Announces New Dodge www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUqAZl42zII Early Chrysler History Pt. 1 www.youtube.com/watch?v=OOgspOxA2L0&NR=1&feature=fvwp Tour of Walter P. Chrysler Museum www.streetfire.net/video/tour-of-the-walter-p-chrysler-museum_174181.htm Walter P. Chrysler Museum Part 1 www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hoje2onoeRO Chrysler Airflow Economy Run http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZC5lQwq5g4
at times hostile. Perhaps their poverty was a bit embellished. That's it!" Typograph hired both of them. Horace. He found employment with the Upton Manufacturing Co. . John was aggressive. where John and Horace also apprenticed as machinists. Horace was shy and sensitive. two loves that would endure through adulthood. almost as heavy as the curse it carried for its owners. Port Huron and Detroit.. in 1864. his brother. John was 55. John and Horace got jobs with Murphy's Boiler Works and later with the Dominion Typograph Co. Mich.. It was worth a million dollars when it disappeared at the beginning of the 20th century. the boys going "barefooted" and wearing "ragged clothes" in the winter. in Windsor. Then the two Dodge brothers. but also outgoing and charming. Horace only 52. the family was nearly destitute. always in search of a job. Although Typograph had only one job.000 in 1887. Their father. only to resurface in the hands of the Dodge family. a city of 200. John told the superintendent: "We're brothers and we always work together. moved the family to Battle Creek. John and Horace. In Detroit. he loved music and boats. ended one of the first chapters of American automotive history. died within a year of each other.A Road Well Traveled 31 JOHN AND HORACE DODGE Catherine the Great owned a pearl necklace containing 389 pearls and weighing nearly 10 pounds. if you haven't got room for two of us. neither of us will start. The brothers were very close but had different personalities. in 1868. Their premature deaths in 1920. As John described it. Daniel. a machinist. Ontario. because the boys finished high school instead of working in their teens. but the Dodge name remains alive and well. attributable to the worldwide influenza pandemic of 1918. John Dodge was born in Niles.
Their agreement called for Ford to make periodic $5. John suffered from tuberculosis.000 payments. Horace and Christina had two children. intent on keeping pace with growing Ford production.A Road Well Traveled 32 In 1892. John's wife died in 1901. Isabelle Smith. Their relationship with Ford was not without friction. elixir containing 42 percent alcohol.500 and used the proceeds to establish Dodge Brothers. They agreed to switch from Olds to Ford. It ended in divorce in 1907 when John fell in love with and married Matilda Rausch. who hired them to build engines and 2. John and Horace built a new plant in Hamtramck. In 1910. were substantial: $10. he only spent six evenings at home. In one case John forced a . rising to $360. The Model T made its debut in 1908.000 transmissions for his "curved-dash" Olds runabout. When Ford was unable to make one of the payments. Olds. he gave them 10 percent of the stock in his new company. a dressmaker. one of the largest automotive plants in the world. John estimated that in their first two years in the machine shop.000 annually in subsequent years. Ford built a plant in Highland Park. Two years later John quietly married his housekeeper. it ultimately grew into a 5 million-square-foot facility. Horace invented a dirt-resistant bicycle bearing that both brothers patented in 1896. they formed the Evans & Dodge Bicycle concern. but the economic benefits from their deal were impossible to pass up. on the outskirts of Detroit. transmissions and axles for Ford Motor Co. John serving as vice president and director. marrying Christina Anna Thompson. they regarded the brothers as uncultured. They had two daughters and a son. a machine shop in Detroit. John and Horace's lifestyles were unacceptable to the social elite in Detroit. crude and boorish. With patent in hand. a Dodge Brothers employee. during a lunch break from work. According to his family. Dodge Brothers worked exclusively for Ford for the next 11 years. nights included. Their precision work caught the attention of Ransom E. Unfortunately. Biographer Charles Hyde believes "this may well be the Dodge family's rationalization of John and Horace's periodic and well-documented alcohol abuse. six days a week. They had three children. and their dividends from Ford Motor Co. They were producing thousands of cars. John married Ivy Hawkins. America's first major automobile manufacturer. a piano teacher. he recovered by consuming large quantities of a Parke. but continued to refer to her as his housekeeper for the remainder of their marriage. Davis & Co. In 1903 Henry Ford approached the brothers and asked them to produce 650 sets of engines. Three years later they sold their interest in the bicycle company for $7.000 in 1904. but it was not large enough to keep up with demand. Horace followed suit in 1896." John and Horace worked indefatigably.
horn and a starter generator with battery. John Pershing to pursue Pancho Villa and other bandits on the MexicoU. the largest on the Great Lakes and costing $2 million. rugged Dodge cars were used by Gen. the Delphine II. Dodge Brothers had built more than 500.000 cars for Ford. He also began construction of a 110-room. with 70. before it was finished.S. Conflict with Ford was inevitable. In 1913. Ford paid as ordered then purchased John and Horace's shares in Ford Motor Co. Trade publications were rife with speculation about the brothers' intentions. features not available on the Model T. for $25 million. 14.700 cars sold. When the Grosse Pointe Country Club refused admission to Horace. That year. John decided not to renew the Ford contracts. 1914. 370 cars had been built and Dodge was gearing up for the future. John commissioned the construction of a 258-foot yacht. was incorporated in 1914 with $5 million in capital. border. Thousands lined up in each city to see the new car.S. And both brothers were involved in series of assaults. By 1916. compared with $490 for the Model T. the mansion was known as Rose Terrace. In six weeks. John and Horace had decided to produce a new car incorporating improvements Ford had rejected. it was priced at $785.A Road Well Traveled 33 saloon owner to dance on top of his bar by threatening him with a pistol. Dodge Brothers Automobile Co. he bought the adjacent land and vowed to build a home that would make the country club ―look like a shanty. electric lights. the Michigan Supreme Court sided with the Dodge brothers and ordered Ford to distribute $20. It had a speedometer. in January 1920. In 1919.812. John and Horace owned a series of yachts.‖ And he did. With booming Model T sales. the Dodge brothers and Ford became concerned about their mutual interdependency. However.136 in dividends. Dodge had added more models and was the fourth best-selling automobile brand in the U. Ford refused to distribute the majority of his company's massive earnings to shareholders. John . a 185-foot vessel with a crew of 30. Their first touring car rolled off the assembly line on Nov. It cost $4 million. forcing John and Horace to sue him. from small "day" yachts to the Nokomis. 24bath Grosse Pointe mansion.
In 1925. Dillon Reed sold Dodge Brothers in 1928 to Walter P. Courtesy Oakland . possibly from the added complications of cirrhosis of the liver. The two brothers were buried in the same mausoleum in Woodlawn Cemetery in Detroit. Detroit Public Library. John and Horace contributed millions to charities. Detroit Public Library Hamtramck Plant. Courtesy of American Automotive History Collection. 14. Courtesy of American Automotive History Collection. 10. Delphine II." Horace died Dec. Control of the Dodge Brothers Motor Co.000 was rejected. . and Horace was the prime mover behind the formation of the Detroit Philharmonic Symphony. the widows sold Dodge to a banking syndicate headed by Dillon Reed & Co. Chrysler for $175 million. passed to their widows. Courtesy Library of Congress Rose Terrace. Photos: John (left) and Horace Dodge. John's flu progressed rapidly and he died on Jan.650.A Road Well Traveled 34 and Horace went to the International Automobile Show in New York City where both of them contracted influenza. The Detroit Free Press observed: "He was one of the big forces in the making of modern Detroit . Courtesy Oakland 1916 Dodge Center Door Sedan. An offer by General Motors to acquire the company for $124. for $146 million. .
a massive mansion. Olds "curved-dash" Oldsmobile Henry Ford hires the Dodge brothers to supply chassis and drive trains Unable to make one of the required payments. Ford acquires all the shares of Ford Motor Company held by the Dodge brothers for $25 million 1901 1901 1903 1903 1910 1913 1913 1914 1916 1917 1918 1919 1919 . Ford gives the brothers 100 shares of stock in Ford Motor Co Brake ground for a new plant in Hamtramck John declines to renew the Ford contracts and resigns his position as vice president and director with Ford Establishes the Dodge Brothers Motor Vehicle Company The first Dodge Brothers touring car rolls off the assembly line on November 14 Dodge adds more models and becomes the fourth best-selling automobile brand in the United States 1916 John and Horace sue Ford to compel him to make distributions of earnings as dividends to shareholders. next to the Grosse Pointe Country Club when the club declines his admission with the intention of making the club ―look like a shanty.A Road Well Traveled 35 TIMELINE 1864 1868 1886 1894 1897 John Francis Dodge is born in Niles. Ontario and take jobs with the Dominion Typograph Company Form a partnership with Fred Evans to manufacture the Evans & Dodge bicycle. Michigan on May 17th Brothers move to Detroit Travel to Windsor.000 engines for Ransom E. based on an improved ball bearing Horace had invented and both brothers patented John and Horace open a machine shop in Detroit Begin production on 2. 1916 Horace builds Rose Terrace. Michigan on October 25th Horace Elgin Dodge is born in Niles.‖ Dodge Brothers begins making the recoil firing mechanisms for French 75 and 155 cannons Dodge converts the military ambulance into the half-ton Screenside Commercial Car The court decides in favor of the Dodge brothers and orders Ford to distribute more than $20 million in dividends.
A Road Well Traveled 36 1919 John begins construction of Grosse Pointe 110-room 24-bath mansion at a cost of $4 million John and Horace Dodge visit the International Automobile Show in New York City. 2005. VIDEO AND OTHER MEDIA 1920s dodge Brothers Truck Photos & Reference Material www. Read for $145 million. The Dodge brothers: the men. Dillon.youtube.com/watch?v=xOVd0JJzXB4 Rose Terrace the anna dodge Estate www.com/watch?v=Jjbt0yCWQjs .youtube. Read sells Dodge Brothers to Walter Chrysler for $175 million. and the legacy. both brothers are infected with influenza in the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic John Dies on January 14th and Horace dies on December 10th John and Horace‘s widows sell Dodge Brothers to a syndicate headed by Dillon. Wayne State University Press. 1920 1920 1925 1927 FURTHER READING Hyde. Charles K. the motor cars.
A Road Well Traveled
FRED AND AUGIE DUESENBERG
In 1932 Duesenberg, Inc., an automobile manufacturer, announced the addition of a supercharged model to their already famous J model line, with a 320 HP engine and a maximum speed in second gear of 104 mph. Called the Duesenberg SJ, it was a classic case of beauty and the beast, beautifully designed by some of the greatest coach builders in the world, yet a massive beast weighing in at nearly 6,000 pounds. Jay Leno, owner of an extensive classic car collection, calls the SJ his favorite car. He feels it is ―probably the greatest American car‖ ever built. The Duesenberg name evokes images of a European heritage, an automobile built in the image and traditions of iconic stalwarts such as Mercedes, Benz, Bugatti and Ferrari. But the European heritage is an illusion. Although the Duesenberg brothers, Friedrich and August, were born in a modest farm house on the outskirts of the small German hamlet of Kircheide, Fred in 1876 and Augie in 1879, Duesenberg cars are as American as apple pie, born and bred in the cornfields of Iowa. The boys‘ father, Konrad Heinrich Ludwig Düsenberg, died in 1884. Konrad‘s brother, Johan Heinrich, had emigrated to the United States in 1866 and settled in Rockford, Iowa. After Konrad‘s death, his widow, Luise, packed up her six children and moved to America, arriving in New York in 1885, and immediately headed west to Rockford. The Duesenbergs attended school and worked on the farm. At some point they Americanized their names to Fred and Augie. When Fred was 17 he went out on his own and worked with a local agricultural equipment dealer, repaired farm machinery and constructed windmills.
A Road Well Traveled
Beginning in the late 1880s and continuing into the early 1890s, a bicycle craze swept the nation, snaring Fred and Augie in its tide. Brought about in part by the invention of the safety bicycle, with equally sized front and rear wheels, it seems everyone wanted to ride, buy, repair or manufacture the contraptions. Many of America‘s automobile and aviation pioneers began their careers with bicycles, from the Wright, Dodge and Duryea brothers to the Duesenbergs. In 1897 Fred opened a bicycle shop in Rockford while Augie established one 40 miles away in Garner, Iowa. Fred not only repaired and built bicycles, he was an avid racer who established a world bicycle speed record for a two-mile run. Fred‘s reputation as a creative designer of bicycles soared with his racing feats. During the later part of that decade, several automobile pioneers were making their mark in the public eye as the nascent automobile industry was incubating, including Ransom E. Olds and the Duryea brothers. Attention was slowly shifting from bicycles to horseless carriages sporting engines propelled by steam, electricity and internal combustion of gasoline. Undoubtedly Fred noticed this evolution and in 1900 developed a small gasoline engine for a bicycle, one of the earliest motorcycles. But he did not spend much time on motorcycles; his interest in automobiles and their potential had taken root. Fred sold the bicycle business and got a job as a driver and mechanic with Thomas B. Jeffery in Kenosha, WI, who was building the Rambler, a small horseless carriage. After a short learning interval, Fred assumed he was ready to establish his own company and in 1903, formed the Iowa Automobile and Supply Co., in Des Moines. Augie soon joined him; Fred was the creative designer, Augie the more skilled mechanic. Located at 8th and Grand Avenue, it was the second garage built in that city. Unfortunately, within a year their company failed and went into bankruptcy--their liabilities of $2,116 exceeded assets of $1,071. Undeterred, Fred sought to build a racing car and approached Edward R. Mason, a Des Moines attorney, who agreed to finance a new automobile company, the Mason Motor Car Co., which opened its doors in 1904. Fred designed a powerful 24-h.p. motor and production of the new car began in 1906. It was so nimble up hills, Fred and Augie named it ―the Hill Climber,‖ and billed it as ―the fastest and strongest two-cylinder car in America,‖ and the ―Greatest Hill Climber on Earth for the Price Asked‖--$1,350.
A Road Well Traveled
The Hill Climber intrigued Frank Maytag, the washing machine titan. In 1910 he acquired controlling interest of the company from Mason and renamed it the Maytag-Mason Motor Co. Maytag was a bit more conservative in his advertising and allowed Fred to demonstrate its speed in automobile races, America‘s first proving ground for the capability and reliability of the rapidly growing automobile industry. Fred and Augie built several four-cylinder racing cars which they called the Mason, and entered them in the second Indianapolis 500 in 1912. The cars did not fare well. What transpired next was reminiscent of what had happened to Henry Ford‘s first automobile company, the Henry Ford Company. Like Ford‘s financial backer, William Murphy, Maytag wanted passenger cars, not racing cars while Fred, like Ford, was principally interested in speed and racing. And like Henry Ford, it wasn‘t in Fred and Augie‘s destiny to remain as someone else‘s employees. As their interests diverged, Maytag and his son began to force the Duesenberg brothers out of the company. Fred and Aguie left Maytag-Mason in 1913, moved to St. Paul, Minn, rented a machine shop and organized the Duesenberg Motor Co. Interestingly, after the Duesenbergs left, the Maytag-Mason Motor Co. began a precipitous slide downwards and closed its doors in 1916. At the same time, the Duesenberg name was about to take off and leave an indelible mark on the history of automobiles. Fred and Augie continued their involvement in automobile racing and built cars for the 1914 Indianapolis 500, with Eddie Rickenbacker as one of the drivers. Their cars finished a respectable 10th and 12th place, competing with some of the biggest European names including Peugeot and Sunbeam. Although the brothers had an easy manner about them, it belied their Prussian work ethic. One of their mechanics said: ―We worked hours that you wouldn‘t believe. Fred was always around until two in the morning. . . Augie a bit longer.‖ They were master mechanics, Fred a visionary who, according to one historian, could visually measure precision machining to within several thousandths of an inch. Their company‘s early success cannot be attributed to their superb engines, and even less so to their entrepreneurship. They were not businessmen. But good fortune was about to smile on them. They began to develop marine engines, one of which powered the first boat to exceed 60 mph. This feat prompted Chicago businessman J.R. Harbeck to finance the development of the ―Duesenberg Patrol-Model Marine Engine.‖ Fred and Augie built a new plant in Elizabeth, NJ, and began manufacturing marine, aircraft, tractor and automobile engines. And when World War I began, the allied navies, including Great Britain, Italy and Russia, purchased the Duesenberg engines. The Duesenberg motto became: ―The Power of the Hour.‖ After the war Fred and Augie purchased Harbeck‘s interest in their company and began developing a new car, the Model Eight, intended as an eight-cylinder sedan. However, unable to complete the development of the eight-cylinder engine in a timely manner, they employed a four-cylinder engine and renamed the car the Model A. Although the engineering was superb—it
the X. He said: ―Like every other member of the industry who has studied it. but with the first car to average more than 100 mph for the entire race. no American cars would win the race again until the 1960s. Another first took place in 1927. Duesenberg. at best. France. owner of the Auburn and Cord automobile companies. Only 667 cars had been produced. An even greater victory came the following year at Le Mans. making a . An updated model. the brothers were unable to reconcile their interest in selling passenger cars with their omnipresent desire to win automobile races. Moreover. Fred desperately needed more capital to produce the car of his dreams. Cord formed Duesenberg. They sold their New Jersey and New York factories to automotive pioneer John Willys and moved their plant to Indianapolis to be closer to the Indie brickyard. They brothers capitalized on this victory. Production of the Model A ended. In 1920 they achieved the world land speed record with a 16-cylinder Duesenberg striking 156. .‖ Their string of racing victories continued. ungainly. their advertising claimed: ―The First and Only American Car to Win a European Classic. also received a lukewarm reception. I have observed one outstanding engineering genius and that is Fred S. The Duesenberg J was born. Fred as vice president in charge of engineering and the experimental laboratory. the finest thing on four wheels. working with Augie. It was the first American car to win that grueling and preeminent race. . where one of their drivers took first place at the 1921 International Grand Prix. The long list of his inventions. . set about to develop a new machine. In 1926. Erret Lobban Cord. ensconced in elegant Europeanstyled coachwork. In 1924 they finally won the Indianapolis 500 and followed it up in 1925 not only with a win. One of America‘s great automobile entrepreneurs. Inc. with a massive 7-liter (420 cubic inch) Straight-8 twin-cam engine built almost entirely of aluminum. sought to expand his horizons and settled on the Duesenberg as the best vehicle for building an ultra-luxury line of cars. The first model appeared in 1928.A Road Well Traveled 40 was the first car to feature four-wheel hydraulic brakes—it was vastly underpowered and the carriage was.The Duesenbergs were fast and durable.04 mph at Daytona. placing its headquarters in New York with the factory remaining in Indianapolis. Their timing was right. mechanical creations and perfections speak for themselves. Fred and Augie‘s success on the track was not matched by their Model A passenger car.‖ Cord acquired Duesenberg Motors Co. Purchase of the Duesenberg factory is the culmination of my plans to offer the world an automobile of undisputed rank—in fact.
Elbert noted how ―In Hollywood the Duesenberg became the mark of a star. no two Duesenbergs were alike. Jr. And the entire automobile was to be hand-built. Inc. all the bodies were to be custom-built to the buyer‘s specifications. Isle Denny. but the company failed.‖ Joe E. owned Duesenbergs. Dolores Del Rio. He was only 55 years old. then crumble.. the King of Spain and the Prince of Romania. sweeping shiny tailpipes running the length of the car. most luxurious.. Interestingly.500 or even reaching $25. when he struck a slippery patch of road and overturned. Marion Davies and many corporate titans like Philip Wrigley—he owned three in succession—followed suit. in Goldenrod Yellow with Pale Green Fenders and a boat-tail rear. and most expensive automobile in America—with a base price of $14. Darryl Zanuck. were at his bedside. Deliveries to customers began in 1929. but developed pneumonia and died on July 26th. At times. the best automobile ever built. Duesenberg advertising also claimed it was the best car in the world. Author J. Cliff Durant and John Dodge. William Randolph Hearst. The quality of the Duesenberg was undeniable and incomparable. There was no question it was a car of distinction and designated solely for the wealthy bluebloods. Brown had a sister car. remarkably.A Road Well Traveled 41 sensational debut at the new York Car Show.‖ Many automobile experts consider the SJ. among others. Duesenberg J owners changed car bodies like one changes clothes. and by 1937 financial problems forced him to sell Duesenberg. just kinda clean it up a bit. and it would be as strong as it was when it left the factory. but often reaching $17. His wife. the J with a supercharger.750. Many orders came from Europe. Fred was driving an SJ convertible on Ligonier Mountain in western Pennsylvania. and son. even if the body was duplicated and built by the same coachworks. and it became an instant sensation. Although the chassis and engine were the same. Gary Cooper drove the original 1930 Derham Tourster. ―You could pull a Duesenberg chassis out of a swamp it had been in since 1925. Cord‘s empire began to falter. depending on the specific model.E. Jay Leno said. Augie tried to revive it after World War II but . but not the chassis or the engine. returning to the factory at Indianapolis. He landed in the hospital with non life-threatening injuries. between 5. With few exceptions.000 pounds. Some of the world‘s greatest coach builders went to work on the J. and capable of speeds exceeding 135 mph. Clark Gable. The J was the most refined. 1932. So did the Duke of Windsor.250 and 7.000—with an enormously long hood covering the remarkable engine and weighing. scions of automobile pioneers. On July 2.
Duesenberg became synonymous with something unique. One wonders whether the term derived from some of Fred‘s bicycle work in that era.‖ comes from the contraction of the Duesenberg name. luxurious. Others claim the word doozey may have been in the slang lexicon as far back as the late 1890s. He died in 1955 of a heart attack. ―Fritz‖ also sought to revive the Duesenberg name and automobile. Gertrude Pike. predeceased by his wife. fantastic and outstanding. Photos: Fred Duesenberg Fred Driving Rambler E. In 1966 Augie‘s son. Cord Duesenberg SJ known as the Mormon Meteor . but was unsuccessful. It is suggested that the term ―what a doozey.L.A Road Well Traveled 42 failed.
Germany August is born in Lippe. 1897 1903 1904 1906 1910 1912 1913 1916 1917? Form a new company to develop the Duesenberg Patrol-Model Marine Engine. in Des Moines. A 16-cylinder Duesenberg breaks the world speed record. is bankrupt. Fred and Augie engineered their own four-cylinder racecars and entered them under the Mason name in the second annual Indianapolis 500. clocking 156. Fred establishes the Iowa Automobile and Supply Co. Fred and Edward R. Iowa Automobile and Supply Co. Germany Fred and Augie arrive in New York with their mother Luise and four siblings and move to Rockford. Willie Haupt brought a Duesenbergr. 1920 A prototype of the Duesenberg Eight is featured at the New York Auto Salon in November. . Minn. Fred opens his shop in Rockford and Augie in Garner. and is joined by Augie. Iowa. Frank Maytag acquires controlling interest from Mason and renames the company the Maytag-Mason Motor Car Co. Maytag Mason Motorcar Company closes its doors.A Road Well Traveled 43 TIMELINE 1876 1879 1885 Frederick Samuel is born on December 6 in Lippe.‖ with a 24-hp engine. move to St. Paul. Frederick and Augie begin building and racing bicycles. Mason form the Mason Motor Car Co. sporting four-wheel hydraulic brakes designed by Lockheed. and form the Duesenberg Automobiles & Motor Co. to a ninth-place finish in the 1913 Indianapolis 500. finish the Indie 500 in tenth and twelfth places respectively. Begins production of ―the Hill Climber. still named Mason.04 mph at Daytona. 1914 Eddie Rickenbacker and Californian Eddie O‘Donnell. driving Duesenbergs. followed in 13th place by a second Mason driven by Robert Evans. Duesenbergs leave the Maytag-Mason Motor Co.. Iowa.
A Road Well Traveled
A Duesenberg takes first place in the International Grand Prix held at Le Mans, France, the first American car to do so. Duesenbergs finally win first place at the Indie 500 with Joe Boyer in the driver‘s seat Duesenbergs win the 500 with Pete De Paolo averaging more than 100 mph for the first time in Indie history. Erret Lobban Cord, owner of the Auburn and Cord automobile companies, forms Duesenberg, Inc. with Fred and Augie, with headquarters in New York and a factory in Indianapolis. First Duesenberg J model is produced and shown at the New York Auto Show. The first Duesenberg SJ emerges, a two-ton supercharged 320-horsepower behemoth is built. Fred crashes an SJ in Pennsylvania and dies on July 2nd from pneumonia.
Cord suffers financial losses and is forced to sell Duesenberg, Inc., which fails and closes down. Augie suffers a heart attack and dies.
Steinwedel, Louis William, Duesenberg, the story of America’s premier car, Chilton Book Co., 1970 Elbert, J. L. Duesenberg; the mightiest American motor car. Post Era Publications;, 1951, Revised 1975 Malks, Josh B. Illustrated Duesenberg buyer’s guide, Motor Books International, 1993
Bill, Jon M., Duesenberg: racecars and passenger cars photo archive, Iconografix, Inc. 2005 Adler, Dennis, Duesenberg, 2004, Krause Publications
youtube.jaylenosgarage.com/watch?v=YkIl-qKs6K4 Duesenbergs With Randy Ema www.com/watch?v=HE1QmiNcTso Duesenberg 1929. Jay Leno Collection www.youtube.youtube.com/watch?v=G2wlvWhGKTY .com/video/1929-duesenberg-chassis/188092/ Howard Hughes Duesenberg www.A Road Well Traveled 45 VIDEOS AND OTHER MEDIA Jay Leno‘s Dream Duesenbertg Collection! www.
Upon inspection. Finally. A weak and unreliable man. mostly on Billy who grew up a bit of a mother‘s boy. he discovered a set of springs and shafts incorporated into the seats. It was an epiphany and he immediately set off across Michigan to the factory where the carriage was made. taking her two children to Flint. automakers scrambling as Americans move into fuel-efficient cars and away from gas-guzzling SUVs. Among the hardest hit is General Motors. stacking lumber. Unfortunately for GM. William Crapo Durant. At his mother‘s prodding. MI. peddling patent medicines and cigars. William spent money faster than his wife‘s family could replenish it. reeling from losses in the billions. His father. he died in 1947. daughter of Michigan‘s former governor. Durant was born in 1861 in Boston. Rebecca doted on her children. working for the gas company. the world's largest automaker.S. Rebecca did the unthinkable for her time—she divorced him in 1869. Durant found a wife. and his resurrection is not imminent. MA.‖ Durant attended Flint High School but left before graduation to pursue a trade. William. but the marriage was doomed from the start. and selling real estate and fire insurance. Shortly after the marriage Durant happened to ride in a carriage with remarkably comfortable seats. He moved through a series of jobs. Perhaps more than ever GM needs the vision of its legendary founder. They were married in 1885.A Road Well Traveled 46 WILLIAM CRAPO DURANT Rising fuel prices has U. . was a ne‘er-do-well who married Rebecca Crapo. Clara Pitt. He discovered that selling was his forte. When she died at age 91. he called it the ―first real sorrow of my life.
hour days for long periods. owner of the first Buick produced by the new Buick Motor Company. . finally moving to New York in 1901. he was a millionaire. Herbert H. exceptional marketing skills and willingness and capacity to work 18. carts. semi-retired. Durant sales. He offered the company to Durant. Durant spent long periods away from home.000 to 100.A Road Well Traveled 47 He did not buy a carriage—he bought the company for $1. buggies or carriages. Buick Motor Company.500. and Mrs. In 1904 its principal investor. Then he met David Dunbar Buick. . Durant was not starry-eyed about automobiles. . ―By sharpness of intellect. By the time he was 39. Ten years later. or that his partner Dort learned to drive the car and pressed Durant to try it.‖ For the next three years he dallied in the stock market—he had the money—and Durant-Dort was selling 56. one of Buick‘s brainy engineer kept driving a Buick in front of Durant‘s residence until Durant could stand it no longer. especially when he discovered that the company was indebted to three Flint banks. in his diary: ―We started off with Durant and me in the front seat. Durant had. . Durant and their daughter in the rear. Durant ultimately decided to borrow Dr. Durant also spent time in Buick‘s little shack . Dr.000 in twenty years .000 vehicles a year. and Durant kept firing questions at me .and 24. Durant formed the Flint Road Cart Company. they changed the name to Durant-Dort Carriage Company with sales exceeding 56. 1904. Some claim Walter Marr. As his business grew.000 carts at $22 each. He was wealthy. . it was woefully short of capital. in 1895.‖ There are different versions of what happened next. Hills‘ Buick and drive it around to test it under all conditions and over all roads in and around Flint. any of the other builders of wagons. Hills. spending days and nights at the factory. James H. Whiting was beginning to lose interest in the venture. Dort headed operations. Teaming up with a friend. we didn‘t talk about anything else the whole time. the Model B. .000 vehicles a year! They also employed more than 10% of Flint‘s entire population! According to historian Richard Crabb. marketed several times the number of horse-drawn vehicles sold by . to give him a ride. founded in 1903. Josiah Dort. One historian noted that Durant ―built [Flint] from 13. Hills described the event of September 4. was not faring well. We drove out East Kearsely Street. and reticent to get involved—―I want nothing to do with it‖ he said—but allowed his friend Dr. then one of the few paved streets in Flint. in less than twenty years. In the first year they sold 4.‖ And by the turn of the century Durant was a millionaire. Billy Durant was indefatigable.
And Louis Chevrolet‘s brother. He incorporated a new company. . At first her mother did not approve. 1904.5 million. Olds about joining with Buick under one umbrella. Durant paid Henry M.‖ Durant‘s marriage to Clara also did not fare well. put Buick into it and acquired 75 percent of Oldsmobile.‖ David Buick did not fare so well. . Henry Ford. ending in divorce in 1908. In other words. Give the customer time to think. and Durant decided to do the same. but the House of Morgan.108 cars in a few weeks! His technique was simple. a race driver. Durant took a different tack. Other companies were merging to form larger and more efficient entities. who was married and had a child. Clara received $150. let the customer sell himself. and he insisted that Buick‘s dealers had to agree to provide service and repair facilities. his bankers. ―Do not talk too much. but changed her mind when confronted with Durant‘s irresistible charm. he purchased the Oakland Car Company (builder of the Pontiac). but Ford and Olds wanted cash. and Cadillac. In 1906. Seldom has history produced such an unrecalled—or misrecalled—man. . and customers flocked to Buick. A day after the divorce. the most prestigious luxury car on the market. while other manufacturers temporarily or finally closed their plants. and personally sold 1. That year he also made a bold move. William stored his cars. Cadillac‘s owner. It required unwavering faith in the product and underselling. Their daughter Margery. and Ransom E. but Buicks were available in quantity. They got together. building up inventory. David Buick and Whiting agreed. became Durant‘s chauffeur. manufacturers displayed their machines in extravagant marketing efforts. was essentially insolvent. but set out two conditions: he wanted control. Durant sent the Model B to the New York Car Show. Automobile historian Beverly Rae Kimes summed it up best: ―Fame beckoned to David Buick—he sipped from the cup of greatness . Next. Durant was interested in Whiting‘s offer. He approached Maxwell-Briscoe. Look for a self-seller. In 1908. moved to New York. Durant met Louis Chevrolet. other manufacturers started to gear up. and on November 1. . He resigned from the company in 1909 or 1910 and headed to California. Durant gave him $100. General Motors. It did not take long for Durant to hire Louis to drive Buicks. Car racing was popular in the early 1900s.A Road Well Traveled 48 where Buick explained his engine and the workings of the car. not an umbrella.000 and left for California with their son Clifford. The Model B Buick performed exceedingly well over the course of the next six weeks and finally was sold on the car.000 but Buick lost his fortune in oil speculation and died in obscurity in 1929. Arthur. Leland.‖ he would tell salesmen. refused to provide the funds needed. and then spilled what it held. . Durant was willing. ―Assume that the man you are talking to knows as much or more than you do. The company. however. In a display of his salesmanship. When the panic subsided. Durant took control of the Buick Motor Car Company. $4. it turned out to be a bargain price. In the Panic of 1907. Durant married 19year-old Catherine Lederer. . while attending a car race in Detroit.
000. ―My work has been interesting. . it made no difference to the bankers.‖ Durant returned to Flint. The du Pont family was also in the market for GM stock. and gave the boot to Nash. Important decisions had to wait until he was free. Durant did not. He offered one employee.A Road Well Traveled 49 In two years Durant had acquired $54 million worth of companies. and resigned from GM. Chevrolet offered to acquire GM. One executive summed it up: ―I admired his automotive genius. and were often made impulsively. including Charley Nash. It was so profitable the bankers relented and agreed to refinance GM. an executive devoid of any sense of reality. . He was outraged.P. and Oakland (Pontiac). his imagination.‖ Chrysler and Durant were incompatible. as every man must suffer whose motives are misunderstood and whose confidence betrayed. In a classic move. He reassumed the presidency of a new GM. Chrysler thought Durant was an extravagant spender. my friends legion. Oldsmobile. But . In 1917 Durant‘s income was $5.872. J. they forced Durant to resign. buying at prices he knew to be well below real market value. It was a case of the minnow swallowing the cat. and the bankers never knew what hit them as GM shareholders traded their stock for Chevrolet stock until Durant regained control. Chevrolet Motor Car Company. Louis resigned in a huff. ―Naturally. established a new firm. Walter Chrysler. his generous human qualities . They rejected Durant‘s offer.‖ Durant said. Chevrolet. and acquired the Little Motor Company. and he overloaded himself. . leaving only their names to posterity. doing it shrewdly.‖ The bankers abruptly called in their loans. he was too casual . so he turned to GM‘s shareholders and made them an offer they couldn‘t and didn‘t refuse. the former president. The bankers were nervous. Durant started what biographer Vincent Curcio called ―nothing less than the most spectacular comeback in American corporate history. Cadillac saved GM from liquidation. but had borrowed heavily to do it. which now included Cadillac. However.000 a year to assume the presidency of Buick. $500. a 17-room villa with massive gardens overlooking the Atlantic. . Louis had visions of grandeur. and joined David Buick in obscurity. with Louis Chevrolet. and when 14.‖ Undaunted. He had predicted big sales for Buick. Walter Chrysler said he ―had never experienced luxury to compare with Billy Durant‘s house. . Buick. I have suffered at times. Morgan‘s lawyer called Durant ―the greatest living promoter outside of prison bars. . stunning GM‘s board of directors who didn‘t believe it was possible. and purchased Raymere. . Billy began to buy GM stock. Chevy sales skyrocketed and the money rolled in. believing Durant to be a loose canon.‖ But GM executives were beginning to chafe under Durant‘s management. a fault that ran against Chrysler‘s meticulous and cost-conscious management style. GM‘s executives. He had a Fifth Avenue apartment overlooking Central Park.000 orders came in within weeks of his ousting.
he personally filed for bankruptcy in 1936. stunning Wall Street with the formation of the Durant Motor Company with financial backing from…the du Pont family! And three months after demonstrating his first model.‖ A month later he did it. Chevrolets and Buicks are still sold today.000 (he did not disclose to GM that his wife and mother were worth about $1 million). but in December Durant was out of GM. 1947. Du Pont bailed him out of bankruptcy. Photo: Library of Congress .000 employees.A Road Well Traveled 50 The end of World War I produced a surplus of cars and a recession in 1920.000 cars—representing $30 million! By 1923 his company had 48. Durant lost everything. and acquired Fisher Body Company and Frigidaire. He died March 18. Oct. Forget failures. GM stock plunged. In February 1921 Durant told a reporter: ―Forget mistakes. 29. 1929. the same year Henry Ford died. Pierre S. His company went into bankruptcy in 1933. Moreover. Although Durant had set up General Motors Acceptance Corporation. not Durants. Durant had orders for 30. During his last years Durant promoted and operated bowling alleys. Forget everything except what you‘re going to do now and do it. Durant Motors was successful until Black Tuesday. He was facing bankruptcy with a net worth of less than $10. Durant owed $34 million on promissory notes and $15 million on margin.
A Road Well Traveled 51 TIMELINE 1861 1885 1886 William Crapo Durant is born on December 8 in Boston. the House of Morgan. Murphy establishes the Oakland Motor Car Co. Forms Durant & Dort with Josiah Dalls Dort and subsequently rename the company the Flint Road Cart Company. its first production four-cylinder car.. Change name of company to Durant-Dort Carriage Company Olds Motor Vehicle Company. Durant takes control of Buick Motor Company on November 1. Olds. 1908 Clara and Durant divorce on May 27. and a day later he marries 19-year-old Catherine Lederer. Leland organizes the Cadillac Automobile Company. founded by David Dunbar Buick. 1908. Oldsmobile joins General Motors 1895 1897 1902 1903 1904 1905 1906 . Marries Clara Pitt on June 17. 1907 Durant approaches Olds and Ford with a proposal to unite under one umbrella. refuses to provide the funds. Mass. Durant meets Louis Chevrolet at a car race and retains him to drive for him. Sells 1. Durant forms General Motors Company on September 16 and arranges for GM to acquire the Buick Motor Company. Buick builds the Model D. Chevrolet‘s brother William becomes Durant‘s chauffeur. is organized by Ransom E.108 Buicks at the New York Car Show. Edward R. Inc. 1904. Henry M. They want cash but Durant‘s bankers. predecessor to Pontiac Motor. Buick Motor Company.
1911 1912 1915 Durant asks Charles F.872. 1920 1921 1923 1933 1936 Durant resigns as president of GM and is replaced by Pierre S. Begins a battle to reacquire control of GM. GM acquires the operating assets of Chevrolet Motor Company.5 percent of GM's outstanding shares and Durant assumes GM‘s presidency. manufacturer of an electric ice box. files for bankruptcy. .000. Durant forms the Durant Motor Company. 1917 1918 Durant‘s income for the year is $5. Durant Motor Co. GM purchases Cadillac for $4. later renamed AC Spark Plug. Durant‘s request to purchase Ford for $9.5 million in cash is rejected by GM‘s bankers. Kettering's to build an electric self-starter GM‘s bankers force Durant out of GM. Durant personally invests in Guardian Frigerator.5 million.000 employees.. Durant incorporates Chevrolet Motor Co. Durant personally files for bankruptcy. joins GM. Champion Ignition Company.A Road Well Traveled 52 1909 GM acquires a half interest in Oakland Motor Car Co. Durant Motor Company has grown to 48. GM purchases the Rapid Motor Vehicle Company (predecessor of GMC Truck) and Reliance Motor Truck Co. du Pont. 1916 Chevrolet owns 54. on September 13. Durant creates United Motors Corp. combining five parts and accessories companies including Hyatt Roller Bearing and Dayton Engineering Laboratories (Delco).
and a Remarkable Time in American History.com/watch?v=Uj6A2Hzg1_M . John Wiley & Sons. Axel. William. 1999 Pelfrey. AMACOM. FURTHER READING Madsen. and General Motors: The Story of Two Unique Men. The Corporation That Changed Our Society http://www.youtube. VIDEO AND OTHER MEDIA Billy. 2008.A Road Well Traveled 53 1947 Durant dies on March 18. Lawrence R. Gustin. Durant Made General Motors. Alfrd and General Motors [C-SPAN: Author William Pelfrey] http://www. Alfred.org/program/192206-1 General Motors. The Deal maker: How William C. Billy. University of Michigan Press.. 2006. Billy Durant: Creator of General Motors. a Legendary Company.c-spanvideo.
―Doubtless [it] caused me to turn toward mechanic thought and work. They could not agree which of them was entitled to the most recognition for their discoveries or achievements. He had a typical farm upbringing. winning the first American car race. They accomplished other firsts: forming the first American company to manufacture automobiles. the publisher of The Times--Herald of Chicago. But their success was burdened by disputes and tainted with failures. highly adapted to some of the most urgent needs of our civilization.‖ Charles Duryea was born in 1861 near Canton. They quarreled and lacked business or entrepreneurial sense. In 1892 they built America‘s first gasoline-powered car and had it running successfully the following year. . Ill. Frank was born eight years later.‖ At the time. Charles was an uninspired student until a teacher introduced him to Scientific American. declared: ―Persons who are inclined to decry the development of the horseless carriage will be forced to recognize it as an admitted mechanical achievement. most Americans would have found this statement preposterous. becoming the first Americans to win the legendary London to Brighton race in England.A Road Well Traveled 54 CHARLES AND FRANK DURYEA In 1895.‖ he wrote years later. The vast majority of the population could not envision any utility in horseless carriages. Years later Charles lamented: ―Children growing up today will think that Henry Ford invented the automobile. and their car was involved in the first recorded automobile accident. Frank Duryea did. albeit under better economic circumstances than those facing most farming families. In essence Charles and Frank were the incubators of one of America‘s greatest industries—automobiles. Charles and J.
but was unable to raise funds for production. . to visit the State Fair. returning home to Peoria from Washington. especially ones adapted for women. . Frank built the engine and incorporated it into the buggy. . three other men pushed the carriage until the motor sputtered to life. patenting them. and moved the family to Chickopee.‖ an oration delivered in June 1882. ―Then and there. After some modifications he finally got the engine to fire up in February 1893 and the first road test of their car took place on a farm near Springfield in September. ―I selected the internal combustion engine as the coming power. In April construction of the first Duryea automobile began and in the following month Frank married Clara Root. Ohio. Charles gave up farming and the couple moved to St. and saw an electrically ignited gasoline engine. Markham to invest $1. To seek capital and learn more about patents.‖ he said. at La Harpe. MA. of Chickopee. At first it wouldn‘t start. He purchased a $70 buggy.‖ In 1884. after his father died. ―It must have weighed a ton and gave no great power. Teaming up with Harry Rouse. Frank became his chief mechanic though he had doubts Charles would succeed. when Europe will be distant by a half-day‘s journey. Charles returned to the family farm. where Charles graduated from high school. induced Erwin F. Charles attended Gittings Seminary. Charles moved to Washington two years later. ―Rapid Transit Other Than on Rails. He also viewed a small two cylinder steam engine. He believed the women‘s market was an untapped resource. a financier from Peoria. Ill.‖ he recalled. It embodied all his previous innovations. Louis where he got a job repairing bicycles. Charles developed a wide-bodied pneumatic-like cushion tire and ―Neverleak. He retained the Ames Manufacturing Co. His academic record was unimpressive and fellow students thought of him as foolish or a crank. The following year Charles formed the Duryea Manufacturing Company to produce the SYLPH bicycle. With Frank at the tiller. Ill. Frank joined him there to work on tools and mechanical drawings. but of aviation: ―The time will come when the humming of flying machines will be music over the lands. A year later. MA. It was a fortuitous return because Charles met Rachel Steer there and married her that year. He also began building new bicycles. ones they could ride wearing dresses and without exposing their ankles. Charles created bicycles for women. and started his business in Springfield. Then the vehicle moved under its own power for about 200 feet before hitting a pile of dirt. to build his bicycles. prophesied not the future of automobiles.000 for a half interest in the project. He also got a job with a leading bicycle maker and arranged for Frank to join him. and his graduation thesis.A Road Well Traveled 55 The family moved to a farm near Wyoming.‖ a gummy liquid to stop leaks from small punctures in the tire. Charles made a stopover at Columbus. In August 1887.‖ with a view of making it the size of the small steam engine. In January 1892 Charles began to pursue his dream.
Peoria Motor Trap.‖ Unfortunately. and lack of management ability signaled failure. was the first across the finish line and received the grand prize of $2. But Scientific American published an article about the Duryea car entitled ―America‘s First Gasoline Automobile. Frank produced a second car in April 1894. organized by The Times—Herald of Chicago in 1895 with prizes aggregating $5. one steam and one electric car. and playing off the publicity generated by the race. technical disagreements. always looking for a public draw.000 from British firms just for the British rights. Barnum & Bailey Circus. This car now resides at the Smithsonian Institution. and ended up with nothing. three-wheel . Automobile races became the stage for demonstrating their utility and potential. leaving the roads rutted and covered with snow and mud. with several investors providing $23. The course from Chicago‘s Jackson Park to Evanston and back. Charles was unable to line up investors. but three days before the race Chicago suffered one of its worst blizzards in years.000.‖ In 1900 Charles moved to Reading. Charles and Frank sold their interest in the company in 1897and went their separate ways. incorporated the Duryea Manufacturing Company and.000. Adapted for general use on all kinds of roads in all kinds of weather. Due to irreconcilable differences. who drove the car several times. a British editor and inventor said it was ―quite equal to any belt car I‘ve ever been on and I think I may label it as the smoothest running petroleum vehicle I have ever tried. The first car race in America. neither Charles nor Frank were adapt as entrepreneurs. 100 miles on 5 gallons of gasoline. After winning the London to Brighton race. employed a Duryea car to lead its parades during the 1896 season. sold 12 cars. During these early years. was held in November. potential customers had no basis for judging the mechanical worthiness or capability of cars. driving the Duryea. . Only six cars started the race: the Duryea. Charles returned to Peoria. Henry Sturmey. in September 1895 the Springfield Board of Trade helped Charles organize the Duryea Motor Wagon Company. Although they may have had the best made car at the time. three Benz cars imported from Germany. called it a ―nearly useless‖ contraption. the redesigned Duryea traveled about six miles at an average speed of 8 mph. Duryea‘s feat garnered national acclaim. with the help of his younger brother Otho.‖ But despite having an operational model.000 and £100. PA and incorporated the Duryea Power Company with the intention of building cars on a mass scale. In its first year of operations the Duryea Motor Wagon Co. After a bitter dispute between the two brothers.A Road Well Traveled 56 Charles wasn‘t there to see it. . Finally. He wanted to build the light.000 in capital. Frank rejected successive offers of £40.800 a year. continued to manufacture cars. covered 54 miles. It was the first corporation organized in America for the production and sale of automobiles. Frank. including the threewheeled. three-cylinder. It‘s advertising in 1896 proclaimed: ―A thoroughly practical gasoline motor vehicle. their jealousies. Henry Ford called it a ―masterpiece.‖ By January 1894. Markham‘s son. Charles gave Frank a 1/3 interest and a salary of $1. chartered in Maine.
and wrote several books including ―Roadside Troubles. Frank combined with Massachusetts-based J. The Duryeas were pioneers when no one really saw the utility of horseless carriages. Although they produced the first American gasoline-powered engine. selling for $1.500 and upwards. By 1905 he had 50 employees. each selling for $1. Frank produced nearly 14.250. Unlike Henry Ford who focused on a single model and economies of scale. he produced a car a week in 1901. Stevens Arms and Tool Company to build cars in a new company. their pioneering success and economic failures present a notable lesson: Being the first to produce a product does not guaranty success. Frank in 1967. but his investors wanted a more luxurious four-wheel car. Still. Charles died in 1938. Charles ruefully noted: ―It doesn‘t pay to pioneer.A Road Well Traveled 57 vehicle.‖ Photo: Public Library Flint Michigan . In 1901. the first President of the American Motor League. a founding member of the Society of Automotive Engineers. and had a fourwheel Phaeton by 1902. he didn‘t have enough capital for volume production.000 vehicles before selling his interest and retiring in 1911. He also served as a special technical correspondent for the New York Times.‖ in 1916. the Stevens-Duryea Company in Chicopee and East Springfield.‖ and the 346-page ―The Automobile Book. The company was underfunded and although the cars were in demand. Charles produced a variety of models. an expert witness in the giant Selden-Ford patent lawsuit.
On November 28. Hires Frank and begins to devote his time. Duryea Manufacturing Company is incorporated. Frank finally gets the engine to fire up in February and makes first road test near Springfield on September 16. Teams up with Harry Rouse and develops a pneumatic-like cushion tire and a gummy liquid to stop leaks called ―Neverleak. Owens.000 grand prize. Duryea wins London to Brighton race.C. Charles develops bicycles for Herbert S. Duryea is the first to cross the finish line and received a $2. Ill. Father dies and Charles returns to the family farm. Charles moves to Washington.‖ 1888 1892 Forms Duryea Manufacturing Company to produce the SYLPH bicycle. energy and money to the development of a horseless carriage. Springfield Board of Trade help Charles establish the Duryea Motor Wagon Company. Louis where he repairs bicycles for a living and builds a bicycle especially made for women. To learn more about patents.A Road Well Traveled Timeline 1861 1869 1880 1881 1882 1884 Charles Duryea is born on December 15 in Fulton County. a 54-mile loop from Chicago to Evanston and back. 1897 Charles and Frank split up due to irreconcilable differences. 1893 1894 1895 . 1880. Charles delivers oration of his graduating thesis prophesying future air transportation. Ill. but fails to license his cars. Frank Duryea is born on October 8. Work begins on second car. The Times-Herald of Chicago organizes America‘s first car race. a large manufacturer of bicycles. Otho Dureya is born on August 25. 58 1885 Charles and Rachel move to St. near Canton. chartered in Maine—the first corporation in America formed to build cars. 1886 With brother Frank. Charles enrolls at Gittings Seminary at La Harpe. D. 1896 Barnum & Bailey circus hires a Duryea automobile to lead its parades. Charles meets Rachel Steer and marries her. Frank redesigns car and it runs for six miles. to study bookkeeping.
Frank J. at age 98.000 cars. Donald M.. MacAulay. 1968 Duryea. and incorporates the Duryea Power Company with the intention of mass producing cars. Who Designed and Built Those Early Duryea Cars? By Author.youtube.metacafe. Duryea. America’s First Automobile: The First Complete Account by Mr. J.. Charles dies September 25 after a long illness.com/watch?v=IWFCv508ACg . Frank dies February 16. Stevens Arms and Tool Company. Hill & Wang Publishing. Frank Duryea of How he Developed the First American Automobile 1892-1893.A Road Well Traveled 1900 59 Charles moves to Reading. 1901 1911 1938 1967 FURTHER READING Jackson. Penn. Frank establishes the Stevens-Duryea Company in Chicopee and East Springfield in partnership with the J.youtube. 1944 VIDEO AND OTHER MEDIA Duryea on the Move http://www. After producing 14. Frank J. Frank sells his interest and retires.com/watch/1089834/1893_duryea/ Charles Duryea and Hill Climbing Cars http://www. 1942.com/watch?v=JpslcHZgu2c 1893 Duryea http://www. Robert. Gasoline Buggy of the Duryea Brothers.
The Vagabonds were Thomas Edison. In 1895. and they achieved extraordinary success. I went to the buggy works to see about obtaining some solid rubber tires as a substitute. "I was building my first automobile. and forever changed the world we live in. They were married in November and honeymooned in New York and Washington. Firestone told me he had just received some new tires. They took summer trips together. "At that time.C. He wanted to sell. Firestone met Idabelle Smith at a dancing party. Firestone turned to peddling cough syrup. Columbus Buggy collapsed in 1896 and Firestone formed a rubber tire business. He studied bookkeeping in Cleveland and joined his cousin's concern. Despite his cousin's remonstrations. Firestone-Victor Rubber Tire Co. with several partners. were not his passion. shared their thoughts. Wild Rose Lotion and Arabian Oil for the Jackson Manufacturing Co. was born in Columbiana. The car weighed 500 pounds. After high school. which was too much for the light tires.A Road Well Traveled 60 HARVEY FIRESTONE Once upon a time there were four friends. that were a great deal softer ." That year.. He believed wheels with a rubber buffer would better serve the emerging world of the horseless carriage and began production of the new . They were inventive and industrious. on Dec. Jackson failed a year later. Firestone. Ohio. 1868. however. he embarked on a business career. Columbus Buggy Co. They were born into simple farming families but set their horizons well beyond their pastures. 20. Mr. where he became a salesman of buggies and horses. Henry Ford. . They called themselves the Vagabonds. Ledgers." Ford recalled. The youngest. dreams and visions. John Burroughs and Harvey Firestone. as a bookkeeper. D. Henry Ford walked into the showroom. .. . Firestone returned to Columbus Buggy with hat in hand and managed a transfer to the Detroit branch. I was using bicycle tires. . pneumatic tires and I had him order me a set.
pushing its price upward. to manufacture tires. Firestone walked away with $42. Henry Ford and his partners. much of his production was going to Ford. attaching rubber to steel carriage wheels. At the turn of the century.000 tires at $55 apiece. the plant has 12 employees. Firestone opened a factory in 1902. constantly plunking his own money back into his company. Barney Oldfield--calling himself the "Speed King of the World"--sported a slogan on the side of his racing car: "Firestone Tires Are My Only Life Insurance. including B. Firestone followed suit by putting $50. buying rubber in larger lots and at lower prices. Fortunately for Firestone. In the following years. However. It was a deft move and great publicity. a conflict between the partners led to the firm's dissolution. Firestone built a Georgian house on 60 acres on West Hill on the outskirts of Akron and called it Harbel Manor. pitched his products to Ford. the winner of the 1911 race crossed the finish line on Firestone tires. to insure better quality control for his products. Ford used racing to generate publicity for his cars. Ohio. Firestone was also beginning to produce a mechanically-fastened pneumatic tire for automobiles. In June 1903. the demand for rubber grew. One of the great racing drivers of the time.F. He had to borrow the funds for the land and the house because he was cash-starved. Goodrich and Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.000 more tires. Akron was the rubber capital of America with eight manufacturers. In 1906 Ford gave Firestone an order for 2. selling most of its output to fire departments for horse-drawn pumps. Firestone moved to Akron. the company generated $100. When Firestone learned that Ford was ready to manufacture a car he hastened to Detroit. in January 1900.000 into advertising for the first Indianapolis 500. However. Employing local subcontractors to produce tires. formed Ford Motor Company. who agreed to adjust the price of tires to reflect the increasing cost of rubber and also ordered 100.A Road Well Traveled 61 rubber tires. Goodyear and Goodrich had a competitive advantage over Firestone. and formed Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. Located in an old foundry and employing second-hand machinery." The Vagabonds participated in a series of motoring trips that captured the nation's imagination and .000 and a patent. including the Dodge brothers. In 1912.000 in the first year of operations.
provided a $5 million loan to the government. The British. By 1920. but land laws limited foreign ownership to 2. Firestone faced another challenge. The Dutch had not established quotas or limits on supply. a hospital and a radio station. leaving . Firestone's company had 19. Firestone also played a major role in the development of the highway system. After investing $8 million. beginning in 1919 with a long caravan of trucks equipped with giant Firestone pneumatics heading from Akron to New Orleans. The British ignored his appeals and Firestone began to look at alternatives.000 tons to 5. while theaters showed Ford.000 in one year. built port facilities. The Vagabonds were accompanied by newsmen and photographers who reported their every move and utterance. pressed the Stevenson Rubber Restriction Scheme through Parliament.500 acres. Winston Churchill. It began in 1914 when Ford and Edison took a camping trip to the Florida Everglades. Firestone turned to Liberia. He pressed for hard-surfaced roads and gave a boost to the trucking industry with a "Ship by Truck" campaign. 125 miles of roads. tripling within the year. Firestone had the world's largest producing rubber plantation. These trips offered romance and drama for the public. The British and Dutch controlled most of the world's rubber supply. The Philippines were promising.A Road Well Traveled 62 forever linked the automobile to recreation. When rubber prices tumbled after World War I. In 1926 he leased 1 million acres. head of the British Colonial office.800 employees working in one of the largest industrial plants in the world and grossing $115 million a year. had miscalculated the consequences of the Stevenson measure. Almost all of the newspapers in the country covered these trips. It caused quite a public sensation. Taking extended automobile trips for fun was revolutionary. establishing quotas and limiting supplies. the tire business remained his principal focus. Edison and Burroughs engaged in track-andfield-like contests. however. Still. and planted 10 million trees. Prices rose dramatically. The British reduction of rubber was effective from the start as stocks of rubber in London warehouses fell from 52. They included Firestone the following year in California and in subsequent years added Burroughs. He decided to establish a rubber plantation. The limits imposed on American rubber interests infuriated Firestone. an independent African nation colonized in 1822 by freed American slaves.
"The Voice of Firestone. to market low-priced tires. married Firestone's granddaughter Martha Parke Firestone in 1947. undercutting Firestone as well as Goodyear dealers. however. setting up 337 by the time the market crashed in 1929. Photos: Courtesy National Park Service Edison National Historic Site . The British finally relented and repealed Stevenson. all his sons. "I have given it all my time and thought. cementing for all time the heritage of two of the Vagabonds. Goodyear entered into a contract with Sears. Idabelle composed the show's opening and closing songs.. Firestone countered with companyowned service centers called "One-Stop" stores. the announcement made on "The Voice of Firestone" with Schubert's "Unfinished Symphony. Harvey Jr. The picture of having you boys in the business . is one I like to talk about. Roebuck & Co. Russell. 1938. Raymond and Roger. where he and Idabelle continued to entertain international luminaries. Firestone received a mild reprieve when the Federal Trade Commission stepped in and canceled the contract between Sears and Goodyear because it was so unfair to Goodyear dealers.A Road Well Traveled 63 the markets in a state of flux. But the big thing is that I do not care which. But it was a losing battle." And true to his dreams. The Firestones held grand receptions at Harbel Manor. He bought it and called it Harbel Villa. .. "It has always been my hope and plan. . I do not know whether I am the slave or the master of that business." Firestone died in his sleep at Harbel Villa on Feb. Firestone launched a weekly nationwide radio broadcast. . entered the business." he said." he wrote to his sons. for the job is worth doing as either master or servant. 7. . but there is a great joy in doing it. Prices dropped so low that it was cheaper for Firestone to purchase rubber on the market than produce it on his plantation. I am still giving it all of my time and thought and intend to keep on doing so. the grandson of Henry Ford. Why was Firestone successful? "For 25 years I have been building a business. Leonard." William Clay Ford Sr. But in 1920 Firestone turned his attention to an estate at Miami Beach. In 1928. "that when you finished school you would come into the company . but the program's primary objective was to keep the Firestone name in the public ear. Firestone intended for his children to follow him into the company. The job is not only worth doing well." featuring music. hosting presidents and other notables. and in 1932 Firestone conceded that Sears dominated the industry as to prices and terms. In 1936. Firestone faced another unexpected problem.
Denied admission by a tire syndicate. Ohio.A Road Well Traveled 64 TIMELINE 1868 1876 1887 Born in Columbiana. Goes to Detroit and gets an order for 2. Ohio. World War I begins and British impose rubber embargo 1888 1889 1890 1895 1895 1896 1900 1901 1904 1908 1911 1912 1914 . calling it Harbel (combination of his name and Idabelle‘s) Manor. the winner uses Firestone tires Acquires land and builds a Georgian manor on 60 acres on West Hill. Becomes a salesman for the Jackson Manufacturing Company Returns to the Columbus Buggy Company and moves to the Detroit branch where he becomes a salesman of horses and buggies Meets Idabelle Smith and proposes to her on Easter Sunday.000 advertising for the first Indianapolis 500. Clinton. on December 20. and forms the Firestone Tire & Rubber Company. owned by his cousin.000 tires from Ford Buys a small country home for his family Buys $50. They are married in November Ford visits the Columbus Buggy Company showroom and orders a set of tires from Firestone Columbus Buggy Company fails and Firestone forms the Firestone-Victor Rubber Tire Company with two partners. the United States Rubber Company. the second of three boys Begins school near Columbiana Graduated from Colubmiana High School in May and goes to the Spencerian College in Cleveland to study bookkeeping Moves to Cleveland and begins to work as a bookkeeper for the Columbus Buggy Company. outside of Akron. Moves to Akron.
Roebuck & Co. "The Voice of Firestone" Edison dies. The Firestone story. Harvey Samuel. Alfred. a celebration. New York.A Road Well Traveled 65 1915 Attends Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco and teams up with Edison and Ford in Santa Rosa. a century. Englewood. New York : Forbes Custom Publishing. p1983. Paul. then journeys to San Diego Joins Edison and Ford. CO : Newstrack. Dies at Harbel Villa on February 7 1916 1916 1919 1920 1920 1928 1931 1936 1938 ADDITIONAL READING Dickson. 1900-2000.000 tires from Firestone Purchases an estate at Miami Beach Launches a weekly nationwide radio broadcast. . on a motoring trip through California Becomes president of the Rubber Club of America Sends special cavalcade of trucks from Akron to New Orleans to publicize ―Ship by Truck‖ campaign Ford purchases 100. and Firestone is at his bedside Federal Trade Commission cancels contract between Goodyear and Sears. Whittlesey House  Firestone. a history of the Firestone Tire & Rubber Company. Men and rubber [sound recording] : the story of business. 1999 Lief. the Vagabonds. Firestone: a legend. CA.
youtube.youtube.youtube.com/video/clip/331747_037.com/video/65675032007_group-camping_Firestone-family_on-awalk_enjoy-near-a-stream-of-water .A Road Well Traveled 66 VIDEOS AND OTHER MEDIA Firestone at Ford and Edison Camp www.criticalpast. Edison Celebrates His 84th Birthday (February 11.youtube.com/watch?v=tIA9gVuPg Vagabonds: Henry Ford and Friends Camping. 1931) www.com/watch?v=n5qONf7EItM The Firestone Family Out For a Walk http://www.thoughtequity. Part 2 (1916) www.com/watch?v=S1qXzrwNoTo Harvey Firestone http://www.com/watch?v=foBW9pixJn0 1935 Easter [Harvey Firestone and Family at Farm] http://www.do Thomas A.
And they were so wealthy that it is rumored they lost $3 billion in the 1929 stock market crash. Detroit‘s 29-story gilt-topped skyscraper. each one extensively involved in developing the famous ―Body by Fisher‖ brand and subsequently General Motors. the Fisher Building. Their Horatio Alger-like rise to the top of the automobile industry pyramid is second only to the story of Henry Ford as they emerged from the horseless carriage era into the world of Chevrolets. followed two years later by Charles T. William. 1878. Fisher on January 2. Fisher. Cadillacs and the development of more than 70 million cars bearing their logo. However. Alfred. Frederic J. the only brother born in Sandusky. They amassed great wealth during their extensive careers and even more so following their retirement from the automobile industry. Ohio. Charles and Frank Duryea. Ohio. called ―A Cathedral to Commerce. Their story begins in Norwalk. Francis and Freelan Stanley. Edward and Howard. Lawrence. they were also among the most successful of the automobile titans. yet managed to salvage $500 million from the economic carnage. five Studebaker brothers and James and William Packard. the seven burly Fisher brothers were not only the most numerous of all the families. Five more boys. and three .‖ remains the only poignant reminder of the impact the brothers had on the evolution of automobiles. with the birth of the first son.A Road Well Traveled 67 THE FABULOUS FISHER BROTHERS Several prominent brother teams pioneered the American automobile industry: Horace and John Dodge.
Their father. Howard . He attended the University of Notre Dame. and the only brother to have a formal education.‖ At age 14. Lawrence B. & J. . Wilson Carriage Works also provided coachwork for Ford. Fred and Charles borrowed a significant portion of the $50. as shareholders and directors.000 cars registered in the U. Charles soon joined Fred and as the two brothers moved up the ladder. Charles and Fred were convinced that the auto industry would one day convert from wide-open touring cars to all-weather sedans. Peerless and Cadillac‘s Osceola. who financed the venture. one he called the Standard Motor Truck Company. Albert. Olds‘ Curved Dash Runabout. Charles became the administrator and Fred the principal innovator. Albert Fisher. Fred and Charles also formed the Fisher Closed Body Corporation that year.R. In 1908 Fred and Charles formed the Fisher Body Co. The Mendelssohns joined Fisher Body Co. Fred becoming general manager in 1907. earning $4 a day.C. In 1910 Fisher Body gained a foothold with one of the leading innovators in the emerging automobile industry: Cadillac ordered 150 closed bodies. never make a promise unless you can keep it. was a blacksmith who taught his seven sons the art of wheelrighting and smithing at his forge. wanted out. and never expect to accomplish anything without hard work. after just a few months. He may also have worked briefly with Byron ―Barney‖ Frobes Everitt. Fred ended his studies at a parochial school and entered his father‘s shop. was too young.S. He remained there until 1902 when he moved to Detroit and found work as a draftsman with the C. with an uncle. making Cadillac the first automobile manufacturer to release cars with a fully enclosed cab as standard factory equipment. Ransom Olds began mass producing his Curved Dash Oldsmobile in 1901‘ Henry Ford launched his company in 1903 and by 1907 there were nearly 140. four of the other five brothers followed. born in 1902.A Road Well Traveled 68 girls were born in quick succession.000 needed to acquire Albert‘s interest from Detroit businessmen Louis and Aaron Mendelssohn. he needed capital to set up a new company. Fisher. However. Wilson Carriage Works. a renowned builder of automobile bodies. He also gave them the following advice: ―Never contract a debt unless you are sure you can pay. The nascent American automobile industry was beginning to experience rapid growth during Fred and Charles tenure at Wilson Carriage Works. They arrived as the Gilded Age ripened into its ostentatious and gaudy best. to build automobile bodies in a small factory in Detroit‘s northeastern section.
in 1913 the Fishers decided to form their own automobile manufacturing company. GM‘s president and founder. in November 1917. Hudson.‖ Concerned with getting sufficient supplies of automobile chassis. Nevertheless.000 acres of timberland to provide them with an adequate source of lumber for their coachwork. across the river from Detroit.. Their explosive growth beget long-term concerns. Chrysler. to build automobile bodies. making allyear motoring viable. with thousands of employees and the capacity to produce more than 350.S. According to R. However.000 cars a year in 40 plants for customers such as Ford. Fisher Body had become GM‘s largest and most critical supplier. the brothers were among the first to design a closed auto body. but dropped as volume increased. William Crapo Durant. another car manufacturer. Durant took a new tack and sent Walter Chrysler to see Lawrence Fisher. As the growing industry flooded Fisher Body with orders for coachwork. Canada. Charles and Fred also established the Fisher Body company of Canada in 1912 and built the plant in Ontario. he told Lawrence that GM was seriously considering building its own body-building plants and . phaetons. writing in the Journal of Law and Economics. a matter undoubtedly considered by both behemoth concerns. entered into a contract with Fisher Body Corp to have GM purchase substantially all of Fisher Body‘s output at cost plus 17. but to conceal their objective they manufactured a truck engine that was used in World War I. Buick. So was their price. Packard. Compounding the problem was a tentative deal struck by the Fisher brothers to establish a new company with Willys-Overland. and some closed carriages. and an offer by Studebaker to acquire Fisher Body Corp. began to employ Fisher Body to build their cars. However. Fisher bodies were expensive at first. Cadillac. EMF and other smaller manufacturers. K-R-I-T. Chalmers. acquiring 160. Chandler. priced considerably higher than a comparable open bodied model. had convinced GM‘s board that it would be cheaper to acquire Fisher than to establish new body plants. The Fishers stamped their slogan ―Body by Fisher‖ on each body they built. They also began to integrate vertically. In only eight years it had become one of the largest companies in the U. Oldsmobile.H. the closed body didn‘t catch on at first because it was too expensive.A Road Well Traveled 69 They concentrated on mass producing hand-built sedan bodies and were also responsible for developing interchangeable body parts from wooden patterns. The Fisher brothers knew Ford and GM would evaluate the prospects for building their own bodies. Closed bodied cars did not become the standard until Roy Chapin paved the way when he came out with the Essex and made a closed body comparable in price to the open coach. They were also among the first to employ insulation to reduce noise and maintain better temperature control. Most of their sales were open bodied roadsters. and established Hinckley Motor Company. Cadillac was part of Billy Durant‘s General Motors Corp. this did not allay all of GM‘s concerns about the future availability of a sufficient supply of coachwork. including Buick. Accordingly. In 1918. the Fisher brothers merged the three companies into Fisher Body Corporation in 1916. The quality of their work was without parallel. former president of Buick and now vice-president of GM. ―They developed an engine. touring cars. and soon other GM units. Coase. Essentially.6 percent.
with Pierre du Pont.7 million square feet. The Fishers built an enormous plant. known as Fisher Body 21. Detroit was the center of the Fisher universe. in addition to their salaries. However. and owned 15% of GM‘s stock. There were other acquisitions. . . chairman of GM‘s board playing a major role.000. The Detroit News reported ―Detroit‘s night skies are studded by a new jewel of light . Lawrence told Chrysler that splitting the Fisher brothers was undoable. the four younger brothers got 50-year employment contracts with GM while Charles and Fred retained their employment contracts with Fisher Body. the Fisher brothers reportedly received over $208 million. GM had seen enough. Initially the Fishers expected to withdraw from the business after five years. with 40 buildings covering an area of approximately 3. . During this time Howard joined the family firm.‖ In the meantime GM began to purchase Fisher Body stock.‘‖ By 1929 each of the 48 Fisher plants was producing 150 car bodies a day. In 1927 the family announced plans to construct a $35 million real estate project with Detroit‘s largest skyscraper at its center. it presents a startling spectacle . Durant must have known the brothers would stick together.A Road Well Traveled 70 offered the four younger Fisher brothers to join GM and run the operation. By that year it became clear the Fisher brothers would continue to work with GM beyond the 5-year term. GM appointed Charles and Lawrence to the GM board. And recognizing the superior management capability of the Fishers. Although the Great Depression downsized the plans for a three-phased project. GM gave up voting power on its stock for five years and allowed the brothers to retain complete control over its operations. The great Fisher Tower is ablaze with light . a small plant with a large name and an even larger reputation in coach building. Durant subsequently made the same overture to Fred Fisher and got the same answer—―not interested. The Fisher‘s received a 2/3 share of GM in exchange for each share they held in Fisher Body. in 1929 a 25-story art-deco building with a gold tower made of gilded gold opened its doors on West Grand Boulevard. And the Fishers had introduced numerous . after further discussions and with the support of the Mendelssohn family. The agreement also provided that for five years twothirds of the net earnings of Fisher would be distributed as dividends. Durant and the Fisher-Mendelssohn group hammered out a deal in September 1919 by which GM acquired 60% of the outstanding stock of Fisher Body for $27. A year later GM acquired the remaining 40% of the stock of Fisher Body Company from the Fisher brothers and merged it into GM. Fred Fisher became a director of General Motors and was appointed in 1922 to the company‘s executive committee where he spent most of his time on GM matters. The Times proclaimed the tower would be to Detroit ‗what the Eiffel Tower is to Paris. . . And for dessert. By the time the dust had settled and cleared over the acquisition and merger. all the brothers were to receive five percent of the net profits of Fisher for the next five years. Fleetwood Metal Body Corporation in 1925 for $650. and perhaps this was his opening gambit in the negotiations. And they acquired another body manufacturing company.6 million. In 1921. named Charles vice president of GM and named Lawrence president of Cadillac. Finally. "Body by Fisher" was universally recognized and the Fisher Body trademark depicting a Napoleonic coach was as familiar to car buyers as the buffalo nickel. .
the 40. may have lost as much as $3 billion during the Depression. Westinghouse. and Charles. Texas Corporation (later known as Texaco). including Baldwin Locomotive. Moreover. Fred and his wife Burtha lived at 54 Arden Park in Detroit. they were childless. filled with heavily carved furniture and valuable artwork. and transformed themselves into speculators in a rapidly rising stock market. Montgomery Ward. to serve as a residence for the bishop and whoever else governed the diocese. U. Fisher & Co. the brothers formed Fisher & Co. ―it is said that no disagreements ever marred the family peace. Although the brothers had their independent lives and families. yet remained one of America‘s wealthiest families with $500 million in assets. and others in Florida and at Dixiana Stock Farm in Lexington.000 square foot Bishop Gallagher home. Steel. they were among the first to use safety plate glass and adjustable visors among other safety features. They pioneered the use of lacquer to replace paint and varnish. some say to as much as $3.‖ Their wealth increased dramatically.A Road Well Traveled 71 innovations. each ensconsed in a palatial home in Detroit. each brother having a regular day set for the visit..5 billion before the stock market crashed on Black Tuesday of October. 1929. General Electric. Thoroughbreds at his Dixiana Stables became his principal obsession. They acquired major holdings in land and in many companies. in 1924 with $25 million. KY. and National City Bank of New York. Charles assumed the presidency while Howard became a full time executive of the concern. . his wife and two children resided at a large Tudor mansion at 670 Boston Boulevard West. Atlantic Richfield Oil. Charles also maintained a summer home at Grosse Ile. According to the New York Times. making mass production more feasible and were the first to eliminate the glare by slanting the windshield. International Telephone and Telegraph. Having become one of the wealthiest families in America. And in 1925 the brothers also built Detroit‘s largest mansion.S. they would visit their mother each night.
Fisher House of Providence Hospital in Detroit. Zircon. built identical luxurious yachts. and Alfred as a member of the operating staff.000 to Herbert Hoover‘s campaign. Alfred P. Charles Chapel at Marilla Hall for the welfare of the young. and had every conceivable accommodation imaginable. on their mother's .‖ He was off by one year." They bought the story to keep it out of the publication. and Sloan‘s 236-foot Rene. Lawrence as vice president. Charles said: "There isn't anybody who is that good. the family‘s holdings in GM remained virtually intact. Fred‘s 236-foot Nakhoda.S. and was an ardent Republican. ―I‘d always said I‘d make my millions before 55. It was filled with so much praise. Charles donated an annex to Providence Hospital in 1927 and set up the Fisher Home for orphans and the St. 54. Although Fred and Charles withdrew from GM. 56. Sloan. the Burtha M. Jr. were powered by twin 1. Fred and Charles simply wanted to devote all their time to their interests in Fisher & Co. then quit. The other four brothers remained with GM. His wife also gave more than $2 million to Notre Dame before she died.A Road Well Traveled 72 Fred and GM president. Fred establishing the Burtha M.S. donating $100. and to philanthropy. In 1934 Fred. William and Edward running the Fisher body division. There was no friction with GM. And one of the few times they welcomed photographers was in 1936. Fred and Charles were major philanthropists. The Navy converted the Nakhoda into a warship in 1941 and commissioned her as the U.100 hp Winton Diesel engines. They agreed to have a national magazine write their story provided they could see a draft before its publication. Fred said. each costing $2 million. and Charles. The brothers shunned publicity. resigned from their positions with GM. Fisher Home for the Aged Poor in Detroit.
A Road Well Traveled
79th birthday. Fred died at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit on July 14, 1941. He was 63. Howard died a year later. He was only 40. And Charles lived until 1963, passing away after a long illness at age 83.
Photos: Frederic J. Fisher Workers at Wilson Carriage Works Charles Fisher home in Detroit Burtha M. Home for the Aged Poor Edward, Lawrence and Alfred
A Road Well Traveled
1878 1880 1881 1886 1891 1892 1902 Frederic J. Fisher born Charles R. Fisher is born Lawrence P. Fisher is born\ William A. Fisher is born Edward F. Fisher is born Alfred J. Fisher is born; Fred goes to work in his father‘s blacksmith shop Howard A. Fisher is born; Fred becomes a draftsman at C.R. & J. C. Wilson Carriage Works coachwork maker for Ford, Olds, Peerless and Cadillac. 1907 1908 Fred becomes general manager of Wilson Carriage Works. Fred and Charles form the Fisher Body Co. with Albert Fisher. Albert withdraws from the company and sets up Standard Motor Truck Company; Louis and Aaron Mendelssohn join Fred and Charles, provide $50,000 of capital and the four form the Fisher Closed Body Corporation. 1909 1910 1912 1914 1916 1917 Edward joins his brothers at Fisher Closed Body Corporation. Cadillac becomes the Fisher Bros. first major customer with an order of 150 automobiles Charles and Fred from Fisher Body of Canada in Ontario. Fisher Body builds 105,000 cars. Fisher Body produces 105,000 chassis in one year. Combine the three companies to form Fisher Body Corporation Fisher Body produces 370,000 bodies a year; W.C. Durant enters into an agreement with Fisher Body Corp for GM to purchase all of Fisher Body‘s output at cost plus 17.6% 1918 Durant sends Walter Chrysler to see if Lawrence Fisher would head a new body-building plant at GM, but Lawrence declines. 1919 Fishers sell 60 percent interest in Fisher Body Corp. to GM for $27.6 million. Purchase O.J. Beaudette Company in Pontiac to produce Chevrolet cars and bodies 1921 1922 Fred Fisher becomes director of GM. GM appoint Fred to GM‘s Executive Committee, Charles and Lawrence to GM‘s Board of Directors, names Charles V.P. of GM and Lawrence as president of Cadillac; Howard joins Fisher Body Corp. 1924 Brothers form Fisher & Co with initial capital of $25 million to provide investments for the family with Charles as president and Howard as a full-time executive. 1925 Acquire Fleetwood Metal Body Corporation. Edward named vice president in charge of production for Fisher Body Corporation.
Fred dies at the Henry Forde Hospital in Detroit on July 14. followed two months later by Alfred who dies at the Henry Ford Hospital on October 9. Fisher Dead. VIDEO AND OTHER MEDIA The Fisher Mansion in Detroit www. 1942. a 30-story art-deco building topped by a golden tower gilded with gold. magazine and internet accounts. The Times also report that after the Black Tuesday the family may have lost as much as $3 billion of their fortune. H.A Road Well Traveled 1926 75 Sold balance of Fisher Body Corporation to GM in exchange for GM stock. Edward becomes vice president of GM.A. The material for this biographical sketch was compiled from newspaper. 1972 Edward.com/watch?v=ab39SrarSB8 . Fisher WITH CONCERN 16 YEARS. the last of the brothers.5 billion. Brothers erect Fisher Building the tallest skyscraper in Detroit. 1929 48 Fisher plants produce 150 car bodies a day. 1934 1940 1941 1942 1963 Fred and Charles resign from their positions with GM. According to the New York Times Fisher & Co is worth $3. 1927 Construction begins on the Fisher building. giving the Fishers over $208 million and ownership of 15% of GM stock. Charles dies at age 83 on August 8 at Harpers Hospital in Detroit. The New York Times Obituary April 1. FURTHER READING A search of the Library of Congress does not disclose any books on the Fisher brothers. dies on January 17 in Detroit at age 80.Yougest of Seven Brothers Was Brought to industry by Late Frederic J. of Auto Body Firm. Howard dies at the age of 40.youtube. 1928 Fred purchases the 236-foot yacht Nakhoda for $2 million.
He was drawn to mechanical things. but he was not merely a player. in many ways. Farming.‖ Ford attended the one-room Scotch Settlement School a few miles from the farm. Ford‘s mother. only thirty-seven.‖ he did not have the likes of Henry Ford in mind. it held little interest for him. ―The impact of McGuffey on Henry Ford‘s character and principles was profound. Ford was more of a prankster than a serious student. was a form of servitude. died giving birth. She also taught him to read. Few Americans in American lore can match the impact the farmer mechanic had in forever changing our way of life. The world may have been Ford‘s stage. when his mother. Michigan.‖ Ford was not lazy. after whom Ford would later name his only son. Although one farmer called Ford ―the laziest bugger on the face of the earth. His father was a reasonably prosperous farmer. ―My mother taught me to work. introducing him to the McGuffey Eclectic Reader. His best friend at school was Edsel Ruddiman. Ford was born on July 30. Ford‘s sanguine life took a severe blow in 1876. Ford biographer Steven Watts noted. near Dearborn.‖ he said. She emphasized self-control and warned him that he had to earn the right to play. to Ford. Mary. 1863. experimenting with steam engines and dismantling and repairing watches and clocks. And all the men and women merely players. yet Ford‘s childhood had all the earmarks of a rural upbringing. working with tools.A Road Well Traveled 76 HENRY FORD When William Shakespeare wrote ―All the world‘s a stage. a member of an emerging middle class. Ford placed the blame on . He was a superstar! Some have called him the major architect of modern America and. he was. was the greater influence on his life.
They were engaged in April 1886. becoming chief engineer in charge of 50 employees. Ford‘s father was conservative. he went to work for the Edison Illuminating Company of Detroit. Ford agreed. a farmer who viewed land as the principal source of security. however. he decided to build a gas engine. Friction between father and son had been building up for years. . abstinent in his habits. The more Ford‘s father tried to imbue his son with agrarian values. disinclined to take risks. marching to his own tune. Ford returned home each fall to help with the family harvest. The angular. The pay barely covered his room and board. the more Ford rebelled. One of Ford‘s farming neighbors had purchased a portable Westinghouse steam engine to thresh his grain but could not find competent help to repair it. The ten-hour days were followed by six-hour nights repairing watches for a local jeweler. He also began to think of creating a ―horseless carriage. In 1890. while running an errand for Westinghouse. One Edison employee noted that ―Henry had some sort of magnet . Ford met Clara Jane Bryant at a dance. Nine months later he found a job as a machinist with the Detroit Dry Dock Company. The regional manager of Westinghouse took notice of Ford‘s work and hired him as a demonstrator and repairman. and when Ford‘s father offered him an eightyacre tract of land if he would give up being a machinist. the largest shipbuilding facility in the city. Intrigued. . To build his car. though he was never ―one of the boys. Ford also took drafting. so in September 1891.‖ drawing his concept on the back of a sheet of piano music. bookkeeping and business courses at a Detroit business school.000 a year.‖ Ford rose quickly through the ranks of Edison. and careful with his food.‖ He was different. In 1879 Ford left the family farm and headed to Detroit where he apprenticed as a maker of brass and iron castings. an internal combustion engine unlike the steam engines he had worked on. Ford encountered an Otto gasoline engine. . On New Year‘s Eve of 1885. . He cut the timber on his land to generate enough money to marry Clara on April 11. shunning cigarettes and alcohol. he needed to learn about electricity. He detested his son‘s interest in mechanical things.A Road Well Traveled 77 his father. . 5‘8‖ Ford made friends easily and was highly respected by his staff at Edison. He could draw people to him . The neighbor sought Ford‘s help. 1888. They were not cut from the same cloth. and Ford fixed it adeptly. and earning $1.
a ―striking departure‖ from his Quadricycle. car.. Thomas Edison. Edison showered Ford with questions. Ford and several prosperous men. expensive. that‘s the thing. and Ford's interest shifted to racing. a watershed year in Ford‘s life.‖ Edison‘s encouragement affirmed Ford‘s vision and was the start of a famous friendship between the two men. ―That race has advertised him far and wide. made its first appearance on the streets of Detroit in June 1896.000 prize. of Pacific Lumber Co. Ford began his automobile career in earnest.‖ a wagon with four wirerimmed large bicycle wheels. his reputation as an automotive expert soared. That summer Ford met Edison executives. His cars began to win major races. including William Murphy. 1901. but his father refused to ride in it. Ford was far behind his European counterparts like Carl Benz in Germany and Émile Constant Levassor in France. . Somewhere between these two events. impelled him to build his first car. They wanted production but Ford was not delivering the goods. and steered by a tiller. he focused on building a heavy delivery wagon. including his idol. and nearly two months later. In automobile development.‖ Clara wrote.A Road Well Traveled 78 Two events in 1893. . Ford drove Clara and Edsel to the family farm in Dearborn in this car. more sophisticated and powerful cars. the Duryea brothers displayed a four-cylinder car in Springfield. Ford‘s investors wanted a large. It was not very good and exacerbated his investors‘ annoyance. When he won the Grosse Point race in 1901. you have it. in New York. Edison struck the table with his fist and said: ―Young man. Keep at it! Electric cars must keep near to power stations . Ford described his gasoline engine car. larger car in 1897. . who had larger. The ―Quadricycle. For reasons that are not clear. Problems soon emerged. Working with several Edison employees. So did his bank account with the $1. Ford designed and built his first car in a woodshed behind his rented home. Clara bore him a son. He built a second. Ford had a cheaper. Edsel.Your car is self-contained. On September 20. During a lull at dinner. joined in the formation of the Detroit Automobile Company. and Ford sketched his ideas on the back of a menu. simpler one in mind. on November 6. Massachusetts. The company folded in January. In the fall of 1898.
. including the Dodge brothers. was highly critical of Ford‘s effort and designs. Ford received a one-sixth interest. 1901. Murphy and Leland renamed the company—the Henry Ford Company became the Cadillac Motor Company! This was only the first of a life-long series of clashes between Ford and Leland. decided to give it a try. He won races throughout the country. Ford was still obsessed with racing cars. industrial history.000—they had less than $50. Alexander Malcomson. one of America‘s greatest racing champions. Leland as a consultant to evaluate Ford‘s work. In June 1903.‖ That year Ford Motor built seventeen hundred cars. formed the Henry Ford Company with $60. including the prestigious Manufacturers‘ Challenge Cup.A Road Well Traveled 79 Some of his old backers. In August 1902 they formed the Ford & Malcomson Company.000 in capital.S. An unhappy Murphy brought in Henry M. became Ford‘s principal financial backer. continued to support him and on November 30.000 dollars in hand. Leland. who subsequently formed another major automobile company—Lincoln—which Ford acquired in 1922.000 of capital stock issued. leased an assembly plant and negotiated with Horace and John Dodge to build 650 engines. who had produced cars for Ransom Olds. Biographer Douglas Brinkley noted that ―the founding of the Ford Motor Company ranks among the most significant events in twentieth-century U. a new corporation was born—the Ford Motor Company—with 12 shareholders. Ford and Malcomson received 51 percent of the $100. Ford had built a fourcylinder racing car producing nearly a hundred horsepower. not the production model Murphy had sought. Their financial undertaking was breathtaking in scope. the Model A. a Detroit coal dealer. Dubbed the ―999‖ it was so powerful that no one wanted to drive it until Barney Oldfield. a commitment for more than $200. Ford refused to accept Leland‘s criticism or intrusion and resigned. including Murphy. Within three months Murphy and Ford began to clash. axles and transmissions for their first car.
But Ford was not satisfied.‖ Highland Park opened in 1910.‖ He wanted to produce a commodity. At first they were built in much the same way other automobiles were built. a cheap but reliable ―motorcar for the great multitude. His shareholders were miffed. but problems were brewing between Malcomson and Ford. Rockefeller called it ―the industrial miracle of the age. based upon a patent for a gasoline-powered automobile issued to an attorney in 1895.‖ In the first year of production nearly ten thousand Model Ts were sold. stock that would have been worth hundreds of millions of dollars only thirteen years later. They went to court demanding Ford distribute 75 percent of profits to shareholders. and N. each car built in ninety-three minutes. Ford built the Model B and Model K to satisfy him. After eight years of litigation.A Road Well Traveled 80 Producing the Model A in large numbers was a formidable mission. sold as fast as Ford could produce them. As production runs of the Model T continued to increase. after spending $106 million. and Ford was required to distribute $20 million as dividends. but Ford plowed the money back into expansion. their contention came to a head. Ford Motor encountered another major problem: a demand for royalties from the Association of Licensed Automobile Manufacturers.000. calling shareholders ―parasites‖ and ―idle drones. Ford acquired the grounds and racetrack of the Highland Park Hotel and built the most modern factory in the world. but as soon as the first units rolled out of the plant. He vowed never to be held accountable to stockholders again and by July 1919. and a year later 13. The Model A was profitable. By 1913 the Model T represented one-half of all cars manufactured in America. had bought out all the . and his reputation as a tenacious bulldog was firmly established. Ford prevailed. Ford balked and a major court battle ensued. Malcomson sold his stock to Ford for $175. representing the lighter. ―just like one pin is like another pin when it comes from the pin factory.‖ The Dodge brothers prevailed after a bitter fight. including Cadillac and Oldsmobile. large machines. John D. inexpensive two-cylinder car Ford envisaged. but the cars did not sell well. the C. he wanted more efficiency and productivity. F.000 employees made over 260. In the autumn of 1908. Malcomson wanted such a car. Although other car manufacturers were paying the royalty. Ford announced the final development of the Model T. Ford Motor was churning out Model Ts at the rate of one every twenty-four seconds! By 1916 Ford Motor annual profits exceeded $16 million. Two-thirds of all cars sold in America in 1906 were luxurious. Other Ford models. Ford was furious. At its peak. In 1906. especially the Dodge brothers.000 cars.
a Ford Motor Company executive asked Leland for his resignation. well-built car. the price of the Model T decreased (from $850 in 1908 to $290 in 1925). Although Ford is best known for introducing mass production techniques for assembly of automobiles like the Model T. Automotive experts expected the combination of Ford and the Lelands to herald a new age in automobile design and production. But the efficiency of the assembly line came with a punishing cost. the business community was stunned. Leland sued Ford for breach of promise on behalf of Lincoln stockholders. It more than doubled their pay. It allowed workers to stay in one place and perform a single task repeatedly as cars. A principal reason for the plummeting price of the Model T was Ford‘s introduction of a revolutionary concept in building cars—the assembly line. mindless and repetitive task for an entire shift. Henry Leland. He died six months later. After unsuccessfully trying to lure several wealthy parties to invest in Lincoln. a minimum wage for all employees. did not sell well. the Lincoln Motor Company. General Motors raised its wages to compete. It was a crushing defeat and final blow for 88-year-old Leland. the man who replaced Ford years earlier in Ford‘s first automobile company. The new Lincoln. or that he was settling old accounts with Leland. Leland approached Ford. According to Leland. It was a titular title. On June 10. name and appointed Edsel president of the company. a solid. Ford agreed to acquire the Lincoln plant for $8 million. formed a new automobile company after World War I. Ford announced the Five-Dollar Day program. pulled by a conveyer belt. Ford also agreed to indemnify Lincoln‘s creditors and stockholders. American labor leaders praised Ford. 1922. but in 1931 Ford prevailed. creating a financial drain on operations and friction between Leland and Lincoln‘s shareholders. prompting Ford to tell him. He placed some of the stock in his son. As volume increased. The putative association between Ford and Leland ended contentiously. Leland claimed Ford had not done anything for Lincoln‘s shareholders and sought to reacquire the plant. leaving Leland in charge of operations. It was remarkably efficient. the Henry Ford Company.‖ Ford denied he had said it. passed by them. but their management and production styles did not mesh. Employees were reduced to performing a single. and subsequently renamed it the Cadillac Motor Company. ―I wouldn‘t sell the Lincoln plant for $500. On February 4. Ford was concerned about the numbing effect such work would have on his employees in the long run. and for the evolution of his automobile company into the world‘s . automakers expressed their rage.000.000. Edsel had no real power or authority.A Road Well Traveled 81 shareholders. I had a purpose in acquiring that plant and I wouldn‘t think of letting it go. but it could not muster five dollars a day until years later. In 1921 Lincoln was forced to enter into receivership. Perhaps to atone for this problem. Edsel‘s.
Edsel and Ford subsequently became investors in Stout Metal Airplane Company. He formed an experimental mail and freight company.000 and made it a division of the Ford Motor Co. factory followed. using the Stout Air Transport plane. ―because he had no personal passion for flight. As early as 1909 Ford helped Edsel and some friends build a single-engine plane powered by a modified Model T engine. a 12passenger plane also known as ―The Tin Goose. Air Transportation Service.A Road Well Traveled 82 greatest industrial corporation. wanted to build a larger plane but was short of cash. ft. In 1924 Ford plunged into the aviation business. to cover the route between Ford Airport in Dearborn and the Air Mail field at Maywood.300. The Deerborn airport became the nation‘s first modern airport with a concrete runway. large enough to build Ford‘s next entry into aviation—the Trimotor—and to incorporate his assembly-line production systems to the production of airplanes. Within two years Ford was building one plane every two days and in 1929 expanded the factory by more than 100. Edsel. He also needed a new engine and an air field.‖ A year later The New York Times concurred: ―It took the entry of the Fords into the business of building and using airplanes to win the recognition of the air transport by the Government and engage even the present half-hearted support of the American people.000 sq. the ―Maiden Detroit. ft.‖ A new 62.000 sq. but was an all-metal design like the Stout Air Transport. He then formed Stout Air Services Company to initiate a scheduled passenger airline. His son. Bill Stout. Billy Mitchell.‖ resembled one of aviation pioneer Anton Fokker‘s aircraft. ―What the Ford Motor Company means to do is to prove whether commercial flying can be done safely and profitably. The New York Post cast the acquisition in terms of safety. Ford gave it and Stout built the new eight-person all-metal plane. he was also a pioneer in aviation.‖ Ford immediately saw its utility and agreed to build a factory and an airfield in Dearborn for Stout. Illinois. a rare one according to Professor Frank Wicks. the military head of aviation in World War I heralded the acquisition: ―Ford Motor Company‘s entrance into the field of aeronautics is the greatest incentive to commercial aviation in the history of flying.‖ His interest was strictly mechanical. Its founder. A year later Ford purchased the Stout Metal Airplane Company for $1.‖ Col. the developer of a small. all-metal Air Sedan. He approached Edsel and Ford for support. It had a cruising speed of 90 mph and a cabin tall enough for the . The Ford Trimotor. probably initiated Ford‘s involvement in aviation. His airline was also the first airline to transport US mail.
debt. C. which later merged into Trans World Airlines. Ford‘s status as a folk hero matched his increasing wealth. human or supernatural he and his money could not accomplish. used the craft to inaugurate transcontinental air service from San Diego to New York in 1929. the only ones powerful enough to handle the increased payload. how ―intoxicating success went to his head. Teddy Roosevelt complained that Ford was getting too much attention. relying solely on his populist appeal to . The venture turned out to be an unmitigated disaster. Although eccentricity often accompanies wealth. For his pioneering efforts. and squabbles among those who did started upon the ship‘s departure. but it got President Wilson‘s attention. Wilson thought Ford should run for the Senate as a Democrat from Michigan. The company was earning millions in profits and Ford had become one of the wealthiest men in America. Ford despised credit. was brought about by misguided leaders and ―money lenders‖ of Wall Street who sought to profit from the conflict. Forbes noted a disquieting shift in Ford‘s personae. but later. but refused to campaign. The ―Peace Ship‖ departed in December 1915. according to Ford. few luminaries joined Ford aboard the ship. bankers and Wall Street financiers with equal passion.S. as the planes grew in size. One of Ford‘s friends became an important consultant on Ford‘s aviation schemes— Charles Lindbergh. and he became obsessed with the notion that there was nothing. He chartered a ship bound for Europe and invited some of the nation‘s foremost pacifists to join him. Ford Motor Co. Instead of manufacturing his own engines. Henry Ford was enshrined in the National Aviation Hall of Fame in 1984 and recognized as an aviation pioneer by the U. Centennial of Flight Commission in December 2002.‖ World War I. Ford was very close to the Wright brothers. More than 200 TriMotors were built and Ford Motor Company became the world‘s largest manufacturers of aircraft. Ford took the challenge in 1918. was strictly a cash-basis company. Ultimately. Ford embarked on several ventures that went awry.A Road Well Traveled 83 average person to walk down the aisle without stooping. Also. Ford initially employed Wright radial engines for the Tri-Motors. Transcontinental Air Transport. he converted to Pratt and Whitney engines. Journalist B. hoping to forge peace in Europe. Bearing the Ford name gave passengers a greater sense of reliability.
originally destined for Model T production. many of Ford‘s supporters began to distance themselves from him.‖ to Ford. Ford had three close friends: Harvey Firestone. after Ford supported Hitler‘s rise to power. His mile-long facility at Willow Run produced thousands of four-engine B-24 ―Liberator‖ bombers. acquired sixteen coal mines. Ford‘s recantation appeared hollow.‘‖ Rogers was not far from the mark. from raw materials to finished car. Ford quickly mobilized his resources. and those of his company. Unfortunately. as Germany and the Allies entered into an armistice. attributing his loss to the money spent by his opponent and Wall Street on the campaign. I am all wrong. last week recanted everything that the weekly had printed against Jews. the Dearborn Independent.‖ His views became bizarre. claiming Benedict Arnold had been a Jewish agent. and that brass was a ―Jew Metal. Chevrolets were outselling the Model T by 1927. and then he said. and an electricity generating plant. ―He used to have it in for the Jewish people until he saw them in Chevrolets. the head of the Nazi Youth movement told the court he became anti-Semitic after reading Ford‘s comments.000 acres of timberland. ‗Boys. a glass factory. At the Nuremberg war crime trials. to vituperate Jews since 1920 and so stir up an antiSemitism strange to the U. Despite his pre-war pro-German stance. by the time River Rouge was completed. and a completely vertically integrated automobile manufacturing facility.‖ Will Rogers quipped.A Road Well Traveled 84 achieve victory. 700. the era of the Model T had passed. In 1938 Hitler awarded ―The Order of the Grand Cross of the German Eagle. and constructed foundries. all the elements needed for automobile production. He lost by a mere five thousand votes. Ford purchased a railroad. entered World War II. jeeps and gliders. the maker of Ford‘s tires. It was virulently anti-Semitic. having permitted his weekly magazine . and Jews. rubber plantations in Brazil. Thomas Edison. the first American to receive the Nazi prize. once the U. to serve as a podium for his views. from San Francisco and Los Angeles to New . in support of the American military effort.S. . Wall Street financiers. chiefly ranting attacks against money lenders.. at its apex at a rate of one an hour! Construction of the 2. blast furnaces. converting his massive. others openly turned against him. River Rouge became the world‘s largest industrial complex.S. . In 1927 Time magazine reported that ―Henry Ford. Vicious essays appeared: ―Does a Definite Jewish World Program Exist?‖ or ―Jewish Jazz Becomes Our National Music. 1918. In November.‖ The bombast was so severe.000-acre River Rouge plant in Dearborn. began during World War I and lasted well into the 1920s. a fleet of Great Lakes freighters. River Rouge plant to the construction of bombers.‖ They traveled throughout the country. calling themselves the ―Four Vagabonds. Ford acquired a small newspaper. and naturalist John Burroughs. They took regular trips together.
another of Ford‘s anathemas.A Road Well Traveled 85 England and the South. Buicks. After 1923. Walter Chrysler entered the market in 1925. but Ford had taken a strong antiunion stand. were Ford‘s nemesis. Ford could not afford the high wages paid to employees. and it served to demonstrate the mobility and accessibility of the country to automobile travel. Ford announced the end of production of the Model T. union organization.‖ GM‘s sales began to outpace Ford. 1927.‖ it ultimately resulted in Ford signing a labor contract with the UAW. As wages fell. After production of the Model T ended. On May 26. union organizers tried to distribute handbills to employees at the entrance to a Ford plant. and started to work on a new design. Ford‘s family life appeared to be the model of the Victorian ethos. competition began to erode Ford‘s impregnable fortress. Pontiacs. Moreover. Then. Wall Street banking and finance. GM offered consumer loans to customers. Oldsmobiles. soared. a refined social household. Ford . He refused to match GM. It was stable and controlled. including Walter Reuther. Biographers began to laud his high moral values. a notable failure in planning for the ever-efficient Ford. The Model T was becoming obsolete. but Ford never saw it coming. 1937. In 1936 the fledgling United Auto Workers had successfully organized GM and Chrysler. acquired Dodge Brothers. He shut down his massive Highland Park factory for six months. sent the workers home. and Cadillacs—a ―car for every purse and purpose. abruptly on May 27. and came out with the Plymouth. Newspaper accounts described their journeys in detail. Ford thugs severely beat the union representatives. taking more business away from Ford. Called the ―Battle of the Overpass. General Motors offered consumers cars in every price range— Chevys. Credit.
Clara summoned Eve to his bedside. the Wright Brothers‘ bicycle shop. When Eve bore a child. He spent more than $2 million in construction of the vast estate. Ford spent much of his time away from his industrial empire. in Georgia. . a genuinely modest woman. including the courthouse where Abraham Lincoln practiced law. Edsel was more like his mother. In 1929. McGuffey‘s log-cabin birthplace. His legitimate son. was a different matter. built on 252 acres in Dearborn. . albeit somewhat tarnished. is conspicuously absent from any of Ford‘s childhood displays. as one of the Makers of America. Ford spent considerable time with the boy—presumably because the child was his. where he had collected a remarkable array of Americana. Moreover. When Ford became ill in April.‖ quipped one biographer. Edsel. She was frugal and careful. the two shared many interests and truly enjoyed one another‘s company. He also spent time at his 75. with an artistic and literary bent. ensconced at Fair Lane. the 2. and his own boyhood home. Edsel died from stomach cancer on May 26. two elements Ford detested. . Thomas Edison‘s laboratories. Ford fell in love with Evangeline ―Eve‖ Côté. Ford‘s father. Greenfield. demeaning him and his decisions. It was the death of a truly great. She was devoted to him. The strain may have been too much. 1943.A Road Well Traveled 86 was ―one of the cleanest minded men I have ever known. Richmond Hill. He was only forty-nine. American hero. At the same time. the homes of Stephen Foster and Noah Webster. Ford‘s suspicion of Edsel‘s artistic inclination turned to utter contempt for his friends and lifestyle. Ford constantly overruled Edsel at the company. Despite a thirty-year age difference. Ford opened a large tourist park and museum. an executive secretary at Ford Motor Company. however. It was ―my mother‘s house—my father just walked into that place. ―He will live in history .‖ he said later in life. believing cigarettes were addictive and the source of many health problems.‖ And possibly America‘s first multi-billionaire. only two miles from his birthplace. Clara and Eve were with him when he died on April 7. Ford was abstemious and a staunch anti-smoking advocate.000-acre estate he built in Dearborn. Ford gave her a 150-acre estate near his home at Fair Lane and showered her with gifts. 1947. Edsel‘s death accelerated Ford‘s mental decline and brought about a major rift between him and Clara. He even arranged a ―marriage‖ with his loyal chauffeur. Editor Elbert Hubbard said. But it was not all that it appeared to be.000-acre plantation. Clara Bryant Ford. She resented Ford‘s interminable persecution of their only son. helped mold the image.
A Road Well Traveled 87 Photos: Library of Congress and The Ford Museum .
Michigan) His mother. opens Model Ts constitute half of all cars manufactured in the United States 1885 1886 1888 1891 1893 1893 1896 1896 1897 1898 1901 1901 1903 1908 1910 1913 . C. Marie. self-propelled four-wheel vehicle Meets Thomas A. first with James F. K and N The Ford company announces the final development of the Model T Largest and most modern manufacturing plant in the world.A Road Well Traveled 88 TIMELINE 1863 1876 1879 1882 Born on July 30th in Springwells Township (now in the city of Dearborn. helps repair neighbor‘s Westinghouse portable steam engine and takes job with Westinghouse as repairman Meets Clara Jane Bryant at New Year‘s Eve ball Accepts father‘s offer to take 60-acre farm and give up work at Westinghouse Marries Clara Bryant Becomes an engineer with the Edison Illuminating Company in Detroit Promoted to Chief Engineer at Edison Edsel Bryant Ford is born Builds the Quadricycle. Highland Park. Flower & Bros Returns to Dearborn to work on the family farm. Edison in New York and describes his automobile project Builds another car Forms Detroit Automobile Company with other investors Wins Grosse Point Race and builds the ―999‖ racing car Forms Henry Ford Co. but quits after dispute with major investor. dies Moves to Detroit to work as an apprentice machinist. company name changed to Cadillac Motor Company Incorporated the Ford Motor Company with 11 other investors and builds Models A. a strong influence on his life. B. F.
His Company. and a Century of Progress. and Design. 1923. Modernism. Ford Model T production ends Introduces the new Model A Establishes the Ford Foundation with Edsel Receives the ―The Order of the Grand Cross of the German Eagle. New York: Distributed exclusively in the USA and Canada by St. Wheels for The World: Henry Ford.S. Henry Ford. 2003. his Dearborn estate 1919 1926 1927 1927 1928 1936 1938 1943 1947 ADDITIONAL READING Batchelor. forty-hour work-week creating the modern weekend Ford issues an apology for the Independent‘s anti-Semitic remarks and closes the paper. Senate Acquires all shares of Ford Motor Company held by outside stockholders for $106 million Names son Edsel president of Ford Motor Company Instituted the five-day. c1994.A Road Well Traveled 89 1915 1916 1918 1918 1918 1919 ―Peace Ship‖ departs for Europe in a vain effort to end World War I Dodge brothers sue Ford to force distribution of massive profits Half of all cars in America are Model Ts Acquires the Dearborn Independent and begins airing his anti-Semitic views Makes unsuccessful bid for a seat in the U. Manchester: New York: Manchester University Press. The New Henry Ford. Martin's Press. Benson. New York: Viking. New York and London: Funk & Wagnalls company. Allan Louis.‖ from Nazi Germany Edsel Ford dies Dies on April 7th of a cerebral hemorrhage at the age of 83 in Fair Lane. Mass Production. Ray. . Brinkley. Douglas.
Upton. N. Sward. David Lanier. Mifflin. Holt and Company. Roger. John. Henry Ford America's Don Quixote. Chicago: The Reilly & Lee co.Y. Dahlinger. My Life and Work. The Triumph of an Idea: The Story of Henry Ford.. 1990. Maker of The Model T. Graves. Henry Ford. The Truth About Henry Ford. c1943. New York: International publishers. London: Hutchinson. Lacey. Bryan. N. and company. Clymer. Boston: Little. Gelderman. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill.Y. Simonds. Marquis. Henry. Sinclair. The Public Image of Henry Ford: an American Folk Hero and His Company. Henry Ford: An Interpretation. His work. Page & company.Y. Burlingame. Los Angeles: F. Henry Ford. Henry Ford: The Wayward Capitalist. Miriam.: Doubleday. New York: George H. Joseph Grégoire de Roulhac. c1922. The Men and The Machine. c1981. N. The Man. Samuel Simpson. Lochner. Garden City. 1948. William Adams. Pasadena. New York: Dial Press. The Flivver King: A Story of Ford-America. The Ford Dynasty: An American Story. Detroit: Wayne State University Press. Henry Ford.A Road Well Traveled 90 Brough. Robert. Lewis. The Citizen. c1922. Ralph Henry.: Doubleday. c1978. Louis Paul. 1957. Hamilton. 1976. Henry Ford. Bushnell. 1923. New York: Rinehart. James. Brown. Carol W. Sarah T. The Secret Life of Henry Ford. The Legend of Henry Ford. c1927. Gilbert. Garden City. Henry Ford. 1934. Beyond the Model T: The Other Ventures of Henry. c1937. and company c1986. c1923. The Man and His Motives. . 1977. Ford. The Worker. Stidger. 1962. Doran & Company. Doran Company. New York: H. William L. Boston: Houghton. His Genius. Brown. 1925.: The Author. Keith. His Life. Ford. Boston: Little. Garden City.: Doubleday.. Detroit: Wayne State University Press. Ford R. Inc. Calif.
com/watch?v=it3udPj59kE Ford Model T Historic Footage.com/video.youtube. Centennial Party http://www.org/program/189157-1 Henry Ford http://www.com/id/15840232?video=1380597636 Ford Model T – 100 Years Later http://www.do?bclid=1772834212&bcpid=1740037434&bctid=172535830 1&name=historicalfigures Working at Ford in the 1920s – Part One http://www. New York: Alfred A. Donn Paul.com/watch?v=QtYRLtT8bvY Working at Ford in the 1920s – Part Two http://www.youtube.youtube.youtube.com/watch?v=IpvupPs_NmM Henry Ford: A Car for the People http://www.com/watch?v=1Re-yUnO-Hk&feature=channel Ford and Taylor in the 1920s – Part One http://www. PA: Society of Automotive Engineers.biography.com/video. 2000.com/watch?v=kFsBC0_Uglg&feature=channel This Day in History: Henry Ford Sells His first Auto http://www. Steven.A Road Well Traveled 91 Watts.youtube. The People's Tycoon: Henry Ford and the American Century. 2005 Werling. VIDEO AND OTHER MEDIA The People‘s Tycoon: Henry Ford [C-SPAN with Author Steven Watts] http://www. Henry Ford: A Hearthside Perspective.c-spanvideo.biography. Knopf.com/watch?v=PvbG9Sjp97o&feature=channel Ford and Taylor in the 1920s – Part Two http://www. Warrendale.youtube.com/watch?v=S4KrIMZpwCY Henry Ford Ford Motor Company Creed [Mostly quotes from Ford] http://www.youtube.cnbc.youtube.com/watch?v=vScsMF6GJBU&feature=fvw Biography on CNBC – Henry Ford http://www.do?name=businessfigures&bcpid=1740037439&bclid=177283 4212&bctid=1726771302 .
com/watch?v=zBjlSJf4274&feature=related Ford TriMotor Factory – World‘s First All-Metal Planes http://www.A Road Well Traveled 92 Dedication of Cornerstone of Henry Ford Museum (1928) http://www.com/watch?v=lkqz3lpUBp0&feature=related Spending--$35.youtube.youtube.com/video/xb92cm_the-american-experience-comes-to-li_travel Driving Around New York city – 1928 http://www.org/program/57478-1 Henry Ford on Philosophy and Antiwar Politics [Chapter 30 audio] http://wwww.youtube.com/view/interview/2296 Funeral of Henry Ford http://www.php?id=18892 Charlie Rose Interview with Edsel B.000.com/watch?v=2c6bJ3-_IAU Henry Ford Museum [C-SPAN staff] http://www.youtube.000 Goes For Ford Plant [British Pathe video newsreel] http://www.com/watch?v=EZTqQCXC1cI .com/record.dailymotion.youtube.com/video.youtube. Ford II http://www.vnnforum.youtube.com/watch?v=42C7GiJnE0I&feature=related Ford and a Century of Progress http://www.britishpathe.php?do=viewdetails&videoid=2478 The American Experience Comes to Life at The Henry Ford [Advertisement in Spanish] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DoXYjXw6PfM&feature=channel Henry and Clara Ford at 58 Bagley Avenue (1946) http://www.charlierose.com/watch?v=Pe-P0TiO_e4&feature=channel Ford Automobiles 1903 1917 (1917) http://www.com/watch?v=3VGL7aL6xgU&feature=channel Ford on Snow Machine – 1929 Concept http://www.com/watch?v=FOPJ5qqOmBg&feature=related Henry and Edsel Ford Sitting in a Model A – 1934 http://www.c-spanvideo.youtube.
Ford.com/watch?v=S1qXzrwNoTo&feature=channel .youtube.youtube.com/watch?v=c6dWtDk_rOI&NR=1 Edison.com/watch?v=NTcfUycnJsA&feature=related Ford Tri-motor Aerobatics Video #1 http://www.youtube.A Road Well Traveled 93 Ford Tri-motor Construction http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q32d6RdDfoQ Vagabonds: Henry Ford and Friends Camping http://www.com/watch?v=C0zKDIs_bWs Vagabonds: Henry Ford and Friends Camping Part 2 (1916) http://www.youtube. Firestone Radio Talk http://www.
A century later. He spent the next five years in Philadelphia.not Goodyear -. including Firestone Tire & Rubber. Goodyear returned to Philadelphia in 1826 and opened a hardware store to sell his company's agricultural tools. Yet Goodyear had never set foot in Akron. always looking for the pot of gold at the end of an ephemeral rainbow. with the founding of Goodrich -. Charles Goodyear came across a process that made rubber so useful it changed the world we live in. But he gave us rubber as we now know it. U. The rubber arrived there in 1869. Rubber. A. It was reasonably successful and his future seemed promising. probably the world. no relationship to Goodyear. It melts in hot weather or cracks and freezes in cold weather. In 1824. in 1800. Akron was the rubber capital of the nation. the world's largest rubber company. Raised on a farm. on the eve of World War II. Goodyear married Clarissa Beecher. to produce ivory and metal buttons and a variety of agricultural tools.. always in debt. They only used his name! Goodyear's commercial life could best be described as dust-to-dust and hand-to-hand. Conn. and Goodyear Tire & Rubber.Tire & Rubber. there were 122 rubber factories in Ohio. S. a strong woman who had no notion of the tumultuous life she was about to embark upon. he attended a local school until he was 16. before returning to Connecticut and entering into a partnership. nine years after his death. . is not a very practical commodity. Goodyear was born in New Haven. was founded two years later by the Seiberling family. Goodyear & Sons. He never found it.A Road Well Traveled 94 CHARLES GOODYEAR Natural rubber (also known as "India rubber" or "caoutchouc"). And Goodyear Tire & Rubber. In 1839. working in a hardware store. with his father and a brother. the milky sap of rubber trees.
wagon-covers. But the onset of the Panic of 1837 derailed Roxbury and forced A. caps and coats. Goodyear. all the time continuing his experiments. though.A Road Well Traveled 95 Rubber made its first appearance in the U." Destitution made it difficult for Goodyear to get the equipment he needed for his experiments. in 1820 with a display of India-rubber shoes covered with gilt foil. Goodyear demonstrated his latest sulphur-laced rubber compounds to people gathered in Woburn's general store.S." In 1839. Shops in Woburn reluctantly gave him access to their ovens and boilers. unventilated confines wore on his health. His fixation with rubber. in 1838 Goodyear met "Nathaniel Hayward. so Goodyear moved his experiments to New York. and they sold like hot cakes. Goodyear & Sons into bankruptcy. produced life preservers. the charred rubber turned into a malleable but tough elastic that would not crack when it cooled. And neighbors complained about the foul smell. Goodyear became interested in rubber around 1830. heating it. Unfortunately. maybe even derisive. One concern. He tried baking the compound in a bread oven. A few years later American consumption amounted to 500. where he worked in an attic. seeking money. his wife and young daughters produced hundreds of magnesia rubber overshoes in their kitchen. even incorporating some magnesia into the gum to make it white.000 pairs. Perhaps the audience was unimpressed. but it wouldn't work. Rubber fever took hold as dozens of firms imported rubber and began producing rubber products such as baggage. He also landed in debtors' prison and creditors continued to hound him for years. became a useless mass in summertime. Goodyear thought he could improve on their inflatable tubes and produced better ones. Goodyear was in terrible financial trouble. He became consumed with the idea that he was going to die before he made it clear to the world what he'd discovered. Three years later a merchant imported 500 pairs of rubber shoes from South America. Goodyear himself moved to Woburn. even steamed it over the tea kettle. Roxbury Rubber Company. He moved his family into an abandoned rubber factory on Staten Island and lived on fish caught in the harbor. It was very cheap and he began to experiment with it. working in such small. But the shoes melted in the summer. According to Scientific American. Some time after this. He was certain he could create products with a new rubber compound and got a friend to back him with some funding. . but it appears that neither of them at that time appreciated the fact that it needed heat to make the sulphur combine with the rubber and to vulcanize it. Instead of melting. molding it in his hands. but they became fashionable. who was then running a factory in Woburn. According to Goodyear biographer Charles Slack. The shoes froze in the winter. and Goodyear fumbled a handful of rubber gum onto a hot plate of a potbellied stove. went unabated. He was very much interested in Hayward's sulphur experiments for drying rubber. Goodyear "knew he had made this great discovery but he couldn't arrive at the formula to make it happen reliably and consistently.
shoes. probably. Goodyear opened a small factory at Springfield. and as many other products as mankind could conceive. secretary of state to take on the case. "should not be estimated exclusively by the standard of dollars and cents. mechanical. unquestionably. but not in luxury.S. and in 1844 perfected his process sufficiently to take out a patent. because he continued to spend more than he made." Goodyear was careless about showing other firms how his process worked and casually sent samples of his product to persons and firms he had not vetted. but when he arrived he learned that she had already passed away. so plundered by that sordid and licentious class of infringers known . In 1852. Companies infringed on his patent and Goodyear was forced to prosecute 32 infringement cases that ended at the U. "He didn't think about the realities of business and the things he needed to do in order to protect himself. she never really got to reap the rewards of his invention because Goodyear was such a terrible businessman. has ever been so harassed." Photo: Library of Congress . Supreme Court. Thomas Hancock obtained samples of Goodyear's vulcanized rubber -. He rushed to New York City.S. Mass.A Road Well Traveled 96 As winter descended late in 1839. he learned his daughter was dying.."fire-proof gum" or "metallic gum-elastic.. Unfortunately. so trampled upon. would make it available to them. Goodyear received a letter from a French firm offering him a substantial sum to acquire the rights to one of his earlier processes for curing rubber.removing his robes as U." according to Slack. One year after Clarissa's death Goodyear married 20-year-old Fanny Wardell. Clarissa died in 1853 at the age of 49. Instead of accepting their generous offer -. once perfected.and instead of paying Goodyear £50. the United States commissioner of patents noted that "no inventor. I am not disposed to complain that I have planted and others have gathered the fruits.the piracy continued." France refused to honor his patent because of a minor technicality. He was out of poverty. hats. Webster won.000 for rights to his process. Legal fees were a huge financial burden. Daniel Webster represented him in one case -. boots. And in England." Slack noted. and surgical instruments. Finally. amounted to millions. A man has cause for regret only when he sows and no one reaps. In 1858. with the help of his brother-in-law." Goodyear wrote. It took him a year and he beat Goodyear to the English patent office by weeks.his family was living in poverty -. "Tragically. but it didn't matter -.' Their incessant guerrilla warfare upon his defenseless rights have. reverse engineered his own process. In 1860. he had lived to see his process incorporated into toys. He collapsed and was taken to the Fifth Avenue Hotel where he died at the age of 59. caps.000 in debt at the time of his death. as 'pirates. Although Goodyear was $200." Goodyear called it -. Goodyear "was the quintessential absent-minded inventor.he informed them he had a new and better process and. scientific. "Life. clothing..
to manufacture his rubber. His brother Henry starts a factory in Naugatuck to manufacture vulcanized rubber. First appearance of rubber product in the U. On December 29. Goodyear & Sons. Henry‘s company begins to use mechanical mixing in making vulcanized rubber. Applies for a patent on his vulcanized rubber process. his business fails and he is imprisoned in debtors prison. Goes to Europe and demonstrates his vulcanized rubber to Thomas Hancock who subsequently claims to reverse engineer it and gains a patent in Great Britain. Begins to produce products made out of rubber but is told the rubber industry is dying. Married Clarissa Beecher. Patent granted on June 15 with statement of his claim to have discovered vulcanization. Slaving over a hot stove he accidentally discovers the process of making vulcanized rubber while experimenting with sulphur. Suffers a breakdown and diagnosed with dyspepsia. Moved to Philadelphia and opened a hardware store. Left home for Philadelphia to learn the hardware business. His products are displayed at the International Exhibition in England. Returned to New Haven and entered into a partnership with his father in Naugatuck under the firm name of A. Conn. Meets Nathaniel Hayward who owned a factory on Woburn who was the foreman of the Eagle Company and learns about the use of sulphur as a drier of gum elastic. Patent infringement 1821 1824 1826 1829 1834 1838 1839 1842 1843 1844 1851 1852 . a French company. to manufacture ivory and metal buttons and a variety of agricultural implements.A Road Well Traveled 97 TIMELINE 1800 1816 1820 Born in New Haven. Goodyear also licenses Aigle.S. with a display of India-rubber shoes covered with gilt foil.
000. United States commissioner of patents notes that "no inventor. owing $200. French Emperor Napoleon III awards Goodyear the grand medal of honor and decorates him with the cross of the legion of honor. The Caxton printers. Preston Wallace. G. at the Fifth Avenue Hotel in New York City. 1853 1855 His wife Clarissa dies. has ever been so harassed. Cabot. (1940) Wolf.com/watch/113910/milestones-in-science-and-engineering-charles-goodyearand-fritz-hofmann-rubber . Inc. so plundered by that sordid and licentious class of infringers known . 1858 1860 1898 FURTHER READING Barker. L. the story of Charles Goodyear. in his favor..hulu.. as 'pirates. India rubber man. Charles Goodyear. Ralph Frank. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company founded and named after him by Frank Seiberling. probably. Day. so trampled upon. 1860. He is defended by Daniel Webster and opposed by Rufus Choate. Connecticut Yankee and rubber pioneer.A Road Well Traveled 98 decision in Goodyear v.' Dies on July 1. ltd (1939) VIDEO AND OTHER MEDIA Charles Goodyear and Fritz Hofmann: Rubber http://www.
Somehow. part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire that is now Slovakia.A Road Well Traveled 99 JOHN DANIEL HERTZ Yellow cabs are as prosaic to America as black taxis are to London. winning several amateur boxing tournaments at the Chicago Athletic Association. with his parents when he was 5. John Hertz formed Yellow Cab in Chicago and painted his taxis yellow after the University of Chicago determined it was the most distinct color at a long distance.C. after Hertz had become a car salesman. working 12-hour days. When he was 12. the founder of Forbes magazine. and settled in Chicago. He . He also became a boxing manager and worked at racetracks around Chicago.S. fighting under the name Dan Donnelly because of latent antiSemitism. Forbes. a love that would be shared by his future wife. In 1902. later the Chicago Record. sold his school books for pennies and took on odd jobs to survive. he drove a merchandising wagon. Hertz's career as a sportswriter ended. In 1915. It is unclear whether he ever returned. acquiring a lifelong love for horses. B. called the Hertz story "one of the most inspiring and most illuminating romances of modern American business. a member of a well-todo Chicago family. Hertz met and fell in love with Frances "Fannie" Kesner. When the Chicago Record merged with the Chicago Herald. Hertz ran away from home. yellow cabs sprouted from Chicago to more than 1. he found the time to box at a local gym. Hertz subsequently became a sportswriter and was later promoted to assistant sports editor of the Record. In a single decade. He sold newspapers and ran errands as a copy boy for an editor of the Chicago Morning News." Born in 1879 in Ruttka. Hertz immigrated to the U.300 American cities. At the same time. They were married a year later.
"The main reason I succeeded. Forbes.000 in debt. . But there was little demand for high-priced used cars. Hertz set aside 20 percent of his company's earnings for them and covered them and their families with free medical." he recalled. He went to Europe to recover. "was because I sold not automobiles.500.000 to buy the cars he needed. With success in Chicago.500. and formed the Yellow Cab Company in Chicago in 1915 with a group of associates. The needs of his employees were paramount. granted for a fee. It was beautiful but heavy and. selected his drivers with greater care. Hertz successfully bid for a concession from the Chicago Athletic Association and. Hertz painted his fleet a bright yellow. Potential buyers who already owned an automobile would only buy the Berliot if Hertz took back their first car as a trade-in. It started service with seven limousines. If one of my customers had a breakdown at 2 o'clock in the morning .S. The French-built Berliot did not sell well. dental and legal services. was not a big hit. Taxicabs at the time were used mainly by the rich." Needing smaller and less expensive taxis." The owner of a Berliot car agency sold Hertz a one-third interest in his firm for $2. with concession in hand. considerably less than the cost of a similar trip in the U. .000. He acquired a small rental company and organized the Yellow Drive-It-Yourself Company. other cities called. Hertz "figured that if he furnished distinctly better service at a substantially lower price. When I sold a man a car. but Hertz quickly opted for smaller and less expensive vehicles to reduce operating and servicing costs. providing franchisees with a complete business system and supplying them with the taxis he manufactured. people would willingly walk a block to call one of his easily spotted taxis. He thought it would provide a new market for the vehicles his company manufactured.A Road Well Traveled 100 had a knack for salesmanship. from hotels and other facilities.S. Hertz built a plant to manufacture cars to his own design and use. all he had to do was to telephone me.C. forming the Yellow Cab Manufacturing Company. According to B." Hertz said. a vicious strike by taxicab drivers left him physically and mentally drained. Hertz decided to get into car and truck leasing. but service. The agency was $45. Hertz franchised his operations. In 1924. he found that a short taxi ride could be had for 10 cents. however. Hertz returned to the U. In Paris. Ultimately. raised $50. Cab companies relied upon exclusive concessions. they owned one-sixth of the company. at $4. lowered fares and refused to succumb to concessions. . an expensive automobile. "I sold more than the manager and seven or eight salesmen combined. I was his servant from then on. The venture. Unfortunately. He retained part ownership of many of these concerns. In his third year he earned $13. He also gave them stock in Yellow Cab. so in 1907 Hertz put a few into service as taxis.
a national airline.. and under his stewardship. and his co-op on Fifth Avenue. Hertz owned some of the nation's greatest thoroughbreds. motorcoaches and trucks in the nation. then formed Keeshin Transcontinental Freight Lines Inc. and Floyd Odlum. a $25 million merger of Fifth Avenue Bus Corporation. Odlum also appointed him to the board of Consolidated Aircraft. the powerful Wall Street investment banking firm. including Count Fleet. The two companies merged. a private investment firm. Hertz joined Lehman Brothers as a partner in 1933 and within a few years put together several deals for himself. Hertz joined his board.from David Sarnoff's RCA. and a few months later negotiated the purchase of Transcontinental and Western Air Inc. with sales of $44 million the following year. And in November 1936. it became one of America's premier tracks. He reorganized Paramount Pictures Inc. Ill. Yellow Cab's Chicago operations employed 2.A Road Well Traveled 101 Hertz knew buses and streetcars could serve certain routes better than taxis. a streetcar company in Manhattan. (later TWA). He became chairman of the board of the New York Railways Corporation. . When Odlum became chairman of the Arthritis and Rheumatism Foundation. praising him for dedicating so much of his personal fortune to the defense of the United States. Hertz transferred most of his wealth to his foundation. Helen and John Jr. The following year.. Worried about Soviet advances in engineering. from General Motors. and Hertz assumed the chairmanship of the board of what had become the largest manufacturer of cabs. Odlum and Lehman. Except for a reasonable provision for his children. Ky. head of Lehman Brothers. Hertz died in Los Angeles in 1961. Two close friends played prominent roles in Hertz's life: Robert Lehman. Odlum became a trustee. the mega-financier and owner of Atlas Corporation. a Triple Crown winner. But at the start of the Depression. New York Transportation Company and Chicago Motor Coach Corp. Hertz sold his interest in Yellow Cab to Morris Markin. a longdistance motor truck hauling on a store-to-door delivery basis. the Defense Department awarded Hertz its highest civilian award.. survived by Fannie and their three children. the three men acquired another company in bankruptcy -. Hertz sold Yellow Drive-It-Yourself and a major stake in Yellow Cab Manufacturing and Yellow Coach Manufacturing to General Motors for $40 million. and assumed its chairmanship. to subsidize the mechanical and electrical engineering education of more than a hundred students a year. Louis. It was also earning more than $2 million a year. the Checker Cabs maven. Leona. splitting his time between his farm in Paris.RadioKeith-Orpheum Corporation (RKO) -. Like other wealthy moguls. Hertz was instrumental in acquiring the Arlington Racetrack in Illinois. He was also involved with the Santa Anita and Hollywood Turf Clubs.000 calls a day. Hertz established the Fannie and John Hertz Engineering Scholarship Fund in 1957. In 1925. and organized the Omnibus Corporation of America. Hertz began breeding and racing horses.800 cabs and handled 35. That year. his estate in Woodstock. Hertz also acquired the People's Motor Coach Company in St.
Photos: American Automotive Museum Courtesy The Hertz Foundation .A Road Well Traveled 102 Only eight years earlier. The color of its logo? Yellow. of course. . Hertz had reacquired the Yellow Drive-It-Yourself Company from GM and renamed it Hertz Rent-A-Car.
A Road Well Traveled
1879 1884 1891 Born April 10 in Ruttka, Austro-Hungarian Empire (now Slovakia). Family emigrates to the United States and settles in Chicago. Runs away from home to earn his own living, working as a newsboy, copyboy at the Chicago Morning News, driving horse-drawn delivery trucks and serving as sports reporter and later as assistant sports editor for the Chicago Record. Marries Fannie Kesner on July 15. Begins selling cars. Joins with Walden W. Shaw to form a new auto agency, the Walden W. Shaw Company and sells Berliot automobiles. Hertz owns 1/3 of the agency. Begins employing used cars as taxicabs. Acquires Thomas Taxicabs. Forms Yellow Cab Manufacturing Company and delivers first taxicab. Also establishes Yellow Truck and Coach Manufacturing Company. Acquires seven limousines and forms Yellow Cab Company in Chicago, incorporating it on December 1. Special Advisor on transportation matters to the Secretary of War. Forms Hertz Drive-Ur-Self Corporation. Also arranges a $25 million merger of Fifth Avenue Coach Company and the Chicago Coach Company to form Omnibus corporation of America. Sells Yellow Cab Manufacturing Company and the Drive-Yourself division to General Motors and joins the GM board. Becomes chairman of the board of the New York Railways Corporation. Morris Markin of Checker Taxi and his partners acquire 60 percent ownership of Yellow Cab including all of Hertz‘s holdings.
1903 1904 1905
A Road Well Traveled
Becomes financial executive of Paramount Publix. Resigns from Paramount and becomes a major partner of Lehman Brothers an investment banking firm. Working with Lehman and Floyd Odlum, acquires 13 percent of Transcontinental & Western Air, Inc. from GM and gains effective control. The partners also take over Radio-Keith-Orpheum studios from Radio Corp. of America. Helps revitalize and recapitalize Arlington Park race track. Joins the staff of Undersecretary of War Robert P. Patterson. Receives the medal and Certificate of Merit from the Department of Defense. His horse, Count Fleet, wins the Kentucky Derby. Reacquires Yellow Drive-It-Yourself Company from GM and changes the name to Hertz Rent-A-Car. Forms the Fannie and John Hertz Foundation to support applied science education. Decorated by the Secretary of Defense with the Defense Department Certificate of Appreciation. Dies on October 8 in Los Angeles.
1936 1940 1941 1947 1951 1953
Hertz, John. The Racing Memoirs of John Hertz as told to Evan Shipman. Chicago 1954 http://lccn.loc.gov/ff017203 Forbes, B.C., Automotive Giants of America. B. C. Forbes Publishing Co., New York 1926 John D. Hertz Is Dead on 1961; Led Yellow Cab and Rent-a-Car; Founder of 2 Concerns Was 82—Owned Noted Horses, Including Count Fleet, The New York Times obituary, October 9, 1961
So he bid adieu to his wife and boys and boarded a train for the Golden State. but Howard's rise to power and wealth is just as captivating. He apparently had an interest in horses in his teens. But instead of charging up San Juan Hill with Teddy Roosevelt's Rough Riders. Pursuing the only occupation he knew.000 to buy an automobile and much more for options --bumpers. and enlisted in the cavalry at the start of the Spanish-American War. He was married to Fanny May. the wide-open spaces of the West more suited his style and temperament. setting out to seek his fortune.who was Seabiscuit? A famous a race horse they exclaimed. not Cuba. bicycle repair. fuel had to be hauled in 5-gallon cans. carburetors and headlamps. he borrowed. But they all knew the answer to the second question -. His timing was fortuitous. The horseless buggy was making its first appearance. but life in the East smothered him. I asked two questions. no repair shops. Of course Charles Howard owned Seabiscuit. Howard was born and bred in New York. and these wealthy owners were left to their . First. California beckoned. Like so many of California's great moguls." but he was much more. his fight was against a more sinister foe--dysentery. saved and finally opened his own shop on Van Ness Avenue. the owners spending $1. Camp Wheeler in Alabama.A Road Well Traveled 105 CHARLES HOWARD Last week I took an informal poll of the members of my morning coffee klatch. had two sons. There were no service stations. After discharge from the army. Howard worked as a bicycle-repairman. scrimped. He arrived in San Francisco in 1903 with only 21 cents in his pocket. but saturated with optimism. who was Charles Howard? Only 10 percent answered correctly. and the story of the scrappy horse is fascinating. was his battle ground. The San Francisco Chronicle hailed him as "the world's greatest auto distributor.
National. Howard discovered. bringing explosives to the front lines. The Great Earthquake of 1906 and the ensuing fire changed San Francisco and Howard's fortunes forever. above all proving the utility of the automobile. dashing. and Oldsmobile. He tinkered with the engines. was convenient. making it the largest first-class freight shipment in U. Many turned to Howard for help. outgoing and genial man. his shop. smoke-belching. Durant was soon overextended. The grateful company gave Howard a bundle of GM stock and a percentage of gross sales for life. Then nature intervened. history at the time. Firemen were unable to get to the fire. The earthquake was a start. GM was in financial trouble. in her wonderful book "Seabiscuit. Instead of hauling three cars as in 1903. He arranged races." said. and sensational stunts. Howard sold 85 new Buick White Streaks for $1. As fire spread across the city.000 each.S. Laura Hillenbrand. At the end of the year he still had all three cars. carting the injured to temporary hospitals. he was now shipping 300 at a time. was intrigued by the noisy. .000 followed by another loan of $2. was en route to becoming the largest of the nascent automobile manufacturers in the nation.000. Howard jumped into the void with his three Buicks. under the direction of William Durant. In the process of building a giant automobile company by acquiring 30 car makers and suppliers. and his natural bent for shrewd marketing manifested itself. articulate . the injured unable to escape it.General Motors. Howard. By the end of the decade he had become the world's largest distributor of automobiles. After shipping a trainload of 134 Buicks from Detroit to San Francisco in 1910. Less than two years later he got the Buick franchise for San Francisco and opened his own dealership with three cars. horses bolted in panic. a dealership owned by Buick. the cars needed repairs. always saying something quotable afterward. Durant lost his position as CEO for a time. close to the wealthier parts of town. ." He was "daring. but Howard needed more. At the time. with Buick as its base. Buick. cantankerous contraptions. . Howard paid him a visit and got the sole distributorship in the western United States for all GM cars. Fanny May and the boys joined him. But the coup came a few years later. drawing the press to his cars like moths to a flame. Howard hits the jackpot with 375 Buicks in one trainload of 75 cars in 1913.A Road Well Traveled 106 own devices. the automobile industry was the fastest growing industry in the United States. Demand for cars." By 1908 the automobile was in vogue. Oakland. disassembling and assembling them. a tall. "The reporters ate from his hand. and was soon a sound mechanic. was listless. followed by 254 Buicks in 1912. Durant. In late 1904 Buick Motor Company of Detroit. but Howard came to the rescue and bailed Durant and GM with a timely loan of $190. created a new company -. Howard decided to meet with Durant.210. He took the train and wheedled his way into a meeting with Buick's top man. hill climbs. photogenic. Apparently Durant liked what he heard because Howard returned to San Francisco and opened the Pioneer Motor Company.
he found his dream and purchased the 16. and the people in San Francisco want automobiles. He ultimately purchased Seabiscuit for $8." He was far off the mark. And Seabiscuit made horse-racing history. In a scene out of a Western.A Road Well Traveled 107 The ex-New Yorker was now firmly established in the West. donned in Western garb and survey his magnificent range dotted with cattle and lakes. from New Yorkers Ogden Mills and Gladys Phipps. Speedboats on the lakes were the only concession he would make to the contemporary world. All he needed was a ranch. Years earlier Howard had written. Frankie. The strain of Frankie's death caused a breach between Howard and Fanny Mae. George Giannini. brother of A.P. introduced Howard to horse racing. Howard Memorial Hospital in 1928 with Ridgewood's orchards.000 Buicks. rolled into a canyon and died in the accident. Howard would ride on his horses. Five years later tragedy struck. Howard's 15-year-old son. Giannini. not $5. fields and dairy supplying the food. It became Howard's greatest avocation. when he received a percentage of the sale of more than 30. another famous California banker. A divorce followed in 1931. They fell in love and were married in the fall of 1932. But in 1929 Howard had met Marcela Zabala. "The idea of the horse is past. 1950. driving a ranch truck swerved to avoid a rock. Photo: California State Library . Charles Howard died of heart failure at his home in Hillsborough on June 7. As a tribute to his fallen son.000-acre Ridgewood ranch in outside of Willits in Mendocino County. children of titan Darius Ogden Mills. Howard built the Frank R. On a trip to the redwood country of northern California.000. his daughter-in-law's older sister. founder of Bank of America. 1941 was Howard‘s best year. I wouldn't give five dollars for the best horse in this country.
history to that point. Howard forms Pioneer Motor Company and gets the Buick franchise. owner of Buick Motor Company to give him a dealership in San Francisco. Durant.A Road Well Traveled 108 TIMELINE 1877 1898 Born on February 28 in New York Enlists in the cavalry at the start of the Spanish American War but served his time at Camp Wheeler.S. Goes to Detroit and convinces William C.000-acre Ridgewood Ranch in Willits. Sells 85 new Buicks and gets from Durant and GM the exclusive rights to the distributorships to sell Buicks in the western U. Ships trainload of 254 Buicks to San Francisco Ships 375 Buicks in one trainload of 75 cars. Drives a two-cylinder Buick from San Francisco to Oakland via San Jose in just five hours. San Francisco earthquake and subsequent fire destroys over 28. Arrives in California with 21 cents in his pocket. Acquired the 16. Calif. Mendocino County. 1899 1903 1905 1906 1907 1908 1910 1910 1912 1913 1915 1921 . Discharged from Army and begins working as a bicycle repairman. Howard uses the Buicks in his showroom as rescue vehicles when horses bolt from the fire or are injured and proves the utility of the automobile. Ships trainload of 134 Ships trainload of 134 Buicks from Detroit to San Francisco. Provides financially strapped William Durant and GM with loans in the amount of $3 million.000 buildings. Ala. the largest first-class freight shipment in U.S.
A Road Well Traveled
Son Frankie is killed in a truck accident on the ranch Charles Howard, who is increasingly estranged from his wife, meets Marcela Zabala, the older sister of his son's wife. U.S. stock market crashes on Tuesday, October 29, triggering the Great Depression.
1932 1934 1936 1938
Gains divorce from wife Fannie Mae and marries Marcel Zabala. Seabiscuit, descendant of thoroughbred great Man o‘ War, is born. Sees Seabiscuit for the first time and buys him on a hunch. Meets with Samuel Riddle, owner of War Admiral, and enters into an agreement for a match race between the Seabsicuit and War Admiral. The match race is held at Pimlico with 40 million people listening to a live broadcast of the event. Seabiscuit wins in a record time. Best financial year for Howard as he receives a percentage of the gross sales of 30,000 Buicks. Howard dies at his home in Hillsborough, Calif. on June 7.
Hillenbrand, Laura, Seabiscuit: an American Legend. Random House (2003)
VIDEO AND OTHER MEDIA
Charles Howard www.evtv1.com/player.aspx?itemnum=6298
A Road Well Traveled
HENRY J. KAISER
People tend to regard the great American titans of the past as robber barons, men who made their fortunes off the backs of the oppressed, flaunting laws and morals with abandon and living like nabobs while others had to scratch for a living. Yet these titans arguably accomplished the unthinkable, from transcontinental railroads and transoceanic cables, to unearthing the earth's treasures, ultimately changing and taming the land. Some of the titans were creative and farsighted men with relatively unblemished careers who were not only remarkably successful, but left a proud legacy of their accomplishments. Henry J. Kaiser is a prime example of such a man, a consummate salesman and visionary who built some of the world‘s largest dams, thousands of ships, millions of automobiles, hotels, aluminum plants, even cities, and provided his employees with health care that is known today as Kaiser Permanente, one of the nation‘s largest health providers. Born in 1882 in Sprout Brook, a tiny village in upstate New York, Kaiser was raised by his mother and three sisters, with whom he maintained a close relationship for the rest of his life. If his father, a shoemaker, played a role in his upbringing Kaiser never spoke of it; the few utterances about his father were as clinical and cold as a surgeon's scalpel. At 13, Kaiser decided to go to work despite the pleas of his mother and sisters to stay in school. With $5 borrowed from his sister, Kaiser embarked on his quest, first as a clerk in a dry goods store in Utica, N.Y. earning $1.50 a week, and later as an itinerant salesman. From inception he demonstrated his penchant for hard work and knowing more about his products than other merchants.
A Road Well Traveled
He also became fascinated by photography, a relatively new field emerging from Eastman Kodak‘s revolutionary film technology. Now, instead of the heavy, cumbersome and complicated glass plate equipment, Eastman‘s process made it possible for anyone to master photography.. Accordingly, Kaiser learned the fundamentals of photography and worked as a salesman for a photo supply company. During a visit to Lake Placid in 1906, Kaiser fell in love with the mountains and decided to settle there. He went to work for a photography studio and subsequently purchased it. That spring, Bess Fosburgh walked into his studio to have her portrait taken. It was love at first sight. Kaiser asked for her hand, but Bess' father refused to give his consent unless Kaiser could meet certain conditions: establish a stable business, earn at least $125 a month, own a home and have $1,000 in the bank. Kaiser moved to Spokane, Wash. a rapidly growing metropolis. Using his geniality and salesmanship, he convinced James McGowan, owner of McGowan Brothers Hardware store to let him try to sell merchandise damaged in a fire. McGowan agreed and Kaiser did it so consummately McGowan hired him full time. Again, Kaiser made it a point to learn more about the products he sold than anyone else, spending hours in the public library learning the technical elements of each item and visiting the sites where the equipment was used. In less than a year Kaiser had met Fosburgh's terms, and the wedding to Bess took place in Boston on April 8, 1907. After a short honeymoon Kaiser returned to Spokane and turned his energy to construction, an industry he knew would thrive with a growing Pacific northwest. He worked at various jobs in Washington and British Columbia, gaining valuable experience in the construction business. The bitter winter of 1912 found Kaiser employed in Victoria, B.C. His employer, The Canadian Mineral Company, the low bidder on a paving contract, suddenly folded and Kaiser took over the contract. He borrowed $25,000 and went into the road construction business, forming the Henry J. Kaiser Company, Ltd. in Vancouver. The 31-year-old was an instant success. No one could outbid him. His business philosophy was simple: ―Do it faster, cheaper, and better.‖ An engineering associate, A. B. Ordway, told him of an upcoming bid in Redding, Calif., for a major project. With no time to spare Kaiser boarded the Shasta Limited, only to find that the train did not stop in Redding. Ordway described what happened: ―we went up to the middle of the train where there wasn‘t any brakeman and opened the vestibule to jump off. . . Henry decided to grab his suitcase and jump . . . and tumbled head over heels, skidding headfirst into a pile of railroad ties.‖ Kaiser arrived tattered, bruised and scratched, but in time to win the bid for the $527,000 project, his biggest yet. As his construction business grew, Kaiser became an advocate of vertical integration. He needed cement so in 1923 he built a sand and gravel plant in Livermore. Three years later he built his first dam in California‘s Sierra Nevada Mountains near the town of Philbrook. Kaiser did it so quickly and with such extraordinary efficiency and quality, that his reputation for modern construction techniques soared. For 17 years he built roads, pipelines and dams from California to Cuba.
Colorado. 1931. The Six Companies selected Henry Kaiser as chairman of their Executive Committee. pouring more than 3. However. machine shops.A Road Well Traveled 112 Water has always been one of the rare and more precious resources of the Western states. On March 11. living quarters for thousands of employees. Bidding on the contract began in earnest. New Mexico and California was initially brought before Congress in 1922. but it was not until December 31. 1928. with another million cubic yards for the power plant. that President Calvin Coolidge finally signed a bill to build a dam in Boulder Canyon. The Boulder Dam project involved the construction of huge tunnels. it was during President Herbert Hoover‘s administration that the government was prepared to sign the construction contract. Bechtel and the two became members of the Six Companies. and largely through Kaiser‘s efforts. . Nevada. miles of roads. a consortium of major construction firms jointly bidding for the construction of what was to become the largest dam in the world. Kaiser joined Warren A. The idea of building a dam on the Colorado River in order to make an equitable distribution of the largest water course in the Southwest to Arizona. warehouses.250. the government accepted Six Companies‘ bid of just under $49 million.000 cubic yards of concrete.
and subsequently in Florida. when Kaiser died. Bonneville Dam and the massive Grand Coulee Dam. Kaiser went on to build two dams across the powerful Columbia River. California. mostly Liberty and Victory ships. Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program was born. Although he worked prodigious hours and placed a hefty burden of work on his subordinates. with a 10-bed hospital. and in only three months laid the keel of their first ship. ships. and Kaiser's employees exceeded 300. The Grand Coulee project employed 15. In November 1940. He also bid on a contract to supply cement to Shasta dam. By 1967. D. Kaiser was known for his ethical standards. first in Permanente.. Kaiser did pay a higher price but subsequently discovered gold on the land. so to supply his burgeoning construction operations he formed Kaiser cement and gypsum plants. He had never built a ship before.000. The British needed ships to transport troops and materiel. there were no employees. and Kaiser himself was president of the new consortium. Of course the British were reticent. Grand Coulee was a collaborative effort by eight construction companies united as Consolidated Builders Inc. Kaiser Permanente went into full swing. At the height of the war Kaiser was producing one new ship a day.000 members.683. The British relented and agreed to let him build 30 ships. he had absolutely no experience whatsoever in shipbuilding. Kaiser Construction Co.490 vessels. the Great Pyramid in Egypt had been the largest construction project in history. There was no shipyard. From 1941 to 1945 Kaiser‘s 58 shipyards and shipways were responsible for building nearly 25 percent of all the ships built in the world: 1.A Road Well Traveled 113 Kaiser became the contact man with Washington. of Seattle was one member of the group. . he was also concerned about their medical care. Kaiser not only paid them higher than standard wages. drained the swamps. 1. he offered to build 30 ships for the British. his business standards never varied.000 workers engaged in manufacturing planes. and New Jersey. his salesmanship and reputation. he made sure the owner of the property knew about his interest in the land‘s resources even though it probably meant paying a higher price once the owner discovered the true value of his land. He brought employees from Grand Coulee to San Francisco and planned a new shipyard in Richmond. where he honed his skills maneuvering through the bureaucratic maze and developing a profound understanding of doing business with the government. World War II was Kaiser's finest hour. He had never produced cement. but also 50 aircraft carriers.C. only Kaiser. a successor to the Six Companies. an aircraft carrier a week and had approximately 300.000 workers. engines. but they were desperate and Kaiser was the great persuader. Kaiser did it adroitly. Kaiser Permanente had 1.. Before purchasing some land with sand and gravel deposits for a new plant he was going to build. His force cleared the land. But when World War II brought about Kaiser's shipbuilding operations. a project requiring six million barrels of cement.630 physicians and 18 hospitals. And medical care was available to those who traditionally could not afford it. California. He also supplied 11 million tons of aggregates for construction of the dam. Until Grand Coulee.
nearly identical automobiles—but like the Rolls Royce and Bentley with markedly different grills—designed by famed automobile designer Howard ―Dutch‖ Darrin. capable of transporting 500.476. Production began at their newly acquired . Donald Douglas and Glenn Martin.989. to airplanes and automobiles. from steel and aluminum.with a single cashier's check for $91. by the Big Three (Ford. Steel was an important constituent of all his operations and Kaiser Steel Corp.'s growth was meteoric. After the war Kaiser saw an opportunity to enter into the automotive world controlled. the other a mercurial playboy. religious family man. letting Hughes build one of the flying box cars -. Kaiser was involved in various industries. airplanes. the lower-cost Kaiser and upper-scale Frazer. and Kaiser withdrew. Kaiser Steel paid all its loans to the government -.20 years ahead of schedule -. born July 25. Kaiser believed he had a chance to successfully enter the market with new automobiles designed from the ground up chiefly for American consumers uncertain about the nation‘s economic prospects following the war. flying box cars. got a jump start with the acquisition of the remaining assets of Graham-Paige Motor Corp. Only Howard Hughes expressed interest. and the former president of automaker WillysOverland. 1950. During World War II the automobile industry converted its operations from automobiles to war production. perhaps the largest workforce in America. ordinance and other war material. Kaiser suggested building a fleet of 5. Kaiser and Hughes formed a joint venture. 1945.000 super-sized cargo aircraft. They were strange bedfellows. building tanks. Kaiser-Frazer quickly came out with two front-engine. When German U-boats were exacting a merciless toll on Atlantic shipping.000 fully-equipped soldiers to Europe in a single day. and nearly equivalent in size to today‘s active Army divisions. bombs. 1. aviation engineer and movie tycoon. their plans went awry. and suggested they establish a new automobile company. Aircraft executives were skeptical. and artillery shells. After the war. bombs. Jack Northrop.. with Kaiser as chairman of the board and Frazer as president and general manager. Problems surfaced from the start. rear drive models in 1946. declined to participate. just 10 years after its formation. Kaiser-Frazer Corporation.A Road Well Traveled 114 steel. He approached automobile pioneer Joseph Frazer. president of the ailing Graham-Page Motor Corp. On Nov. General Motors and Chrysler). Kaiser reasoned that the automobile manufacturers would either return to building cars and models they were producing before the war or see a time interval before they could introduce new cars.the Spruce Goose. one a staid. at the time.
The automobile business was Kaiser‘s only major failure. MI. Only about 435 of these cars were manufactured. it suffered from two major defects: not as much horsepower and a higher price--$3. In 1952 the Kaiser-Frazer Corporation was renamed Kaiser Motors Corporation. Sales in 1951 peaked at slightly more than 231. ending the passenger car business. Frazer abruptly resigned and withdrew from the company. Other automobile manufacturers. However. wagons and the Jeep. Darrin ultimately replaced 100 of the engines with a Cadillac V-8 engine that sold for about $4. the 1951 Kaiser.600.000 automobiles. Kaiser was indefatigable. By 1965. manufacturer of Willys trucks. Kaiser‘s timing in entering the market couldn‘t have been more propitious and by 1947 the new company was producing over 139. a giant facility near Detroit. competition was not far behind. it did not have a V-8 engine and couldn‘t perform as well as the competition.000 cars per year.A Road Well Traveled 115 Willow Run bomber plant. Kaiser finally threw in the towel in 1955. The futuristic two-seat roadster made its first appearance in 1953. The demand for new cars following World War II was nearly insatiable. Working with Darrin and other automobile designers. with sliding doors and a convertible top. the Kaiser was vastly underpowered. However. working long days and . but continuing to sell the Jeep under the Kaiser-Jeep banner. lower center of gravity and better visibility. including Hudson. the Henry J. Kaiser-Jeep was finally sold to American Motors Corporation in 1970. Studebaker. Kaiser also wanted to focus on safety and his cars included bumpers. and introduced a new compact car. The Big Three began producing cars that bore no appearance to their pre-World War II automobiles. his intention was to make all the shareholders whole. Disagreements soon surfaced between Kaiser and Frazer about the future course of their company and their automobiles. Kaiser developed a more stylish car. and renamed it Willys Motor Company. Nash and Packard were not far behind. with his sense of fairness Kaiser gave up nearly $200 million of his own shares in Kaiser Aluminum and other companies to repay Kaiser Motors‘ debts. in 1953 Kaiser purchased Willys-Overland Motors. no cars had been produced by the automobile industry for nearly four years.400. To shore up his flagging automobile business. His failure in automobiles was more than matched by his success in aluminum. Unlike other cars rolling off the assembly lines in Detroit. Designed to compete with new sports cars including the Chevrolet Corvette. Kaiser Aluminum had sales of $642 million. But sales continued to decline dramatically despite the introduction of some interesting new cars including the first fiberglass automobile called the Kaiser-Darrin.
labor or life. forcing executives around him into marriage-shattering hours. proud of his accomplishments and always ready to pass some kernels of wisdom about business. He was vacationing in Hawaii in 1954 with his second wife and found it difficult to secure nice hotel accommodations on Waikiki Beach.A Road Well Traveled 116 longer weeks. The octogenarian never slowed down. "Funny thing. the harder I work and the greater chances I take. He also built the Kaiser Medical Center. "Success in business is largely a matter of luck. a man-made beach. respected and admired as a man. never rested. country clubs and marinas. all featuring Kaiser‘s favorite color--pink. Photos: 1949 Kaiser Fraser and 1954 Kaiser-Darrin . He enjoyed entertaining visiting dignitaries and famous people. a true visionary." In his last years Kaiser devoted much of his energy to his newly found interest – Hawaii. cooperation between management and labor and The Henry J. now a Hilton hotel—and finally an entire city." he said. an organization that carries on his philanthropic mission in medical care. He acquired the Niumalu Hotel and eight acres on Waikiki Beach and began developing hotels and resorts —Hawaiian Village. Kaiser was an immensely successful titan. and even more so. a radio and TV station. schools. the more luck I have. Kaiser Family Foundation. the Honolulu suburban community of Hawai‘i Kai with 10.000 homes. victory in World War II. Kaiser left many legacies: Kaiser Permanente. the island‘s most modern hospital. He rented a house near Diamond Head and fell in love with the island.
New York. Goes to work as a clerk in a dry good store in Utica.A Road Well Traveled 117 TIMELINE 1882 1895 1904 1906 1906 1907 1912 Born May 9 in Sprout Brook.C. Marries Bess in Boston on April 8. of Vancouver. Calif. on July 25 with Joseph Frazer to build automobiles. First major construction project—a 200-mile highway and 500 bridges in Cuba. Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Ltd. President Calvin Coolidge signs bill to build Boulder Dam. Begins construction of Bonneville Dam. Repays $91 million government loan to Kaiser Steel Corp. 1948 1950 Establishes the Henry J. Hired by the British to build 30 cargo ships and builds his first shipyard at Richmond. Establishes his first company. B. goes under and he takes over road construction project. Wash. President Hoover signs contract with Six Companies to build Boulder Dam for $49 million. Builds sand and gravel plant in Livermore. Kaiser-Frazer produces 139. Meets Bess Fossburgh at his studio Moves to Spokane. 20 years ahead of schedule.. His employer. Begins construction of Grand Coulee Dam. the Canadian Mineral Company. Mich. Only flight of Howard Hughes‘ Spruce Goose on November 2.000 cars. 1914 1923 1927 1928 1931 1933 1933 1938 1940 1945 1946 1947 . Car production begins at the Willow Run bomber plant near Detroit. Kaiser Co. Calif. Acquires an interest in a photographic studio in Lake Placid. Forms Kaiser-Frazer Corp. the start of Kaiser Permanente. NY. and begins working for McGowan Brothers Hardware store. Begins offering medical services to his employees at Grand Coulee Dam.
S. University of Texas Press (1989) Heiner. 118 Purchases Willys-Overland Motors. Kaiser Aluminum sales exceed $642 million. Halo Books (1991) VIDEOS AND OTHER MEDIA Henry J. a new compact car. Elizabeth. FURTHER READING Adams. P. Henry J. Kaiser. Henry J. wagons and the Jeep and renames it Willys Motor Company. Mr. Yale University Press (1992) Foster. Stephen B.history. Kaiser Builds Hoover Dam and U. Acquires Niumalu Hotel and 8 acres on Waikiki from the John Ena estate. Kaiser goes to Washington: the rise of a government entrepreneur. University of North Carolina Press (1997) Cobbs Hoffman. The rich neighbor policy: Rockefeller and Kaiser in Brazil. Western Colossus: an insider’s view. Kaiser: American empire builder: an insider’s view. 1954 1955 1959 1965 1967 Begins construction of Hawaii‘I Kai on O‘ahu near Maunalua Bay. Begins construction of Hawaiian Village. Kaiser: builder in the modern American West. manufacturer of Willys trucks.com/videos/henry-j-kaiser-builds-hoover-dam-and-us-warships#henry-j-kaiserbuilds-hoover-dam-and-us-warships . Vacations in Hawaii and falls in love with the island. Warships www. Ends car production. 1952 1953 Renames Kaiser-Frazer as Kaiser Motors Corp.A Road Well Traveled 1951 Joseph Frazer leaves the company due to differences with Kaiser. Henry J. Albert P. Introduces the Henry J. Lang (1989) Heinr. Mark S.000. Sales of all cars exceed 231. Albert P. Dies in Honolulu on August 24.
youtube.youtube. 1950-1954 www.google.com/watch?v=_h1lgkYQ39I What‘s My Line – Hnery J.com/watch?v=v3zZrPC6dXg Hoover Dam: The Complete History http://video.criticalpast.youtube.com/video/65675032613_Grand-Coulee-Dam_car-on-road_desolatedroads_construction-of-Grand-Coulee-Dam Henry Kaiser on Liberty Ships http://www.com/videoplay?docid=-8882981936910776035# Views of Construction of Grand Coulee Dam http://www. Kaiser Builder – The New Models.criticalpast.com/watch?v=lV21XgNnfiA Construction of Liberty Ships Vital to War Effort World War II http://www.A Road Well Traveled 119 Henry J. Kaiser www.com/video/65675031500_Building-Liberty-Ships_Senate-Bill-S3500_Merchant-Marine .
Ohio. incubators for premature babies. magnetic diagnostic devices.‖ Although he died in 1958. in 1876. quickdrying paint. He once said. ―I object to people running down the future. I am going to live all the rest of my life there. It was powered by a .‖ are as vibrant today as they were during his life. premium gasoline. A philosopher. engineer. automatic transmissions. the personification of hard work." he recalled. with early morning chores. milking cows. Kettering gave us many things: electric automobile starters. we are still living in his future and with his inventions. . and espousing independence and allegiance to country with a religious overlay. After attending a one-room country school. His grandparents were Alsatians who arrived in Ohio in 1835. . His axioms and aphorisms. diesel-powered trains. where McGuffey‘s readers were the standard texts. I didn't know you had to have money. scientist and genius inventor. presenting moral concepts through characters such as Mr." He found it a wonderful experience just to warm his bare feet on the grass where the cattle had lain. He was 15 years old and had to walk nearly three miles to school. "I didn't know at that time that I was an underprivileged person. Kettering entered Loudonville High School. harvesting hay and keeping the woodbox full. a fitting testament for a man who was always seeking solutions to great problems. tending sheep. is one of Charles F.A Road Well Traveled 120 CHARLES F. called ―Ketterisms. Toil. . electric headlights. KETTERING The Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. electric cash registers. car generators. Kettering was born on a farm near Loudonville. master salesman. Freon. Kettering's many legacies. the Kettering Foundation and Kettering University. a world-leading cancer research and treatment facility. "I was a hillbilly. He led a typical rural boyhood. He would frequently stop by a large flour mill along his route.
further thoughts of the ministry dissolved. but his results were always good. Virtually nothing comes out of right the first time. He also installed the main telephone exchange in Ashland. He excelled as a student at Ohio State. has come after repeated failures . . The National Cash Register Company sent a letter to Physics Professor A. Most of the top electrical engineering students went to Westinghouse. Ohio. Hiram Sweet. when he happened upon a catalog from Ohio State University and read the curriculum for engineering. Mechanical things always drew his attention and he spent much of his spare time in the shop of wagon-maker and blacksmith. He experimented with battery system. and he decided to pursue engineering at the university. He often did his experiments in his own way. possibly even better. He acknowledged years later that it was at this job that he learned to swear so colorfully and proficiently. The signal did not carry very far along the lines and Kettering took it upon himself to see how he could improve it. as much to be near Olive as for the money or experience. relays. Their first duel started a lifelong romance. Failures. . who loved chemistry. Cole recommended Kettering and persuaded Kettering to go to Dayton. and learned a very valuable lesson: ――if an experiment fails.‖ In 1901. . Unable to read.‖ Kettering later recalled. Cole at Ohio State asking him to recommend a top student with a strong foundation in electricity to join their inventions staff. It was while installing one of these exchanges that he met Olive Williams someone reputed to be as quick on the verbal draw as he was. repeated failures. because the failure may not have had anything to do with the reasonableness of the principle. General Electric or . ―I learned more from that old wagonmaker than I did in college. Upon graduating from Loudonville High in 1895. Kettering returned to Ohio State. However. . he took a leave of absence from the school and returned home where he got a job with the Star Telephone Company. mathematics and above all. Kettering found a position as a teacher in a one-room school for a year and subsequently studied Greek at the College of Wooster intent on becoming a minister. He was a brilliant student. During the summer he continued to work with the telephone company in Ashland. but he suffered from vision problems and eye infections. impedance coils. then you ought to be careful to find out just why it failed. any kind of experimentation.‖ He also decided that ―every great improvement .A Road Well Traveled 121 Corliss engine and Kettering would chat with the men who worked there to discover how it worked. copper and iron wires. . D. not according to the book. working with a crew of linemen stringing up telephone lines and learning how to install telephone exchanges and electronic circuitry. are finger posts on the road to achievement.
Stunned by the numbers. and working at night at Deed‘s barn with several other friends from NCR. Kettering designed an effective system. on route to their honeymoon in Detroit. Leland. Deeds. or Delco for short. exacting and demanding. they subcontracted the production of the ignitions to another company. Kettering married Olive. purchasing a milling machine and an old roadster. Lacking manufacturing facilities. run by the mercurial marketing genius John Patterson. four times as much as first jobs at the other companies. Several problems arose and Kettering personally solved every one of them to the . trying to get the engine started.A Road Well Traveled 122 American Bell. Kettering immediately resigned from NCR. 1904 and developed a close friendship with his coworkers and Edward A. Kettering got out and fixed the ignition problem and the thankful doctor gave Kettering and Olive a ride in his car. In 1905. Kettering watched a man unsuccessfully hand crank a car. He began his work with the ―Inventions 3‖ laboratory staff on July 1. Charge Phone. After Leland‘s chief engineer evaluated Kettering‘s work. Leland was a tough. but Kettering was offered $50 a week at NCR. not just at a central credit department. NCR. but Deeds continued on as NCR‘s general manager.500 into the project. In Detroit Kettering and Olive honeymooned at the Cadillac Hotel— quite a coincidence for a man who would make his fortune a few years later with the Cadillac Division of General Motors. After the wedding. a phone integrated into the cash register that allowed credit sales to take place at any register in a store. calling it the Dayton Engineering Laboratories Company. They decided to establish a new company. The doctor‘s ignition problem also fueled Kettering‘s interest in developing an inexpensive and reliable electric ignition system. Within a few months Kettering developed the O. the two men weren‘t even sure how to react. He also invented an electric motor for the cash register to replace the hand crank. 1909. Cadillac's president. was a perfect graduate school for Kettering.K. the first time Kettering had ever been in one. offered a contract to build 8. customer and Kettering worked himself to exhaustion. Plowing his entire savings of $1. Kettering and Deeds were invited to Detroit and in July. Deeds sought support for the project from Henry M. a manager only two years his senior.000 battery ignitions for Cadillac.
―as long as they‘re exactly like the old ones.000 starters." Kettering declared. This new class of automobile buyers was a boon to the automobile industry. His involvement may have also been part of his desire to spend more time with his son. including Flxible Side Car Company. A Dayton man. not all electrical engineers saw things as Kettering did. He was an outstanding business executive and a perfect complement for Kettering as the inventor.A Road Well Traveled 123 point that Leland said.‖ Amen was probably Kettering‘s reaction. Kettering was very loyal to Loudonville and Dayton and sought to help the region develop economically." as they called him. He tried to crankstart the car. Employing makeshift parts and working with his "barn gang" day and night.‖ As a result of Delco‘s rapid growth. Boss Ket installed the experimental starter on a Cadillac engine by Christmas Eve of 1910. Kettering was particularly interested in the activities of other Dayton denizens. Eugene. He invested heavily in several companies. but the engine kicked back and the crank handle crushed the man's jaw. especially the Wright brothers. developers of a newly–patented motorcycle sidecar. In 1910. one member admonished the group: ―I don‘t think we should allow talks like this to be made before our section. "flew right through the smoke screen of impossibility. ―I did not have the heart to find fault any more. proving wrong the naysayers who claimed that it was impossible to crank an automobile engine with a small electric motor. rolled off the assembly line in 1912. Deeds resigned from NCR and became Delco‘s fulltime president. He was also fascinated by flight. assembled an electric starting motor in record time. a Cadillac. prompting Leland to give Delco an order for 12. getting his first plane ride in 1912 with Orville Wright at the controls. It worked the first time it was tested. Speaking to the Detroit branch of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers shortly after developing the self starter. The injury eventually led to the man‘s death. ―People are very open-minded about new things. he wanted innovative thinkers who were also drilled in the basics of the three Rs. . "Boss Ket. This man has profaned every fundamental law of electrical engineering." essentially echoing his own philosophy on inventions. The self starter made it possible for women to own cars since they no longer had to worry about trying to hand crank the engine to life. The first automobile without a hand crank. a private K-12 school. The deceased was one of Leland‘s good friends and Leland asked Kettering to develop an electrical self-starter. He also became involved in organizing the Moraine Park School in Dayton. a Good Samaritan came to the aid of a woman in a stalled car. However. "The Wright Brothers.‖ Kettering acknowledged.‖ Kettering got a patent for the electric ignition. attended by his only child.
Advertising in the Saturday Evening Post. Kettering's stunned reaction was. a plastic Kettering used in his electric ignition systems. . and offered $9 million for Delco. Long before we had pilotless Predators or Global Hawks patrolling the skies over Iraq and Afghanistan. It was the first house in the nation with built-in air conditioning." By 1916.5 million. some of Kettering‘s competitors mistakenly blamed the knock on his electric starter. The fuel significantly boosted the performance of Liberty aircraft engines. the U. William C. Sr. an automobile manufacturing syndicate. of which he was an executive. "That's a heck of a lot of money!" United Motor‘s name was subsequently changed to General Motors. not just an irritating sound. Kettering and Deeds continued to work for Delco. Kettering met a man who would not only become his business associate for many years. Kettering sought to create a synthetic fuel.A Road Well Traveled 124 Kettering built a beautiful mansion. Early automobile engines had an annoying knock due to crude gasoline distillation. the nation. Sloan. Kettering brought in the Dayton-Wright Airplane Company. often the gasoline was less volatile and suffered from vaporization problems. told Kettering this was impossible. Jr. Army asked Kettering to develop a pilotless plane and bomb—an aerial torpedo. giving the first bottle to a surprised.S. Moreover. Sperry... He knew it would be a boon to rural America. Delco Light was grossing $2. vice president of United Motors. It would become a special friendship with many benefits for the automobile industry. and future five-star general of a future U. and called it ―spark knock. Kettering could not have had a better inducement to try. Alfred P. His mother still lived on a farm near Loudonville and relied on kerosene lamps for lighting. Leo Baekeland. it was not just an annoying problem but a matter of life or death for aviators.S. Elmer A. Baekeland.‖ Knock was a power thief. and medicine. Delco Light called for "Electricity for Every Farm. and with the advent of World War I. Remarkably. the inventor of Bakelite. on top of a hill outside of Dayton. And he succeeded in developing it. Kettering and Deeds formed Delco-Light with Deeds as president and some of NCR's best salesmen as new employees. Durant was forming United Motors Corporation. Dr. but one of his best friends. That year. Ridgeleigh Terrace. and Orville Wright. they needed engines with more power. To market this new product to farms. Kettering wanted her to have the benefit of electric lighting and developed a gas-powered generator that would run when the lights were switched on and automatically turn off when the attached batteries were full. but pleased.
asked Kettering to head a research laboratory for GM. The bank was in trouble and they wanted Kettering to help." he predicted.‖ Kettering was very close to his son. covering nearly 15. Kettering also loved flying. just like his dad. He also made several important contributions to aviation. ―My fundamentals of business are simply this. . It was too far from Detroit. . as advisors. His attorney was not in favor of Kettering‘s involvement. . Placing GM‘s research labs in Dayton turned out to be one of Kettering‘s few mistakes. and not far from Ridgeleigh Terrace. After having his people review the bank‘s accounts he agreed to invest heavily in the bank. As a result. A year later. becoming one of its principal shareholders. forcing Kettering to book a suite of rooms at the Book-Cadillac Hotel. Winters Bank grew rapidly. chairman of the board. and a banker for the first time. Alfred P. Sloan that I would take it on three conditions—that I would have no responsibility and no authority. Eugene. and we did not save ourselves by squeezing people out of business. . You have to have a small profit for the manufacturer and a very large profit for the user. and that I would never be held accountable for the money I spent . Weathering even the Depression. "I was not out joy riding. which remained his Detroit home for the next two decades. . executives of the Winters National Bank and Trust Company of Dayton arrived at Ridgeleigh Terrace. Several years hence.‖ he said: ―I know I can‘t make and sell something for less than it costs me . I also know that if my product isn‘t worth more to the customer than he pays for it. He also installed various instruments to help him navigate. but made his acceptance conditional. as Kettering‘s family was about to leave Dayton for a trip to Europe. ―Hap‖ Arnold. They went fishing together and Kettering always brought mechanical articles for Eugene to toy around with.A Road Well Traveled 125 Air Force. not Detroit.000 miles in 1920. something other pilots excoriated.‖ The attorney was concerned about Kettering‘s plans to make the bank helpful to the community.‖ and the laboratory would have to be set up in Dayton. . and another GM vice president. . the Armistice ending World War I was signed. ―no depositor or stockholder lost a cent. Kettering became vice president and board member of GM. . ―Through it all. . Eugene developed an affinity for engineering and innovation. I was just at one place and wanted to go somewhere else. ―Kettering said. . GM agreed and established the General Motors Research Corporation with Kettering. Sloan Jr. Walter Chrysler. They built radio sets together and took apart automobiles. creating a fuel pump to replace the pressure fuel systems then in use. I can‘t stay in business. ―I told Mr. In 1924. . That‘s the double-profit system. Kettering‘s prototype was successful but just as plans to mass manufacture the aerial torpedo were about to be implemented in 1918. ending production of the synthetic fuel and the aerial torpedo. In 1919. . Kettering agreed. most stable and most successful financial institution in Dayton if not in the region. ―If Boss Ket persists in doing what he has been talking about he is going to lose every dollar he‘s got. the aircraft industry will be a big business.‖ In the end Winters became the largest.
‖ As a visionary. There was another ―ethyl‖ produced by Kettering. winding its way into nearly every cooling product in the world. ―I think we wouldn‘t have won the Battle of Britain without 100-octane. By 1924 General Motors Chemical Company was superseded by Ethyl Gasoline Company. As aviation fuel. jointly owned by GM and Standard Oil. with Kettering as its president. an additive of the fuel. and today it is banned worldwide. He knew it wasn‘t true.A Road Well Traveled 126 Kettering's lab developed a revolutionary coolant for GM's refrigerator division. Kettering did not know the danger Freon posed to the environment. However. and quickly gained international acceptance. Public Health Service gave it its seal of approval. he developed tetraethyl gasoline. and for a short period sales of Ethyl gas were suspended." In 1923 Kettering organized the General Motors Chemical Company to distribute Ethyl gas produced by the Refiners Oil Company of Dayton! Sales of Ethyl gas began in Dayton and soon expanded to Cincinnati. especially for children. Putting his engineers to work. but it did plant the idea of looking into compounds of selenium for anti-knock effects.S. As the volume of automobiles produced by GM increased. Frigidaire. They were fundamentally wrong in their conclusion—it was unhealthy. He had heard a story about two men developing a universal solvent. Medical professionals protested its use. Unfortunately.‖ Lead. Leaded gasoline was banned in 1986 in the U. ethyl alcohol. ―the fuel of the future. Freon was neither toxic nor a fire hazard. Kettering was now able to persuade officials of Standard Oil to sell Ethyl gas. from air conditioners to refrigerators. the U. the engine suffered from reduced compression and excessive fuel consumption.S. after research conducted for the Ethyl Gasoline Company suggested no such harm was forthcoming. Not only was it annoying. tetraethyl gasoline boosted performance of aircraft engines to the point that years later Great Britain‘s petroleum secretary acknowledged. It was called Freon. became a significant issue. Kettering revisited the problem of engine knock. . Unlike the noxious sulfur dioxide and methyl chloride then in use. suggesting that leaded gasoline would be harmful to humans. known as "Ethyl gas. for the same concerns expressed by the doctors 60 years earlier.
for use in submarine chasers. It occupied a third of the space of previous diesel engines of the same horsepower. Kettering declared.‖ the first streamlined train powered by diesel engines. but it proved insufficient for his needs. One of his first projects was to study photosynthesis and chlorophyll—basically asking the question: ―Why is the grass green?‖—in conjunction with Antioch College. would replace it. The yacht was his laboratory. automatic steering and mechanical stabilizers -. . One expert claimed. And in 1934. those crazy bicycle repairmen. telephones. especially after Olive died of pancreatic cancer in 1946. It was quickly followed up with 900-hp diesels for Santa Fe's ―Super Chief‖ and Union Pacific's ―City of San Francisco. high speed diesel engine.‖ In 1927 Kettering established the Charles F. A revolutionary two-cycle 600-hp diesel engine was born from his research on Olive K and in his lab. ―It was easier to build the danged thing than it was to argue it through a committee. ―said. so he purchased a new 168-foot yacht built to his specifications. . made its appearance. christened her Olive K.‖ Describing his experience with his first inventions. Although few ships employed diesel engines. the Wright brothers. And only the other day when I was trying to develop a high compression engine for automobiles even young engineers came to me and said: ‗Theory is absolutely against it. Considered the ―father of all lightweight trains.‖ The steam engine era was on a one-way track to oblivion and nostalgia. also dubbed the Olive K. couldn‘t fly. derived from vegetable matter.‘ How many engines did theory every build?‘ I asked. The avant-garde yacht had intercoms.his creations. which he also supported financially. Kettering Foundation to conduct research in science and medicine. that ultimately ethyl alcohol. and installed two 500-hp diesel engines that he had built. moreover. he purchased a yacht. ―This is the best engine any subchaser ever had. he did not want America to become dependent on foreign oil sources. Some of the research was conducted at a newly installed laboratory at Ridgeleigh Terrace. the ―Pioneer Zephyr.‖ it began regular service between Lincoln and Kansas City. Kettering wanted to learn more about it and diesel engines. .‖ The so-called cognoscenti he declared. Kettering continued to revolutionize the diesel engine and in 1941 developed a lightweight.A Road Well Traveled 127 KIettering believed leaded ethyl gasoline was transitional. Cancer research followed. Diesel fuel was also getting attention in the 1920s. called ―The Pancake‖ because of its unusual shape. He knew oil was a depletable resource.
leaving an estate in excess of $200 million. He contributed substantially to Antioch. Kettering retired as head of research for GM in 1947. Kettering was a firm advocate of higher practical education and his interest in higher education spanned several institutions. I think we would face backwards looking through the back window. and his son Eugene. now Kettering University and a trustee of the National Geographic Society and the Thomas Alva Edison Foundation. ―If we drove an automobile the way we try to run civilization. Jr. He had had more than 140 patents. resembling an antique version of today‘s large buses. and their respective foundations. Photos: The legendary American inventor Charles F. and many devices we now take for granted. In 1945 Alfred P. Kettering Courtesy of Kettering University Archives. Kettering in 1895 Deeds in 1905 Deed‘s Barn where first electric ignition was devised 1912 Cadillac.‖ Boss Ket died in 1958. a World‘s Fair-like exhibit. . He was the founder of the Flint Institute of Technology in 1919. Sloan. each 12 feet tall and 33 feet long. the John Fritz Medal of the four Founders Societies. He was a Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences and recipient of the most prestigious award in engineering. to tour the nation through towns large and small. Kettering had a unique philosophical view of life. and introduce cutting-edge technology to millions of people with a show called Parade of Progress. GM built 12 Futurliners. where we are going. . a philanthropic trust. first car with electric self starter Ridgeleigh Terrace . founded by Horace Mann. admiring where we came from and not caring .A Road Well Traveled 128 The Futurliner was another Kettering brainchild. decided to establish a research institute with one principal goal—effective control of cancer through cure and eventual prevention. and donated the funds for a library named in Olive‘s honor. Kettering‘s primary role was to implement the same research and innovative regime he had established so successfully both at Delco and subsequently at GM to tackle great problems and to overcome seemingly insurmountable barriers. He bequeathed most of his fortune to the Kettering Foundation. 30 honorary degrees and countless medals and awards. and Kettering. a science building and the student union.
A Road Well Traveled 129 1923 Ethyl Gas Station The Olive K Pioneer Zephyr Futurliner Kettering University (formerly General Motors Institute. formerly Flint Institute of Technology) .
1901 1904 1905 1908 1909 1910 1911 Receives contract from Cadillac to build 12. Receives a contract from Cadillac to build 8. is born on April 20. Works on developing an electric ignition system with Edward A. William Durant forms United Motors Corporation and offers Kettering $9 million for the company. Graduated from Ohio State University with a degree in engineering and on July 1 went to work with the inventions staff at National Cash Register Company. Became a teacher at Big Run.A Road Well Traveled 130 TIMELINE 1876 Born on in Loudonville. Ohio.000 battery ignitions. Establishes the Dayton Engineering Laboratories Company (Delco) and resigns from NCR. Only child.000 electric starters. Returned to Ohio State. Took a leave of absence to work for the Star Telephone Company learing to install telephone exchanges and electronic circuitry. 1913 Begins development of an electric generator to provide light for farms and forms DelcoLight. Henry Leland. 1895 Graduated from Loudonville High School. Friend of Cadillac founder. Deeds. Married Olive Williams on August 1. in Mifflin. dies from injury suffered in trying to hand crank a car. General Motors Research Corporation is formed and Kettering becomes a Vice President of GM. son Eugene Williams. Successfully develops an aerial torpedo for World War I but the war ends before he begins production. Forms the Flint Institute of Technology. and worked for a wagonmaker. Accepts an offer to head a research laboratory at General Motors. 1916 1917 1919 1920 . Kettering builds it by Christmas Eve 1910. 1897 1898 Enrolled at Ohio State University. Oh. Leland asks Kettering to develop an electrical starter.
General Motors Chemical Company is superseded by Ethyl Gasoline Company owned by GM and Standard Oil with Kettering as president.‖ Dies November 25 in Dayton. telephones. Despite protests from the medical profession. Ohio. Navy. Forms the General Motors Institute. establish the SloanKettering Institute for Cancer Research with one principal goal—effective control of cancer through cure and eventual prevention. Purchases yacht he names Olive K to serve as a floating laboratory for the development of diesel engines for boats and trains and installs two 500-hp diesel engines.S.A Road Well Traveled 131 1921 1923 1924 Develops tetraethyl lead as an antiknock additive in December. 1926 1927 1928 1930 1934 1940 1941 1945 1946 1947 1958 . and their respective foundations. Purchases new Grumman Mallard he names ―The Blue Tail Fly. to handle all of his business affairs. Elected as a Fellow of the national Academy of Sciences and receives the John Fritz Medal of the Four Founders Societies. and Kettering. Builds 12 Futurliners. Saves and takes over Winters National Bank and Trust of Dayton. long and tall buses to tour North America and present the Parade of Progress to spectators. Public Health Service gave leaded gasoline its seal of approval. Jr. Builds the Pioneer Zephyr. the U. Sloan. known today as the Sloan-Kettering Memorial Hospital. Purchases second yacht. all his creations. Develops a revolutionary diesel engine called ―the Pancake‖ for use in submarine chasers by the U. a 168-foot vessel with intercoms. Alfred P. Inc. Retires as head of research for General Motors. now Kettering University. Forms Charles F. Established the Charles F.S. the first train powered by a diesel engine. also dubbed the Olive K. Ohio. Organizes General Motors chemical company to distribute Ethyl gas. Kettering. automatic steering and mechanical stabilizers. Olive dies of pancreatic cancer. Kettering Foundation to conduct research in science and medicine.
com/watch?v=7ZDbv567vbs Kettering Bug Aerial Torpedo www.php?video_id=171985 The Burlington Pioneer Zephyr www. Green (1961) VIDEO AND OTHER MEDIA Ohio Inventor – Charles Kettering http://video. Thomas A. the biography of Charles Franklin Kettering. Columbia University Press (1983) Young. Rosamand McPherson.com/watch?v=mtHMwK1ZAag General Motors ―Futurliner‖ Vintage Bus www. Dutton (1957) Lavine. Sigmund A. Professional amateur. Kettering.A Road Well Traveled 132 FURTHER READING Boyd.youtube.com/watch?v=kHe0YSciQao GMs Parade of Progress – Futurliners www. Stuart W.youtube.com/viewVideo. Dodd.youtube.whyy. Kettering: master inventor. Boss Ket: a life of Charles F. Boss Kettering.teachertube. Longmans.youtube.org/video/1504571114/ Inventor Charles Kettering www1.com/watch?v=gNO84yh2ZxY . Mead (1960) Leslie.
where the American textile industry was beginning to blossom and factory jobs were plentiful.. Chrysler and Olds would lead the list. working on the farm from an early age and attending school during the winter months. They subsequently had two children. In 1890. Armory at Springfield.A Road Well Traveled 133 HENRY MARTYN LELAND Henry Leland‘s name is unlikely to surface as an answer to the question: Who were the automobile titans who created the great American automobile companies? Ford. Mass. . a machine shop specializing in grinders and gears. Gertrude and Wilfred. Vt. During the Civil War. his armory was an ideal training ground for Henry. Henry was born in Barton. Conn. joined Leland as a salesman. he had so much business his labor force increased to 60 employees. If Leland had named his cars in his own image. Wilfred. Henry became an apprentice mechanic in 1857. Sam Colt was a great proponent of machine-made and interchangeable parts. They were married in 1867. Henry went through a succession of jobs. Ellen Hull. a second-year pre-med student at Brown. But Henry itched to get back to Worcester. Chrysler or Olds. he would be near the top of the list — he founded Cadillac and Lincoln. lived. "That was one of the times I thought I ought to quit making other men rich and go to work for myself. including one in which he invented hair clippers for barbers. where his fiancee. in 1843. which resulted in a 50-cent-a-day raise. the family moved to Worcester. Henry settled in Detroit and founded Leland. like Ford. Unable to make ends meet on the farm." he rued. it was a closeknit family and both children would play a major role in Henry‘s life.S. Henry worked as a mechanic for the U.. The eighth child of a poor farmer who could barely make ends meet. Faulconer & Norton. In three months. and the day after the war ended found employment with the Colt Revolver Factory in Hartford. It was a typical childhood.
was preparing to dissolve the company and asked Henry Leland to appraise its equipment. but one must sweat blood for a chance to produce a superior product. He also demonstrated his new engine to Murphy. "It is easy to get cooperation for mediocre work. Leland & Faulconer merged into a new Cadillac Motor Car Company. call the company to send men out to right her up. though built from the same design. The one-cylinder Cadillac Model A‘s poured out of the factory as demand became insatiable. It was fortuitous timing. Henry provided the appraisal. but had three times the horsepower. and speed on at a blistering 28 mph. Henry Ford.000 engines. William Murphy. with the Lelands heading operations. It was due to superior craftsmanship. He would speed around corners in the top-heavy car. Olds turned Henry down. The British." Ransom Olds. the founder of d‘etrait — later Detroit. That year. naming it Osceola. Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac. All three cars drove away to the total amazement of the Royal Automobile Club. the parts mixed. . Cadillac gained international recognition in 1909 by winning the prestigious Dewar Challenge Cup. at one point. Unwilling to pay for retooling. tip it over. gave Leland a contract to build 2. cost the same. were stunned to see the three cars disassembled. who believed hand-workmanship was essential to producing high quality parts. The Olds engine left much to be desired. It was the same size. so Henry built a better model and offered it to Olds. but urged Murphy to keep Detroit alive. maker of the curved-dash run-about. Henry was fond of his first Cadillac. but Henry‘s motors had more horsepower. Detroit was renamed the Cadillac Automobile Company — for the French explorer. Detroit‘s principal shareholder. Leland & Faulconer received a contract to manufacture the engines and the first Cadillacs arrived for display at the New York automobile show in January 1903.A Road Well Traveled 134 Precision was Henry‘s mantra. and the cars reassembled.‘ he said. had just parted ways. The Dodge brothers were making the same motor for Olds. "There always was and there always will be conflict between ‗good‘ and ‗good enough. the Model A was outselling every other automobile. Murphy and Henry struck a deal. Henry brought three cars to England. The Detroit Automobile Company and its chief engineer.
6. This incident disturbed Henry. A woman had stalled her car on a hill. But Durant told Henry. it lashed back. but when he turned the hand crank.400. The solution was Charles Kettering. Cadillac introduced several innovations. And sell it did. GM‘s bankers pulled the plug and prepared to place GM into bankruptcy.400." and directed them to seek a solution. That year. Cadillac retained its autonomy at GM while Durant was busy acquiring more companies and borrowing heavily to do it. Billy Durant. He was indefatigable and so patient in his directing and guiding wherever needed. sold by August." The V-8 lived. the most important one arising from an accident. Durant made one demand: he wanted the Lelands to manage the Cadillac division. was equally revolutionary. Criticized by some experts. At $1. Henry wanted Cadillac to build airplane engines. Stiff competition at that end of the market combined with the financial panic of 1907 nearly brought Cadillac down to its financial knees. it was priced to sell. As Europe headed to war. One automobile executive said Henry "was a prince. offered to acquire Cadillac. slamming his face and breaking his arm. "That which deserves to live — lives. GM‘s debt swelled so rapidly that in 1910. The V-8. "This is not our war and I will not permit any General Motor unit to do work for the government. GM purchased Cadillac for the unprecedented price of $5. He brought his engineers together and told them: "The Cadillac car will kill no more men if we can help it. A Good Samaritan offered to start it for her. with the entire output for 1909. becoming standard in every Cadillac from 1914 to 1927. He died a few weeks later.A Road Well Traveled 135 Cadillac automobiles became larger and more luxurious through a succession of models. After tough bargaining. Kettering created the first self-starting electronic ignition system." .000 cars. The bankers ousted Durant but kept the Lelands. The introduction of the Cadillac "30" in late 1908 saved the company. We called him the Grand Old Man of Detroit. founder of General Motors. But the move to luxury cars came at a steep price." Between 1910 and 1915. The 4-cylinder Model H also bore the impressive price of $2.5 million. a National Cash Register engineer who invented a small electric motor for operating cash registers. Henry declared. introduced by Cadillac in 1914. Wilfred met with the bankers and induced them to keep the company alive.
Making matters worse.725.000 Liberty engines. but in 1931 Ford prevailed. calling it the Lincoln Motor Company in honor of his favorite president. the government assessed Lincoln Motors an additional tax of $5. Automotive experts expected the combination of Ford and the Lelands to herald a new age in automobile design and production. His legacy? Two of America‘s most enduring luxury car lines: Cadillac and Lincoln. Henry Ford acquired Lincoln for $8 million. creating a financial drain on operations and friction between the Lelands and Lincoln‘s shareholders. And with his track record at Cadillac. potential distributors lined up. well-built car. And although the tax assessment was finally resolved for $600.000. The association between Ford and Leland ended contentiously. but he opted for Lincoln. but their management and production styles did not mesh. slow sales in 1921 forced Lincoln to enter into receivership. The new Lincoln. however. Leland sued Ford for breach of promise on behalf of Lincoln stockholders. was relegated to obscurity. Henry decided to go back to making cars. a solid. Photos: Library of Congress . The government gave Henry a contract to build 6.673 on wartime profits. It was a crushing defeat and final blow for 88-year-old Henry.A Road Well Traveled 136 Henry resigned and established a new company to build airplane engines. did not sell well. The end of WWI brought an abrupt end to airplane engine sales. People suggested he name the new car Leland. His name. He died six months later.
with the Lelands heading operations. Armory at Springfield. pays Leland $5.S. Vt. The popular Cadillac ―30‖ is introduced and sells for $1.5 million for Cadillac. Henry and son Wilfred run the company until 1917. Conn beginning April 10. Cadillac produces the Osceola. First Cadillac makes a maiden drive on October 17. On a challenge from England‘s Royal Automobile Club to determine the precision of standardized parts. First Cadillacs. the Model A. 1862-1865 1865 1867 1886 Employed with the Colt Revolver Factory in Hartford. Became an apprentice mechanic. . founder of GM. Establishes the Cadillac School of Applied Mechanics.286 orders are received at the show for the $750-car. formerly the Detroit Automobile Company and reorganizes it as the Cadillac Automobile Company on August 22. Worked as mechanic for the U.400. 6. On July 29 Billy Durant. Leland arrives in England with three Cadillacs. 1912 Cadillac again wins the Dewar Trophy for its electric starting and ignition system. disassembles them. debut at the New York Automobile Show in January and 2. a single-cylinder favorite of Henry Leland and the first step-in closed-car design. Olds and his curved dash runabout. 1890 1902 Begins to manufacture parts and engines for Ransom E.A Road Well Traveled 137 TIMELINE 1843 1857 Born February 16 in Barton. the Model K. 1903 1905 1907 1908 1909 1911 Cadillac is first car to employ Kettering‘s electric self starter and ignition system. and reassembles the three cars for which he wins the prestigious Dewar Trophy. mixes up the parts. Marries Ellen Hull Goes to Chicago but arrives during the Haymarket riots on May 4 and moves on to Detroit. Faulconer & Norton.000 cars are sold this year. Leland & Faulconer merged into a new Cadillac Motor Car Company.. Establishes Leland. 1902 Replaces Henry Ford at the Henry Ford Co. a machine shop specializing in grinders and gears.
youtube. New England Press (1986) Leland.000 are sold.com/watch?v=REpZfs4gWsA Cadillac History www. Ottilie M.de/watch/6421921/Cadillac_History . Master of Precision: Henry M.000 cars. Lincoln Motors enters bankruptcy. with Edsel Ford‘s design makes its debut. First Cadillac V-8 emblem appears. Leland. Agrees to let Henry Ford acquire the company for $8 million. Henry Leland: the story of the Vermonter who created Cadillac and Lincoln.A Road Well Traveled 138 1914 1915 1917 Revolutionary V-8 engine is introduced by Cadillac.myvideo. Gloria May. Greenwood Press (1975) VIDEO AND OTHER MEDIA Henry Leland Shakes Hands With Henry Ford www. 1923 1932 FURTHER READING Stoddard.com/video/65675031942_Lincoln-purchase-ceremony_LincolndBuilding_group-poses-in-front-of-building_plant-building Cadillac History www. Leaves Cadillac and forms Lincoln Motor Company to build Liberty aircraft engines. 1919 Begins manufacturing automobiles again under the name of Lincoln. 1920 First Lincolns on the road powered by a 60-degree V-8 engine and 6.criticalpast. Michigan.. 1921 1922 Although it sells 14. Disagrees with Ford on running the company and leaves Lincoln Motors. The Model L. Dies March 26 at Grace Hospital in Detroit.
Ill. to end slavery. at age 18. But he didn‘t run too far away from his roots. where he received $12 a month. After three months he sought a better paying job and landed on a Mount Morris. He saved his earnings. where his compensation was a $8 a month. Nash ran away from that farm when he was 12 and continued running until he had become one of America‘s most successful and accomplished automobile pioneers. when he escaped from the Michigan farm and walked 15 miles to begin new employment on a farm near Grand Blanc. 1864 on a farm in DeKalb County. NASH Charles W. Nash died in 1948 in the tony city of Beverly Hills. in part. while the nation was embroiled in the Civil War.‖ and noting that he was proud of belonging to the ―common people. Not bad considering his roots: a dirt-poor farm boy whose parents split up when he was six years old and essentially abandoned him.. His emancipation didn‘t take place until 1876.‖ His indentured servitude was ironic since he was born on Jan. a court indentured the sixyear-old to a Michigan farmer to work for room and board until he was 21.A Road Well Traveled 139 CHARLES W. leaving an estate of approximately $50 million. fighting. 28. describing himself as ―the most common cuss that lived. California. Nash was careful with money. using it to buy 10 sheep which he raised on the farm. Five years later he had 80 sheep and was supplementing his wages by selling wool. Mich. became the operator of a portable steam hay . farm about 75 miles northwest of Detroit. Mich. He also learned carpentry and. Unimaginable today.
After exhausting his funds. Moreover. Buick designed an engine and automobile. Durant and Dort ultimately changed the company‘s name to the Durant-Dort Carriage Company and by 1895 were producing 56. combined with the practical hands-on experience in the construction and repair of farming equipment. At first Nash received $1 a day. In 1884 Nash married Jessie Halleck. together earning $300 a year. Buick ended up with a mere two percent of the new company and served as its secretary. Scottish-born David Dunbar Buick. the advent of the horseless carriage presented potential competition for Durant-Dort‘s carriage business. he began borrowing money to cover expenses and ultimately the company was acquired and reorganized as the Buick Motor Company by James H. working with farm machinery and implements. They returned to the Mount Morris farm and worked for another six years. The first Buick. But Nash wanted to branch out on his own and in 1890 the couple moved to Flint. Growing up on a farm. But he was in the carriage business and his interest would not turn into passion until after the turn of the century.000 vehicles a year and employing 10% of Flint‘s population. According to the New York Times. a carriage maker formed in 1885 by William Crapo Durant and Josiah Dort.A Road Well Traveled 140 presser. his principal occupation remained that of a farmhand on the Mount Morris farm. often in the field and at times with limited access to tools. it was Nash who first developed an interest in the horseless carriage after driving one in 1897. sold his company in 1899 and used the proceeds to form the Buick Auto-Vim and Power Company and build cars. Another man‘s interest in horseless carriages had already matured. a Model B. Whiting. owner of the Flint Wagon Works. but his work ethic and capability gained Dort‘s attention. six months later Nash was superintendent of the factory. required ingenuity and served as an excellent primer for intrepid voyagers heading into a new industry. owner of a successful plumbing business. Although Durant would later found General Motors.‖ He ultimately became vice president and general manager of Durant-Dort. rolled out in 1904. a teen he met while pressing hay on her family farm near Flint. where Nash first worked as a grocery clerk before landing a job stuffing cushions with the Flint Road Cart Company. however. Nash ―developed a straight-line belt conveyor system of assembly which was later used in the motor car and other industries. The hard work and long hours. . seems to have been a common thread for many of the automobile pioneers. but was the ultimate procrastinator in producing a final product. Mich.
At first Durant was reticent.A Road Well Traveled 141 Business.000 cars a year. Whiting decided to sell out and approached Durant. Durant went into a long discussion about the bright prospects for automobiles.000 in the bank. Nash turned to Dort and said. Durant spent two months riding around. Nash built a new powerful six-cylinder Buick. had dinner at Durant‘s home. Billy‘s crazy. Durant borrowed fast and furiously to build GM into a giant company.‖ But in September 1908. Walter Chrysler replaced Nash as president of Buick.5 million in less than a year—and gave Buick 300 shares and a small role as an experimental engineer. but by 1910 the bankers rebelled and forced Durant out. revolutionary at the time. and Oakland Automobile Motor Car Company (later Pontiac). Buick later ―disposed of his stock and all his relations with the Buick Motor Company to promote his oil [company].‖ referring to the Buick Oil Company in California. a GM director and former president. however. putting the Buick through its paces over every conceivable road and obstacle—then had an epiphany about the role automobiles would play in the future of transportation. He began pouring his profits into buying GM stock and commenced negotiations to have General Motors acquire Chevrolet. eliminated the racing department and transformed Buick into one of the most profitable automobile companies. Durant acquired the Buick Motor Company. claiming one company could sell 100. One night in 1906 Durant‘s partner. recapitalized it for $300. Dallas Dort. One of his last acts before leaving was to nominate Nash as president of Buick. Disenchanted with the automobile business. and Nash. according to James J. In five years. vice president of the DurantDort Carriage Works. Storrow. drastically reduced inventory. According to Nash.000—increasing it to $1.000.‖ But Durant had not gone out meekly. In November 1904. Nash turned the company from a ‗wreck into a concern having $25. Nash was a relatively cautious executive—some regarded him as a penny pincher—who ran a tight ship. GM‘s bankers and board took notice of Nash‘s work and moved him up the ladder to GM‘s presidency where he received a liberal salary and a percentage of profits. He formed Chevrolet Motor Company and by 1915 was selling 13. Durant formed General Motors as a holding company which quickly acquired Buick—from himself—Olds. On September 4 Durant got his first ride in a Buick and asked Whiting to provide him with one for further test drives. ―Dallas. But Whiting was a friend and pressed Durant to take a ride. directors . GM‘s bankers. was lukewarm at best. he had no use for automobiles.000 automobiles a year.
000 in taxes on his 1924 income. Nash next turned his attention to the Thomas B. Charles T. B.000 and profits $7. partnering with Pierre S.000. Jeffery. Other models. whose profits have exceeded $56. Automobile historian Beverly Rae Kimes said: ―As president of General Motors . .C. Undeterred. . and in the following year sales exceeded $57.000 cars a year and by 1928 Nash was one of the largest automobile manufacturer in the U. In 1926 the Nash plants had the capacity to produce 100. and after reevaluating his priorities. Nash resigned and the two men parted company. I had to leave.000.000.‖ But some of Nash‘s success arose from the U.000. Forbes. a very practical authority on what makes for success. According to B. based on a new and well-engineered overhead-valve straight-six engine they called the ―valve in head.S. has built up a business on which there is not a dollar of bonded indebtedness.‖ The New York Times reported that Nash was one of the top 25 income tax payers in the nation. ―Here I spent years putting GM back on financial footing just to have Wild Bill take it back. to Durant.350. Forbes described Nash as ―A man who. paying nearly $560. It is more probable that Durant regarded Nash‘s opposition and siding with the bankers as disloyalty. some selling for less than $1. in 1919 Nash ―sold more than $40. .000 worth of cars at a net profit of more than $5.‖ Some historians claim Durant offered Nash a substantial sum of money to remain. son of the founder. . At first. making Nash Motors one of the military‘s largest suppliers of trucks. Writing in 1925. Jeffery Company in Kenosha. manufacturer of a small car called the Rambler and the Jeffery Quad four-by-four truck. Wisc. The company‘s principal owner. and disloyalty.000. . Charlie Nash found himself in an untenable position. sought to acquire Packard.000.000. agreed to sell the company to Nash in 1916 for less than $10 million. Durant. in the short space of nine years.‖ Seeking to fulfill a demand for lower-priced automobiles for the working and middle classes. whose stocks have a market value approximating $137. Production increased year by year. regaining control of GM.000 followed. Storrow and Chrysler.A Road Well Traveled 142 and Nash opposed the move.000. began a major proxy battle and worked feverishly to have Chevrolet acquire GM—a case of the minnow swallowing the whale—and in 1916 he succeeded.000. . with annual sales of 138. the 683 roadster. A year later. Nash renamed the company Nash Motors. and whose bank balance tops $30. had survived the sinking of the Lusitania in 1915.C. Nash. Army‘s purchase of the Quad four-by-four trucks during World War I.000. This seems doubtful because during the proxy battle Nash sought to renew a voting trust that had previously limited Durant‘s power in the company. Nash said. one of the less expensive closed cars. with fellow GM executives.169 cars. Nash quickly came out with a new line of cars. but their offer was rejected by Packard‘s board. Nash designed cheaper and smaller cars including the Carriole. bearing such uninventive names as the 681 and 682 touring cars. a two-door sedan priced at $1. du Pont. was unforgivable.‖ His quarter-century friendship with Durant did not blind him to Durant‘s financial faults.000. .S. the 684 sedan and the 685 coupe.000.
Mich.A Road Well Traveled 143 His success was based on his unique management style. The family also maintained a hunting lodge in Wisconsin. Mason as its president.000. Another daughter lived in Grosse Point. management.050 and the Ambassador Eight. from men on the assembly line—―boys in the factory‖ he called them—to management. His good relationship with employees.‖ .000 in cash Christmas gifts to his employees. from foremen to senior executives. the Nash dealers. literally. to Nash. One of his associates noted. He was very sensitive to outside criticism and regarded it carefully. with Nash as chairman of the board and George W. he understood the need for vertical integration. Long before the advent of the motor car. Nash didn‘t lag far behind. the Nash car division continued to produce four-door sedans including the Master Lafayette. movie theatre. producer of refrigerators. Nash. Nash retained an active role in the company as its chairman of the board and six years later initiated a major merger with Kelvinator Corporation. Nash Motors also acquired Lafayette Motors Corporation in 1922 and the plant and assets of the Mitchell Motors Company. to their ideas and complaints. ―Just as rapid turnover of the goods on his shelves is sought by the retail merchant. And every Monday afternoon. Olds and Cadillac coachwork. Nash retired in 1930. They were always welcome to his spartanly furnished office on the second floor. and purchased a residence in Beverly Hills. builders of closed bodies. Nash distributed $815.‖ he acknowledged and concluded that ―The Nash product is the result of cooperation. During his tenure at GM. Mr. and built a new plant for its operations. was mutual because he always left his door open. to which they contributed fifty cents a month. Twenty cents was used for social and athletic activities and thirty cents was placed in a fund for mutual aid in cases of sickness or misfortune. where their daughter May married a local businessman. extended by our partners in the business. tennis court. After Durant took over GM in 1916. Durant acquired Fisher Body. Nash declined to make any distinction between union and non-union employees. band. so also is rapid turnover of stocks in his bins insisted upon by Mr." After the stock market crashed in 1929. builders of the Buick. Renamed the Nash-Kelvinator Corporation. would meet with him at his home to discuss how to improve operations and efficiency and increase sales. The club had its own orchestra. selling for $950. He was a cautious manager. Nash worked closely with Fisher Body Co. In 1919 he acquired a half-interest in the Seaman Body Corporation of Milwaukee. California.‖ Raw materials and parts. were a liability and transformed into assets upon completion and sale of a car. athletic field. Nash grasped the value of a small inventory and quick turnover. like Ford. Nash also sought to convert his operations from assembly to manufacturing. the Ambassador Six for $1. household appliances and temperature engineering equipment. He set up a company club or society. coupes and victorias also known as the ―Kenosha Duesenbergs. clubhouse and baseball stadium with seating for 6. the deluxe model at $900. ―We don't pretend to know it all here at the factory.
A Road Well Traveled 144 Nash was in poor health when his wife died on August 18. he said: ―I feel that the automobile industry. on June 7. and the dominance of the industry by a few major companies. Charles Nash clearly foresaw the future of automobiles. . 1947. will ultimately gravitate to a few large organizations I look upon the present as a testing-time which will lead to the passing of the weak and the survival of the fittest.‖ During Charlie Nash‘s life. Nash was dead. ―His will to live apparently faded with the shock of the disclosure by his daughters of the death of Mrs. Nash Motors was one of the fittest.‖ the New York Times reported. Ten months later. like practically every other large industry. He recognized the need for smaller. Taking a page from Darwin. Jessie Hallack Nash. fuel-efficient and economic cars.
Appointed president of General Motors.S. Jeffery company Nash Motors. and three months later to a Mount Morris farm 75 miles northwest of Detroit. Goes to work for Flint Road Cart Company. Durant acquires the Buick Motor Company. Moves to Flint. Renames the Thomas B.000 in federal incomes taxes to become one of America‘s top 25 taxpayers.A Road Well Traveled 145 TIMELINE 1864 1876 Born January 28 on a farm in DeKalb County. Introduces the two-door four-cylinder sedan with ―closed doors‖ called the ―Carriole‖ with a selling price of $1. Pays $560. Marries Jessie Halleck he met while pressing hay on her family farm and continues to work on the Mount Morris farm. Nash Motors sells more than $40 million worth of cars at a net profit of $5 million.350. Mich. Jeffery in Kenosha. Olds and the Oakland Automobile Motor Car Company (later Pontiac) Durant is forced out of GM by the bankers but as one of his last acts names Nash president of Buick. 1915 1916 Durant forms Chevrolet Motor Company. Named vice president of the Durant-Dort Carriage Works. Army and Nash Motor Company becomes one of the largest producers of trucks in the nation. Escapes from the Michigan farm and walks 15 miles to a farm near Grand Blanc. Negotiates contract with the U. Nash acquires the Thomas B. Mich. Durant forms General Motors as a holding company for Buick. Ill. Durant reacquires control of General Motors and Nash resigns the presidency. 1884 1885 1890 1897 1904 1906 1908 1910 1917 1919 1922 1924 . Billy Durant and Josiah Dort establish the Flint Road Cart Company. Wisc. manufacturer of the Rambler for less than $10 million. and works as a grocery clerk. It is the first low cost ―closed door‖ automobile manufactured. Driving his first horseless carriage ignites his passion for the automobile.
Forbes Publishing Co.D. Calif. Distributes $815. Calif.000 to his employees after the stock market crash.169 cars. a high quality car that is known as the ―Kenosha Duesenbergs. Kimes. 1929 1930 1932 1936 1937 1947 1948 FURTHER READING Forbes.C. Engineers. producer of refrigerators. Nash Motors is one of the largest automobile manufacturers in the U. B. The new Nash cars debut. Renames it the NashKelvinator Corporation. Nash Motors introduces the Ambassador.C. on June 7..S. Nash Motor plants have the capacity to produce 100. with annual sales of 138. in Beverly Hills. Retires from day to day operations and acquires a residence in Beverly Hills. and O.A Road Well Traveled 146 1925 1926 1928 Introduces the Ajax automobile four-cylinder sedans and touring cars.. Pioneers.. B. SAE International (2004). And Scoundrels: The Dawn of the Automobile in America. NY. Loses will to live upon learning the shocking news Dies seven months later. leaving an estate of $43 million. Wife Jessie Halleck dies on August 18. Beverly R. household appliances and temperature engineering equipment. with himself as chairman.000 cars. . 1926. Foster. Automotive Giants of America. but maintains a hunting lodge in Wisconsin. Sets goal to gain fourth place in the automobile industry or first among independents within a year.‖ Engineers merger of Nash Motors with Kelvinator Corporation.
com/watch?v=-jLQy_ReLnc&feature=related Nash 1932 to 1939 Part 4 http://www.com/watch?v=gRQNMoUcDEU&feature=related Nash Body Plant http://www.com/watch?v=-0owupMELaY&feature=related Nash 1932 to 1939 Part 5 http://www.youtube.youtube.com/watch?v=PvHbG821MSo&feature=related Nash Ambassador 1939 Part 4 http://www.com/watch?v=-0owupMELaY&feature=related Nash 1932 to 1939 Part 6 http://www.com/watch?v=prghUWDvLqA&feature=related Nash Ambassador 1939 http://www.com/watch?v=9UUouahzKq8&feature=related Nash Ambassador 1939 Part 3 http://www.com/watch?v=QK8Uj-K4iy8 1929 Nash Advanced Six Rumble Seat Coupe http://www.youtube.youtube.youtube.youtube.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5JrPeAphVU Nash 1932 to 1939 Part 3 http://www.com/watch?v=UaabDdnWVmI&feature=related Nash 1932 to 1939 Part 2 http://www.youtube.A Road Well Traveled 147 VIDEOS AND OTHER LINKS Nash 1932 to 1939 Part 1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_z-xWaKqOc 1927 Nash 333 Special 6 Sedan for Sale .youtube.youtube.com/watch?v=kwp77D3D2LE&feature=related Nash Ambassador 1939 Part 2 http://www.youtube.
com/watch?v=mwqmsA8gJ6I .youtube.A Road Well Traveled 148 http://www.
he was back in the shop. he became an expert mechanic. rising every morning by 5 a.. paying his father $300 down. ―father‘s work consisted mostly of repairing. the three-letter word meaning ―early classic car‖ in crossword puzzles. Henry Ford. Olds acquired a half interest in the shop. At 4 p. 2004. General Motors had ended the line. is named for its inventor. Although he never finished high school. Ransom E. Michigan. Most of us are more familiar with another car bearing his name-Oldsmobile. Olds. and giving him a note for $800 for the balance. ―At the time I went in with him. in 1864. Olds is regarded as the first of the great American automobile pioneers. where Pliny and Olds‘ older brother opened the Olds & Son machine shop on River Street. the last Oldsmobile rolled off the assembly line in Detroit.m. Olds spent all his spare time in the shop.A Road Well Traveled 149 RANSOM E. his company was the first of the great automobile enterprises. OLDS Reo. money he earned on holidays and vacations. blaming the decision on poor brand identification. He not only sold the first car manufactured in America. When he was 21. returning home for breakfast before heading off to school. a model and training ground for the Dodge brothers.‖ Olds reminisced. the second child born to Pliny and Sarah Olds. but I . when the family moved to Lansing. Olds attended schools in Cleveland until 1880. and other automotive trailblazers.m. walking to the shop to fire up the boiler and start the engine to create steam. Pliny was a blacksmith who ran a machine shop. Ohio. More than 35 million Oldsmobiles have been sold since Olds produced his first car. but on April 29. Henry Leland (founder of Cadillac and Lincoln). Olds was born in Geneva.
000 steam engines. As soon as the steam car left his plant. Olds had invented a gasoline engine. An article in Scientific American described Olds‘ car. India. . In 1896 his new brainchild reached a speed of 25 miles per hour.S. as their business expanded they amassed a mountain of debt and uncollectible receivables. On a spring day in 1886 Olds went to his shop before dawn and took out a newly built machine for a secret ride.‖ Olds said. a clerk in a Lansing gift shop. "Ranse thinks he can put an engine in a buggy and make the contraption carry him over the roads. Olds spent all his spare time on his car.000 in capital. However. If he doesn't get killed at his fool undertaking. It provided gasoline directly into the cylinder and generated almost 18 horsepower. It was a horseless carriage made of whitewood and oak. of London purchased it—the first American automobile sold in the U. resting on three steel-tired buggy wheels. Frances Times Company. It wasn‘t secret for long.‖ He also began producing automobiles. and the first to be exported. . within five years their firm sold 2. ―I spent every spare minute tinkering with engines and experimenting with different forms of combustion.S. with a steam engine for power. Pliny wasn‘t thrilled. .‖ He did. That little gasoline engine I had invented sold so well that it finally pulled us out of the hole ." In 1889 Olds married Metta Ursula Woodward. completing it a year later. Olds turned his attention to forging a gas-powered engine with a horseless carriage. the first manufactured in the U.A Road Well Traveled 150 wanted to manufacture and it seemed to me that we could create a demand for small steam engines. making enough of a racket to wake up the entire neighborhood. The following year Olds incorporated the Olds Gasoline Engine Works. Ltd. steered by an iron lever. with $30.‖ Strangely. That year Olds received patents for his gasoline engine and applied for the first American patents for an ―auto-mobile carriage. I will be satisfied. They went on to have two daughters. and as a result of the publicity. he continued to improve his steam-powered car. ―But in all that time I never lost faith in my idea of gasoline locomotion. It was subsequently lost at sea en route to Bombay. bringing out the curious and the angry. Inc.
the two day journey was the longest automobile trip in American history at the time and demonstrating the durability of the car.5-acre factory. and a selling price of $650. agreed to provide the capital for a new company. Only one car was saved. Post Office purchased Oldsmobiles for its first mail trucks. a tiller for steering. An employee suggested the name. Their plan to produce a model that would sell for $1.S. Production began in 1901 but in March a fire destroyed the plant. cushion tires. Olds then formed Olds Motor Works with a group of investors from Detroit headed by Samuel L.A Road Well Traveled 151 Although Olds never graduated from high school. the U. with a singlecylinder. When Olds announced plans to build 4. Sparrow. ―Oldsmobile. But business expanded rapidly and . Detroit‘s first permanent auto manufacturing enterprise. As his horseless carriage gained notoriety. As a result.000 that first year.‖ a two-seater. They built six cars but disagreed on which model to produce in larger numbers. a Lansing mogul. Harvard asked him to speak at its commencement ceremonies in 1897.000 cars the following year—twice as many cars as were on all American roads—he encountered disbelief. water-cooled rear-mounted engine. Smith. automotive manufacturers relied on races and other events to publicize their cars. and electric push-button starter was too complicated and impractical. Olds began to focus on a much simpler automobile and the board agreed to concentrate the company‘s resources on the curved-dash ―runabout. That year Pliny retired and Olds took over the business. They lost $80. the Curved Dash Oldsmobile.250 and include a pneumatic clutch. Olds immediately rebuilt the factory and 425 runabouts were sold that year. Edward W. Olds and Smith built a large 2. Before the advent of show rooms. Olds had Roy Chapin (who would later head Hudson) drive an Oldsmobile runabout from Detroit to the 1901 New York Auto Show beginning November 1 at Madison Square Garden. Olds Motor Vehicle Company.‖ and it stuck. It absorbed the Olds Motor Vehicle Company and the profitable Olds Gasoline Engine Works.
and by 1906 was outselling Oldsmobile and Ford. Olds purchased 37. His wife Metta fell at his funeral and died a week later. who still favored the cheaper. Olds readily accepted the offer and the company relocated its plant to Lansing. Olds. When Samuel Smith‘s sons pressed for an upscale car. Olds died in Lansing in 1950. Harpers Weekly 1904 Pliney Olds driving a Reo in 1905.000 engines to Henry Leland and his Faulconer Machine Works and 2. he changed it to the Reo Motor Car Company. he didn‘t realize his dreams and he lost more than $3 million on the venture.000 cars a year and had become the largest American automobile manufacturer. He also enjoyed yachting in Florida waters and on the Great Lakes. The new car. But Olds was a mechanical genius and a visionary. He formed a new company.E. smaller version. and his real estate and banking holdings. sold his stock to the Smiths for millions and resigned from the company. Over the next two decades he devoted his time to his gas-powered lawn mower company. He intended to develop the land into Oldsmar. and in 1908 Durant acquired Oldsmobile from the Smiths. Reolds Farms. William Durant tried to buy Reo for his newly organized General Motors. By 1904 Olds was selling 4. In 1902. made its first appearance in August. Photos: Ransom E. Olds officially retired from REO in 1923.000 acres of land on the northern edge of Tampa Bay. In 1913. a city of 100. Olds. the R. until recently the greatest on the globe. the Reo. but Olds declined. but when Olds Motor Works objected to his use of the ―Oldsmobile‖ name. Historical Archives Secret Contraption. Smithsonian Institution . Reo thrived in 1905. Oldsmobile Motor Car Company to build his cheaper model. Courtesy Michigan State University Library.000 transmissions and engine parts to John and Horace Dodge.000. Lansing offered Olds the Central Michigan Fairgrounds for a new factory to induce him to return to Lansing. Smithsonian Institution Oldsmobile Runabout advertisement circa 1904. not an exceptional manager. though he had been out of the company‘s operations for years. His legacy? Prime pumping America‘s automotive pioneers to establish America‘s preeminent automobile industry.A Road Well Traveled 152 Olds subcontracted the production of 2. However.
Pliny Olds. 1864 in Geneva. Ohio. Mich. creates the Olds Motor Works in Lansing. opens the Olds & Son machine shop in partnership with Old‘s older brother. 1896 Receives a patent for his gasoline-powered engine and first tests his new horseless carriage. Wallace. 1885 1887 1889 1890 1892 1893 1895 Completes development of a gasoline engine driven car. Opens his own company. the Olds Gasoline Engine Works. backed by a group of investors led by Samuel Smith. Olds buys out his brother‘s interest for $1.000. At his urging the firm begins to build steam engines. Scientific American article describes Olds‘ work and experimental car and a British patent-medicine firm buys the car and transports it to India—the ship sinks and the automobile is lost en route. steam-powered car that he drives for one block. Mich. In March fire destroys his plant and the only automobile saved is a Curved Dash Oldsmobile.A Road Well Traveled 153 TIMELINE 1864 1880 Born June 24. 1900 Constructs a new plant on the banks of the Detroit River and names the first car Oldsmobile which makes its debut on November 3. Where his father. Builds a three-wheeled. Begins experimenting with gasoline engines and building a horseless carriage. Marries Ursula Woodward. Pliny Olds retires and on August 21 Olds. including one with a curved dash. 1897 1901 . The company moves to Detroit and begins to build 11 pilot cars. Attends the Chicago World‘s Fair where he sees gasoline engines. Family moves to Lansing.
1902 Oldsmobile sells 425 cars and Olds takes up Lansing‘s offer to build a factory at the old Central Michigan Fairgrounds.299 cars. Purchases 37. Ransom leaves the company in January. Mich at age 68. a city of 100. Mich. Becomes briefly involved with REO but formally retires again two years later. in August and delivers first car on October 15. and Smith‘s son Frederick. William Durant who is forming General Motors offers to acquire REO but Olds rejects his offer and Durant acquires Oldsmobile from the Smiths for $3 million. Dies on August 26. Chapin arrives two days later in time to promote the car at the opening of the New York Automobile Show. Due to a dispute and disagreement with his major investor. Samuel Smith. The Smiths wish to build a larger more luxurious model—and Smith wants Frederick to take over. Oldsmobile sells 3. 1906 1908 REO is outselling Oldsmobile and Ford. 1950. REO begins to manufacture trucks. at his home in Lansing. Oldsmobile is the nation‘s largest automobile manufacturer.000 acres of land on the northern edge of Tampa Bay to develop the land into Oldsmar. R. Motor Car Company of Lansing. Post Office begins purchasing Oldsmobiles for its first mail trucks.000.E. 1903 1904 1909 1913 1923 1934 1950 .A Road Well Traveled 154 He rebuilds the factory and hires Roy Chapin to drive a Curved Dash Olds from Detroit to New York on October 29. Olds retires from REO.O. the first mass-produced car in America. Forms new company. His wife Metta falls at the funeral and dies a few weeks later.
lovers. Olds and industrial Lansing.htnm Olds Safety Vapor engine www. Mich.com/watch?v=lSv9wlPyM2A . Eerdmans (1977) Niemeyer. Olds. Duane. Michael. and labors. (1949) VIDEO AND OTHER MEDIA American Muscle Car: Olds Story http://multimedia.. George S.youtube. E. Olds.foxsports. Arcadia (2004) Yarnell. Glenn Alan The automotive career of Ransom E.A Road Well Traveled 155 FURTHER READING Heyden. Olds. a remarkable story of Ransom e.com/m/video/27689843/american-muscle-olds-story. Lansing. Auto pioneering. Metta and R. Bureau of Business and Economic Research. Stuart Publishing (1997) May. lives. R. Michigan State University (1963) Rodriguez. Patricia E. East lansing. R. Olds. auto industry pioneer. E.. E. Graduate School of Business Administration.
They attended public school and learned the rudiments of business economics by working in their father‘s businesses. Ohio. or under watchful eyes of mechanics in wagon. there were several pit stops along the way before they made their transition into that nascent industry. including a hotel. by the time they retired from the automobile industry. James Ward Packard and his older brother. However. planning and iron-rolling mill. a town with a population slightly above 1. William Doud was born in 1861. William and Ward entered Lehigh University in 1878 and 1880 respectively. William Doud. The Packard family arrived in Warren. Yet.A Road Well Traveled 156 JAMES W. bicycle or railroad shops. a steam-driven electric light plant. magnetized his door lock so he could open or close it with a switch and ran a telegraph line from his room to other rooms. the path they first traveled did not begin with the horseless carriage. Ward filled his room at Lehigh with electronic devices. luxury and elegance—it was the American Rolls Royce. hardware store. Warren Packard became a successful businessman who established several enterprises in Warren. and telegraph office. learned their trade as engineering students at Lehigh University. in 1850. the name Packard had become synonymous with quality. like the other pioneers. PACKARD Unlike many of the automobile pioneers who received their primary training with blacksmiths. lumber mill. .600. James Ward in 1863.
however. 1895. It was quite a sensation in the community.A Road Well Traveled 157 A classmate recalled how: ―Ward was a handsome little fellow (5‘5‖) with a soft-spoken voice. His interest in cycling got him the agency for Pope Manufacturing Company and there was formed the first Cycle Club at Lehigh. 1897. A year later a second horseless carriage. . captain Packard and Reddy Stinson." After graduating. and . one of the first four cars manufactured by Winton. the entire purchase price. built his first gas-driven car in 1896 and formed the Winton Motor Carriage Company in Cleveland. On Sept. appeared in the paper. he demonstrated his car at the Trumbull County Fair. .000. for as you might recall bicycles at the time were high wheelers. According to an article on the Lehigh University web site. one built by Alexander Winton. In January 1896. First year had two members. Weiss. Ward took a job with the Sawyer-Mann Electric Company in New York. gave Ward a demonstration in his Winton car. sitting across the street from the Packard house. becoming the plant manager in just six years. Then the two brothers decided to manufacture electronic devices. ―the following day. In 1980 they formed the Packard Electric Company with several investors to manufacture electrical cables. placed the project on hold. 8. with unemployment topping 10%. But American interest in horseless carriages continued to grow. one of Winton‘s investors. a supremely confident Scot. George L. Ohio. Packard was the first wheelman at Lehigh and gathered physical endurance from it. All the way through school he had more knowledge of engineering than the best of the rest of us. Ward hired a draftsman to design a ―motor carriage‖ based on rough sketches he had made after studying engines being built in Europe by Daimler and Benz and bodies produced by Levasseur. Rides were given to locals who commented on its speed up and down Mahoning Avenue. the New York and Ohio Company. who held all other offices. It was followed in 1892 by a subsidiary corporation. Winton. Horseless Age magazine made its debut in December.‖ In the spring of 1898. But the Panic of 1893. and further stoked Ward‘s determination to enter the business. a story and sketch of the vehicle. also stirred excitement in Warren and gave the final impetus for Ward‘s entry into a new and untested industry. . That car later appeared in Warren and stopped in front of the Packard house. incandescent light bulbs and transformers. one of the worst to strike the United States. No record of Ward's participation exists. he asked William to accompany him to Pennsylvania to see a horseless carriage being built for a friend from Youngstown. Ward must have been impressed because he immediately deposited $1.
1899. the three began building the first Packard.‖ Sixteen weeks later the first Packard emerged from the machine shop of the New York and Ohio Company. and on July 17.‘‖ Dissatisfied with the car. driving the 1. one ―disgruntled owner finally hitched a team of horses to the car.000 of his own money. Winton‘s shop foreman. 1902. The motor uses naptha and drives the carriage at a high rate of speed. Joy relentlessly pressed Ward to move the company to . selling at $1. upon which he placed a placard. The self-assured Winton told Ward if he ―wanted any of his own cats and dogs worked into a wagon. As sales continued to mount. the Ohio Automobile Company was reorganized into the Packard Motor Car Company with Ward as president and Joy as general manager. Winton was shocked to discover that Ward was not only setting up a competing shop. but getting towed by a horse for the last four miles on account of nightfall and the lack of graded roads. Hatcher jumped aboard the new partnership. who invested $3. Five were built.‖ exactly what Ward decided to do.000 in Winton‘s company. Ward also suggested several alterations in design. Packard & Weiss. Ward and Weiss. each slightly different. despite Weiss having purchased car no.‖ In the Spring of 1900 Ward introduced the Model B. According to Kimes. resembling working prototypes more than a final product. in September. According to automobile historian Beverly Rae Kimes. reading.400-pound beast from Cleveland. Weiss then sold his interest in Winton and used the funds to back Ward. met at Weiss‘s home on June 10. Joy rounded up additional investors and in October. 4.200. he was doing it with two of Winton‘s associates. the Warren Daily Chronicle reported: ―A novelty in the vehicle line is an automobile carriage that J. and Bert Hatcher.500. Packard has just brought to Warren. took offense not only to Ward‘s complaints. Ward and Weiss then decided to expand their realm to ―12 machines. who had invested $10. Ward brought his Winton back to the factory several times for repair—and on at least one occasion Winton went to Warren to try to resolve problems with Ward. each bearing a steering wheel and selling for $1. Ward needed more capital to expand operations. but to his recommendations. On August 24. with 81 Model Cs produced in 1901. Winton.A Road Well Traveled 158 acquired the 13th car Winton produced. 1899. Winton was so furious he ―banished Weiss‘ name ever after from the list of the first fifty Winton buyers. He turned to Henry Bourne Joy. and decided to go into automobile manufacturing business as partners if they could get Hatcher to join them. W.‖ The first Winton automobiles suffered from mechanical defects. Weiss. ‗This is the only way you can drive a Winton. a wealthy Detroit investor who was impressed with the Packard he had purchased earlier. Ward and William incorporated their firm as the Ohio Automobile Company. he had better build it himself. stubborn to the core. of which 49 were built and later. The Model A bore a close resemblance to Winton‘s 1899 model. Ward returned to Warren.
000 to the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and subsequently demonstrated his appreciation for his Lehigh University education with a $1.‖ inaugurated in 1904 and sporting for the first time the iconic flat Packard grill. not unlike his room back at Lehigh University. a roadster. Ward and his wife. ―For twenty years the Packard car had held the reputation of being in America what the Rolls Royce is in England. Henry B. when he resigned and assumed the chairmanship of the board for the next six years. William remained with the New York and Ohio Company. packing a 12-cylinder engine. noting. with the first front mounted fourcylinder Packard engine. Ward donated $200. typewriters and adding machines. a four-passenger Surrey and five-passenger Tonneau.‖ In 1919 a Packard driven by Indianapolis race driver Ralph De Palma. The price was considerably less. Both homes showcased his fascination with electricity. Having little choice.000 for a library and built the first the first modern apartment building. Joy replaced Ward as Packard‘s president. Ward reluctantly acquiesced. just above $3. And both homes contained his massive collection of clocks. kept an unassuming two-story colonial revival home on Oak Knoll Drive in Warren. watches. He also made major gifts to the Seaman‘s Church Institute of New York and the Women‘s Christian Hospital of Jamestown. and two versions of the Model Ks. He had a special watch made for him in Switzerland. and a growing list price--$7.000. one of the finest electrical and mechanical engineering labs in the nation. and Packard‘s reputation for luxury and quality began to make its mark in the automobile world. With the exception of the ―K‖ model. Ward never sold his Packard stock until just before his death. New York.000 in 1903. reflected a growing sophistication in design and manufacturing capability. including the ―L.‖ the new model was specifically designed for sale to the wealthy and confirmed Packard‘s position as the leading maker of luxury cars for decades to come. as Ward retired from Packard. Called the ―Twin Six. The powerful Packard.5 million square foot Packard plant on Detroit‘s East Grand Boulevard opened in 1903. powered across the flat sands of Daytona Beach at 149 mph. each equipped with every conceivable electrical device possible.000. He also lived part time in Lakewood. and then only to support his philanthropic efforts. it was considered the largest and most modern facility of its type in the world. $100.300 for the K! There were few buyers at this price and Packard lost $200. the company introduced the first American car with a stock 12-cylinder engine. In 1915. Production of a new series of cars. The last American car to hold it was the 1906 Stanley Rocket. where Ward donated a 150-acre park. Ward served as president of Packard from 1900 until 1909. Rolls Royce subsequently recognized Packard‘s claim to excellence. NY where he donated $150.000 gift to his alma mater for the construction of the Packard Laboratory. possibly .000 for a new wing to the Jamestown hospital and construction funds for the city‘s town hall. the Model F. sales doubled for each of the other alphabet models rolling out of the factory. Elizabeth Achsah. The new 3. Ultimately covering 35 acres.A Road Well Traveled 159 Detroit where it could build a new state-of-the-art factory. a steam-driven car that thundered its way past 120 mph. finally brought the international land speed record back to the States.
1928. He never left his room there. However. before passing away on March 20. Ward was gravely ill with cancer when he entered the Cleveland Clinic Hospital in November 1926. Winton and Packard shared a common fate. Packard Electric also became a division of General Motors. his gravestone imprinted with the Packard logo. Packard Motor Company merged with Studebaker in 1954 but ceased operations in 1959.A Road Well Traveled 160 the most complete and accurate timepiece in the world. Winton‘s automobile company ceased production in 1924. was acquired by General Motors in 1930. . Even the U. but the Winton Engine Company. undergoing interminable surgeries. Bureau of Aeronautics borrowed it from time to time. He was buried in his much beloved Warren. treatment with radium and experimental electronic treatments for nearly a year and a half.S.
Introduces the Model B. a subsidiary corporation to Packard Electric. 1896 1897 1898 Winton Motor Carriage Company of Cleveland is formed and first Winton car appears. Gets job with the Sawyer-Mann electric Company in New York City. 1890 Formed the Packard Electric Company to manufacture electrical cables. 1900 . James Ward enters Lehigh University. Ward purchases the 13th Winton car produced. 1892 1893 Panic of 1893 strikes nation causing a mass of bankruptcies and unemployment to exceed 10%. 1884 Graduates from Lehigh University with a degree in mechanical engineering. selling at $1. Ohio. Formed the New York and Ohio Company. James Ward born on November 5 in Warren. 1899 Dissatisfied with the Winton automobile. 1895 Horseless Age magazine made its debut in December. George L. Winton demonstrates car on September 7 at the Trumbull County Fair in Ohio. Weiss. Ohio. on July 17. the Model A. Packard & Weiss and begin building first Packard. gives Ward a ride in his Winton car.A Road Well Traveled 161 TIMELINE 1861 1863 William Doud born on November 3 in Warren. a Winton investor.200. Ward with Weiss form a partnership. James Ward makes first drawings of gasoline horseless carriage. incandescent light bulbs and transformers. Travels to Europe to purchase a De Dion-Bouton tricycle.
Makes a $1 million gift to Lehigh University for the construction of the Packard Laboratory.500!). Dies on March 20 at the Cleveland Clinic Hospital where he had resided since November 1926. 1903 1904 1909 1915 1927 1928 1954 1959 .‖ the first American car with stock 12-cylinder engine. Inaugurates the Model L.A Road Well Traveled 162 Incorporates firm as the Ohio Automobile Company. 1919 Ralph De Palma drives a Packard at Indianapolis and returns the international land speed record to the U.000. Introduces first steering wheel in a production car. selling for $1.5 million square foot plant in Detroit and begins production of the Model F. Henry B. Retires from active business. Packard Motors introduces the luxurious ―Twin Six. the Model K (selling for $7. Joy is named president. a four-passenger Surrey and five-passenger Tonneau. 1901 1902 Produce 81 Model Cs. Builds a new 3.S. Resigns as president of Packard Motors and assumes the chairmanship of the board. Packard Motors ceases all operations. Company reorganizes in October as the Packard Motor Car Company with additional capital and investors headed by Henry Bourne Joy.500 each. sporting the iconic flat Packard grill and selling for $3. the company is recognized by Rolls Royce as the American Rolls Royce. Packard Motor Company merges with Studebaker.
A Road Well Traveled 163 FURTHER READING Kimes. VIDEO AND OTHER MEDIA Automobile History – Packard www. Engineers.veoh. 2005. SAE International. Beverly Rae.com/browse/videos/category/education/watch/v12027518Wf5kYzAe . and Scoundresl: the Dawn of the Automobile in America. Pioneers.
A Road Well Traveled 164 CAPT. followed by a position as an unpaid porter at Frayer-Miller Company in Columbus. followed by the Buckeye Steel Casting Company earning $3 a week for 12-hour work days. His parents were Swiss immigrants of modest means. EDDIE RICKENBACKER If tenacity is the premise for a cat‘s proverbial nine lives. Rickenbacker‘s Horatio Alger-like origins began in Columbus. . he saw his first horseless carriage. In 1905. where he was born as Edward Reichenbacher— he changed his last name to Rickenbacker at the start of World War I to make it less Germanic. The company developed the first six-cylinder automobile in America in the fall of 1906.‖ It was a medley of jobs. eight children and a grim future.‖ he wrote. Whether his survival was the result of luck or Divine intervention is debatable. a two-passenger Ford runabout. beginning as a helper at the Federal Glass Factory. Frayer-Miller was engaged in automobile races like the 1905 Vanderbilt Cup. with Rickenbacker riding next to Lee Frayer in a four-cylinder race car. railroad and cemetery monument yard. Ohio in 1890. they fared well but did not bring home the gold. a construction worker. bowling alley. he was blessed with tenacity. but the odds against him were undeniably staggering. In 1904 Rickenbacker‘s father. Ohio. then it is understandable why Capt. lots of it. To augment his schooling. an entry into a fraternity of risk-takers and budding entrepreneurs. followed by day work in a factory. died leaving a wife. while working as a machinist in the machine shop of the Pennsylvania Railroad. ―I didn‘t have to be told what we were up against. This was his real baptism into automobiles. ―The day after my father‘s funeral I didn‘t go to school—I went to work. but his inclination for mechanical things presaged his future. The nascent automobile industry and its emerging technology fascinated him and he went to work at Evans Garage in Columbus. Edward Vernon Rickenbacker survived so many catastrophic events and lived to tell about them. and added Vernon for a touch of class. Rickenbacker enrolled in a mechanical engineering course at the International Correspondence School.
Rickenbacker began his automotive racing career. He developed what he called his ―scheme‖-. salesman and race driver. endurance and hillclimbing races. advertised their cars by entering them in a variety of speed. Rickenbacker was learning every element of automobiles. on Memorial Day." . At Frayer. It wasn't all just shut your eyes and grit your teeth. racing cars one day and selling them the next. compelling him to become a fulltime professional racer. The 80. Olds and Frayer. placing 13th out of 40 cars. Although he entered races to sell cars.000 spectators watched Ray Harroun pilot his Marmon ―Wasp‖ to victory. It was their way of displaying and proving the merits of their machines. Rickenbacker drove William Jennings Bryan on Bryan‘s Texas speaking tour in a new FirestoneColumbus automobile. the surge of adrenalin and the competition proved overpowering. from the age of 16 to 22. In 1912 he dropped the dual role of salesman and racer."You didn't win races because you had more guts. but Rickenbacker and Frayer fared well. In 1910. the smell of burning oil. driving for the Columbus Buggy Company. a car introduced a year earlier and named after the Columbus Buggy Company president. ―he traveled all over the country. he entered the first running of the Indianapolis 500 with Lee Frayer driving a Firestone-Columbus and Rickenbacker as his alternate driver.A Road Well Traveled 165 Automobile manufacturers from Henry Ford and the Stanley brothers to Ransom E. Clinton Firestone. It is most likely that Rickenbacker also served as his mechanic since all but one of the cars entered in the race had the mechanic sitting as a passenger during the grueling race. joining the Columbus Buggy Company and Rickenbacker went with him.‖ Lee Frayer changed companies in 1907. And in 1911. resigned from the Columbus Buggy Company and devoted his full time to racing. According to the New York Times. becoming a mechanic. You won because you knew how to take the turns and baby your engine. While in Texas in 1909 to establish dealerships for the Columbus Buggy Company. the rush of wind.
Rickenbacker raced for some of the more famous automobile engineers and their teams. he changed his name. .S. He also won the prestigious 150-mile Metropolitan Trophy race before 25.500. Instead.000! That year. earning the trophy and the $6. buying engines for a racing team he was assembling under a contract with the Sunbeam Motor Company when the U. including Fred and Augie Duesenberg. who was preparing for a scene in a movie being filmed at the track. enlisted in the Army and became General Pershing‘s chauffeur with a rank of sergeant first-class. while preparing for the Grand Prix in Santa Monica. California. Peugeot and Maxwell. The English thought he might be a spy because of his Germanic name. They were soon engaged. including Rickenbacker who appeared in the newspaper‘s picture of the event. When the Cadillac 8 made its first appearance in Los Angeles in 1914. He tried to get the War Department to form an air squadron made up of racing drivers. In 1916 his income from racing totaled $80. and followed him around.A Road Well Traveled 166 As a professional driver. He set a world record of 134 mph driving a Blitzen-Benz at Daytona and sent his mother the first prize he won--$2. Rickenbacker was running his motor when he happened upon Priscilla Dean. His reputation with cars was growing. Rickenbacker was in England in 1917.000 spectators driving a powerful Maxwell and finishing over two miles ahead of his closest competitor. but failed. the Los Angeles Times ran a long column describing it and the drivers inspecting it. a Universal motion picture star. entered the war.000 prize.
‗Eddie‘ Ricknebacker. commanded by Capt. After squadron commander James Hall was killed in action on September 24. he joined the 94th Aero Pursuit— ―Hat-in-the Ring‖—Squadron. ―I shall never ask any pilot to go on a mission that I won't go on. the Red Baron‘s ―flying circus.‖ boasted the New York Times on May 18. eighteen in forty-eight days. who regarded him as coarse. 1918. he was certainly technically superior. His heroism in this battle earned him America‘s highest decoration—the Medal of Honor. newly-promoted Captain Rickenbacker took over. Rickenbacker was cocky. the most of any American flyer. welleducated men. After attending gunnery school.‖ At first Rickenbacker was shunned by members of the squadron who were younger. fierce. 1918. "Just been promoted to command of 94th Squadron.‖ The press dubbed Captain Eddie the ―Ace of Aces.A Road Well Traveled 167 Rickenbacker wanted to fly but he was well over 23 and not a college man.‖ The following day. 1918. vulgar and uneducated. James Norman Hall. and became an ace a month later. two prerequisites for training by the Army Air Service. His fame in the U. extremely aggressive. with a careless daring and willing-to-risk-it-all personality. it did not take long for their opinions of him to change.S.‖ By the end of October—in just six months—Rickenbacker had twenty-six kills. co-author of ―Mutiny on the Bounty.‖ . wearing the croix de guerre with which he had been decorated. And his opponents were part of Baron Manfred von Richtofen. ―drove his monoplane into the midst of a group formation of three German flyers‖ shooting down one while the other two flyers ―refused battle. with a moviestar girl friend. Rickenbacker confirmed his first victory in April 29. was growing with each account of his harrowing exploits. Flying Nieuports and Spads. flying in a Spad as the sole cover for spotter aircraft. Rickenbacker was accepted for training and commissioned first lieutenant. If he was not a graceful pilot. This did not mix well with his fellow pilots. Somehow. I must work now harder than I did before. He immediately attacked and shot down two of the enemy crafts. famous. However. typically Ivy-Leaguers from middle and upper-middle class backgrounds. Rickenbacker. including Billy Mitchell.‖ he wrote in his diary. ―Lieut. with the connivance of highranking colleagues. saw seven German Fokker aircraft converge.
Rickenbacker walked away from the crash unhurt. this was by far the most serious. The New York Times reported: ―Although it was dark. The IL-6 was a revolutionary plane dubbed by the media the ―All-Metal-Plane.C. D. he was now at the beginning of a long string of airplane crashes that would have shaken the most devout and courageous pilot. ―In launching a new car at this time. The timing of the launch of a $5 million car manufacturing company may not have been propitious and Rickenbacker seemed to know it.‖ On May 24. Although he had several brushes with forced landings during the war and speedway crashes prior to it.‖ Unfortunately it crashed on takeoff at Omaha. but Rickenbacker was a passenger on a trail-blazing a trans-continental flight from New York to Los Angeles to chart U. Rickenbacker replied: ―I suffered a severe fracture of the straw hat. the Los Angeles Times reported his engagement to Priscilla. And while in Calgary.‖ He was not. Many of my friends have expressed wonder at the fact that we are embarking in the manufacturing field while the market is in the throes of the post-war slump. After repairs he continued eastward but crashed again near Cheyenne. Alberta. the returning hero was dined. A banquet held at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City in February 1919 was attended by an audience of 800 who presented Rickenbacker with a pair of diamond and sapphire wings—which he immediately presented to his mother. Rickenbacker flying from California to Washington. but apparently left him unfazed. With his status as an American hero. thousands were waiting and rushed to the machine. Everitt and Flanders were experienced in the automobile industry.S. airmail routes. But Rickenbacker was on the move. The plane flipped to its back and ended up standing on its nose. feted and celebrated. The engagement with Priscilla ended. ―we have surprised a great many people. and the trans-Pacific flight did not take place. then on to Japan. expecting to find the flier dead or badly injured.‖ he told reporters. and Walter Flanders for the formation of the Rickenbacker Motor Company to produce cars with advanced features such as four-wheel brakes. One passenger was reported injured—Rickenbacker. Bryon F. which he declined. San Francisco. Chicago and other major cities. an automobile company that was ultimately absorbed by Studebaker. Portland. but unknown to him. in a biplane crashed shortly after takeoff from San Diego. they had earlier created E-M-F.‖ . Everitt. He went on a Liberty bond tour across the nation with stops in Los Angeles.A Road Well Traveled 168 After the war. He was offered starring roles in movies. in 1921 Rickenbacker received the financial backing of Harry Cunningham. When asked about his injuries. Wyoming. he announced plans to try to be the first to fly across the Pacific Ocean from California to Hawaii. While in Los Angeles that October. 1921.
the airline was headed to its demise. and between Atlanta and Miami in alliance with a new company formed by Juan Tripp--Pan American Airways. and Columbus. but their relationship would remain intact for his entire life. as he was by plane crashes.000 in debt. However.A Road Well Traveled 169 Employing the ―Hat in the Ring‖ symbol of the 94th Aero Squadron. including the Super Sport Coupe. While his automobile company was struggling to stay afloat. for Rickenbacker. William and David. Major Reed Chambers.000 that year. Compounded by a series of lawsuits following one of the Florida Airways plane crashes. They lost $80. Barney Everitt withdrew in February 1927 and the company failed. and in late summer 1927 went directly for the top. and producing advanced cars. and three other men. the well-known ―Hat-in-the-Ring‖ car symbol. They formed the Atlantic Gulf and Caribbean Airways for operation between Key West and Havana.‖ he said. with a round trip flight between Miami and Atlanta. to form a passenger and cargo airline linking the Americas through Florida. the dissolution of Florida Airways Corporation did not deter Rickenbacker and his partners from pursuing their vision of an inter-continental airline. was both an avocation and a vocation.000 in one month to buy . Anne Morgan. Undaunted by these failures.S. leaving Rickenbacker $200. In 1925 th he joined his old 94 Squadron buddy. Rockefeller. Aviation. Texas. Despite Rickenbacker‘s celebrity status. In all. ―My heart has always been in the racing and automobile business. Hoyt. Rickenbacker found the time to marry Adelaide Frost Durant. but other car manufacturers ridiculed its features and the company struggled with declining sales. the company‘s cars-touring. She was older and previously-married. They also brought some financial heavyweights into their operation including Percy A. raising $700. Charles A. sedan and coupe models--made their debut at the New York Automobile Show in January 1922. Sterne and Richard F. Rickenbacker turned to what he knew best: car racing. Rickenbacker subsequently sold his interest in the company to Pan American. the Rickenbacker Motor Company produced 34. but it wasn‘t until June 1923 that Rickenbacker offered the first medium-priced cars with four wheel brakes in the U. They successfully bid on a United States contract for an air mail route and began operations on April 6. 1926. (Duesenberg was the first to pioneer such brakes). and less so in Florida. and spent most of their time in New York.500 cars. a very sophisticated car for its time. They adopted two boys.
and divest itself of the airline business.S. principals of the Indianapolis track.000 a year. John Daniel Hertz. and its subsidiary. In 1928 General Motors hired Rickenbacker as the assistant sales manager for their Cadillac division. the DC-3. Rickenbacker wanted to acquire Eastern. GM had invested $6 million in Eastern. New Jersey to New Orleans and back. Eastern Air Transport. ―the first profit in the history of the airline industry. owners of Transcontinental and Western Air (later to become TWA). Rickenbacker. GM opted to retain North American Aviation with its huge backlog of orders. and had little by way of profits to show for it. His executive responsibilities did not deter him from trying out new airplanes or trying to break flying records. GM quickly promoted Rickenbacker to president. retained a minority position.‖ Rickenbacker told the press.25 . and improved the efficiency of the airline‘s operations. just as there has been since 1911. On February 18 and 19.5-mile track and 433 acres. the longest non-stop flight made in the U. ―There won‘t be a single change in management or policy. improved service. On May 16. it was not a full-time occupation. Rickenbacker flew the only Douglas DC-1 ever built coast to coast for a transcontinental record of 13 hours five minutes. And in 1934 GM named Rickenbacker a vice-president and director of North American and general manager of Eastern. They wanted to buy Eastern for $3. Rickenbacker also introduced the most modern passenger aircraft of the time. with 22 people aboard. ―There will be the annual 500-mile race on Memorial Day. but faced a formidable challenge. paying him a hefty $12.A Road Well Traveled 170 Indianapolis Speedway including the 2. crew members and members of the press were part of a contingent of 22 people flying on a ―pre-inaugural‖ non-stop flight from Newark. He ran Indianapolis as its president and general manager from 1927 until he sold it in 1947. 1937. Rickenbacker soon gravitated to another GM operation. founder of Yellow Cab--he had sold its manufacturing operations to GM for $43 million--and his partners. Several forces played to Rickenbacker‘s benefit. Inc. Under his tutelage Eastern earned a profit of $350. Carl Fisher and James Allison. But with his aviation experience.‖ according to the New York Times. However. The Air Mail Act of 1934 forced companies to separate aircraft manufacturing from airlines.000 in his first year as its general manager. North American Aviation. uber-financier Floyd Odlum and the investment banking firm of Lehman Bros. Sticking with Donald Douglas produced aircraft. increased salaries. Rickenbacker first introduced Douglas DC2 passenger planes. To make Eastern more competitive.
Rickenbacker understood the force and value of marketing. and Kuhn. but Rickenbacker. who had turned down ―many offers to star in pictures. though he was among the first airlines to place the Lockheed Constellation into service in 1951. with $1 million down and the balance payable in notes. Loeb & Co. Eastern became the nation‘s fourth largest airline.‖ agreed to do the commercial out of his long-standing friendship with Rickenbacker. Inc.. 1938.‖ He ran Eastern conservatively and it became known as a no-frills airline. but remained chairman of the board until December 31. CEO of GM. and in many of those years was the only profitable airline.‖ According to the Washington Post Godfrey. the shareholders of North American Aviation. the Rickenbacker years. Godfrey referred to Rickenbacker in the commercial as the ―dean of aviation. Eastern did have one very important distinction. It was profitable every year from 1935 to 1959. In 1953 he created a 48minute Technicolor commercial.5 million in 60 days through Harold Vanderbilt. ―I am glad to be able to save the airline for the gang that made it. Some called it Spartan. Barney & Co.A Road Well Traveled 171 million. GM did not want to snub the Hertz group. 1959. going head-to-head with Hertz.—GM controlled 30% of its stock--approved the sale to Rickenbacker and his allies and Rickenbacker delivered a check for the full purchase price to Alfred P. . On March 29. He did not take chances and was never the first to buy a new plane. Sloan. There was little emphasis on inflight service. 1963. ostensibly a documentary about flying. with Arthur Godfrey at the controls of an Eastern Airlines Super Constellation. Rickenbacker said. Under his tutelage. He resigned as president of the airline on September 30.. written by Leo Rosencrans and produced by Jerry Fairbanks. however. Smith. organized a group and raised $3. Assuming the presidency of the new Eastern Air Lines.
Rickenbacker suffered a dented skull. In March1942.A Road Well Traveled 172 Rickenbacker saw things as they were. And Rickenbacker was an expert witness on the subject of safety.000-mile tour. and headed to Hawaii where he inspected fields and operations on Oahu and expected a properly outfitted B-24 to carry him to the Far East.S.‖ Rickenbacker grabbed the bird and the men ate it raw. Out of food and water.‖ he recalled. Chequers. "They had me under an oxygen tent.‖ Rickenbacker told reporters. on a foggy night in February 1941. Hap Arnold. I prefer the word ‗reliable. but not the last. training and aircraft employed by American forces. placid. using its entrails as bait to catch three fish. the plane flew off course. The crash killed seven people and injured nine. broken ribs. Rickenbacker found himself on a raft with seven crewmen and four oranges. However. ―I have never liked to use the word ‗safe‘ in connection with either Eastern Air Lines or the entire transportation field. ―The sensation of dying is sweet. reassuring survivors and giving directions. Pinned on top of a dead steward for nearly 18 hours. and crashed in the ocean.‘‖ he said. and discussed the controversial subject of American daylight bombing raids. He reported his views on the preparedness. his left leg shorter than the other. in a cramped and well-worn B-17 bound for island ―X‖ – the secret designation for Canton Island. paralyzed left hand.‖ he . looking gaunt and frail. 1942. I tore it apart and picked up a pitcher. It was the first time. Lt. ―I heaved it at the radio and scored a direct hit. The New York Times reported that the following day he told a nurse. ―it‘s so fantastic. preferring to remain a civilian—he did not want to take orders or to be forced to keep his opinions to himself. According to his autobiography. when it crashed into a hill as it approached Atlanta." He was discharged from the hospital on June 25. Then I got well. ran out of fuel. ―I wouldn‘t tell this if I didn‘t have seven witnesses. he departed from Hawaii early in the morning of October 21. He was a passenger aboard Eastern‘s Mexico City Silver Sleeper. While in England Churchill invited him for lunch at his house. A major part of his recovery was his self-directed physical therapy--forcing himself to exercise his legs and walk for hours despite the pain. 1. The radio fell apart and Winchell's voice stopped. but within an hour after our prayer meeting. sensuous. shattered pelvis.S. a DC-3. he remained conscious.‖ He attributed getting well faster to having to listen to Walter Winchell‘s voice on the radio in the hospital. Henry H. with the U. commander of the Army Air Forces.‖ he recalled. ―Head. MacArthur. Stimson asked Rickenbacker to inspect American bases throughout Europe on a 15. Rickenbacker returned to the U. recommended a limit of 50 missions for pilots. The press announced his death prematurely. However. Still. a broken knee and elbow—and his left eyeball came out of its socket. I guess I‘m going to make it. and Secretary of War Henry L. a seagull landed on my head. Unfortunately. ―I‘m feeling better. body.800 miles southwest. Rickenbacker turned down a proposed commission to Lieutenant Colonel. the desperate men prayed for deliverance. to seek his advice. Rickenbacker hovered between life and death for ten days. entry into World War II. bones—delicious. and walking with the aid of a cane. Secretary of War Stimson then extended Rickenbacker‘s mission to the Pacific and asked him to deliver a top secret message to Gen. Gen.
Centennial of Flight and the Auburn University Digital Library. The survivors believed they made it through the deadly ordeal because of Rickenbacker‘s determination to live. according to Time Magazine. Adelaide ―stormed into his office and practically tore the decorations off his jacket. Rickenbacker. A year later Rickenbacker was once again on the inspection circuit. and going so far as to say that Russia is likely to ―come out of this war the greatest democracy in the world. He had been openly critical of F. When General "Hap" Arnold was about to end the search. named Rickenbacker to a committee to investigate the operation of the CIA and other major intelligence activities of the government. . He made several gaffs during this mission. even railing against the civil rights movement. ―It is the easiest thing in the world to die. He advocated the use of nuclear weapons to destroy the ice pack over Antarctica to get to the wealth of minerals in that continent and predicted that Sen. Rickenbacker returned from Russia with a very positive view of their war effort. Rickenbacker donated his appearance honorariums to various philanthropic causes such as the Boy Scouts of America. Rickenbacker Collection. committed suicide.‖ His views on Russia would alter dramatically in the years ahead." Rickenbacker said. As the years wore on Rickenbacker became ultra-conservative. became more outspoken.‖ he said.‖ The Navy searched unsuccessfully for the lost crew. and in his later years appeared at times out of touch with the mainstream. Moreover. A popular speaker on the conservative circuit. leaving for the Soviet Union in 1943 to discuss their use of American aircraft and to determine their military capability. he accidentally tipped the Russians off on the development of America‘s super-bomber. in poor health. 1973. He railed against the 16th Amendment and urged the U. to withdraw from the United Nations. Switzerland on July 23. Four years later Adelaide. Eddie V.A Road Well Traveled 173 said of the fish. but only during flight! Photos: Library of Congress. In 1954 Herbert Hoover. Apparently he cursed one man who was praying for death and continuously urged the men to be optimistic—to strive to live. First.R. Rickenbacker died of heart failure in Zurich. and his New Deal. Big Brothers and various Boys‘ Clubs. Was Rickenbacker‘s success the result of luck? Lloyds of London insured Rickenbacker‘s life for $1 million. The crewmen attributed their survival to Rickenbacker‘s tenacity. The hunt continued for 23 days before Navy pilots could find the survivors. the B-29.D. lauding Stalin. Upon retirement from Eastern. He also donated his Texas ranch to the Boy Scouts. ―The hardest is to live.S. Eugene McCarthy would one day be lauded for his anti-Communist crusade. a wealthy and famous celebrity. head of the Hoover Commission.
In charge of air training center at Issoudon. Adopts son David. to Swiss immigrant parents. Comes to Los Angeles on Liberty Bond tour and meets with fiancée Priscilla. 1927 Buys Indianapolis Racetrack for $700. Earns $80. Enters Indianapolis for the first time. Everitt and Flanders who provide the capital.A Road Well Traveled 174 TIMELINE 1890 1911 1912 1916 Born October 8 in Columbus. 20.000 in one year from racing automobiles. Arrives in France on June 26 and becomes General Pershing‘s chauffeur. downing a German Albatross Receives Croix de Guerre from France in May. averaging 96 mph before 25. Transferred to the Air Corps and made a first lieutenant on Aug. Appears as a defense witness in the trial of Billy Mitchell. Given command of the 94 Aero Squadron on September 24. 1921 Organizes Rickenbacker Motor Company in February with Harry Cunningham. becomes a sergeant in the Signal Corps.000 and serves as its president until 1945. Claims 26th and final plane on October 30.000 spectators and wins $6. Wins Metropolitan Trophy Race on May 14 at Sheepshead Bay Speedway. Ohio. Goes to England to purchase engines for his racing team.000. 1918 First air victory on April 29. First Rickenbacker automobiles are shown at the New York Automobile Show. 1917 Enlists in the Army on May 27. Becomes a full-time professional automobile racer. 1922 1925 .
Jr. Air Mail Act which requires companies to separate their manufacturing and airline operations and divest one or the other. but survives. Inc. B-17 in which he is flying to inspect bases in the Pacific and deliver a secret message to Gen.000 in profit. 1931 1934 Receives America‘s highest honor for valor. Sells Indianapolis to Terre Haute. MacArthur. 1935 1938 Eastern Air Lines profits increase to nearly $700. Dies of heart failure on July 23 in Zurich. Eastern Airlines DC-3 flight crashes on February 26 near Atlanta and Rickenbacker is severely injured. 1941 1942 1943 Visits Russia to determine their wartime capabilities and discuss use of American aircraft. Rescued on November 13. Secretary of War to inspect conditions and make recommendations relating to the war. the Medal of Honor.S. the first profit generated by an airline. Congress passes the U. Becomes vice president and director of North American Aviation.. Adopts son William. Retires completely from Eastern Air Lines on December 31. Switzerland. Resigns as president of Eastern Airlines but remains as a chairman of the board. Acquires Eastern Airlines for $3. Visits England with the authority of Henry L.000. Indiana businessman Anton Hulman.000 a year. on march 2. 1945 1959 1963 1973 . Inc. Stimson. U. and general manager of Eastern Air.A Road Well Traveled 175 1928 Becomes assistant sales manager for GM‘s Cadillac division with a salary of $12. crashes in the Pacific on October 21. Eastern generates $350. after 23 days in the Ocean.5 million in cash from North American Aviation.S.
Eddie Rickenbacker . 1990 [Original printed in 1918] Rickenbacker.com/watch?v=DObRkFU6-Rw&feature=related Super Constellation With Eddie Rickenbacher and Arthur Godfrey  http://www. smells. Ed.com/rickenbacker/] VIDEOS AND OTHER MEDIA Captain ―Eddie‖ Rickenbacker Flying Over the Lines http://upload. Inc. camaraderie and the taste of battles in the air. Time-Life Books. It is one of the finest sources of information on World War I aerial warfare. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill. Rickenbacker Collection Rickenbacker‘s memoirs of World War I. Kathryn C.com/watch?v=U6VfkKjlhXs&NR=1 1935 Pontiac Commercial with Capt. fears.wikimedia.richthofen. ―Fighting the Flying Circus.youtube.youtube. 1974 Auburn University Digital Library. Young Racer and Flyer. Ed. The Johns Hopkins University Press. 2008 Sisson.com/watch?v=WjSE0BUyudw First Indy 500 Race http://www.youtube. 1967 Lewis.com/watch?v=ReLJ7UZdG9Q 1911 Historic Indy 500 Newsreel http://www.‖ is a first-hand daily account of the life of pilots during the war.ogg Medal of Honor – Eddie Rickenbacker – Ace of Aces http://www. Prentice hall.youtube. A digital edition is available on [http://www. Eddie Rickenbacker. Rickenbacker.org/wikipedia/commons/1/1c/Bombers_of_WW1. Fighting the Flying Circus. captures the sounds. Eddie Rickenbacker: An American Hero in the Twentieth Century. Walter D. Eddie V.A Road Well Traveled 176 FURTHER READING Rickenbacker.
youtube.com/watch?v=wgvTbGQeQXo 1956 Captain Eddie Rickenbacker US WWI Ace of Ace Speaks http://www.A Road Well Traveled 177 http://www.com/watch?v=uWzEQhcX7Os Eastern Airlines DC-3 Arrives at Shushan – New Orleans Lakefront Airport http://www.youtube.com/video/65675049975_General-Billy-Mitchell_CourtMartial_General-Summerall_charge-of-animosity A Question of Loyalty: Trial of Gen.video.youtube.com/watch?v=YEox98ZL248 Capt.aspx?catid=4&vid=14 1914 Iowa State Fair Races Between Auto Racer Eddie Rickenbacker and Pilot Lincoln Beachey http://www.me/ViewVideo.youtube.criticalpast.com/watch?v=WD9viQfG1wg Court Martial of General Billy Mitchell http://www.com/watch?v=qyeXPtA101U Eddie Rickenbacker http://www. Billy Mitchell [C-SPAN] http://www. Eddie Rickenbacker http://www.youtube.org/program/175171-1 .c-spanvideo.
A Road Well Traveled 178 ALFRED P.J. But appearance. N. He convinced Ransom E. Sloan. Hyatt did not fare well but Sloan. and other manufacturers soon fell into line. born in New Haven. was reasonably well off. Sloan went to work at Hyatt Roller Bearing Co. Sloan built General Motors into the largest corporation in the world through hard work and vision. SLOAN.000 in profits six months after Sloan's takeover. with high. one that would reap MIT enormous rewards in the future. starched and pressed to perfection. Conn. Sloan entered MIT.. entertaining lavishly. including Henry Ford. a coffee and tea importer and wholesaler. waking up at noon or later. in 1875. spats and a pearl tie pin adorning his thin frame of 6 feet. . someone inclined to spend his time on a yacht. he established a lifelong relationship with the university. confident of its potential. Hyatt's bearings became an industry standard. There was no time for play. JR Dressed like a dandy. had the look of a playboy. convinced his father to acquire the company and give him free rein to run it. the family moved to Brooklyn. in Newark. double-breasted suits. Automobile manufacturers were using heavily greased wagon axles and Sloan thought antifriction bearings would be more effective than grease. stiff-collared shirts. the family had two or three servants at home. Although it only took him three years to get his degree in electrical engineering. 130 pounds. was not Horatio Alger. like a mirage.. Alfred Pritchard Sloan. Jr. a small manufacturer of billiard balls and bearings. Hyatt began producing antifriction bearings and generated $12. can be deceiving. When Sloan was 10. After graduating in 1895. His father. and devoted the same zeal to philanthropy. Graduating from Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute at 17. dissipated and completely disinterested in his fellow man. Olds to convert to bearings.
I prefer to appeal to the intelligence of a man rather than attempt to exercise authority over him. I meet them in their own places of business." By 1916. Durant acquired Hyatt for $13.5 million. Pierre S. huge by 1916 standards. "that I have personally visited with many of my associates.with Ford and GM as its largest customers. "I never give orders. It wasn't an easy task. . as they frequently do. du Pont vacated the presidency and installed Sloan in his place." As at Hyatt. and assumed United's presidency. He was also assembling suppliers and accessory companies into another corporation. he became a vice president and director of GM. Traveling by private railroad car. On these trips I visit 5 to 10 dealers a day. . practically every city in the United States . United Motors Corp. it had a huge profit margin -$4 million -. but leaned on Sloan for advice. Hyatt Roller Bearing was not only grossing $10 million annually. He wanted to be in touch with every corner of GM. Sloan visited GM's dealers. talk with them across their own desks and solicit from them suggestions and criticisms as to their relations with the corporation. "I sell my ideas to my associates if I can. received $5 million. sales in 1926 jumped to $734. Sloan tripled GM's sales in six years and oversaw Chevrolet displace Ford as the best-selling low-priced car in the world.A Road Well Traveled 179 Sloan developed a unique management style. In 1923. 41. acquiring his stock in one of the largest stock transactions with 21/2 million shares passing to them in one day. Pierre S. with decentralized operations coordinated by centralized policies. Durant incurred a mountain of debt and faced possible bankruptcy.S. According to Time magazine." he said. The du Pont family bailed him out. decentralization was Sloan's principal theme. "It may surprise you to know. William Durant had formed General Motors by combining several companies into one. Like Sloan's father 24 years earlier. division can buy a part cheaper from an outside company than from a corporation .5 million. Sloan. du Pont assumed GM's presidency. Sloan's reputation in automobile circles soared.M. GM subsequently took over United Motors. I accept their judgment if they convince me. du Pont had made the right decision. In the course of assembling GM." he said. "If a G. and was on a quest to make it the largest automobile manufacturer in the U. that I am wrong. Sloan not only remained at United's helm.
since he spent all his time on business -. "The crew of 43 is eating regularly and appears to be healthy. he replied. made the company the most profitable manufacturer in U. purchased by Sloan from Daniel Hertz in 1925. history by 1945. it is perfectly free to do so. Kettering.876 million in 1936. inventor of the self-starting electric ignition. including four-wheel brakes. with the help of Standard Oil. National City Lines and Pacific Cities. GM grew rapidly by providing the public with an array of cars -." In 1928. However.M.priced so as not to compete with one another. buying every company with any conceivable connection to automobiles. Sloan also conceived the notion of changing car styles annually. He also stressed research. heeding a friend's suggestion. including those in New York City. Louis and Los Angeles. Kettering's lab produced many innovations. And in the process Sloan was accumulating a fortune. St." After a few voyages Sloan sold the yacht to the Navy in 1941 for $175. Like Durant years earlier. and embarked on a crusade to replace electric transit systems with diesel buses. How much Sloan or other GM executives knew about it has never been resolved. Sloan formed United Cities Motor Transit. A year later. Sloan became chairman of GM's board and continued as its CEO until 1946. By 1949. GM was the largest corporation on Earth. In 1937. During World War II.there was little time for yachting. GM's history in the following two decades had several dark spots. and purchased electric streetcar companies across the nation.'s cars fight each other for their share of the market. and Sloan's management. Sloan helped organize Greyhound Corporation. but he didn't foresee its implications for the environment. Treasury reported to Congress that Sloan had avoided the payment of nearly $2 million in income taxes. Pontiac. Sloan knew it would be a boom for oil and GM. a 236-foot yacht that cost him $1 million. but it was a reflection of the massive amount of income he was generating. He saw bigness as a model for economies of scale where the company's vast resources would acquire the best talent. GM became one of the nation's largest arms manufacturers. Sloan went on a major acquisition spree.Chevrolet. Sloan believed in big business. . had acquired and converted more than 100 electric transit systems.he married Irene Jackson in 1898 but had no children -. GM.S. became the nation's largest manufacturer of buses. and produce the best product at the lowest price. These innovations. Recognizing that electric streetcars represented a threat to GM's expanding bus business. to buses. Sloan built Renè. When asked how things were aboard. plowing funds into GM's research laboratory managed by brilliant Charles F. Sloan vehemently denied the charges. By 1950. its German division and ally Adam Opel supported the Third Reich's war effort. Buick and Cadillac -. Philadelphia. GM's standard of excellence. Oldsmobile. However. Yellow Coach and Cab. In the same way G. "Think Big" was his motto.A Road Well Traveled 180 division. However.000. He was becoming GM's largest shareholder with an annual income of $2.
Sloan Foundation. scoffed at golf and fishing as wastes of time. In 1934 he established the Alfred J. Sloan School of Management. "He never smoked. "What the industrialists of the past hundred years have done is a mere beginning. for the formation of the Alfred P. Photos: Courtesy of the Flint Public Library and Library of Congress . Sloan was totally dedicated to GM. rarely read anything other than corporate reports." he said. endowing it with $10 million." Microsoft and Google are good examples of his foresight. he was deeply immersed in philanthropy with the same zeal and passion he had at GM." By the time Sloan resigned as chairman of GM in 1956.A Road Well Traveled 181 According to Time magazine. The last is most important of all. The foundation's first major donation was for the formation of the Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research in New York. His secret to success was simple: "Keep an open mind and work hard. disliked partygoing. research and fellowships. with $31 million directed to Sloan Kettering and $18 million to MIT. Over the next two decades. "The greatest opportunity for enterprise still lies beyond the horizon. seldom drank." He was a visionary. There is no short cut. the year his wife died. Sloan died in 1966. Sloan and his foundation's philanthropy exceeded $300 million. That will always be so as long as our scientific knowledge continues to expand.
making GM the nation‘s largest manufacturer of buses.A Road Well Traveled 182 TIMELINE 1875 1885 1892 1895 Born in New Haven. Graduates from MIT with a degree in electrical engineering. Has annual income of $2. DuPont as president of GM.J. Conn. Family moves to Brooklyn. Marries Irene Jackson. Sloan Foundation and endows it with $10 million. a 236-foot yacht at a cost of $1 million. Establishes a business program for executives at MIT. Has tripled GM‘s sales in six years and makes Chevrolet the best-selling low-priced car in the world. Receives $5 million when Durant and his United Motors Corporation acquire Hyatt Roller Bearing Co. Establishes the Alfred J. and begins producing antifriction bearings. on May 23.. Acquires Yellow Coach and Cab for GM from Daniel Hertz.5 million.s board. 1896 1898 1899 1916 Convinces Ransom E. Commission the construction of the Renè. N. 1923 1925 Installed by Pierre S. for $13.. Sees potential in Hyatt and convinces his father to acquire the company. Sloan becomes United‘s president. New York. 1928 1929 1931 1934 1936 1937 . Becomes chairman of GM‘. . Becomes president of Hyatt Roller Bearing Co. in Newark.876 million. Olds to convert to roller bearings from greased axles. Hyatt Roller Bearing annual sales reach $10 million with Ford and GM as its largest customers. Goes to work for the Hyatt Roller Bearing Co. Graduates from Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute and enters MIT.
and General Motors: The Story of Two Unique Men.youtube. Billy. My Years With General Motors. David R. Farber. St. Louis and Los Angeles. Alfred P.youtube. Wife dies. FURTHER READING Sloan.com/watch?v=mbVhElNQAeA Harley Earl. Resigns as chairman of GM 1946 1949 1952 1956 1966. Doubleday (1963). AMACOM (2006). Alfred Sloan Bio. Pelfrey. Sloan Rules: Alfred P. GM with Standard Oil acquires and converts more than 100 electric transit systems including those in New York City.A Road Well Traveled 183 1945 Announces a $4 million gift from the Alfred P.. Establishes the MIT School of Industrial Management with a Sloan Foundation grant. McGraw-Hill. a Legendary Company. Sloan and the triumph of General Motors. Alfred. University of Chicago Press. Allyn.com/watch?v=8zg8Ozz8BQs . The Leadership Genius of Alfred P. VIDEO AND OTHER MEDIA Drucker on Alfred P. Dies at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Center in New York on February 17. to buses. Sloan Foundation to establish a SloanKettering Institute for Cancer Research. GM History www. Sloan www. Sloan: invaluable lessons on business. Philadelphia. management. (2005). and a Remarkable Time in American history. and leadership for today’s manager. Resigns as GM‘s CEO. Freeman. (2002). subsequently named the Alfred P. William. Sloan School of Management.
c-spanvideo.org/details.php?videoid=3823 Billy. Alfrd and General Motors [C-SPAN: Author William Pelfrey] http://www.org/program/192206-1 .A Road Well Traveled 184 General Motors Around the World Part I www.open-video.
O and F.500 psi. one of their steamers went coast-to-coast and only used $4. Fred Mariott drove a Stanley steamer racing car called the ―Rocket. and end up with a lot of noise. and global warming becomes a hot topic of discussion. flying about 100 feet across the sand at an altitude of 10 feet before plummeting to the ground and disintegrating. It was noiseless. try as F. the Rocket struck a bump and planed upwards. shake and leak water.O and F. Maine. in Kingfield. did at times to prove its safety. The boiler simply rolled on the sand for what Mariott thought was nearly a mile and ended up in the surf.. known as F. Fla.000 psi above its normal range. Mariott easily passed 100 mph but as he pushed beyond 150 mph. 1849. but no explosion. In 1907 at a race held at Ormond Beach next to Daytona. he claimed it was 197 mph. Journalists likened its appearance to an inverted canoe with a flat bottom resting on four wheels and steam streaking out of a large exhaust vent behind the driver. but did not explode. Mariott survived with three broken ribs.E. would undoubtedly question why steam-driven cars have not been considered. The Stanley brothers. talk of alternative engine systems for automobiles is steaming up. just to name a few. There are hybrids. Freelan Oscar and Francis Edgar. It was a large family and one local historian claimed: ―you couldn‘t throw an apple without hitting a .A Road Well Traveled 185 STANLEY BROTHERS As the price of gasoline continues to rise. bio-fueled internal combustion engines and electric cars. Francis and Freelan were identical twins born June 1. it was nearly impossible to get a Stanley boiler to explode. In fact.E. They would allow the pressure to build past 1. shutter. literally. nearly 1. now hovering at $4 a gallon or more. cuts and lacerations.50 of kerosene fuel to heat the boiler. only the driver‘s head was visible. super-hybrids. After all. Some called it a ―freak‖ car.‖ It didn‘t look or sound like any other car. And the Stanley steamer could fly. Water was free and environmentally friendly.
And by September they had sold their first car. The twins whittled the dies and forms required for casting machinery. Whittling wood was one of their hobbies as kids and this led them into carving and making fine violins. dressed alike in identical overcoats and bowler hats.‖ By 1898 the brothers had built three steamers which they tested extensively around Cambridge and Newton. Steered by a tiller and incorporating carriage and bicycle technology. placed beneath a carriage. without any previous knowledge of steam engineering. the first car to ever accomplish this feat. The Stanley twins decided they could do better. They began experimenting with steampower. It was not a very impressive machine or reliable machine. This was simply a small engine and boiler weighing a total of 125 pounds. They were now independently wealthy. they turned out the first Stanley Steamer. 1897. In September. drove a Steamer to the top of Mount Washington. Spectators were stunned by the quick pace and eerie silence. but found existing steam engines unacceptable. Massachusetts.‖ The boys were very close and always found together. His clients included Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and William Cullen Bryant. They made a fortune in the dry-plate photography business. He also invented a dry photographic plate process. In 1896 the Stanley twins attended a fair to see a widely advertised a French-built ―horseless carriage‖ powered by steam. It could withstand pressures up to 300 pounds per square inch. Within a year. with his wife as passenger. the twins.‖ The twins also perfected early X-ray equipment and invented and produced gas illumination equipment. Freelan came up with the means of mass producing the photographic negatives and in 1884 the twins formed the Stanley Dry Plate Co. Maine. In 1874 Francis invented an airbrush for portrait painting and opened a photographic portrait studio where his air brush portraits were the rage. By 1889 their business was flourishing and they moved to Watertown. Their parents were well educated. including successfully negotiating a 30 percent grade in the hill-climbing trials at the Charles River Park Velodrome in Cambridge. Weight was a major problem. The first Boston automobile show in October included speed and hill-climbing competitions which the Stanleys easily won. so it was only natural for the boys to become teachers. their identical heavy black beards giving them an uncanny resemblance to the Smith brothers of cough drop fame.A Road Well Traveled 186 Stanley. The 600-lbengine and boiler were heavier than the car they wished to build. One observer later recalled: ―It was like watching a pair of pants run down the street with nobody in them. and Montreal. it was an immediate success. In late summer Freelan Stanley. appeared on Maple Street in Watertown. Mass. and the boys quite intelligent. . Francis also received an airbrush patent titled ―An Improvement to the Atomizer. of Milton. They established plants in Lewiston. to produce the dry plates. Mass. From violins the twins moved on to photography. Quebec. where they found larger facilities and were closer to their suppliers. driving a horseless carriage that was nearly soundless. Mass. It was built for them by the Mason Regulator Co. although they started using only 150.
To produce their Stanley steamers.4 seconds.66 mph at the Ormond-Daytona races. his advertising and catalog referred to ―The Stanley dry plate manufactured by the Eastman Company. but retained their name. with Francis at the wheel of a stock 7 ½ horsepower Stanley and finished second to a 60-horsepower. the brothers radically changed their design. He claimed they had violated his patent for a chain tensioner. a descendant of Eli Whitney. They built about 400 cars in their first year but were promptly sued for patent infringement by another steam-car maker. Within a year they manufactured nearly 200 cars.A Road Well Traveled 187 The impressive showing produced about one hundred orders. publisher of Cosmopolitan magazine. the Rocket. B. It was a much improved vehicle. Although the brothers called their car production "an interesting hobby.000 Mercedes.000. they purchased an old bicycle factory next door to their photographic dry plate factory in Watertown. and when it crossed the finish . inventor of the cotton gin. Walker. The Stanleys constructed a special aerodynamic car. placing the engine horizontally in the rear of the car. and eliminated the chain drive by sending the power to the axle through a differential and driving gear enclosed in a tight. They signed a non-compete agreement preventing them from reentering the business until 1901. purportedly for $1 million.‖ The twins then converted their old dry-plate factory for the production of automobiles under the new firm name. George Whitney. At the end of the litigation. When the non-compete clause expired. Their new steamers had a twin-cylinder engine with a small kerosene-fueled burner to heat the boiler. the brothers needed to market their cars and prove the superiority of their car‘s performance and reliability. Stanley Motor Carriage Co. that Fred Marriott piloted in January 1906 to a new land speed record of 127. Like other automobile pioneers. dust proof case. Walker changed the name to the Locomobile Company of America but kept the twins as vice presidents and consultants. In 1904 they entered the first ―Climb to the Clouds‖ race up Mount Washington.000 in cash. the Stanleys decided to go back into the steam automobile business and purchased their old factory in Newton for $20. He also broke the one-kilometer mark in a time of 18. not a trade." they were in the motorcar business. who purchased their business for $250. In 1903 Eastman acquired the Stanley company. George Eastman had also invented a dry plate process and saw the Stanley dry plates not only as a major competitor but possibly as a superior process. Car races and expositions became the proving grounds. $18. Barber and John B. The Stanleys' success attracted the interest of A.
―F. Francis made several civic improvements including the construction of a new pier. even a cash-paying one. ‗How did you get up here without me hearing you? Where‘s your horse?‘ ‗He got away from us. and the more expensive Roadster H-5. The steam engine had several advantages. He also built concrete sidewalks for his disabled wife. By 1917 the price of a Steamer was about $2. Stanley built a summer home and two cottages for his daughters on Squirrel Island in 1908. E. no gears.. both with steering wheels in lieu of a tiller. one sliding throttle and two foot pedals. E.‘ said F.A Road Well Traveled 188 line the spectators gave a rousing cheer. making the island wheelchair accessible. Author John Carlova. Other resorts also ordered them and by the time production ended in 1916.‖ Ten minutes later a 200-hp Darracq covered the course but was a second slower. Driving it was simple. When awakened. By 1908 demand was beginning to outstrip supply. The brothers could have sold more but the their misanthropic character blocked expansion and higher sales. According to the New York Times. Stanley cars were heading in the other direction. no gear shift. breakwater. who suffered from tuberculosis. If for any reason they were dissatisfied or displeased with a potential customer. roads and power. becoming best known for the "coffin nose" hood that housed the cylindrical boiler. It opened in 1909.‘ said F.‘ ‗Of course. writing in American Heritage magazine. standing on the beach. described one example: ―Noiselessly pulling up to a toll bridge one time. To transport his guests and their baggage up the mountain from the rail station 30 miles away—steam engines were unaffected by altitude—he and Francis began building a 9-passenger Mountain Wagon. ‗No—but you‘re blocking the bridge. bowed to the plaudits of the crowd. Freelan.500. leaving the keeper staring after it with open mouth. There was no clutch. He decided to build a hotel there. eliminating the need for a handcrank. and Henry Ford was producing low-priced affordable cars. You‘ll have to get that carriage out of the way. sewer. Like Freelan in Estes Park. and after creating the town‘s infrastructure.E. and a standpipe for the town‘s water supply. Stanley.E.‖ Stanley Motor Works produced a variety of models. The carriage silently glided across the bridge. they found the keeper sound asleep. They screened potential buyers to make sure they had the right personality for the Steamer. and covertly touched the throttle. mostly their $850-Touring Model EX. The New York Times reported: ―The loud explosions and swaying movement of the powerful Darracq were in great contrast to the almost noiseless gliding of the steamer. The gasoline engine was slowly making inroads against steam. The Stanleys were not above playing practical jokes. he built a luxury hotel. They sold only 800 cars that year. one for breaking. the keeper stared at the two men in the carriage and demanded. ‗Have you seen him?‘ The keeper shook his head. Co. they would reject the sale. spent the summers in Estes Park.‖ F. Cadillac introduced the electric starter. including water. the other for . nearly 300 Mountain Wagons had been built. making it prohibitive for the mass market.
But the Steamer could go as fast in reverse as forward. Freelan died in 1940 at age 91. went off the road to avoid a collision with a wagon.000 cars by the end of the steam era. In 1918 Francis was driving along a New England highway. and it took some time to heat up the boiler and get it ready to operate. Photos: Scientific American 1907 and Library of Congress . and was killed when the car overturned. Freelan sold his interest in the Stanley Motor Carriage Company and returned to manufacturing violins. and it wouldn‘t overheat or stall. One can only wonder whether merging today‘s computer technology to handle all the gauges and valves would make it possible to develop a modern steam engine-driven car that would rely principally on water and help eliminate the problem of fuel prices and dramatically cut carbon emissions. They had sold nearly 11. It could go at 1 mph or accelerate instantly and noiselessly. Devastated. Some intrepid Steamer drivers would put the car in reverse and bypass gasoline driven cars. The biggest disadvantages were a multiplicity of valves and gauges.A Road Well Traveled 189 reverse.
Co. suffering from tuberculosis decides to build a new luxury hotel in Estes Park. sewer.A Road Well Traveled 190 TIMELINE 1849 1874 1884 Identical twins Freelan and Francis are born on June 1 in Kingfield. he needs to build the town‘s infrastructure including power. The Rocket speeds up to 197 mph before becoming airborne at Ormond Beach. Colo.66 mph at the Ormond-Daytona races. etc. They design a new car with a differential and driving gear enclosed in a dust proof case. Walker changes the name to Locomobile Company of America. 1889 1896 1897 1898 1899 1901 1907 . Freelan. bank. FL. Move business to Watertown. and establish larger facilities.000. Sell their company to A. 1908 800 cars are sold this year.000 and sign a non-compete agreement. to produce the dry photographic plate process invented by Freelan. Attend fair where a French-built ―horseless carriage‖ powered by steam is displayed. publishers of Cosmopolitan magazine for $250. resulting in a hundred orders. Daytona. Fred Marriott pilots the first Stanely Rocket to a new land speed record of 127. raods. Sell their dry plate photographic process and business to George Eastman for a reported $1 million. most their $850-Touring Model EX and the more expensive Roadster H-5. Walker. B. 1902 1903 Approximately 400 Stanely Steamer Stick Seat Runabouts built and sold. and fall in love with the area. Produce first Stanley Steamer and in September drive it on Maple Street in Watertown Manufacture three Stanley Steamers and win the Boston automobile show‘s hill-climbing trials at Charles River Park Velododrome in Cambridge. Freelan and wife Flora visit Estes Park. Twins remain as vice presidents and consultants. Maine. Resume building cars when non-compete agreement expires and reacquire the Newton plant for $20. however. clinic. both with a steering wheel in lieu of a tiller. Mass. Twins form the Stanley Dry Plate Co. 1905 1906 Introduce the Stanley Runabout Model CX with a tiller. First. but are sued by George Whitney for breaching his patent for a chain tensioner. Francis invents an airbrush for portrait painting and opens a photographic portrait store. Barber and John B.
Co. breakwater. Twins introduce the Stanley 7 Passenger Touring Model 87 1916 1917 The five-passenger Model 725 sells for $2.200.com/watch?v=qewjPqeh19Q .youtube. Freelan sells his remaining interest in the Stanley Motor Carriage Company and resumes building violins.com/watch?v=0OtFnnmJtSs 1911 Stanely Model 72 Stamer Part 1 www. 1909 The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park opens its doors on June 22 but its distance from the railway station results in a Stanley-designed 9-passenger Mountain Wagon. (1987). Merrick.youtube. VIDEO AND OTHER MEDIA The Stanley Steam Car www. and makes civic improvements including a new pier. Maine. 1910 1912 1918 1922 1940 FURTHER READING Griffin. Guy Gannett Pub. makes gasoline cars more attractive to buyers. Francis is killed July 31 in a car crash on a New England highway near Ipswitch.500. H. James. Mass. The five-passenger Model 70 sells for $1. Stanley Museum (2006). Kettering‘s electric starter placed into Cadillac by Henry Leland. sidewalks and water system. The Remarkable Stanley Brothers and Their Amazing Cars. Stanley!: The racing history of Stanley and the 1906 Stanley land speed record. Nancy. eliminating the need for handcranking starts. The twins sell an interest in the company to Prescott Warren and retire from active management. Price of Stanley Steamer is $2. Bravo.A Road Well Traveled 191 Francis builds three homes in Squirrel Island.500. Freelan dies at home in Newton at age 91.
He was born in Gettysburg on October 10. became ubiquitous in American lore. In 1835 the family stuffed their meager belongings into a Conestoga wagon (predecessor of the "prairie schooner"). and crossed the Alleghenies.M. Ontario. Henry. an ignominious end to the Studebaker name in the production of some of the most unique and historic American vehicles. in September 1966. John. STUDEBAKER As America expanded westward in the 19th century. Although five Studebaker brothers were involved at one time or another in the wagon and car business. . Maria and Jacob. John Mohler Studebaker. as he was known by his family. 1833. heading west to the frontier—Ohio. attached four horses. or "prairie schooner" as it was called. rolled off the assembly line at Studebaker's Hamilton. The family had barely begun its new existence when the Panic of 1837 brought the American economy to a grinding halt. More than half of them were manufactured by one company—H. It was a year after Andrew Jackson had ascended to the White House. the evolution of the company from wagons to cars and its enormous success is largely attributable to one brother. Studebaker—the largest wagon manufacturer on the globe. 7. A century or so later. and Clement. preceded by two brothers. the last Studebaker automobile. & C. the covered wagon. 2. Peter. plant.A Road Well Traveled 192 JOHN M. They settled in Ashland County where three more children were born. descended from old German stock that had settled in Philadelphia in 1736. or J. a blue and white cruiser.
His ambition was to buy a farm and settle on it.M. However. 1853 with $63 in his pocket. arrived in Hangtown (now Placerville).000 he had earned.‘s older brothers Henry and Clem formed H. pans and stagecoaches. They started with $68 and built two wagons the following year. was building a dozen wagons a year.M. 15.M.M. left Hangtown in April. this time to South Bend. in August with 50 cents in his pocket and got a job with the local blacksmith who repaired picks. But the blacksmith needed wheelbarrows and asked Studebaker to build 25. but the blacksmith told him it needed more work. lumber—newly cut trees had to cure for three years or get cured in drying kilns—or adequate facilities.M.M. And in the fall of 1851 the family moved again. received a letter from Clem. did his best with the pitch pine at hand. but it didn‘t take him long to master the craft to the point where others began to refer to him as "Wheelbarrow Johnny. J. Unfortunately. knew how to build wagons. Instead of returning to Indiana by a land route.M. Calif. Accustomed to oak and hickory.M." By 1855. He finished his first wheelbarrow in two days. Although J. Like so many others. including many banks. Two years later J. he was a neophyte with wheelbarrows. J. Ind.M. but had just been offered a subcontract from Mishawaka Wagon Works to construct 100 wagons under an Army contract. the wagon train made its first stop in Council Bluffs.M. & C.'s father.. They needed capital.A Road Well Traveled 193 Thousands of firms failed. Paper money was worthless. tried his hand gambling on threecard monte and lost it all. & C. Henry and Clem did not have enough employees.M. though it wasn‘t worth that much before the Panic after President Jackson demanded that all government land agents accept only specie—gold and silver—for land). He built a wagon in 10 days and departed for the five-month journey on March 23. J. Instead he joined an emigrant wagon train bound for California.. J. where J. suffered a financial collapse. 1858. J. J. J. J. After some consideration. opted not to go with his brothers.000. A year later J. had saved $3. paying him $10 apiece. Studebaker to manufacture wagons. Henry‘s heart was not in the business. and his brothers went to work on the farm and in the blacksmith shop while their father saddled up the horse and headed west in search of new opportunities. an unimaginable sum to his brothers in Indiana. H. He was 19 and had lots to learn. also cleared a swamp for a hefty $26.M. he . with $8. a blacksmith and farmer.
M. Studebaker its first major government contract. saw demand for wagons surging in the event of a major conflict. the agents offered H. South Carolina had seceded from the Union and other Southern states were threatening to follow suit. and Clem were capable of fulfilling government orders.‖ The same applied to wagons. and they ended up in Goshen. J. was very concerned about the future. After a brief courtship. For the duration of the war H. and agreed to invest more money in the firm‘s expansion. Studebaker. so J. the Studebakers did not enlist. or over longer periods of time. J. where J... J.a German religious sect that practiced trine immersion and declined oaths or military service. J. could supply in a month. & C.000. J. to simple buggies. however. even sprinkling carts. supplied the Union with wagons.‖ which emphasized advertising. wind-broken.M. By the end of 1860. made by unskilled labor. office. . Although he was younger than them. moon-eyed. Satisfied with what they saw. However. They also adopted their father's motto in conducting their business: "Always give a little more than you promise. most knowledgeable. ―The Art of Making Money. When the Civil War began. you don‘t deliberately take chances on a spavined. making Clem uncomfortable.M.M. knockkneed animal . & C. . from covered ones. a snow storm forced them to take the train in the opposite direction. H. & C. and most sophisticated brother. and landed in New York after a second sea voyage. lived and owned a general store. After returning to Indiana in June. trying to determine if J. Clem.M. spent some of the firm‘s capital in advertising. J. Government purchasing agents arrived in South Bend to determine how many wagons and what types H. . and Clem established a lumber yard. acquired Henry‘s interest in the firm for $3. met Mary Jane Stull. The buyer could acquire a cheap one.‘s advertisements reflected his sense of salesmanship: ―If you set out to buy a horse.T. however. Peter.'s younger brother. & C. the farmer's daughter.M. allowing Henry to fulfill his dreams of a farm. Retaining the name H.M. Taking a page out of P. or one that ―bears the name ‗STUDEBAKER‘ which is a certain guaranty of excellence and superiority.M. Ind. met with Henry and Clem. and acquired the resources necessary to build a variety of wagons. He constructed sheds next to his store to display the wagons and was soon selling them as fast as his brothers could deliver them. They were devout Dunkards -.M. he was by far the best traveled.M. paint department. they were married at the Stull farm and planned to honeymoon in Chicago. Barnum‘s book. more than the entire firm was worth. crossed the Isthmus by the newly built railroad at Aspinwall." On a sales call to a small farm outside South Bend.A Road Well Traveled 194 took a steamer to Panama. & C. Peter sold the three wagons in a week and returned for more. also decided to ship three wagons to Peter to sell at his store in Goshen.‖ J. had 14 employees.
Concerned that business would decline. had the board of directors adopt a resolution confirming that any employee who heeded President Roosevelt‘s call to arms would be re- . no one was prepared for its economic dislocations. After the war. understood the complexities of America‘s economic evolution and foresaw the emerging conflict between labor and capital. was flooded with civilian orders for reconstruction efforts in the South and national expansion westward. J. And they declared a dividend of $150. & C.000! A year after the great Panic. the Panic of 1873 did not adversely affect Studebaker Brothers. Millions were unemployed and more than 23. J. J. and Clem expanded the plant. curiously. opened new dealerships and watched sales top $350. But they could barely keep up with the orders. but the brothers rebuilt the plant quickly and by 1875 achieved a milestone—sales exceeded $1 million.A Road Well Traveled 195 caissons. During the Spanish American War.000 in damage. He wrote to Peter: ―As capital tightens and concentrates its grip on a society by an inevitable condensation into huge corporate powers.‖ His empathetic understanding of the problem reduced labor strife in Studebaker Brother plants. They decided to incorporate their firm as the Studebaker Brothers Manufacturing Company and were soon the largest wagon builders in the world.000 while the cost of their raw materials dropped dramatically. labor being so difficult to procure. reduced output to one wagon every 20 minutes. a fire destroyed two-thirds of their plant and caused $300.M. More than Clem or Peter.M. Remarkably. This is a truism of which we are only seeing the beginning.M. H. ambulances and. Company sales reached $820.M. producing one wagon every 10 minutes. J. carts to carry kegs of beer to the front.M. J. so labor strives and struggles to better its conditions by organization and assertion of its rights. The Panic of 1873 struck the nation with a tsunami-like impact.000 businesses failed. also saw the economic depression as an opportune time to acquire competing concerns for cents on the dollar.000 in 1868. dealers from San Francisco to New York and the capacity to produce a wagon every five minutes. And four years later they had a thousand employees.
Peter agreed with Clem: "If they're steam. first expressed an interest in the horseless carriage in a letter dated August 6. Frederick S. They were battery powered with a clean and efficient propulsion system. of Ohio. "We had already considered the possibility of adapting (an engine) to a vehicle." Clem. Studebaker Brothers built a steam-powered wagon.M. It produced steam but not much else. If they're electric. they blow up.M. The electric car came next. despite having told Henry Ford back in 1896 when Ford explained his plans for a gasoline-powered car: "Young man. Studebaker would build the chassis and assemble the final automobile at its plans. Fish. . however. automobiles.A Road Well Traveled 196 employed at the end of the conflict and would remain on the payroll during their service to the nation. but Garford thought it could produce an automobile on its . However. the cars did not go very far and the batteries needed facilities for recharging.481. president of the company. J. He wanted to develop the harness and saddler branch of their company. it entered into an agreement with Garford Co. They were manufacturing 75.. but he foresaw motor vehicles as the company's future. was not so keen on the idea.000! By 1910." Peter died of a heart attack at age 61 and could not foresee the metamorphosis the company was about to make. found himself straddling the fence. And if they're gasoline. you have it. with sales just shy of $4 million. had named his son-in-law. Keep at it! Electric cars must keep near to power stations ." he wrote. they had built 2. Olds' runabout. In 1898. Your car is self-contained. At its first demonstration the electric car went out of control. "and we are giving the subject of horseless vehicles very careful attention.M. It was a brute with two cylinders and 16 horsepower and sold for $2. to jointly produce cars. It was much appreciated by the company‘s employees. they run down. Edison purchased the second electric car produced by Studebaker. When his son told him about Ransom E. . a very wealthy man. J. Clem wasn't interested. and Fish convinced the board to build an electric vehicle. J. Since Studebaker Motors did not build engines.M. Clem died in 1901. they catch on fire. 1895. Fish and other executives also pressed for an internal-combustion-powered car. an engine manufacturer.000 wagons a year. a year before Studebaker Brothers began production of its own electric cars." Fish convinced J. that's the thing. that the company's future rested with gasoline-powered automobiles. Thomas A. The first Studebaker-Garford appeared in 1904.
F. a large portion of which was taken by Goldman. In 1912. Although few old timers remained in Placerville.A Road Well Traveled 197 own. Studebaker Covered Wagon Studebaker Coach Studebaker wagon factory in 1872 Edison in the new Studebaker electric car First Studebaker Garford automobile sold in 1904 J. printed in 1918.M. It was his first time back in more than a half a century. J. leaving an estate worth more than $8 million and one of America's largest automobile companies.‖ The company continued to produce wagons until 1920 when the new Studebaker Truck rolled off the production line. Sachs & Co. Studebaker Brothers turned to another engine manufacturer.M. Studebaker stopped producing electric cars in 1912. Photos: "History of the Studebaker Corporation‖ John M. acquired EMF from J. and ultimately the superiority of the gasoline car [is] apparent.M. Studebaker at the age of 35. Unfortunately. Pierpont Morgan and reorganized the combined companies into the Studebaker Corporation with $45 million in capital stock. died in 1917. Studebaker. at its own cost. Studebaker at his office in 1908 . returned to California. Metzger and Flanders Company of Detroit. the town opened its doors to J. J. An official announcement from Studebaker Corporation stated: ―The production of electric automobiles at South Bend has ended…It has been conducted for nine years without much success.M.M. sent mechanics to any buyer of a car manufactured under its name by EMF to replace defective parts—it cost Studebaker more than $1 million. to build cars—the Studebaker-E. EMF's work was shoddy. In 1911. & C. Gettysburg Homestead H.M. J. with large banners hailing his arrival and a reception. Everett.
to r. Henry. and John M.): Seated : Clement.A Road Well Traveled 198 Five Studebaker Brothers (l. Standing: Peter and Jacob .
Family moves to Ashland County.000 from his blacksmith wagon and wheelbarrow work. 1860 Company has 14 employees and worries about impending Civil War. leaving on March 23 and arriving in Hangtown (Placerville). J.M.000. Wagon sales top $350. Ind. Ohio in a Conestoga wagon. Studebaker Brothers Manufacturing Company is incorporated in Indiana. Studebaker born October 10 in Gettysburg. paper money is essentially worthless.000 and first dealership in Chicago is opened. has saved $3. Peter Studebaker opens first dealership in Goshen. Ind. 1861 1868 Receives major government contract to build wagons. Ind.M. Penn.000 businesses.000. 1854 1855 1857 Henry and Clem build two wagons. Panic of 1837 results in thousands of bankrupt firms. but hardly dents the Studebaker business. & C. Acquires Henry‘s interest in the firm for $3. & C. Older brothers Clem and Henry form H. Firm employees a thousand employees and has the capacity to build a wagon every five minutes. Calif in August where he gets a job with a local blacksmith to build wheelbarrows.A Road Well Traveled 199 TIMELINE 1833 1835 1837 1838 1851 1853 J. Receives a letter from Clem describing a subcontract H. Studebaker to manufacture wagons. J.M. Marries Mary Jane Stull on January 2 in South Bend.000 and returns to Indian via the Isthmus and Aspinwall in June. Goes to work with his brothers on the farm and in their father‘s blacksmith shop Family moves to South Bend. First year sales exceed $1 million. Fire destroys two-thirds of their plant and the brothers quickly rebuild it.. Leaves Hangtown in April with $8. Panic of 1873 ruins more than 23. Clem opens up European market. Annual wagon production exceeds 75. 1858 1873 1874 1875 1879 1885 . goes to California. received to build 100 wagons under and Army contract.
First experiments with powered vehicles begin. the 2-cylinder 16-hp Studebaker-Garfrod.. Studebaker Corporation officially ceases production of electric cars. J. Studebaker produces the first gasoline-engine cars produced by the company. Erskine. Cannon. Everitt-MetzgerFlanders Company. P. J. Dutton (1948). (2000). 1910 1911 1912 J. John Studebaker. Bonsell. dies March 16 after a long illness Last Studebaker rolls off the assembly line at the Studebaker plant in Hamilton. A Century on Wheels: The Story of Studebaker. selling for $2. an American Dream. FURTHER READING Corle. Longstreet. 1914 1917 1966 First deliveries of the 3. Studebaker Corporation (1924). Studebaker Brothers builds a steam-powered wagon.A Road Well Traveled 1888 1896 1898 1900 1902 Presdient Benjamin Harrison orders Studebakers for White House. Edison purchases the second electric car Studebaker produces. More Than They Promised: the Studebaker Story.000. William. Edwin. acquires EMF from J. Company begins building an electric car. Thomas A. returns to California to visit Hangtown. to build engines and produce the Studebaker-EMF. Thomas E. Stephen.M. of Ohio. Greenwood Press (1970). . Stanford University Press. Studebaker: The Complete Story. Production of electric vehicles begins in earnest. Pierpont Morgan and reorganizes the combined companies into the Studebaker Corporation with $45 million in capital stock. a History. Albert Russell. Ontario.M. an engine manufacturer. E. TAB Books (1981). 1904 200 Working with Garford Co.000 wagons ordered by the British government begin. History of the Studebaker Corporation.M. Garford and Studebaker part company and Studebaker contracts with EMF.
was born. Windsor and Rollin White. Windsor. the unbeaten but retired former champion stepped forward. In 1866 he moved to Cleveland. and the White Company of Cleveland went on to become one of the nation‘s four largest truck manufacturers.‖ referring to the need to find a white man capable of defeating the black champion. to use as pacing cars for their morning workouts. That year Thomas incorporated the White Sewing Machine Company and introduced . saw a great marketing opportunity. followed in 1876 by Walter. Ohio.A Road Well Traveled 201 THE WHITE BROTHERS ―The Fight of the Century‖ took place in 1910. Johnson became a wealthy celebrity-athlete. the first African American heavyweight boxing champion against Jim Jefferies who was white. A second son. the world‘s largest producer of steam cars and a recent convert to gasoline-powered automobiles. owners of the White Company of Cleveland. They offered a gasoline powered White automobile to Johnson and another White car to Jeffries. The White story begins with Thomas White who started building sewing machines in 1858. The fight was shrouded with racial tension and gave rise to the term ―Great White Hope. pitting Jack Johnson. Jeffries lost the fight. Jeffries. where his first son. Rollin was born six years later. Walter. The 22-year-old sold them for $10 apiece.
particularly after Rollin successfully completed a 10-mile race in Detroit. Take my advice and register for a general course so that you will get a broad outlook in all lines. He briefly left the company to serve as treasurer of the Cleveland Machine Screw Company before returning in 1895 to assume the vice presidency of the White Sewing Machine Co. When it was time for Walter to go to college. yet provided continuous power in each cylinder regardless of speed. The White Model A was the other car they built that year. gained admission to the bar. kerosene lamps and screw machines. It may have been the first truck built in America. They sold a fleet of them to the Denver Dry Goods Company. the new car‘s reputation soared quickly. but Rollin was intent on pursuing the development of a powerful and efficient steam-driven automobile utilizing his patented boiler design. earned his law degree. According to the New York Times. phonographs. chain-driven car based on Rollin‘s flash boiler design. beginning with Windsor. easy to control. Thomas and Windsor had already begun the production of other products such as bicycles. The company grew rapidly and Thomas soon had his three sons working at his side. build an automobile at the factory. Rollin and Walter believed in their steam engine and claimed it held several advantages over other means of propulsion: it was noiseless.200 machines a week. Thomas agreed to let Windsor. It sold well and by 1882 White Sewing was producing 1.‖ In 1900 he returned to the sewing company. other companies were researching the use of electric motors for trucks. ―and you have already had that down at the plant. but the summer after graduating began taking law courses while serving as assistant treasurer at the sewing company. It was a two-cylinder. essentially a delivery wagon without the horse. and worked briefly in the office of the general counsel of New York Central but still felt he was ―on the wrong track. dubbed the Pie Wagon.S. Walter got his B. and Walter. Windsor and Rollin sent Walter to Europe to license the patents and. appeared. had a simple throttling system. He hated the job and felt he was ―stagnating‖ and ―misplaced as a frog in a bowl of goldfish. roller skates. Later on you can specialize. Windsor. who went to work for the company in 1891 after graduating from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute. named the Stanhope. The first cars produced by the White brothers were built at the White Sewing Machine Company plant. The brothers also built a delivery truck in 1901. lacked gears and shifting. It was one of the first five cars they produced. Not everyone agreed with this assessment.‖ Walter returned to the study of law. In 1900 the first White steamer. The Model B appeared the following year. His graduation thesis described the creation of a new steam engine that he subsequently patented.‖ Heeding Rollin‘s advice. degree in general science. ―You will get lots of shop work. when .‖ he told Walter. Rollin suggested a liberal education instead of mechanical engineering. Rollin. Rollin came aboard after graduating from Cornell University‘s Sibley College of Engineering in 1898.A Road Well Traveled 202 a vibrating-shuttle lock-stitch sewing-machine. With the White Sewing Company‘s reputation for quality.
When one person inquired where he could buy a car." he rued. with Walter in charge. They also replaced the chain-drive with a shaft-drive to the axle. Walter began to correspond with army engineers about supplying cars to the U.‖ Walter said. and the fire controlled by a thermostatically operated gasoline valve. With the White automobile reputation well established in England.‖ Windsor and Rollin castigated Walter for being so glib and unresponsive. "but finally I did begin to sell cars. He got the message and set up a show room. Army.A Road Well Traveled 203 possible. Over the next few years the White brothers. in a truck version of their car and convinced the Army to purchase them. a car. to demonstrate or sell the Model A. Teddy Roosevelt and . making the White steamers the first trucks acquired by the Army. The car covered the course in eight days and averaged 13. and extended the wheelbase. and was essentially explosion proof. ―There is one thing I never get over when I race. who was holding maneuvers around Manassas. parts. with a closed body design. The 1904 model was a four-passenger touring car that sold in the U. He drove General Corbin. and Walter coordinating the sales and marketing. for $2. who coordinated automotive developments with their respective military establishments. ―I did not even know how to talk in sales language. In 1904. with Windsor at the administrative helm.‖ And like the Europeans. Walter headed to London with a letter of credit. each one slightly larger. Two automatic devices were incorporated into the design: a water regulator and a thermostat. Walter failed to license the patents or sell any cars. Walter simply replied: ―In America. brought out Models D and E. Setting up at the Hotel Cecil. and increased horsepower.S.‖ Windsor and Rollin introduced the Model C in 1903." he said. The boiler held approximately one quart of water. the use of ball bearings. By the end of the year they had ten sales agencies operating in the U.000 mile Reliability contest. and one.S. placed a new compound engine under the hood instead of under the seat. in London. Rollin in charge of production. adopting the popular Mercedes body style of the time.500 cars. and virtually no knowledge of sales or marketing.S. Water was pumped directly to the generator. The Whites sold more than 1. Walter returned to Cleveland where he began to participate in endurance races to demonstrate the White steamer‘s durability and workmanship. ―Once you are off you see nothing but the road and you have a maniacal desire to run over everybody and everything that comes in your way.63 mph on one long hill climb. ―The most conspicuous display in that room was my ignorance. Walter entered a White Steamer in England‘s 1.500 and had a vertical steam engine that produced 10 hp.
suggested the White steamer and Pierce Arrow for consideration. in 1914 due to ill health and Walter moved up the corporate ladder. and built a 23-room mansion the family named the ―White House. They presented the first White truck. advances in the design of gasoline-driven engines were making them more competitive and intriguing to Rollin and his engineers. Even Czar Nicholas of Russia ordered a large fleet of trucks from White. By 1915 their concern was reorganized into The White Motor Company with capitalization of $16. I'll give the other fellow the same chance. The White involvement in polo was one of the reasons Cleveland‘s polo teams won the championships of . a three-ton model with a gasoline engine.000 for the acquisition of one or more automobiles. And Walter. Walter. a car enthusiast with three years of experience with the White steamers. Walter said: ―It took me long enough to find my niche.‖ His relationship with employees resulted in exceptionally low turnover for the corporation. seven-passenger White Model M Steamer with the coat-of-arms of the United States painted on its doors. Although The White Company was successful in the production and sale of steam-driven automobiles. serving as chairman of a committee to coordinate allied truck troop transportation.‖ Circle-W Farm became one of the most extensive dairy farms in Ohio. captured a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor from France. selling more than 9. Taft. In 1916 Walter purchased the 325-acre parcel Circle-W Farm on County Lane Road in Gates Mills.A Road Well Traveled 204 Buffalo Bill Cody drove them. with a capitalization of $2. built a large field on the farm where he hosted polo competitions. 1906. the family transferred the automobile business into a new corporation. 40-horsepower.500. installed a polo field. The White Company. OH.000. The election of William Howard Taft to the Presidency in 1909 presented another marketing opportunity for the White brothers. they came out with two more steam models. Discussions began about a presidential limousine and after considerable debate. trucking industry. White Sewing Machine Company stockholders had the option of converting their stock holdings from the sewing company to the newly formed motor company.000. Rollin resigned from The White Co. In November. The principal change taking place was conceptual. But even as they introduced their first car with a four-cylinder internal combustion engine producing 20 HP. the MM and OO. A year later Windsor also built a large mansion at Halfred Farms on Chagrin River Road at Shaker Hunting Valley where he.S. producing nearly 18. by war‘s end White Motor Co. Thomas placed the new corporation entirely in the hands of his three sons with Windsor as its president.000 for the Army. it did not discard its old employees. Congress authorized $12.000. World War I brought production of all automobiles to a halt and the company concentrated exclusively on trucks. a devotee of polo and one of the leaders of a polo team in Cleveland. The government purchased a green.000 cars by 1910. had captured 10 percent of the U. at the New York Automobile Show of 1910. shifting their focus from passenger automobiles to commercial vehicles. too. Although the old company was merged in the new one.
evolving into White Consolidated Industries and is. White Motor Co. However. . and sold 40.S.400 of a slightly larger model in 1925. less than a month before the stock market crash of Black Thursday. But the company went into bankruptcy in 1981 and sold its assets to Volvo. In 1960 another firm acquired Oliver--the White Motor Company! The extent of Rollin‘s hand in completing this circle is unclear.A Road Well Traveled 205 the U. Inc. In 1917 he changed the company name to the Cleveland Tractor Co. He was only 53. Rollin did not remain out of action long. to build agricultural tractors. White Motors. He was 90. mostly attributable to buyers opting for larger cars. Walter survived with several fractures. White Sewing Machine Company continued to grow.000 tractors in the U. triple the sales of 1916. had resigned in 1927. Thrown 100 feet into a vacant lot.000 cars in 1924 and 2. Rollin died in 1962. he suffered a severe hemorrhage while in the hospital and died. The company built nearly 4. three-axle versions followed in 1930.7 billion. however.S. Supreme Court. He wrote articles for the New York Times.S. at age 92. the company faced several hurdles. the 3-ton Model 59. large enough to warrant antitrust action by the government that went all the way to the U. who had been president of the company for two years. The first car produced was a small two-door coupe. 10-ton. Walter was also fond of riding horses and hunting with the hounds. with sales exceeding $4. and was expected to live. Regarded as one of the best horsemen in Ohio. thrived during the Roaring '20s. The firm subsequently merged with Oliver Corp. By 1929.673. In 1914 he launched the Cleveland Motor Plow Co. became one of the big four truck manufacturers in the U.S. today.594. forced the company into bankruptcy that year. was driving to his office in Cleveland and collided with another car. but declining sales. By 1925 White Motor Company‘s annual sales reached $57. appeared in 1928. On September 29. with its reputation for high-quality trucks. the maker of farm equipment which later reorganized the division into the Cletrac. 1958. 1929. a division of Electrolux Group. Walter. OH. who had been chairman of the White Motor Company board since 1921. White's first six-cylinder platform. Polo Association‘s Central Circuit in 1925. Windsor. his 1. worked closely with the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and resided at Halfred Farms.. and overseas in the first 10 years of operation. FL on April 9.100-acre estate in Cuyahoga County. In 1924 Rollin decided to build cars and formed Rollin Motor Cars. it was the first American car with four-wheel solid metal disk brakes and balloon tires. He died on a visit to Rollin‘s home in Hobe Sound.
Car production is approximately three cars a week. 1882 1891 1894 Rollin graduates from Cornell University and goes to work with his father and brother.200 sewing machines a week. Walter White is born and Thomas White incorporates the White Sewing Machine Company. Also reads law in New York and gets his law degree in the Spring. First automobile factory of the White Sewing Machine Company is built and produces the first White Steamer called the Stanhope. Walter studies law during the summer. Walter White moves to Cleveland Ohio. Rollin joins Walter Baker in the early development of an electric car. . 1872 1876 Rollin White is born July 11 in Cleveland. Windsor goes to work for White Sewing after graduating from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute. 1896 While attending Cornell. it becomes the basis of White steamers. 1900 Rollin receives a patent for his flash-steam boiler. 1898 Walter graduates from Cornell University and serves as assistant treasurer for White Sewing. Plans to take his bar exam in the Fall. Rollin invents a unique flash boiler and generator for a steam-powered automobile. White Sewing Machine Company sells 1. General Counsel of the New York Central Railroad before returning to White Sewing. 1899 Walter works temporarily as a lawyer for Judge Williamson. 1901 The brothers build their first delivery truck dubbed the Pie Wagon. Build the White Model A steam automobile. Windsor White is born in Cleveland.A Road Well Traveled 206 TIMELINE 1858 1866 Thomas White begins building sewing machines.
1904 1906 1909 1910 1914 1915 1916 1919 1921 . the White Motor Co. Walter enters a White Steamer in England‘s 1. Brothers begin producing gasoline-engine driven cars and end the sale of steamers. Walter purchases 325-acre Circle-W Farm in Gates Mills. Windsor becomes chairman of the board of White Motors. Windsor and Walter reorganize the company into The White Motor Company with capitalization of $16 million. Walter is made a chevalier of the French Legion of Honor for his service in World War I. 1917 Windsor builds a large mansion at Halfred Farms at Shaker Hunting Valley. Windsor is in charge of administration. Ohio and built a 23-room mansion called the ―White House. 1906 Thomas and the White brothers transfer the automobile business to a new corporation. The White Company. Rollin changes the name of his company to the Cleveland Tractor Co. Returns to Cleveland to work on demonstrating the durability and workmanship of White Steamers. 1918 Having produced 18.S. Rollin resigns from the company due to ill health. President William Howard Taft orders a White steamer as a presidential limousine. Rollin of production and Walter of sales. trucking industry and discontinues production of automobiles. First White Truck.000 mile Reliability contest and establishes a reputation for the power and reliability of the car.000 trucks for the Army. had captured 10 percent of the U.‖ Rollin launches the Cleveland Motor Plow Co. Ohio. The Model C is introduced with a compound engine under the hood instead of under the seat. Walter the president.5 million. 1902 1903 Introduce the White Model B steam automobile. to build agricultural tractors. with a capitalization of $2. a three-ton model with a gasoline engine is demonstrated at the New York Automobile Show.A Road Well Traveled 207 Windsor sends Walter to Europe to sell White automobiles and he sets up a London dealership.
Walter dies on September 30 in Lakeside Hospital. producing the first American car with four-wheel solid metal disk brakes and balloon tires. Cleveland. FL on April 9. limited material is available in Beverly Rae Kimes‘ book: ―Pioneers.‖ VIDEO AND OTHER MEDIA Jack Johnson vs James J. 1928 1929 First White six-cylinder.com/watch?v=BnMJL36_oCs .youtube. 1925 1925 1927 Windsor resigns from the board of directors of White Motor Car Co. Builds nearly 4. 1924 Rollin decides to build cars and forms Rollin Motor Cars. three-axle version of Model 59 makes its debut. 3-ton truck. Rollin dies in Florida. Windsor dies on a visit to Rollin‘s home in Hobe Sound.400 cars.7 million. Annual sales of White Motor Co. appears. but declining sales force company into bankruptcy. However. Windsor or Rollin White in the Library of Congress produced no results. Jeffries (1909) www. A search for books about White Motor Co or Walter. OH of injuries suffered in an automobile accident.A Road Well Traveled 208 Rollin is president of Cleveland Tractor Co. and Scoundrels: The Dawn of the Automobile in America. magazine and internet articles.000 cars. Engineers. age 90. 10-ton. He was 53. reaches $57. Rollin Motors builds 2. 1930 1958 1962 FURTHER READING This biographical sketch was compiled principally from different newspaper. the Model 59.
WILLYS .A Road Well Traveled 209 JOHN N.
each of which failed. 1873. dropped out of school and began working full time to support himself and his family. John and Isabel would go on to have one child. the first of the ―safety bikes. southeast of Rochester. a daughter named Virginia. Willys became involved with several companies. but I made the mistake of taking everybody to be honest. ―I could sell any number of bicycles. also of Canandaigua. Forbes regarded Willys as the financial come-back wonder of the 1920s.‖ he recalled. conviction.C. 18. His entrepreneurial spirit was evident from the start. He saved what he earned.‖ and likened him to Sinclair Lewis‘ fictional character Samuel Dodsworth. In this manner he took over the Elmira Arms Company. He was 24 years old and brimming with confidence—for good reason because by the time he was 27 the bicycle business was generating $500. Using the $100 he saved from the laundry. He opened a store with a repair shop and established a sales company. From where I stood it looked exactly like a carriage.‖ he said. It taught me a lesson. As a boy he noticed how wagon drivers tended to let their reins fall down to their horses‘ feet. Ohio. B. 25. and the Boston Woven Hose & Rubber Company which he converted into a bicycle wholesale distributor. Isabel Van Wie. allowing him to acquire them for pennies on the dollar. Working in a law office and taking college courses in Elmira. so he sold little clamps to the coachmen to hold the reins in place. As fortune would have it. 25 miles distant. NY. ―when I noticed a thing on four wheels creeping along the street. The bicycle rage of the Gay Nineties was in full swing and he opted to take advantage of it. . on Oct.000.000.‖ and ―From cash on hand of less than $300. His parents relented. Willys began following his dreams when his father died. Willys returned home intent on pursuing a college education and becoming a lawyer. I found it was one thing to sell bicycles and another thing to collect the money. an innovative automobile magnate full of ambition. one day in 1899. but the two boys made it pay and finally sold out for a $100 profit apiece. ―I was standing looking out of a window in a skyscraper at Cleveland. I immediately said to myself: ‗that machine .000 in 1920 and 1921 to profits approaching $20. he decided to take a break from his public education and convinced his parents to let him partner up with a friend and buy a laundry in Seneca Falls.000 in 1922 to some $20. Another craze was beginning to emerge in the late 1890s—the horseless carriage. NY. at age 15. hoping it would bring him to his senses and back to school. moving from ―deficits aggregating almost $20.‖ and became an authorized sales agent for the manufacturer.A Road Well Traveled 210 The New York Times called John North Willys the ―Napoleon of automobile finance.000 at the end of three years. No horse was attached to it. he purchased an 1891 ―New Mail‖ bicycle. a small sporting goods firm.000 a year in revenue. It put business sense into my head". .000 in 1925. Willys also found the time to woo and wed the love of his life. Living in a boarding house was not easy.000. Willys was born in Canandaigua. Willys. character and purpose. just as I was. ―I surely was going on the high gear.‖ John Willys is the all-American story of a successful man who played a pivotal role in the evolution of the automobile industry. In 1888.
S. As demand for his cars grew. fearful of runs on their deposits. a licensee of the Knight technology and began building the six cylinder Willys-Knight in 1914 with a sales price of $2. Intrigued. accumulated every dollar in the hotel tills including coins from the restaurant and the bar. he established the American Motor Sales Company. . including Overland Company of Indianapolis.500. Willys-Overland cars were generally regarded as superior in quality and workmanship to Ford‘s automobiles. the Panic of 1907 began in March and banks. It had a tiny 2 2/3 hp French engine. There were 45 partially assembled cars on the assembly line. taking his wife to Europe in 1913. To integrate his operations vertically. OH. Unfortunately. By the end of 1907 he had manufactured 467 cars and sold all of them for $1. four the following year and 20 in 1903. ignitions and starting systems.000 check as a deposit. the Pope Motors Co.500 cars. Upon his return to the U. Willys decided to find the cash needed to meet the payroll. the inventor of the ―sleeve valve‖ engine. manufactured at his Elyria. Spending seven days a week at work. I made up my mind that I would get into this new field at the first moment possible. facility. He paid the creditors in full. and the Gramm . In 1907 he placed an order for 300 Overland cars and sent a $10. Arriving on the weekend he discovered that Overland was in serious financial difficulty. Willys became uneasy and went to Indianapolis to ascertain the problem. Willys paid them $3. but Ford kept reducing his prices to stay ahead in sales. producer of buggy and automobile lamps. Soon Willys-Overland was outselling all other car manufacturers except Ford. Overland owed creditors more than $80. Aboard ship he met Charles Knight. including AutoLite. he acquired the Edwards Motor Car Company of New York. he built a new plant. and selling them to private parties and to dealers. In 1908 he sold 4. the company was $350 short of making payroll and expected to file for bankruptcy that Monday morning.000 cars. and renamed it the Willys-Overland Company. Willys bought a car made by George Pierce for $900 and used it as a demo. His doctors recommended an extended vacation and finally he relented. Accordingly. . When delivery by Overland was delayed. Willys began acquiring suppliers.A Road Well Traveled 211 has all the bicycles in the country beaten hollow‘ . On Monday morning he delivered $350 in cash and Overland paid its employees.‖ The next year he got a chance to inspect a car. wrote a check to the Grand Hotel where he was staying and with the help of the hotel‘s clerk. Three years later. for $285. in 1909 he acquired the Marion Car Company in Ohio. and followed it quickly with the acquisition of another Ohio firm. In England he drove a Knight car and decided to use the technology back home. buying cars from manufacturers. Two years later he produced 15. putting in 16 to 20 hours a day. He sold two cars in 1901. yet by the time it was completed it was too small.200 apiece.000. its owner unable to raise capital.500 and convinced them to abate further collection. he still couldn‘t keep up with demand. took over its operations.000. became unwilling to provide capital or cash to businesses. When the dust settled he had acquired the company. and generated more than $1 million in profits. with increased volume. took its toll on Willys health.
ending in a violent strike that shut down the plant in 1919. but with his move to New York City the quality of his interaction with employees declined. but Willys moved the company‘s headquarters to New York in 1918 and purchased a large estate on Long Island and a house in Manhattan. a public company. OH. after moving production to Toledo. Willys had 50. During the war expansion was Willys mantra. In August 1917 Willys-Overland acquired control of Curtiss Aeroplane and Motors Company. Navy which commissioned her as the USS Isabel for service on the Yangtze River. and the Chalmers Motor Co. the end of the war created havoc for Willys and his companies.S.C. and in the ground aeroplanes. We are making great progress. America had entered World War I in April and after owning the yacht for just one month. with the threat of National Guard intercession. However. golf course.‖ Even in 1919 Willys was still expanding with the purchase of Duesenberg‘s Minnesota and New Jersey plants. tractors. By 1915. He provided them with a country club at the plant with boat and bath houses. Curtiss became the largest aircraft manufacturer during WWI. owner of the world‘s largest truck manufacturing plant. John Willys delivered her to the U. that year Willys paid out a share of the company‘s profits to more than 10. the JN series of trainers known as the ―Jenny. with six acres under roof. Even the New York Times was taken with his acquisitions. The Curtiss board of directors elected Willys president of the company.A Road Well Traveled 212 Motor Truck Company. The end of hostilities dramatically altered the economic equation.000 employees.000 employees.‖ Willys always got along with labor as long as he was there physically. Willys had a good reputation for dealing fairly with his employees. building more than 10. Demand for aircraft and engines declined . Forbes: ―I am rounding out our activities so that we will produce on a large scale internal combustion machines for use in the air.000 planes and employing more than 20. producer of one of the most famous planes of the war.. making it the biggest merger since the formation of U.000 workers. In June 1917 Willys took possession of his new million dollar 245-foot yacht. reporting in one article that he was planning a $200 million merger with several companies including the Hudson Motor Co. also. He told B. Steel. automobiles. The merger never materialized. and a major labor dispute arose at his Toledo facility. Isabel. It was ultimately crushed by the police.S. However. we have planned to produce more and more of the parts and materials which go into our finished products. tennis courts and other health-oriented facilities. on the surface of the ground. Production of Willys-Overland vehicles was centered in Ohio and Indiana. Yet. towards becoming self-contained: I mean.
Automobiles fared just as poorly. with production exceeding 314.‖ he said that November. has ever had. Yet by 1922 Willys had regained control of the company. but he was unable to prevent it from going into receivership in 1933. a brilliant fixer of broken automobile companies. focused on the production of a few cars including a six-cylinder car he would subsequently call the Chrysler Six. a position he held for two years. On July 30. In 1929. Willys resigned and sold his common stock for $25 million.A Road Well Traveled 213 precipitously. At some point their relationship deteriorated and after 37 years of marriage they were divorced. becoming one of America‘s leading art collectors whose works included Rembrandts and Hals. immediately after the court granted the divorce decree. Remarkably. Canada and Australia. it remained largely intact. They had two boxes at the Metropolitan Opera. enjoyed her place in society. during his absence the economy began its historic skid into the Depression. but the Whippet was the company‘s biggest seller. Isabela was a leading hostess in New York‘s social set. either. Willys was buoyant: ―If I were a betting man I would be willing to wager that 1925 will be by far the biggest year W. Willys and Isabela lived the fine life. Not all was well on the domestic front. her name conspicuous in the social pages. Dolan. a winter home in Palm Beach. ―Wait and see our new WillysOverland Sixes and our new Willys-Knight Sixes at the Automobile Show in January. forcing Willys to sell Curtiss Aeroplane and Motors Co. including some depicting Queen Isabella made to the order of King Ferdinand of Aragon. Both enjoyed acquiring Persian carpets and Spanish tapestries. Willys resigned his diplomatic post and returned to assume control of Willys-Overland. slashed costs. Chrysler. By 1924 the automobile market had made a complete turnaround for all the car makers. We will give the public high-priced cars at the cost of low-priced cars. regarded as one of the most magnificent residences in the city.‖ In 1926 Willys made a startling announcement and introduced the four-cylinder Whippet simultaneously in the U. O. a large estate on Long Island. The Federal bankruptcy court ordered the sale of the company‘s giant plant in Trenton. frequently appearing at all the blueblood functions. Willys married Florence E. Chrysler left to rebuild the Maxwell Motor Company. However. We know that they will be winners. In Warsaw Willys leased the Patocki Palace. and a home in Manhattan. of .S. Isabel. the smallest car on the market with prices between $525 and $850. With substantial losses and mounting debt--Willys-Overland lost $20 million in 1920 and owed over $17 million—the company ended up in receivership. and began putting the Willys-Overland house in order. Although they were not extravagant. and Willys was fond of art. And the Willys-Overland creditors brought another auto maven to run the company—Walter Chrysler—for an unprecedented annual salary of $1 million. There were larger models. like the Overland 93.000 cars generating net sales of $187 million. It was a forerunner of the compact cars we so dearly need today. The following year. the post-war economic convulsions had not impaired Willys‘ personal fortune. President Herbert Hoover appointed him as America‘s first ambassador to Poland.
his wife Fran a silly. . trustees and the court allowed the company to reopen its plant and produce 10. a young widow.6 million on Isabel and made separate provisions in trust for his daughter. 1935. Or was life imitating art? Willys-Overland‘s most enduring product. In July the creditors. Samuel Dodsworth was a good man. Willys settled $7. 23 years his junior.000 of the necessary $2 million to reorganize the company. leaving his estate to Florence and his daughter Virginia. since Lewis wrote his book in 1929. Edith. woman whose principal interest was her social life and her lovers. and headed home to his new beloved. Virginia. something Isabel vehemently denied. got divorced. Reportedly. followed by a stroke on August 14 that left him paralyzed on the right side. She was 37 years old. while attending the Kentucky Derby. They immediately left on the Ile de France for a honeymoon in Europe. In an attempt to get the company out of receivership. Dodsworth and Fran were married for 27 years before he discovered her true nature. who immediately went to court to contest the will. shallow. He died at his home in New York City on August 26. NY. But John Willys was not well. he offered to invest $500. Perhaps not. In May. the Jeep.A Road Well Traveled 214 Fieldston. Perhaps Sinclair Lewis patterned his character on Willys. Willys was named one of the co-receivers of Willys-Overland and in January 1935 the preferred stockholders elected him president of the company. selfish. he suffered a heart attack. was developed during World War II.000 Willys.
1908 1909 Sells 4. Ohio. on October 25.000 a year in revenue. Purchases a car made by George Pierce for $900 and uses it as a demo. His father dies and Willys drops out of school to work full time.000. for $285. launches his own bicycle business and becomes an authorized agent for the manufacturer. 1907 1911 1913 . Ohio. 1900 1901 1902 1903 1906 His bicycle business produces $500. manufactures 467 cars and sells all of them at $1. 1897 1899 Marries Isabel Van Wie. Willys acquires the company. Sells 20 cars. Sees his first horseless carriage in Cleveland. Doctors recommend recuperation from too much work and Willys takes his wife to Europe where he drives a Charles Knight car with the ―sleeve valve‖ engine. Convinces his parents to allow him to buy a laundry in Seneca Falls. Establishes the American Motor Sales Company.000 cars. near Rochester.A Road Well Traveled 215 TIMELINE 1873 1888 1891 Born in Canandaigua. facility and generates $1 million in profits.200 apiece. Sells 15. When Overland fails to deliver 300 cars he had ordered. Sells four cars.500 cars manufactured at his Elyria. Renames the acquired firm Willys-Overland Company. NY. buying cars manufactured by various companies including Overland Company of Indianapolis. Sells two cars. Purchases a ―New Mail‖ bicycle. and decides to go into the automobile manufacturing business. Acquires the Marion Car Company in Ohio and subsequently the Pope Motors Co.
a forerunner of compact cars. Willys-Overland goes into receivership and Willys is named one of the co-receivers. 1914 Begins manufacturing the six cylinder Willys-Knight with a sales price of $2. Acquires control of Curtiss Aeroplane and Motors Company which becomes the largest aircraft manufacturer during World War I. and has 50.A Road Well Traveled 216 Acquires the Edwards Motor Car Company of New York. Production exceeds 314. Willys-Overland suffers financial losses and Willys resigns as ambassador and returns to the company. 245-foot yacht. 37 years his junior. Navy after only one month of ownership. 1922 1926 Willys regains control of a much healthier company. Dolan.‖ to run the company. Acquires the million dollar. 1929 1933 1934 1935 .000 employees.S. Preferred stockholders of Willys-Overland elect Willys president of the company. It became the company‘s largest seller. a licensee of the Knight technology. Creditors bring Walter Chrysler. ―Mr. Willys-Overland ends up in receivership with $20 million in losses and debt in excess of $17 million. OH. 1930 1932 President Hoover appoints Willys American Ambassador to Poland.500. 1919 1920 Purchases the Duesenberg Minnesota and New Jersey plants. 1915 1917 Moves production to Toledo. Begins vertical integration with the acquisition of various suppliers including Auto-Lite and the Gramm Motor Truck Company. Fix-It. Court grants Willys a divorce from Isabel on July 30 and a few days later he marries Florence E. Willys resigns from the company and sells his common stock for $25 million. Introduces the Whippet. but with the advent of America‘s entry in World War I transfers the boat to the U. the smallest car on the market with a price of $850. Isabel.000 cars with gross sales of $187 million.
VIDEO AND OTHER MEDIA 1929 Willys Knight www.youtube. FURTHER READING Hubbard. Kimes. Elbert. and Scoundrels: The Dawn of the Automobile in America. Beverly Rae. LLC (2006).com/watch?v=47Hi9tUdL8 .com/watch?v=NGGWTY2oiEc Willys Overland Workhorse of the Industry 1 of 2 (About the Jeep) www. SAE International (2005). Engineers. John North Willys – Pamphlet.youtube.com/watch?v=lbaESZ-YMc Willys Knight Great 6 www. . Kessinger Publishing. Pioneers.A Road Well Traveled 217 Suffers heart attack in May while attending Kentucky Derby and dies at his home in New York City on August 26.youtube.
youtube.com/watch?v=7Z01hhmGnIU&NR=1&feature=fvwp .com/watch?v=oLoB1hg62J4 http://www.youtube.youtube.A Road Well Traveled 218 FASCINATING VIEWS OF AUTOMOBILES IN SAN FRANCISCO PRIOR TO THE 1906 EARTHQUAKE http://www.com/watch?v=lH4F91oARtE&NR=1 http://www.com/watch?v=7Z01hhmGnIU http://www.com/watch?v=7Z01hhmGnIU&NR=1&feature=fvwp http://www.youtube.youtube.
Knight-Ridder. men and women who had a profound impact on America and the World. combined with his academic background—UCLA (B. digital editions of many of these biographical profiles are available on the major ebook platforms including the Kindle. Centennial Stories. cruise ships. and at numerous historical societies across the nation. The Titans of Fortune series of articles appeared in several newspapers including the Lee Newspapers. He currently lives with his family in Santa Barbara. Alef serves on the Board of Trustees of the Santa Barbara Historical Museum. Today.A Road Well Traveled 219 AUTHOR BIO Daniel Alef has written many legal articles. public libraries including San Francisco and Chicago.). and became a weekly column in the Santa Barbara News Press.D. Mr. currently entitled Measured Swords. Rotary. Mr. and to place their lives and triumphs in a larger perspective. and Kiwanis clubs. Foreword Magazine named Pale Truth book of the year for general fiction in 2001 and the novel received many outstanding reviews including ones from Publishers Weekly and the American Library Association‘s Booklist. He is a black belt in judo and one of the head instructors of the University of California at Santa Barbara Judo Club. Mr. the UCSB History Associates Board of Directors and on the Board of Trustees of the Santa Barbara Sheriff‘s Activities League. Alef's experience as a lawyer.).M. a rancher. one law book. He has appeared as a guest speaker and lecturer at various university. biographical profiles of America‘s great moguls. Alef also had a one-hour weekly radio show based on the Titans of Fortune column. UCLA Law School (J. 2000).). and Cambridge University (post-graduate studies)—gave him the perception to analyze the powerful titans and their achievements. the London School of Economics and Political Science (LL. and authored the award-winning historical novel. Titans of Fortune. . began in April 2003. iPad. Nook and Kobo.S. and constitute best-selling titles on Amazon and the iBookstore. A sequel to Pale Truth. and author. has just been completed. one historical anthology. Pale Truth (MaxIt Publishing. CEO of a public company. He is also a contributor to Sage Publishing's recently published reference work Gender and Women's Leadership.
A Road Well Traveled 220 .
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