Archive for May, 2011

Bailey 1907-1915 (1898-1915)

Samuel Robinson Bailey built the Bailey Electric car in Amesbury, MA. Bailey was a carriage builder who perfected steam wood-bending machinery for carriage wheels around 1870. He was the first in the industry to use windshields on carriages.

Depending on where you are getting your information, the life of this company varies, from how it got started, to what years the cars were built. According to the history of the Bailey family which should be fairly reliable information, the first Bailey Electric car was built in 1898, but the engine could not carry the heavy battery required. During that time, Thomas Edison was working on a new lightweight and more reliable battery that could be carried by the car. The photo in the middle shows Thomas Edison with the Bailey Electric after a 1000 mile endurance run. The ad at the bottom is from 1909.

The car was not ready for serious production until 1907 so even though the first car was built in 1898, the production date would be 1907. Years of experimenting with his car drained S. R. Bailey’s finances and Bailey was forced to sell shares to raise the necessary capital to build the cars. In 1907 the company name was changed to S. R. Bailey & Co., Inc. I have not seen any ads, diaries, or a photo to support the car was produced later than 1915.

The Bailey Electric cars featured attractive bent laminated wood, chain drive, a General Electric motor, and an Edison battery. The slogan of the Bailey Electric was “Fast enough, far enough.”  In 1914 the company’s Model “F” was said to give 125 miles per charge and an average speed of 20 miles per hour, with a maximum speed being in the neighborhood of 27 miles per hour.

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Babcock 1909-1913

H.H Babcock produced an assembled car called the Babcock in Watertown, New York from 1909 to 1913. This automobile is sometimes confused with the Babcock Electric, They were both built in New York, but this was a gasoline engine car not related to the Babcock Electric.

Henry Holmes Babcock started Watertown’s first carriage factory during the early 1870s. Carriages, wagons and sleighs would be the standard mode of transportation in the New York snow-belt for another fifty years. Babcock was most successful in the automobile business by building commercial and auto bodies. The first major bodybuilding contract arrived in the early 1900s for 80 omnibus bodies for use in the City of Buffalo. Babcock also made production bodies for Dodge Brothers, Ford, Lincoln, Franklin and Wills-Sainte Claire automobiles during the teens and twenties.

Babcock introduced six different styles of delivery van and depot hack bodies for Ford Model T and TT chassis and for the Dodge Brothers. Babcock used a patented steel body construction for all of their commercial bodies. These were marketed directly to Ford and Dodge dealers rather than the manufacturer. Babcock commercial bodies to fit chassis for White, Olds and GMC were also available until Babcock closed in August of 1928. At the top is a Dodge Brothers truck ad, promoting the Babcock body.Below you will find a picture of the original Babcock factory and a period ad for the Babcock car, proud of the price, whatever it is.

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Babcock Electric 1906-1912

The Buffalo Electric Carriage Company was started in 1900 and became the Babcock Electric Carriage Company in 1906, founded by and named after Francis A Babcock. The Babcock was marketed at women using the selling features of being clean, safe, and easy to use. Some advertising for the Babcock used children as well. The cover of a 1907 Babcock Electric brochure has a picture of a little girl driving the car with her mother sitting next to her. In the early automobile days, the electric car was a competitive market for the auto manufacture. In Buffalo alone, there were over 300 electric cars being used by 1908, not counting all the commercial vehicles. The New York Times reported in October of 1906 about a historic run of 100 miles made by a Babcock Electric car from Jersey City to Philadelphia on a single charge and using only its stock batteries. That would be a good run in 2011 for an electric without help of on-board charges. The driver averaged 12 mph on the historic run in 1906, not so bad for a 2011 golf cart.

There was a time when steam electric and gasoline cars equalled each other in production, but price advantages, availability of electriciy, and the introduction of electric starter by DELCO, first used on the Cadillac, soon place the gasoline engine in the fore front for sales.

In 1912 Babcock Electric was sold and became The Buffalo Electric Vehicle Company which went out of business in 1916. This Joined a roster of some thirty automakers that went out of business in Buffalo, NY. The top photo is a Babcock Stanhope model for 1906. Next is the Babcock Electric Carriage Company Factory followed by a Stanhope being re-charged.  If you have had an auto repaired recently, you might enjoy seeing an invoice from 1910. Last but not least is a scan of a period advertisement.

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American 1916-1924

The American Motors Corporation produced the American in Plainfield, NJ, one of three companies I am aware of that carried the name American Motors. This company, like the one producing the American Underslung was not related to the American Motors started in 1954 by the merger of Nash and Hudson with Mit Romney’s dad, George Romney at the helm. The ads posted here are from 1917 and are proud to have Louis Chevrolet involved in production. The Vice-President of this American Motors Corporation was none other than Louis Chevrolet, who was also in charge of the engineering department. His name had such a reputation for reliability and value that every American Motors car built was inspected by him and had an “OK Chevrolet” signature on the dashboard. I am not sure if this is where GM later got the idea to use “OK Used Cars”, the famous logo used by Chevrolet Motor Division for many years. You can see the two American Six ads at the bottom of this article mention Chevrolet. Largest year for production was 1920 when they built 1500 cars. The company was merged into Bessemer Truck Corporation in October of 1923.

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The Power of One

By Rev. Rick Robinson

When everything is going your way it is easy to feel proud of yourself and have hope for the future. Our confidence in our ability to accomplish something can lead us to be proud of where we are going or how far we have come. Our pride can also cause us to put other people down, overlook our own faults, and lift us to a position that may not be a reality. This is caused by ignorance of the future as we arrogantly predict how life will turn out—good or bad, based on the power of one—that is ourselves.

On the other hand, doubting our ability to accomplish all that we hope for can lead us into the feeling of everything being against us. Maybe you feel you don’t have the talent, skills or the right contacts. You’re in good company; many godly people in the Bible felt that way. Who was Moses trusting in when he had this conversation with God.

Exodus 4:10-13

Moses said to the LORD, “O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.” The LORD said to him, “Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the LORD? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.” But Moses said, “O Lord, please send someone else to do it.”

Maybe you are one that feels God will do things for other people but not for you. What do you base that on? No matter what is taking place in your surroundings it may be time to re-asses priorities. When pride overlooks our failure, it may overlook many of our sins. It is easy to point out sins that are committed, but it is much easier to overlook the sins of omission, that is—the things we ought to do but yet do not. It is easier to detect wrong than the absence of right. For example, our plans should demonstrate our dependence on the Lord, not ourselves. When we do not trust in the Lord it is a sin of omission. Likewise, Christ calls every believer to be a witness for Him. When we do not share our faith, it is a sin of omission. When we avoid doing anything our Lord has asked us to do, it is just as much a sin as any sin committed.

James 4:13-17

Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil.  Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.

James not only tells us we must be watchful for the sin of omission, but we also see that a man who brags about future plans while ignoring God’s sovereignty is foolish. I am guilty of this more frequently than I like to admit, for my pride hides it well. God may determine that at the present time, tribulation is a greater need than attaining certain goals.

Romans 5:1-4

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.

When we consider the power of one, it is important to understand that it must be Jesus, not ourselves. If a relationship with Christ were automatic, we would not have been given the great commission to share our faith. If it could be done without God’s word, we would not need the Bible. If we could do it alone, we would not need prayer—or the church. Being a Christian is all about a relationship with Jesus Christ. It only happens when we transfer our trust in the power of one from ourselves—to Jesus Christ, regardless of our surroundings.

Copyright 2011 Church Growth Associates, Inc.

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Autocar 1899-1911 (1897-1953)

The Autocar Co. of Ardmore, PA was started by Louis S. Clarke as the Pittsburgh Motor Vehicle Company in 1897. The first Autocar was a single cylinder chain driven Runabout built in 1899 and introduced in January of 1900. Later, the four passenger Touring Car was added to the Autocar line, advertised at $1700.00. The early Autocar’s had tiller steering with left-hand drive. Clarke was one of the first to build automobiles with the steering on the left-hand side. I have heard that since most men drove the early automobiles this would place the women toward the curb for safety and courtesy. The 1907 Autocars had a steering wheel with left-hand drive. The Autocar Co. continued to build trucks long after the car line was discontinued. Below are a Gas and electric truck ad from 1924 and a 1943 ad promoting the half-track trucks. At the bottom is a photo of the 1907 Autocar delivery truck, this one used by Gimbel Brothers. Autocar was taken over by the White Motor Company in 1953.

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Argonne 1919-1920

The Argonne Motor Co. located in Jersey City, New Jersey City built the Argonne. Most sources state the company was in business from 1919-1920, but I have these photos of an Argonne with 1918 NY license plates on it. This could have been a picture of the prototype; there were only 24 of these boat-tail roadsters built.

The headlight lenses on early cars had patterns to channel the light where the manufacture wanted it to go. These are certainly interesting lenses on this vehicle.

The standard engine was a 4-cylinder built by Buda. The Buda Engine Co. was founded in 1881 and Based in Harvey, Illinois. Buda advertisements in the early 1900’s proclaimed Buda as “Pioneer of the cast-in-block” method. Their engines featured long stroke, enclosed valves, noiseless timing gears, and self-contained oiling system. Early four-cylinder gasoline-fueled models produced 30 to 60 bhp. Buda Engine Company was acquired by Allis-Chalmers in 1953. By the 1920’s I think the Contenintal engine was more popular for auto builders who did not make their own engines. Continental Motors Company built engines for automobiles from 1905 until the 1960’s. An upgrade to a Rochester-Duesenberg engine was available for the Argonne.

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Austin 1901-1921

The Austin Automobile Co. was founded in 1901 by James E. Austin and his son Walter Austin in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Austin automobiles were larger than most other cars being built in the early 1900s. By 1906 the Austin was equipped with a 60 horsepower six cylinder engine and a selective sliding gear type transmission with four forward speeds and reverse. In 1913 Austin introduced their new two speed axles. This axle provided two different ratios both on direct drive and in combination with a three speed transmission giving it six speeds forward and two in reverse. In 1917 a 12 cylinder engine was made available until the end of production in 1921.

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Auto Parts 1909-1910

The Auto Parts Company of Chicago, Illinois had a unique idea of selling automobiles on installment for home assembly. Your parts were shipped to you as you paid for them, giving you time to assemble your new car between payments. Everything you needed including a 14 hp engine and Firestone solid rubber tires was included for only $375.00.

From 1910 to 1919 the company quit selling kits and sold only auto parts including Michigan 40 horsepower engines, Auburn spark plugs and Holley Carburetors. This company also sold a Limousine top that fit on 1913-1915 Fords. That reminds me of what we know today as J.C.Whitney Company, which started selling parts in Chicago in 1915 as The Warshawsky Company. Warshawsky added new parts to his inventory by buying failed auto manufacturers but did not sell parts by mail order until 1934. The giant catalog sold for twenty-five cents.

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Alpena 1910-1914

The Alpena Flyer was built in Alpena, Michigan from 1910 to 1914. The Alpena Motor Car Co. produced a light, inexpensive car produced as a standard Touring Car for 4 or 5 passengers, a four door 5 passenger Touring Car and a Roadster. The Alpena may have still been competing with the horse in some markets, or they wanted to highlight the inexpensive value of the car with one of the early magazine ads that stated “It’s cheaper than a horse at any time!”

Prices for the 1911 Alpena Flyer standard Touring Car and the Roadster was $1450.00 while the four door 5 passenger Touring was $1600.00. In 1911 the Alpena Flyer ad line was “The Greatest, Biggest and Most Sensational Actual Values In The Automobile World For $1450.00.”

The Alpena Flyer was designed for speed and used an engine/gearbox construction with a three-point suspension. Emile Huber owned the patent on this design and brought suit against Alpena for using it without his permission. The Alpena Motor Car Co was fined $400,000 for the violation of patent law. The company closed and some accounts say the building at 801 Johnson Street in Alpena was sold to Besser Manufacturing for $5200.00. The ad on the bottom gives an address of 150 Elm street in Alpena and I have not done any research to see what the history of the two addresses are.

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