Help Wanted … Under Qualified But Overwhelmed

January 20, 2012

by Rick Robinson

Did you ever feel like God has call waiting, kind of like your telephone, and He switches between the calls He wants to talk to—and you’re the one on hold? Here you are in the most difficult of situations, and God doesn’t seem to be concerned about it at all. If this description fits your life right now, you and God are in a great place to help each other. Yes—I said help each other. Let me explain. There are scores of stories in the Bible to illustrate this, but I have selected accounts of Moses as an example. 

God called upon Moses to help deliver the people out of Egypt. God did not need Moses, any more than He needs us, but He loves working together with us. He is not cold and impersonal, but a relationship oriented God. Trusting us with a task is one of the ways God draws us closer together. Even as God ask Moses to participate in the deliverance of His people, Moses feels under qualified.

Exodus 3:10-11

“Therefore, come now, and I will send you to Pharaoh, so that you may bring My people, the sons of Israel, out of Egypt.” But Moses said to God, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt?”

God has great patience with Moses, showing Him miracles and proving His power, yet Moses continues to express his own feelings of being under qualified and overwhelmed, even begging the Lord to enlist someone else. 

Exodus 4:10

Then Moses said to the Lord, “Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither recently nor in time past, nor since You have spoken to Your servant; for I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.” 

Have you ever made excuses about why you can’t do something for God? I am a pro, but He is not impressed with that part of my resume. As Moses surrenders to “help” God with this task, we can see the relationship transformed as he transfers his trust from his own ability over to confidence in God. If you want your relationship with God to prosper, you too will have to look at the truth of His ability, not your own. 

While the people are in the desert for what should have been a short journey, disobedience sends things sideways. There is no meat and fresh produce in the desert and the people grumble wishing they had not left Egypt. Moses is found questioning his own relationship with God, because he is looking to himself for answers. Once again, Moses is feeling under qualified and overwhelmed and perhaps overlooked. Have you ever felt that way? You’re in good company and not alone like you thought. 

Numbers 11:11-15

So Moses said to the Lord, “Why have You been so hard on Your servant? And why have I not found favor in Your sight, that You have laid the burden of all this people on me? “Was it I who conceived all this people? Was it I who brought them forth, that You should say to me, ‘Carry them in your bosom as a nurse carries a nursing infant, to the land which You swore to their fathers’? “Where am I to get meat to give to all this people? For they weep before me, saying, ‘Give us meat that we may eat!’ “I alone am not able to carry all this people, because it is too burdensome for me. “So if You are going to deal thus with me, please kill me at once, if I have found favor in Your sight, and do not let me see my wretchedness.” 

Quail would migrate across the Sinai Peninsula in large numbers at certain times during the year, usually between March and April. God brought the birds over the camp of the Israelites with a great wind in the evening, and also wherever they camped for forty years, daily He dropped manna to the ground with the dew. Each family was to take what they needed with no leftovers. God made the manna unfit to eat overnight, so it was of no use trying to store up a supply. Daily trust in the Lord for provision was required. In case you wonder about it as you read, a measure of omer is about 2 liters. 

Exodus 16:16-24

This is what the Lord has commanded, ‘Gather of it every man as much as he should eat; you shall take an omer apiece according to the number of persons each of you has in his tent.’ The sons of Israel did so, and some gathered much and some little. When they measured it with an omer, he who had gathered much had no excess, and he who had gathered little had no lack; every man gathered as much as he should eat. Moses said to them, “Let no man leave any of it until morning.” But they did not listen to Moses, and some left part of it until morning, and it bred worms and became foul; and Moses was angry with them. They gathered it morning by morning, every man as much as he should eat; but when the sun grew hot, it would melt. Now on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for each one. When all the leaders of the congregation came and told Moses, then he said to them, “This is what the Lord meant: Tomorrow is a sabbath observance, a holy sabbath to the Lord. Bake what you will bake and boil what you will boil, and all that is left over put aside to be kept until morning.” So they put it aside until morning, as Moses had ordered, and it did not become foul nor was there any worm in it. 

This was not the normal manna they were familiar with. It melted in the sun, it became foul overnight, and it could be worked into nutritional bread. This was not a normal substance that the people recognized, it was a miracle. 

Deuteronomy 8:3

He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord. 

If we want to live in the provision of God and share in deep fellowship with Him, we will need to take heed of these words the Prophet Isaiah wrote. 

Isaiah 55:8-9

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts. 

Isaiah used this timeless picture of the heavens, which is a great illustration of the wonder of our God. We cannot even imagine the things He has created. The speed of light is our basic measurement for distance in space (the heavens). Light travels at some 186,000 miles per second. That means a beam of light could travel around the earth several times in one second. We don’t all own rockets, but most of us own a man made car. If you could drive your car non-stop to the sun, it would take over 160 years to get there, yet the light from the sun (God’s creation) reaches us in seconds. How great is your God? Are you still looking for provision on your own standard? Are you looking for a place to serve in your own ability or still making excuses of why you will fail? God wants to provide for you, and wants your help in some capacity. Most of all, God desires an intimate relationship with you. Did you know God has given you manna (bread) from heaven? Will you scoff and complain, or expect daily supply?

John 6:30-33

So they said to Him, “What then do You do for a sign, so that we may see, and believe You? What work do You perform? “Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread out of heaven to eat.’ ” Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread out of heaven. “For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world.” 

You and I may be under qualified for certain things and we may be overwhelmed with others, but God is neither under qualified nor overwhelmed. His word will accomplish everything as He desires, and you are a part of that plan—we all are. 

Isaiah 55:10-11

“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, And do not return there without watering the earth And making it bear and sprout, And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it. 


Coffin

September 13, 2011

Howard Coffin began tinkering with automobiles while he was a college student. His first car was a steam-powered vehicle built in the late 1890’s, which he drove to deliver mail. Howard also built his first gasoline engines around 1898. Coffin had a desire to build automobiles of his own design, but because of his youth, thought he would not be able to secure finances to accomplish his dreams. To the best of my knowledge, there was no official Coffin Motor Car Company, as a manufacturer. There was a Coffin Motor Car Company that was a Harroun automobile dealer in Indiana according to the March 1917 Motor Age. The photo above is a 1901 Coffin steam car.

Oldsmobile hired Howard Coffin in 1902 as an engineer and by 1905 he was Oldsmobile’s chief engineer. Coffin had come up with a design for a new medium sized car for Olds to market between the large and smaller offerings. Shortly before production began the new car was canceled. Coffin decided to take his design and launch an automobile company of his own. Roy D. Chapin and Howard Coffin resigned from Olds effective March 1, 1906 and Chapin convinced E.R. Thomas (Owner of the famous Thomas Flyer Company.) to form a joint venture named the Thomas-Detroit Company. Thomas-Detroit was essentially an assembler for the Thomas Flyer Company. In February of 1909 the men wanted to realize the dream of starting their own independent automobile company. They struck a deal with wealthy department store owner Joseph L Hudson, who was the uncle of Roscoe Jackson’s wife. (Roscoe Jackson was another ex-Oldsmobile employee.) The new enterprise was named the Hudson Motor Car Company, after the financial backer, and held its first meeting of the board of directors on March 6, 1909. Production was set up in a building on Mack Ave. in Detroit, shown below.

Advertising for the new car dubbed as the Hudson twenty, convinced some 4,000 new customers to send in a $25 deposit for the car priced at $900. 1,108 Hudson automobiles were turned out in 1909. In May of 1910, work began on a large new Hudson factory on Jefferson Avenue in Detroit. Hudson built 4,508 cars in 1910. Coffin would serve as Vice-President for the next 25 years. The photo below is Howard Coffin at the wheel of a 1905 Olds.

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Chase 1907-1912 (Trucks through 1919)

July 25, 2011

Aurin M. Chase started the Chase Motor Truck Company in 1907 employing about 200 factory workers at 332 south West Street in Syracuse, New York. The plant manufactured frames, bodies, transmissions, and engines. The early Chase vehicles were fit with a three-cylinder, two-cycle air-cooled engine of their own design. I see a listing for three Chase trucks, along with specifications, in the 1907 publication of the Illustrated Directory of Specifications, but no Chase cars are shown. This announcement was published in The Municipal journal & public works publication in 1907 “The Chase Motor Car Company has been awarded contract for a runabout gasoline automobile for the Department of Public Works.”

Chase had the idea to build a basic gasoline-fueled highwheeler that could be transformed into either a truck or a passenger car. This idea is still used in contemporary production. The Chevrolet HHR (Heritage High Roof) was built on a Chevy Cobalt automobile chassis, and the PT Cruiser utilized the Neon automobile chassis.

In the July 1, 1909 publication of Automotive Industries reported the Chase Motor Truck Company, Syracuse, N. Y., is now bringing out a surrey or business wagon. Chase was introducing a vehicle for a combination of business and pleasure. The surrey type body was fit with a removable rear seat that converted converted the vehicle into a runabout for two. The removed rear seat also provided a large space in the rear for luggage or cargo. It reminds me of the El Camino, or even the Suburban/Tahoe with removable and folding seats. A canopy style top could also be purchased at an additional cost to the regular price of $900, according to the car show roster published in The Horseless age, another automobile trade magazine.

By 1909 the company was producing a two-cylinder air-cooled engine with 129 cubic inches and 12 horsepower. Chase focused advertising on the simplicity of the vehicles and the air-cooled engines, “which means that there is no pump, no water to be renewed frequently, no piping to leak, nor any other sources of trouble.” The September 1, 1909 edition of The Power Wagon, a commercial vehicle trade magazine of the day, complimented them on the simplicity of their ideas by stating “Their engineering is expressed in exceedingly simple form.” A full description was included in the article.

In 1912 the company had doubled their business in a little over a year, so production of the one-ton truck, with chain drive, wooden carriage wheels and solid tires was supplemented with a variety of Continental engines. Chase would eventually use the four-cylinder engine from Continental as the standard truck power plant.

In the August 16, 1913 “Telephony magazine” The American Telephone Journal,
It was about the Chase fire truck.

“With a truck of this kind the fire fighting company, upon receipt of an alarm by telephone or through the regular channels, could make a record breaking run to the scene of the fire. It will be noticed that the truck carries all the essentials with which to quench an incipient fire. It arrives on the scene long before the mandrawn or horse-drawn vehicles can get a fair start in the direction of the fire. Used in towns having telephone fire alarm service, the fire losses should be small.”

The text in quotes above was taken from that telephone periodical. Below is a photo of the fire hose truck built for the Ontario Hose Co., of Canandaigua, N. Y., by the Chase Motor Truck Company.

Chase Motor Truck Company ended production of passenger cars in 1912 to focus on building the profitable trucks. During World War I production of trucks were focused on the military, but many contracts were cancelled by the government which put a significant number of truck builders out of business. Financial problems arose at Chase as a result of contract losses and providing replacement parts to customers. . Chase also built tractors from 1911 until 1919 but shortly after the war the demand for tractors leveled off also and Chase was sold to a Canadian parts supplier in 1919.

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Chadwick 1904-1916

June 29, 2011

The Chadwick automobile was built by Lee Sherman Chadwick in Pottstown, PA by his company, The Fairmont Engineering Works. By 1906 the company had manufactured a total of 40 cars, Not a huge number when compared to mass production numbers, but Chadwick cars were hand built, had innovative mechanical design, and featured luxurious hand-stitched leather seats. There is a lot of conflicting information about this car out there, I have even seen people claiming to be relatives on the Antique Automobile Club of American forums. (I am not saying they are not relatives.)

Like many other early automobile pioneers, Chadwick believed the way to demonstrate the quality of his car was to race it. His challenge was how to turn his six-cylinder chain drive luxury car into a racecar. Chadwick came up with an idea for an air compressor used to force more oxygen to support combustion than would be available in a regular engine. This would allow more fuel to be burned and more work to be done per cycle, increasing the power output of the engine. This is known today as a supercharger.

In the hill climbing racecar photo above you might notice the protective chain cover. The protective chain cover is one of the features highlighted in the ad below. The Chadwick focus on hill climbing and racing was expensive and would contribute to financial difficulties. Lee Chadwick got out of the automobile business in 1912, but his company continued to build cars until 1916.


According to the 1922 edition of who’s who in engineering, Chadwick was General Superintendent of Searchmont (Spelled Searchment in the book, but I think that is a typo–see the ad below.)  Automobile Company of Chester, Pa in 1903 before forming his own engineering firm that designed and built Chadwick marine motors and automobiles. The Fairmont Engineering Works was renamed Chadwick Engineering Works of Philadelphia in 1907. Chadwick had already taken out over 70 patents by 1922 and had over 70 pending.

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Century 1899-1903

June 28, 2011

Century built steam, electric, and gasoline automobiles in Syracuse, New York. They all had tiller steering. The advertisement above is for the 1902 Century.  The January 7th 1904 issue of Motor Age reported the Century Motor Company produced an excellent gasoline automobile, and took enough orders at the New York Auto show to have a good year. Century was unable to handle the volume of vehicles sold or to build the cars at the price estimated they could be turned out. The Century Company went to great expense in purchasing new equipment for their factory and had built one of the best automobile plants in the country at that time. Century had too many liabilities to make a merger with another company a financially sound decision. In July of 1903 Century laid off 200 employees and production ceased.

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BrownieKar 1908-1910

June 15, 2011

S.H. Mora, founder of the Mora Motor Car Company started building his cars in 1906 in Rochester, NY, then later in Newark, NY. Mora built a one cylinder, belt driven juvenile motor car, named the BrownieKar. Marketed at around $150.00, it was intended for any responsible boy or girl of eight years of age or older. A young Buster Keaton, the great silent film comedy actor of the 1920’s is behind the wheel of this 1910 BrownieKar.


Black 1903- 1911

June 13, 2011

The correct history of this car is not clear to me. There are many conflicting reports that state the Black Motor Company started anywhere between 1903 and 1906 in Chicago, IL, and stopped production anywhere from 1909 to 1911. I have not found any legal documents to confirm the corporation start date or ending date, and I don’t have original literature in my collection to verify dates. Some sources say the Black was built under the name of Chicago Motor Buggy from 1906-1909, but I can’t verify that either. From 1909 to 1911, Black reportedly sold a re-badged Crow-Elkhart automobile as the “Black Crow”, manufactured from 1909-1911 by the Crow Motor Car Company in Elkhart, Indiana. With this in mind, I used 1903 – 1911 on the “Black” name badge; the company may have been Black Crow from 1909 – 1911. I have included a 1906 Black Motor Buggy at the top, and a 1910 Black Crow ad below.

There was also another unrelated company with the name of Black built in 1899 in Indianapolis, IN. by Charles H. Black. Black of Indianapolis built the Physicians Phaeton, a Light Delivery Wagon and a Business Wagonette, that I know of. There is a photo from my collection of each of the models they built at the bottom. In 1900, Black sold his patents for $20,000 and the Black would be produced as the Indiana in 1901.

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Biddle 1915-1923

June 9, 2011

The Biddle Motor Car Company was incorporated in October, 1915 and was ready to present finished automobiles for the Philadelphia Auto Show in January 1916. The Biddle was an assembled luxury automobile built in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The first bodies were from the Fleetwood Body Company in Fleetwood, Pennsylvania. They were equipped with Buda four cylinder engines, and Warner 3 speed transmissions. Life magazine ads from 1917 state the Biddle was then using a Duesenberg motor. Styling of the car seemed to compete more with European design of the day.

The Biddle Motor Car Company should not be confused with the Biddle and Smart Carriage Company of Amesbury, Ohio, that were coach builders for many car companies between 1902 and 1931. They had a reputation as one of the best custom bodymakers in the country. Biddle and Smart formed their relationship in 1880 as carriage builders, then migrated to automobile bodies in 1902. By 1903, they had a contract to produce limousine bodies for Peerless and by 1907 they had started using armored body construction (metal sheeting over a hardwood frame). They were now building limited series production bodies for Mercer, Alco, Abbott, National, Packard, Winton, Lincoln, White, Chalmers, Marmon, Peerless, Haynes, Speedwell, Club and probably others. Wow!

When the Hudson Automobile Company was formed in 1909, Biddle and Smart was chosen to build the bodies for them. The recession of 1921 took a many of the automobile companies down, and Biddle became reliant on the large Hudson contract. Hudson built it’s own body plant by December of 1929 and did not renew its usual annual contract for bodies. Biddle & Smart found itself in financial trouble without the major Detroit customer and in 1931, Biddle & Smart closed the doors. This was not part of the Biddle Motor Car Company as some have suggested.

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Bergdoll 1908-1913

June 8, 2011

Louis Bergdoll came to the United States from Germany, and founded the Louis Bergdoll & Son’s Brewing Company in 1849. The company was very successful for over 70 years even with prohibition. The Bergdoll family became very wealthy making beer. Bergdoll was also known as an amateur automobile racer, who loved to race the 60 HP German built “Benz”. Grover C. Bergdoll, son of the founder, spent his time racing cars and flying planes, but gained his fame when the U.S. started drafting men into the service during the First World War. Grover asked to be assigned as a flight instructor, but the government turned him down. Grover refusing to enter the military and disappeared and was not found and arrested until 1920.

The wealthy Louis Bergdoll loved automobiles so much that he decided to start his own automobile company. In 1908 he started The Louis J. Bergdoll Motor Company in Philadelphia, PA. The leagal documents I have seen testify the company was incorporated on March 18, 1912. The Bergdoll was a high quality, assembled automobile, meaning Bergdoll purchased parts from other companies, and assembled them in his factory. A Westinghouse motor, Warner Gear Company Transmission, DriggerSeabury frame, Shwarz artillery wheels, the list goes on. The Bergdoll was advertised that “Even the springs are warranted for one year.”

The Bergdoll produced the Bergdoll 30 series from 1908-1912, named apparently for the 30 horsepower motor, and the Bergdoll 40 in 1912 and 1913 with 40 horsepower engine. The photo above shows the series 30 and the ad below is the series 40 from 1912 that shows five different models. The 1912 “Louis J” Roadster, four door six passenger, and the Touring Car sold for $1,600.00, while, a five passenger Touring Car priced at $1,500.00 and the Limousine sold for $2,500.00.

The company was adjudged bankrupt in the federal court for the eastern district of the State in April, of 1913.  At the very bottom of the page is a copy of a stock certificate. There were only 3000 shares of stock to the company, so they would have been worth a substantial amount. In fact, court records show a battle to recover $155,571.79 the company allegedly owed share holders F. A. Harrigan and Joseph W. Catharine, both of Philadelphia, not decided in the U.S. Supreme Court until April 12, 1926.

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Berg 1902-1905

June 7, 2011

Hart O. Berg began production of the Berg at Cleveland, OH. The Berg was an assembled car sold through their Berg Automobile agents in New York City, Binghamton, NY, Detroit MI and Philadelphia, PA. The Berg was priced starting from $2,700.00 for the smaller 78 inch wheelbase two cylinder engine models with 32 inch x 3 1/2 inch wheels and tires, and three speed transmission. There was also a 90 inch wheelbase car with the larger four cylinder engine and the larger 34 inch x 4 inch wheels and tires and a four speed transmission. The photo above is a 1904 Berg with the prices listed on the top right. Below is a 1904 Berg magazine ad. 1905 was the last year for the Berg, when the Berg Automobile Co. was sold to the Worthington Automobile Co. of New York, NY.

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