Chronology of Automobile Manufacturing
1898 - A plumber by the name of A.E. Lecklider began construction of an automobile in his spare time. He completed it in 1902 but saw it destroyed by fire the following year. Lecklider began again and built an improved gasoline automobile that reportedly had a single piston which put out 6 h.p. His achievement was reported in a 1906 issue of The Motor Way.
1899 - Apr.: George Burwell, superintendent of the Lozier Bicycle factory, designed a 3-wheeled gasoline car with John G. Perrin. When Lozier sold out to the American Bicycle Co., the tricycle was sold as well. Burwell and Perrin would go with Lozier to build the famous Lozier automobile.
- Sept.: Peter Gendron brings to Toledo the second gas-powered automobile to drive over the city streets.
1900 - The Co-operative Wheel Co. organized in Toledo with $5,000 capital
- Sept.: Patent 657,643 - Lubricator for Engine Cylinders awarded to George A. Burwell of Toledo
- Dec.: The ‘Toledo’ Steam Carriage - a description from the Horseless Age, Dec. 1900
1901 - May: Lamson Brothers, a large department store in Toledo, Ohio, orders a steam delivery wagon. They formerly experimented with electricity for this purpose.
- Aug: Patent no. 680,899 - for an "Automobile" awarded to Alfred Thompson, Aug. 20, 1901
- Sept: Two Toledo steamers, one class B (1,000 to 2,000 pounds), and one class E (public delivery vehicles), are entered by the American Bicycle Co. in the New York- to-Buffalo Endurance Contest of mid-September of 1901. There are 36 cars in class B and three in class E.
- Oct: A Toledo wins the Grosse Point races.
- Oct: The headquarters of the automotive division of the American Bicycle Co. is moved from New York to Toledo. Also, the American Bicycle Company announces that their Toledo, Ohio factory will shortly be increased in size by one third its present capacity. Commencing the early part of next year there will be manufactured at this factory, in addition to the Toledo steam carriages, steam trucks, street cleaners and gasoline vehicles. The plans for these various vehicles are still in the draughting room and the company is not yet prepared to give full information about them.’
- Oct: “An ordinance to limit the speed of automobiles in Toledo to 6 miles an hour reached the second reading and was then dropped altogether as a piece of inoperative and useless legislation.”
- Nov: “The Toledo steam carriage which was dispatched from Toledo, Ohio, about two weeks before the Madison Square Garden auto show reached its destination in time. It covered the distance in easy stages of 60 to 70 miles per day and telegrams from the various stopping places en route were exhibited on a frame at the show, telling the story of the trip.”
1902 - Kirk Manufacturing Co. of Toledo announces its plans to build cars in 1899. It did not actually begin production until 1902, when it teamed up with another large bicycle manufacturer, the Snell Manufacturing Co., and built the ‘Yale’ car until 1905.
- Jan: Toledo, Ohio adlermen propose to tax pleasure automobiles at the rate of $5 a year and business automobiles at the rate of $10 a year. (A vehicle luxury tax would finally pass in 1904).
- Jan: The Toledo Bee buys a Winton wagon for newspaper delivery.
- Feb.: “Reports from Flagstaff, Ariz., state that Oliver Lippincott, the Los Angeles artist, in his ‘Toledo’ climbed ‘Knob Hill,’ a 16 per cent grade in 6 inches of snow, in a test before a committee of the new automobile company, which will operate between Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon. The new company expects to have fifteen stages running by May 1.”
- Feb.: "C.E. De Long, of Hot Springs, Ark., and J.E. Saules, of Toledo, Ohio, who started from Toledo in a ‘Toledo’ steam carriage the day before Christmas, are reported to have reached Little Rock, Ark., on the 6th, having been compelled to take the train from Memphis to Hot Springs in consequence of the heavy rains which had flooded the Mississippi bottoms and made the roads impassable. They remained in Little Rock until February 10, when they proceeded on their way by automobile."
- April 30: Patent No. 697,099 awarded Apr. 8, 1902 to Ralph L. Morgan of Toledo for a “Pump for vehicles.” Morgan filed his claim on Jan. 16, 1902.
- May: Toledo had one of its first automobile fatalities in 1902 when a little girl was struck and killed by an auto while riding her bicycle.
- June: Patent No. 702,410 for an ‘Engine Controlling Mechanism’ filed Dec. 19, 1901, by Otto F. Dannenberg and Ralph L. Morgan, of Toledo, Ohio, awarded June 17, 1902.
- Aug. 6: “Toledo, Ohio, claims to be leading cities of its size in the country as regards popularity of the automobile. The number of vehicles owned there is said to be eighty-eight.”
- Sept: The Toledo Automobile Club is founded.
1903 - On July 25, 1903, Arthur C. Moses became the first man to drive a gas powered automobile to the top of Mount Washington, New Hampshire (the highest point in the U.S. east of the Rocky Mountains). He drove a 24-horsepower Toledo. His climb took 3 hours and 5 minutes. F.O. Stanley accomplished the same feat four years earlier, but in a steam-powered machine, the famous “Stanley Steamer.”
1904 - Oct: New vehicle tax law passes in Toledo.
1906 - Jan.: Cooney & Company founded ($10,000 capital) by the Cooney Carriage Co. and Albert F. Clark. Charles R. Bowman was made president, James J. Cooney, v.p., George L. Shanks, g.m.. The company aimed to produce an electric vehicle of standard chassis and interchangeable body. A prototype was running by Feb. of 1907.
- March 1: a prototype gasoline car, called the “Maumee,” built in Dundee, Mich. by the Craig-Toledo Co., unveiled. The car was designed by Frank M. Blair (who also worked for Ford for a time) and financed by George and John Craig, Toledo shipbuilders. Blair patented the Maumee's three-point suspension. In Jan. of 1907 the car began being widely advertised for $4,000. Production ran for six months until the company failed in Feb. of 1907.
- From 1906 and into 1907, the De Luxe Motor Car Co. of Toledo, Ohio builds the 'Car De Luxe' car in the old Yale Bicycle Co. factory. In October, President Nathan M. Kaufman, and General Manager Daniel W. Kaufman, merges with C.H. Blomstrom of Detroit. By late 1907 this car's production had moved to Detroit and came to an end in 1909.
- Nov.: American Juvenile, made by Am. Metal Wheel & Auto Co. debuts at NYC auto show. The Am. Juvenile made until 1907.
1909 - Jan.: Richard D. Apperson of Lynchburg, VA. makes bid for the Pope Motor Car Co.
- F.E. Bissell purchases the rights to manufacture an electric vehicle and produces one prototype.
- Albert F. Clark founds Allen & Clark Electric Co. to produce an electric car.
1910 - May S.W., M.G., F.X. and R. Dusseau incorporate the Dusseau Fore and Rear Drive Automobile Company with $30,000 capital. Dr. Dusseau patents a four wheel drive system. In Nov. the company completes its first experimental car. In December it displays the car in a showroom on Erie St. In January 1911, the company shows it off at the Detroit Auto Show. It is not known how many were built. In 1913, the Dusseaus try to launch a Dusseau truck company with unknown results.
1911 - Spring.: Clarence D. Pettingell, James Samsen, Fred H. Kruse, Mark Winchester, and William J. Frische, incorporate the Interstate Supply Company ($10,000 capital) to build an automobile and various parts. It is doubtful that they succeeded.
1912 - Late spring.: C.H. Dennis, C.W. Close, Allen L. Reid, and R.S. Woodrow found the Dennis Motor Company with capital of $25,000 to make autos and engines. It is unknown if they ever manufactured any.
1913 - Nov.: The Carl Electric Vehicle Co. is founded by Arnold Goss, A.O. Garford, H. Sulzberger, and C.A. Neracher, the last being the chief engineer of Willys-Overland. Though capitalized at three hundred thousand dollars, the firm only manages to produce a few prototypes before going belly up.
1914 - Sept.: W.S. Hyslop and H.W. Clark announce plans to produce a cycle car that would retail at $425. A prototype was probably built but that is as far as their plans went.
1917 - A.T. Wilson, R.W. Beaschler, and Andrew A. Lehr (formerly of Pope-Toledo) organize the Belmont Motor Co. of Toledo. Lehr designs a car he calls the Belmont Six and a prototype is in operation by March. The automobile is advertised in May of that year.
1920 - The Cyclomobile Manufacturing Co. founded by Charles D. Hamel to produce a lightweight car. It has an air-cooled engine, a chain drive, and a friction transmission. Two versions are produced, a two-seater, called the 'Cyclomobile,' and a longer wheelbase with a rear deck for deliveries called the 'Manexall.' It fails by 1921.
1930 - J.W. Harruff of 193 Woodruff Ave., builds the 'Harruff,' a 20 hp., 80-inch wheelbase car that resembled the Whippet. He built it for himself and did not intend to mass produce it. Harruff was profiled in the Automobile Trade Journal.