Early Electric Car Companies, C & D

Version 3.5

Electric car companies of the world, made before 1940, and listed alphabetically by brand name, when available.

Hobby cars after 1908 are generally omitted. Most makers of commercial electric vehicles are included, but not covered in detail.

The years given each company represent the span of electric car production, not necessarily the total life of the company. Many were previous horse-carriage, or bicycle companies, and several continued to make internal combustion cars post electric.

The majority of these listings were prototypes, and never produced in volume.


California                 1900-02 

California Automobile Co, San Francisco, CA

Announced intent to manufacture gasoline, steam, and electric cars. Prototypes and some gasoline runabouts were made before fire destroyed the factory.


Cambier                   1899       

Cambier & Co, St. Maurice, Lille, France.

         Gasoline cars, steam omnibuses for 1900 Paris Expo, and some electrics.

1899        Dog-cart 4-passengers, with a Postel Vinay motor and a 660 lb proprietary battery giving a claimed range of 43.75 miles.


Canadian Motors   1900       

Canadian Motors Ltd,    Toronto Ontario

         See Still

Canton Electric       1908-1910     

Canton Buggy Co, 1500 E. Tuscarawas Street, Canton, Ohio

D. L. Schantz

Cantono           1900-1907

E. Cantono, 13 Viale Paroli, Rome, Italy

A trolley car designer

1903-1907 The Cantono Electric Tractor Co, Canton OH, under license.

The early Cantono was a carriage conversion: An electric “tractor” unit to replace the front wheel assembly of a horse-drawn carriage.



         1-ton truck

         5-ton truck two motors at 6 hp each, rubber tires in front, steel at the rear.


Fore-Brougham, 5 hp, 90” wheelbase, solid tires, 3,000 lbs, $3,500


Fore-carriage, a two motor unit to adapt “any” horse carriage to an electric. 2.5 horsepower each motor, 44 cell Exide battery, $1,750

Capitol             1911-1912     

Washington Motor Vehicle Co,     DC

         A few cars and a truck. Creditors with claims of $1,139 filed a petition for bankruptcy on February 20, 1912. The Philadelphia Storage Battery Co was the main creditor.


Cardinet          1900-1906     

Campagnie Française de Voitures, and then,          Electromobiles, Paris, France

Carl                   1913-1914     

Carl Electric Vehicle Co. Toledo, OH

         Capitalized at $300,000 by Carl A. Neracher (former chief engineer at Garford, and a year at Willys Overland), with Arnold Gross, Arthur O. Garford, and H. Sulzberger: to make electric cars. Several prototypes were made, but no production.

In November of 1913 this group took over Chicago Electric, only to sell it to the Walker Vehicle Company within a year.


Carlisle             1899                

Carlisle Mfg. Co, Chicago, IL

         Another bicycle maker looking for a new product

Carpenter        1895       

Hiram H. Carpenter, Denver, CO

Runabout, bicycle forks with wire wheels at the front and much larger wood wheels at the rear. The battery was of his design.


Carter              1904       

Carter Electric Motorette, London, England


Casler               1901       

1026 Monadnock Block, Chicago, IL

Benjamin G. Casler.

Models were advertised from $500-$2,500, a piano box runabout was pictured.


Centaur Electromobile   1902-1904

1902, Centaur Motor Vehicle Co, 54 Franklin St. Buffalo, NY.

1903-1904      Centaur Motor Co.

Harry C. Wilcox, Jesse B. Eccleston, & F. Worthington Butts.

Incorporated March 1902, Capitol of $100,000.

1903        Model E Runabout, piano-box, a single chain drive to the center of the rear axle, four speeds by two battery sets and two field coil sets, motor suspended by springs, brass shrouded rawhide pinion driving bronze gear on ball bearing countershaft, 14 Exide cells, twin carriage lights, two independent double acting brake sets, 28” wire wheels, $850, mud guards & top add $75.

         J. H. Lindsay raced a Centaur at Grosse Point Michigan; it ran up to 30 mph in the under 1,500 lbs class.


Century            1900-1903

Century Motor Vehicle Co 517 Water St., Syracuse, NY

Electric, Steam, & gasoline

Charles F. Saul, president; Charles Listman, VP; Charles A. Bridgeman, secretary and treasurer; William H. Van Wagoner, engineer & manager. Successor to Barns.

Financial statement: January, 1902, $10,000 in capitol stock, $45,000 paid in, debts $21,500, assets $21,500. Went into receivership July 1903

Designed by William Van Wagoner

1901        Runabout, 2½ hp, 84 Volts, 1,300 lbs, with shaft drive to bevel rear end (pat. #690,041)


Century       1911-1915

                 1911-1913,      Century Motor Co, Detroit MI

                 1913-1915      Century Electric Car Co,

Woodward Avenue at Lothrop, Detroit, MI

Philip Breitmeyer, Secretary & Treasurer (wholesale florist, V-P German-American Loan & Trust Co, mayor of Detroit 1909-10); John Wynne Jr., president (German-American Loan & Trust Co); Hon. Edwin Denby (treasurer & director Hupp Motor Car Co, secretary of the Navy), V-P; John Gillespie, general manager (Detroit Police Commissioner); William M. Pagel, director (Gordon-Pagel Co); Garvin Denby, director (Federal Motor Truck Co); Howard Streeter (atty.), director; & William Merry. Reported bankruptcy in June 1915

In the 1915 registration list for Michigan, there were 91 Century Electrics   


The cars had “under slung” chassis’ with 12” road clearance, straight pressed-steel channels, 92” wheelbase, wooden frame, hammered aluminum body panels, skirted steel fenders, with the 60 Volt motor connected directly to a fully floating rear axle without U joints or reduction. Solid tires, six speeds to 25 mph.

         Roadster, 2-passengers, $1,750

         Brougham, 5-passengers, $1,950


         B      Brougham, Under slung chassis (new model), 5-passengers, bevel-drive with 4-1 reduction, 98” wb, a single U-joint at the (improved) Westinghouse motor, with a 6-speed controller, 12” road clearance, thirty-cell 150 A h Exide battery, $2,550


The cars were given Cutler-Hammer magnetic controllers, magnetic brakes, Timken Axles front & rear, “Triple Platform Spring Suspension” with a transverse rear ½ elliptical spring, Roller Smith twin meters.

         SB    Coupé, 4-passengers, 96” wheelbase, Westinghouse motor, $2,850

         LB    Brougham, 5-passengers, dual drive, 104” wheelbase, GE motor, $3,250   


         SB    Coupé     4-Passengers, $2,650    

         LB    Brougham, 5-passengers, front wheel or rear lever steering, 104” wheelbase, GE motor, $3,250


CFVE                 1898-1901

Compagnie Française des voitures électromobiles,               Paris, France

         Formed by CGV to make lead cabs for Bixio. Capitalized at a million francs, CGV held a 230,000 franc stake. They ordered 120 Lundell-Johnson motors from The Electric Vehicle Syndicate in London. They eventually produced 100 third generation Bersey cabs.


CGE – Tudor Electric       1940-1944

Compagnie Generale d’Electricite

Jean-Albert Grégoire designed a cute little 2-passenger roadster for the Tudor Battery Co that won a mileage contest with 150 miles on a charge. ~200 were made.


CGV          1898-1903     

Compagnie Général des Voitures à Paris.

         Maurice Bixio, ran CGV, the largest horse cab company in Paris. Glanders killed 2,392 Parisian horses in 1896 & 7. He tried the electric cab and set up CFVE to make them, the cabs they finally introduced were modified Bersey cabs.


Champion Electric   1899      

McCrea Motor Truck Co, Cleveland, OH



Champion                1908-1912     

Champion Wagon Co, Oswego, NY.     



Champion                1912-1913     

Champion Electric Vehicle Co, 100 William Street, N. Y. NY.

Charles F. Guyon   

Electric delivery trucks


Champrobert          1901-1905     

de Champrobert and Cie Levallers, Perret, Seine, France

A gasoline car with an electric transmission, not enough battery to be a true hybrid. They claimed the transmission was 72% efficient. 1,300 lbs

The 1901 Model had an 8 hp engine.

Chapman 1891-1905     

Chapman & Sons Mfg. Co, Stoughton, MA

Edward D. Chapman

Chapman         1899-1902

Belknap Motor Co, Portland, Main.

Built by Jeweler William H. Chapman as a light racer. In essence it was a small runabout body suspended between two bicycles. The car used two ½ HP motors, driving 10” gears on the axles by small spur gears on the motors. 32” bicycle wheels with tires 4” wide. It weighed 380 lbs including a 180 lb National battery, 12 mph. (The Horseless Age Sept. 27, 1899, No. 26)

         Sulky Electromobile, 2-passengers on smooth roads, 1 on average roads.

         Basket Phaëton

Charron           1902       

Charron, Girardot & Voigt, France


Chautauqua Electric       1919-1920     

Chautauqua Electric Mfg. Co, Falconer, NY


Chelsea            1922-1924     

Wandsworth Engine Works, Wandsworth, England, SW18

         Coupé, faux radiator, with a BTH motor, and the battery under the front hood, £700.

Chenhall 1902-1906

1902-1903, Chenhalls Motor Car Ltd

1903-1906      St. Andrew Cycle & Electric Co. Plymouth, Devon, England.

                 J. S. Chenhalls

Chiquita           1901       

Jenkins Automobile Company, Washington, DC

A one-off 26” long miniature electric car made for exhibit at the Pan American Exposition in Buffalo, NY


1911-1914 Chicago Electric Motor Car Co.

Factory 3600-18 South Morgan St. Chicago, IL

Sales office & Garage, 2700 Michigan Ave. Chicago IL,

1914-1916, Walker Vehicle Co, factory & general offices, 531-45 W. 39th Street

Designed by Frederick J. Newman (1878 to 1914).

Newman was a graduate of the University of Wisconsin (1898), he then worked for the Hub Motor Co; inventing an AWD hub motor vehicle with Joseph Ledwinka (co-incident with Porsche in Germany.) In 1901 he became chief engineer at Woods (when C. E. Woods left), he quit Woods in 1909 to organize Chicago Electric.

Newman died young (36), just as his car was getting sales traction.

Carl A. Neracher acquired the company with a group of investors (see “Carl”) in November of 1913, with plans to move the company to Toledo and manufacture vehicles under the “Carl” brand. The plans fell apart and they sold Chicago Electric to the Walker Vehicle Company of Chicago.

Walker became a division of the Commonwealth Edison power company in 1916. Commonwealth Edison did not want to be in the pleasure car business, and sold Chicago to the Anderson Electric Car Co. The deal included remaining vehicle stock, and Anderson adopted the Chicago showroom and some of the sales staff, but there is no evidence of further manufacture. Anderson stopped making Detroit Electric trucks at the same time, which might have been part of the deal.

The company seems to have made about 1,100 cars.

A distinctive design element was arch top doors. The cars had parallel tillers for steering & speed, 25 mph.


         121           Coupé, 5-passengers, rear drive

         122           Limousine, 5-passengers, front drive


Two models with bevel drive, Westinghouse motors, 40 cell Exide batteries, and 36” cushion tires at the corners. Shaft drive with two u-joints and a single reduction. Wheel or lever steering. Westinghouse continuous torque controller, with a magnetic cut-out that prevented contacts from burning or freezing.

         131 Coupé, 3-passengers, with 96” wheelbase, $2,800

         132          Limousine, 5-passengers, 104” wheelbase, $3,100

1914        Chicago made the first Popemobile.

Pulling back on the control lever actuated an electric brake on the propeller shaft.

         141          Coupé, 5-passengers, $3,000

         142          Limousine, 5-passengers, fore-drive, 104” wheelbase, $3,300

         143          Brougham, 5-passengers, $3,000


The 151 and 153 shared the same platform. Pressed steel frame, ¾ elliptical front and rear 6-leaf springs, 3-hp motor, 80 Volt battery, 5-1 gear reduction, Hotchkiss type drive to Timken helical gear rear axle, Timken front axles, 96” wheelbase, 32 foot turning diameter.

         151 Coupé, 4-passengers, rear drive

         153          Brougham, 4-passengers, rear drive (different seating) $2,650

         152          Limousine, 5-passengers, forward drive, same driveline as the others, 40-cell 11 M. V. Hycap Exide battery, 104” wb, 7-leaf springs, $2,850

         154          Cabriolet Roadster, four passengers, 25 MPH, Timken axles front and rear, Westinghouse motor, shaft drive through two U joints, Royal blue with dark blue leather upholstery, front bumper, $1,650, battery $270.


The “Edison Models,” 162 & 163, were designed to have the Edison Battery as standard equipment. The cars had more rounded lines and a less pronounced arch over the door, which no longer intruded into the roofline. Improved window lifters, with sash-less glass.

         162 Limousine, 5-passengers, 5 speeds to 22 mph, $2,005 w/o battery. Lead battery $270, Edison Battery $920, F. O. B. Chicago

         163           Brougham, 4+1 Passengers, rear drive, 96” WB, $1,917 w/o battery, $2,185 with lead battery, $2,835 with Edison 60 cell battery.

         164          Cabriolet, 4-Passengers, $2,535 with Edison battery, $1,885 with lead battery. Same platform as the model 163.


Chicago Electric Vehicle Co, the    1899       

Faribault, MN

Incorporated in New Jersey to make electric vehicles by Orson D. Fox, Smith C. Shedrick, John Trier, Gustav Lukas, M. M. Chesroun, and J. W. Creekmurall of Chicago, & David Harvey Jr. of Asbury Park, NJ.

Church-Field               1911-1913

Church-Field Motor Co, Sibley (Trenton), MI.

Austin Church (grandson of Church & Dwight founder, the maker of Arm & Hammer brands), & H. George Field. Both were officers of the Church Brick Co.

Introduced at the Detroit Auto Show in January of 1912.

Ten-speeds, with a two-speed planetary gearbox, and a custom Wagner motor designed for the car. Two models were offered with a Philco battery, and a 100” wheelbase chassis, advertised to achieve 20 mph for 100 miles. Shaft-drive though a torsion tube with an under slung pressed steel frame.


         Torpedo Roadster, 2-passengers, 2,500 lbs, 100” wheelbase, 28 Cell 163 A h battery, 30 mph, Hyphen controller on top of steering wheel with 10 speeds, Klaxton horn mounted on drivers side in front of door, under-slung pressed steel frame, $2,200

         Colonial Brougham, 5-passengers, 22½ mph, lever steering, 100” wb, half elliptic springs at the front, full elliptics at the rear, carriage lights on the “B” pillars, headlights, wood wheels, 2,900 lbs, $2,800.


         B-R  Torpedo Roadster, 2-passengers, 30 mph, $2,300

         B-C  Colonial Brougham, 5-passengers, 24 mph, $2,800


CIEM                 1902-1905              

Cie de l’Industrie Electrique et Mécanique,

Geneva, Switzerland

Power distribution, Elevators, electric rail, automobiles (Stella)

City & Suburban    1901-1905

City & Suburban Electric Carriage Co Ltd.

6, Denman Street, Piccadilly Circus, London, England.

100 carriages could be housed nightly at their full service 19,000 square foot facility. In 1903 they opened a second depot at Niagara, Westminster, capable of housing 230 carriages. This garage was sold to the Wolseley Tool & Motor Car Co in 1906.

The British version of the EVC-Columbia. EVC shipped unfinished cars from Hartford Connecticut to London in primer (known as “in the white”). The cars were trimmed and finished in London: with the upholstery, colors, wheels, and fittings conforming to British standards and conventions, down to the grease nipples and charging receptacle.

The standard range of Columbias from this period were probably available on order. Known models included a Victoria and 4-passenger Phaëton.

1901        Victoria, Made for Queen Alexandra. 2 passengers, bicycle wheels, carriage lights mounted on the dasher, full elliptic springs at the rear, and a transverse leaf spring set with two half-elliptics at the front, connected at their centers. The steering lever was in the center. It had rose madder lake panels, the rest of the body, and the gear, was black with deep red lines. All bright work was silver-plated. 40-mile range,

1903        At the crystal palace in London they showed a dozen cars, including a hybrid prototype and the Queen’s car. Grand Victoria, 40-mile range, £798; Victoria £567; Omnibus, 30-mile range, £908; “Double Battery” Landaulette, 80-mile range, £714; Three Landaulettes with 40-mile range; Brougham, £583; Surrey Phaeton, £530; Runabout, £375; Tonneau, £567.


Clark                1903       

A. F. Clark & Co, Philadelphia, PA

         Became Electric Vehicle Equipment Co


Clark                1905-6   

Clark Motor Car Co, E. C. Clark Motor Co, Jackson, MI

Clark Electric           1908-1910     

Allen & Clark Electric Co. Toledo, OH

Designed by Albert F. Clark, and made by Herman A. Brunn’s coachworks in Buffalo, NY


         Runabout with Rumble seat, 3-passengers, 106” wheelbase, shaft drive, 3½ hp Westinghouse motor, 28 cell Niagara battery, wheel steering. 


Clear & Dunham    1900-1905 Cleveland, OH


Cleco                1936-1940     

Cleco Electric Industries Ltd, Leicester, Leicestershire, England

Small vans and an electric mini-car

Cleveland             1897-1899

Also known as the Sperry.    

         1897-1898 Sperry Engineering Co.

         1898-1899 Cleveland Machine Screw Co.

Patents for this car were filed in 1898, and awarded in 1900, to Elmer Ambrose Sperry.

The patents were for a small runabout with a motor on the rear axle. Sperry designed a unique one-lever controller for steering, acceleration, and braking.

With a handful of mechanics, under the direction of former Brush Electric Co assistant superintendent Franklin Schneider, Sperry built six prototypes in space he leased at the old Brush Electric factory, which closed in 1896.  Elmer gave John D. Rockefeller a ride, he advised Sperry to cash out, go back to inventing, and leave the automobile business to bigger fish.  Sperry assigned his rights to the Cleveland Machine Screw Company for stock, with the understanding that they would produce the cars in quantity. CMS announced production of the cars in mid-1899. Eight models were advertised, the light cars had two-wheel brakes (wagon brakes on the tires), the heavy cars had four-wheel brakes, and an electric brake was available as an option. The cars were shipped with Sperry designed batteries. There was a power cutout on the brakes and an electric gong to alert pedestrians, cyclists, and horsemen. They had four speeds to 18 MPH.

After the cars won a gold medal at the 1900 Paris Exposition: 100 Clevelands were ordered from France, and although there were ample orders for cars, the capitol to ramp up production was apparently tight.

In 1900 the Cleveland Machine Screw Company, including Sperry’s car patents, became part of the American Bicycle trust (started by A. G. Spalding). Sperry’s patents went to the Indiana Bicycle Co and contributed to the design of the post 1900 Waverley Electric.


         Road Wagon, 2-passengers, 3½ hp motor, $1,800

         Doctor’s Coupé, an early fully enclosed car, and the epitome of a phone booth on wheels

         Brougham, 5-passengers, $2,200


Cleveland                1909-1910 the Cuyahoga Motor Car Co (briefly), then, re-capitalized at $300,000 as the Cleveland Electric Vehicle Co, to make cabs.

         10547 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH

It would seem they received no orders for cabs, but they did manage to make cars for a few months. Raymond B. Doty designed the cars. A prototype was said to have run 133 miles on one charge.

Chain reduction to bevel drive, 100” wb, with a 3½ hp motor & 6-speed control. The cars were shipped with an in-house Cuyahoga 9 Battery. The company continued in the battery business.

                  Runabout 2-passengers. $2,250

                  Victoria 4-passengers. $2,500

                  Coupé 4-passengers. $2,800


Clift Electric            1899-1902     

Sinclair Motor Works, Sinclair Street, Kensington W., London, England

         Frederick “Eric” Hollocoombe Clift.

80 Volt battery with Headland positive and Clift negative plates. Clift later designed petrol cars.

1899        Victoria 4-passengers, 2,500 Lbs with a 1,200 Lb battery, 1,200 RPM, 3 hp motor, raw-hide pinion driving a two-speed counter-shaft which drove the rear wheels by chains. 16 mph.

Clinton E. Woods Electric        1901      

Woods, Waring & Co, 21 van Buren St. Chicago, IL

1900, C. E. Woods announced the formation of Woods Waring & Company, with a market cap of $2 million, to fill orders for 100 cabs and omnibuses.


A line of cars appeared (at least in a catalog) briefly under Woods’ full name.

All vehicles, except the cab, had the same mechanicals featuring a solid rear axle, and one motor with reduction gearing, all in a dust proof case. The running gear was attached to the body, with no frame or reach between the axles. These cars had dynamic braking through the motor, and friction brakes on the tires for emergencies. The track of the front wheels was narrower than the rear.

         Runabout Buggy, 1,100 lbs, 40-mile range, $850; or $950, with top and mud guards

         Victoria Stanhope, 3-passengers, plus 2 passengers on a drop seat in front, with a rear driver’s seat available for $55 extra, 2,000 lbs, $1,850 

         Enclosed Cab, driver outside in the back, the front opened like a Hansom Cab, 2-passengers plus driver, $2,250

         Delivery type 1, box 52” long and 40” high, capacity of 500 lbs, $950

         Delivery type 2, Box 62” long 46” high, carrying capacity 1,250 lbs, $1,800

         Delivery type 3, 96 x 54 x 48” carried 3,000 lbs, $3,100

Collins          1899-1901

Collins Electric Vehicle Co, Scranton, PA

         Patrick J. Collins invented a twin armature motor, and used it in a rather eccentric four wheel electric vehicle (pat #656,389)


Colonial Electric     1902       

Colonial Carriage Co, Cleveland, OH


Colonial           1911-1913     

Colonial Electric Car Co, Detroit, MI

Otto F. Barthel, Arthur D. Stansell, and Mark Allen, with William E. Metzger. Designed by William E. Storms, who was previously at Detroit Electric. Storms went on to make an eponymous car.

Coupé, three passengers, made as a prototype.


         A      Coupé, 4-passengers, with bevel drive, rain vision windshield, Westinghouse motor, silent chain reduction to driveshaft, Willard battery, and a tag of $2,700. Rated at 25 mph for 75 miles


Columbia 1893-7   

Columbia Perambulator Company,          Chicago, IL

         Trap,        4-passengers dos-à-dos, an electrified light horse cart entered (but not run) in the 1895 Times-Herald contest.

Columbia 1895-1910

         1895-1899, Columbia Motor-Carriage, Pope Manufacturing Co, Hartford, CT.

         1899, April, Columbia Automobile Co, Hartford, CT

         1899, June, became the Columbia & Electric Vehicle Co, capitalized at $139,000.

         1900-1907 Electric Vehicle Company, New York.

         1908-1912 United Motor Vehicle Co

The cars were also sold under license by “City & Suburban Electric Carriage Co” in England and “Société l’Electromotion” in France. Both received complete running gear, or cars “in the white,” from Hartford. They finished the vehicles, and built or sourced some bodies, to suit local tastes.

Columbia made the first (American had a car on the road a few months earlier) commercially viable electric motor car; some 500 electric and 40 gasoline cars, designed by Hiram Percy Maxim (hired in early July 1895), were made as the “Columbia” for the Pope bicycle empire before the EVC takeover.

         1900        June, A. A. Pope sold his interest in EVC and the Columbia brand (for vehicles). He used some of the money to take control of the American Bicycle Company, which owned the Indiana Bicycle Co, maker of the Waverley Electric.

         July, EVC, put in an order for 4,200 cabs valued at $8,000,000. They were overly optimistic; fewer than half of that number was made.

         December, EVC bought Riker.

1901        Columbia won two Gold Medals at the Pan American Exposition in Buffalo, New York; one for superiority of vehicles, another for completeness of the display. These were the only gold medals for electrics.

1902        Herbert W. Alden, with Columbia sometime before 1897, became chief engineer. Riker left for Locomobile where he designed some formidable gasoline cars. The Riker brand was dropped by EVC after the 1902 model year.

         The New York sales rooms were at 134-138 W. Thirty-Ninth St., with offices at 100 Broadway.


EVC continued to make electrics under the Columbia brand until 1907, making about 6,000 vehicles (including 1 or 2 thousand cabs and delivery vehicles).

The EVC cars and commercial vehicles were marketed as either Columbia or (briefly) Riker, utilizing the designs and patents of Maxim, Alden, Riker, Morris & Salom, Panhard-Levassor, and Selden for electric and explosion motorcars. Overcapitalized by EVC ($10 million) to the point of guaranteeing failure, the enterprise was liquidated in 1907. The Maxwell-Brisco (United States Motor Co) interests picked up most of the residual assets. After 1908, the brand continued with gasoline cars. The United States Motor Co continued to sell some Columbia branded electrics through 1910.

The factories were sold July 1, 1914 to the Billings & Spencer Co.




         Mk I         Phaëton a mildly successful electric prototype. H. P. Maxim started building this car in 1895, but did not finish in time for the Chicago race. The body was built by the Mansuy Carriage Co of Hartford, CT. The motor was from the Eddy Electric Manufacturing Co of Windsor, CT, and was designed by Eddy engineer William R. C. Corson; the car was put on the road April 1896.

         Mk II        a prototype, two-stroke, gasoline, failure

         Late in the year, a Prototype Mk III electric was completed, and tests started. A manufacturing plant was set up in the old steel tube factory. The New Haven Carriage Co, which became a part of EVC in 1899, made most of the bodies in Connecticut. The early light vehicles had frames made of the 10% nickel steel-tube developed for Columbia bicycles.


A small team led by Hiram P. Maxim, and Herbert W. Alden designed the early Columbia electrics.

         Mk III      Phaëton two-passengers plus optional jump seat, 2 horsepower 25-Ampere Eddy motor. 3 speeds 3, 6, & 12 mph. weight 1,900 Lbs. with an 800 Lb battery. The initial run of ten cars was demonstrated May 13, 1897, $1,500-

         Mk IV      Surrey, four-passenger carriage, with a pair of two horsepower motors, weight about 3,000 lbs with a battery of 1,500 lbs producing 84 Volts. A removable aluminum “running plug” disabled the vehicle when removed, functioning as both a lock and an emergency cut out switch. Band brakes on the armature shafts, with emergency brakes applying shoes directly to the rear tires. Wire wheels

         Mk IV       Racer       a stripped down racing version of the Surrey platform was made for demonstrations.


         Mk III      Phaëton, 2-passengers, updated with a 3 hp 4-pole 173 lb series motor rated at 75 Volts and 1,000 rpm with 82% efficiency, capable of 100% overload for ½ hour. A single band brake was on the rear axel. Drum controller.

         Mk IV      Surrey 2-forward facing seats seating 4-6 passengers, steered by lever from the left front seat, two 2-hp motors running on 36 Volts, the inside toothed ring gears at each rear wheel had a bronze band brake around the circumference. Battery in six boxes, three speeds both directions. The armatures of the two motors were in series to balance the load when one wheel was turning and the other stalled. Leather shrouds protected the moving parts from dust. 3,100 lbs

         Mk V        Victoria

         Mk VI      Dos-à-dos Trap, four-passengers, 30 Amp motor, 88 Volts, wire wheels, 90 Ampere hour 44-cell battery, 11 mph.

         Mk VI      Daumon Victoria, with driver elevated at the rear, 3,250 lbs, 30-mile range, 11½ mph.

         Mk VII     Gasoline tricycle designed for package delivery but could be modified for passengers.

         Mk VIII    Gasoline Runabout. $1,500

         Mk IX      a prototype gasoline car with electric transmission designed by Justus B. Entz, chief engineer at The Electric Storage Battery. A few production versions were made in 1908, later, Walter Baker bought the patent rights and it became the Owen Magnetic.

         Mk XI      Light Delivery, 3,300 Lbs, 3½ hp, 40 Ampere motor, Kelly solid rubber tires. Cargo area 4x3½ x6 feet, $2,000


                  Cab bodies were built by:

The New Haven Carriage Co (became part of EVC in June 1900, and, after 1908, was independent to 1924).

Studebaker Bros. (100 Hansom bodies)

Willoughby & Owen Co. (135 Brougham bodies)

The running gear was based on the Electrobat design, with front wheel drive.



         Mk XII     Victoria Runabout, the body was suspended above the chassis with a transverse spring at front and elliptical springs at the rear. The 2-HP 20 Amp motor weighed 140 Lbs and was suspended between the rear axle and a cross tube, it drove the axle gear by a pinion gear on the armature shaft. The whole gear assembly, with differential, was in an oil-filled aluminum case. Total weight was 1,450 Lbs with a 690 Lb 76 Volt battery, 15 mph, with 30-mile range, three-inch pneumatic tires on 28” wheels, available in red or dark green.

         Mk ? Runabout Phaëton. 2-passengers, running gear as per the Victoria.

         Mk XXXV Brougham, Driver high and up front. Weight 4,100 Lbs. 40 Amp motor, 1,375 lb battery, 11 MPH, solid tires 42” at the rear and 36” at front.

         Mk XXXV         Laundaulet, as Brougham, with convertible top over coach.

                          Emergency Wagon. A large ladder truck of the type used by electric railway repair crews. Built to carry four or five men at 10 mph for 18 miles. Total weight 4,500 lbs including a 1,400 lb battery. The weight was born by solid tires on wooden wheels.


EVC bought the US rights to the Panhard-Levassor patents for gasoline vehicles.


         Mk XVI             Brougham for cab service

         Mk XVII           Hansom Cab. The batteries were changed after every trip. $3,000 

         Mk XIX            Surrey, four-passengers $1,500    


         Mk XXX           Runabout

         Mk XXXI          Seabright Runabout

         MK XXXI          Elberon Victoria

         Mk XI               Wagonette

         MK XIX            Tonneau, 6 passengers, bench seat forward and two sideways tete-á-tete seats behind, with rear entry.

         Mk XIX            Cabriolet, 4-passengers, with driver and a passenger on fairly high box out front and two passengers in the cabin, with a drop top.

                          Fire Chief’s Wagon, 2-passengers, side tiller, carriage lights and Cyclops headlight.


EVC bought Riker in 1901 for manufacturing capacity. They offered Riker models for two years.

         Riker Brougham, Square Front

         Riker Demi-Coach

         Riker Hansom Cab

         Riker Theatre ‘Bus

         Riker 8 and 16 Horsepower four cylinder gasoline Touring Cars were made


         Mk III               Still available.

         Mk XXXI          Victoria or Runabout with removable battery covers. Four varieties from $1,000 to $1,600.

         Mk XI      Delivery or Opera Bus, outside drive in front. $2,000

         Mk XVI            Extension Front Brougham.

         Mk XIX             Surrey, Tonneau, Cabriolet, or Rear Boot Victoria, $1,300 to $2,250

                  Riker        Hansom Cab, $3,200

         Riker        Square Front Brougham, outside front drive, $3,100

         Riker        Extension Front Brougham, under slung battery, $2,700

         Riker        Hotel Bus, $4,000

         Riker        Delivery, $3,300

         The Riker factory, in Elizabethport New Jersey, closed in December of 1901, so few of these were likely to have been sold.


         The catalogue described 12 different models.

         Mk XI               Wagonette 11 passengers & driver, with surrey top. Also with an Ambulance, Police Wagon, or panel Delivery, body

         Mk XIX            Surrey, Tonneau, rear boot Victoria, Special Service Wagon, or Cabriolet.

         Mk XXXI          Runabout, Battery under front hood and seat

         Mk XXXIV       Truck

         Mk XXXV Straight front Brougham, under-slung battery

         Mk XXXV Extension Front Brougham, driver in front with wheel

         Mk XXXVIII     Light Runabout, Five speeds to 15 mph, an under-slung battery, left rear trunk space for luggage, with 40-volt motor driving a countershaft to a central chain, $750

         Mk XXXIX       Victoria Phaëton, new model

         Mk XXXIX       Doctors Coupé, inside drive, 40-mile range

                                   Rear boot Coupé, 2-passengers inside, with jump seat for two more, driver high outside at rear, claret broadcloth upholstery, silk curtains, dome light, foot warmer, battery front and rear, 14½ mph.




         Mk XLI    Gasoline Touring Car, 4 cylinders, 26 hp


         Mk XI               Wagonette

         Mk XI               Opera ‘Bus, Two out front in weather, six passengers inside with rear entry, no fenders

         Mk XI               Eight Passenger Private ‘Bus, like the opera ‘bus but with smaller windows, street side entry, wheel steering outside in front, continuous fenders

         Mk XI               Delivery Wagon

         Mk XI               Ambulance

         Mk XI               Police Wagon

         Mk XIX            Surrey, $1,500

         Mk XIX            Tonneau

         Mk XIX            Special Service Wagon

         Mk XIX            Cabriolet $2,250

         Mk XXXI          “Seabright” Runabout, $1,000

         Mk XXXI          “Elberon” Victoria, improved for it’s fourth season, $1,600

         Mk XXXII Truck 1,000 lbs

         Mk XXXIII       Truck, 2,000 lbs

         Mk XXXIV       Truck

         MK XXXV        Leather Head Laundau, $3,500

         Mk XXXV Hansom Cab, wheel steering high at the rear, bicycle fenders

         Mk XXXV Extension Front Brougham, driver on box out front with steering wheel

         Mk XXXV Straight Front Brougham, driver out front, smaller cabin

         Mk XXXVI       Inside Operated Coupé, The classic Dr’s Coupé, a pair of carriage lamps, no headlight, $2,800

         Mk XXXVI       Brougham. Outside drive high in the rear, lever steering

         Mk XXXVIII     Runabout, $750 or $825 with top.

                 Fastest model so far, battery under car for low center of gravity

         MK XXXIX       Victoria Phaeton, rear driver high in back with lever $3,000

         Mk XLI             Gasoline Touring car

         Mk XLII            Gasoline Touring Car

         Mk XLIII           Gasoline Tonneau

         Mk L                 Truck 10,000 lbs, an electric motor at each wheel

         MK LII              Delivery, $2,500

         Mk LX              Runabout, 2-passengers, Introduced to the press in December 1903; 1,200 lbs 40 mile range, 120 Ampere-hour PV Exide battery (Edison available), 6 pole GE motor rated 40 Volts at 32 Amps (3½ hp), mounted to the body, instead of the axle or a sub-frame, to protect it from road shock, and allowing a lighter rear axle. A steel herringbone armature shaft gear drove a bronze gear on an intermediate shaft, a Baldwin chain drove a bevel gear differential. A floor pedal actuated twin double-acting drum brakes at the rear hubs. The vehicle frame was made of oak sills reinforced with 1½” angle steel. A Collins axle with plain bearings was used at the front and a large tubular axle with American Ball Bearing Co parts at the aft. The car had 30” artillery wheels with 3” clincher tires. The driver employed a horizontal steering lever, and a vertical speed lever at the left of the seat, providing three forward and two reverse speeds. The battery was in boxes, fore and aft, for weight balance. $850 w/o top.

         This was the new design approach of Alden and H. P. Maxim, who returned from Westinghouse as head designer in 1903.


         Most enclosed cars still had outside drive, and used steering wheels

         LX                     Runabout

         LXI                    Victoria Phaeton

         Mk LXVIII        Hansom Cab

         Mk XI               Opera ‘bus

         Mk XI               Hotel ‘bus

         Mk XLIV, XLVI, XLVII, all gasoline cars.         

         Mk XI               Opera Bus, 6-passengers, 4-hp Westinghouse 88 Volt 40 Amp motor, direct drive, rear entry, driver high outside in front, $2,000

         Mk LX              Runabout, $900

         Mk LXI             Victoria-Phaëton, 2-passengers, 1,400 lbs, 4½ hp 48 Volt GE motor, $1,350

         Mk LXVIII        Brougham or Landaulet, for 4-passengers, and a 3-passenger Hansom Cab, were available on this platform at $4,000 each. They all had wheel steering with the driver outside in front and the passengers entering at the center. With an 80 Volt battery and a GE motor at the rear  


         Mk XI      Opera ‘Bus

         Mk LXVIII Chassis

                          Hansom Cab


                          Victoria, 2-passengers, semi-elliptic front leaf springs,     


         Mk XI               Opera ‘bus

         Mk XIX            Surrey, 4-passengers, side lever

         Mk LXIX          Victoria-Phaëton, new model $1,500

         Mk LXVIII        Landaulet

         Mk LXVIII        Brougham, five speeds to 16 mph, 44-cell Exide battery (of course), Michelin pneumatic tires, steering wheel, Battery hung under car, The driver was out in the weather behind a leather dash with no hood.

         Mk LXVIII        Hansom, This version had the driver out in front on a bench seat with a steering wheel. Two others could sit under a canopy with a rain curtain in the back. There was a fair sized glass window on either side.

         Mk LXVIII        Victoria

                                  Runabout, 2-passengers, side lever

                                  Eight Passenger Private Bus


         Mk LXVIII        Brougham

         Mk MXLVI       Entz style gas car with electric transmission. Ten were made


         Mk LXX   Victoria Phaëton, 5-10 hp GE motor and 4/2 speed controller, 32 cell 9 P. V. Exide battery, 70” wheelbase, 48” track, 1,900 lbs, $1,600



Columbia 1899 

The Columbia Electric Vehicle Co, Trenton, NJ

Incorporated May 3, 1899: capitalized at 5 million, Charles A. Wendell, Andrew H. Scobel, Anthony N. Jeshera, Sherman M Granger, Francis R. Foraker, Walter T. Dryfoos, Roland B. Harvey, of New York; W. B. Greely of New Rochelle.

“To make vehicles of electric, or other power”

Columbia 1906       

Columbia Electric Co,     Indianapolis, IN


Columbia Electric            1914       

Columbia Electric Vehicle Co, Detroit, MI


Columbia and Electric Vehicle Co 

April 1899 thru June of 1900

Briefly called the Columbia Automobile Company, This was Albert A. Pope’s new name for the Columbia motorcar division of his Pope Manufacturing Company. He separated it from his bicycle, tire, steel tube, and typewriter companies, so that he could sell it to the Electric Vehicle Company, which wanted manufacturing capacity up and running to make thousands of cabs for the perceived need in all major cities.

Pope sold half of his interest in April of 1899, shortly after the spin off.  A. A. Pope was not the junior partner type, and so, just over a year later, he cashed out of his other half to fund his take over of the American Bicycle Company, where he was building a new empire: manufacturing bicycles, steam cars, and the Waverley Electric. EVC was recapitalized to fund the Pope buyout; and to secure other assets, such as Columbia’s principal body maker, the New Haven Carriage Company, Riker, and the Selden patent. Pope got out while the shares were still gaining value, before the lead-cab bubble burst.


Columbia                  1916-1926     

         Columbia Motors Company, Detroit, MI        

J. G. Bayerline, president; T. E. Barthel, secretary (circa 1919); also; W. E. Metzger.

Gasoline cars.


Columbia Perambulator Co   1892

aka Keller-Degenhardt, Chicago, Illinois

         Emil Ernest Keller and Frederick E. Degenhardt made two of the thousand electric tricycles they had promised for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. They also made a larger 4-passenger vehicle.

Keller was put in charge of the installation of the Westinghouse electrical system for the Exposition, so he became quite busy. He got patent #523,354 for his “Electrically Propelled Perambulator” Filed April 20, 1892, granted July 24, 1894. Degenhardt had a patent (#493,354) for a steering gear. They used Perret motors

         Tricycle, two passengers on a bench seat in front with a driver perched on a chair over their shoulders. A small front wheel turned for steering, and the rear axle was driven with small (¼-½ hp) motors by means of a worm gear.

         Runabout, 4-passengers, tiller steering, 1 hp motor


Columbian           1914-1917

         Columbia Electric Vehicle Company

Offices, 1705 Dime Bank Building, Detroit, MI

The factory, which was designed by Albert Kahn for the Grabowsly Power wagon Company, was at 1735 Mt. Elliott Street, Detroit, MI.

Detroit Electric moved into this building in 1920.

This company was founded by C. F. Krueger. The cars were designed by Edward Tracy Birdsall (from Selden); they were small, low-slung, modern, and low priced (for an electric). Worm drive, lever steering, 98” WB, 5 speeds. The first Milburn, made a year later, was very Columbian like.


         Runabout, 2-Passengers, with cantilever spring suspension, $785, a similar “complete” model cost $795.

1915        Three models on the same platform, 26 cell 11 plate battery, 2,600-rpm motor, and shaft drive bevel axle. Lever steering, tubular front axle, dark blue body with silver grey whipcord upholstery, 98” wheelbase.

         Runabout, 2-passengers, $950

         Coupélet (Cabriolet), 3-passengers, the most popular model, $1,250.

         Brougham, 4-passengers, $1,450


         98” wb, 28 cell Gould battery, wire wheels, worm drive, lever steering, 31” x 4” pneumatic tires. 5-speed controller

         Runabout, 2-passengers, $995

         Coupélet, 3-passengers, $1,275

         Brougham, 4-passengers, $1,495


         Runabout, 1,100 lbs, Gould battery, 100” wb, $1,175

         Cabriolet, 3-passengers, $1,375

         Brougham, 4-passengers, $1,575


Columbus                 1904-1915     

Columbus Buggy Co, 382-450, Dublin Avenue

1910, 509 Dublin Avenue, Columbus, OH

1913-1916 New Columbus Buggy Co 567 Dublin Avenue West, Columbus, Ohio.


George Peters was a talented carriage painter involved in a small custom carriage shop. He talked Clinton D. Firestone into investing $5,000 in the company. Firestone was in the railroad business in Cedar Rapids and was married to the daughter of George Peters’ pastor, Lovett Taft, who wanted his daughter back in Columbus. The business failed after a few years, and the other partners were not interested in Peters’ progressive buggy building aspirations.

By 1870 Firestone and Peters had no remaining equity in the company. They talked the creditors into advancing them the remaining rolling stock of the old Company to finish and sell. They then started manufacturing new vehicles in a small building on a rented lot, calling their new enterprise the Iron Buggy Company. The first product, designed by Peters, had a body, seat, and dash, made of sheet metal. Iron Buggy became successful, and was sold to start a more ambitious enterprise.


Clinton DeWeese Firestone ran the front office, while George M. Peters designed the products and ran the factory. They formed the Columbus Buggy Co in 1875, with George’s younger brother Oscar Glaze Peters, who had practical financial and management experience, along with $20,000.

Columbus Buggy became the largest of the 550 buggy builders in Ohio, with more than 800 employees. Harvey S. Firestone started his career at Columbus Buggy. He left in 1890 to fool around with rubber tires.

Oscar Peters passed away on November 9, 1894.

Both George Peters and the company were in poor health when he signed a quitclaim on December 16, 1896. He passed away the following January 17th.

The original company was put into receivership December 29, 1896, valued at thirty-five cents on the dollar. Firestone agreed to settle with creditors, once again, by running the business rather than closing it.

The company was reorganized and went back into manufacturing on July 18, 1897.


A new $40,000 factory was built starting in late 1902, with motorcar projects in mind. In January 1904, Columbus was incorporated at $700,000. Clinton D. Firestone, as president, held 5,200 shares; Joseph Frederick Firestone, 500 shares; Oliver H. Perry, 51 shares. 6,000 common and 1,000 preferred shares were issued. $130,000 in stock was sold to raise enough cash to buy the old Company property north of Chestnut St.


Electric rail car engineer George M. Bacon and Roland S. Fend, from motor maker Elwell-Parker, were hired to design electric automobiles. Columbus had a modern factory with electric motors driving the machine tools, good electric lighting, and 10-acres of floor space. Production of electric motorcars began in April of 1905 with a Stanhope. They still made equine draft vehicles.


In 1906 Columbus built their first gasoline car, made from one of their high wheel farm buggies. It was not a success, so they hired Lee Frayer to design a real automobile. Edward V. “Fast Eddie” Rickenbacher was involved with sales. The gasoline cars were sold under the “Firestone-Columbus” brand.


George Bacon was apparently not happy at Columbus, and pitched his concept for an electric car to light buggy maker William C. Anderson in Detroit, who hired him as chief engineer in October of 1906. The first series of new Detroit Electrics were a lot like the contemporaneous Columbus. In November of 1909 Anderson merged with Columbus’ motor supplier, Elwell-Parker, leaving them looking for a new source. As with Baker, they switched to GE.


1908: Clinton D. Firestone, president; Joseph F. Firestone, vice president; Charles E. Firestone, secretary; Oliver H. Perry, treasurer; Roland S. Fend superintendent of auto department; Dave Henry, general representative.

Roland Fend stayed at Columbus through 1908, and then became chief engineer at Woods in 1909. He held a patent under his own name, and assigned a couple more to Rauch & Lang in late 1913 and early 1914.  At Woods, he developed the Woods Dual Power cars in the late teens, the first gasoline/electric hybrids, as we know them today.


The company was financially weak when the floods of March 1913 shut down production.

May 14, 1913 - Columbus Buggy Co’s assets were sold at auction in four lots: at the request of paint supplier Valentine & Co. The company was still producing horse drawn vehicles as well as electric and gasoline cars.

Parcel A: Real estate and leases in Columbus and Minneapolis (a branch showroom). The Columbus property was on tax roles at $218,000, with an upset value of $100,000.

Parcel B:           Machinery and merchandise, upset price $75,000

Parcel C: Los Angeles Branch, consigned goods worth $30,000.

Parcel D:          San Francisco branch, consigned goods worth $6,000.


1913 - New Columbus Electric Vehicle Co, Columbus, OH. Former managers of the Columbus Buggy Co, Charles E. Firestone and Oliver H. Perry, formed a new company to make electric vehicles, with $50,000 capitol. Due to the bank panic of 1913, it was not ideal timing.


1914 - February 22, 1914, C. D. Firestone passed away at 66. On May 18, 1914, Joseph F. Firestone was burned to death while fueling his car in the garage of the Columbus Auto Sales Company, where he was manager.


Notice in “Electric Vehicles.”

The Columbus Buggy Company…recently purchased by Charles A. Finnegan and Eugene D. Hofeller of Buffalo, NY, is now operating with a fairly large force of men. The company is manufacturing both electric and gasoline automobiles, as well as all kinds of horse drawn vehicles.”

This was typical press release hyperbole.


In May of 1915, all of the New Columbus Buggy Company’s assets were sold at auction, along with the Buffalo Electric and E. R. Thomas assets, which Finnegan & Hofeller had also acquired. On September 11, 1916, the company officially went out of business.


Vehicle Design:

George Bacon and Roland Fend designed the cars to be repaired and serviced by people with no special training. All electrical and mechanicals components (except the battery), including the motor and controller, along with a silent-chain reduction, driving a differential cluster between the jackshafts to twin chain-drive-sprockets, were mounted transversely on a cast aluminum sub-frame located under the seat. This easily removable modular unit could be shipped back to the factory for repair. Even the wiring harness could be replaced as one unit.

The Elwell-Parker motor –– first used by Buffalo and Baker -– was used from 1905-1909, it had a slotted armature, removable coils, and positive-tension brush holders.

         All components were mounted to the channel-steel frame, with dropped cross members supporting the battery sets, the bodies were held to the frame by four bolts for easy seasonal substitution. The battery cells were grouped in four sets under the front and rear hoods, which were hinged to the body and could be lifted clear of the battery. Every part of the car could be replaced easily without need of a local expert.

The early cars featured a front suspension with a ¾ elliptic spring-set at the front corners. The lower-springs were connected at the aft to the ends of a single transverse leaf spring set, bolted at its center to a strong cross member. While this cost a bit more to manufacture, all of the dead weight was connected to the frame through springs, as the axles were kept in place by the spring-sets without the need for ridged locating rods. This was a light nimble suspension, which transmitted a minimum amount of road shock to the occupants.




         1000        Stanhope, 2-passengers, 1,400 lbs, three-bow top


         1000        Stanhope, 2-passengers, 1½ hp motor, 67½” wb, 400 lb 48 Volt battery with twelve cells at the fore, and aft, three bow leather top, 1,540 lbs, $1,600

         1001        Stanhope with Victoria top

         1002        Coupé, Inside Drive, same platform as the 1000, 1,785 lbs

         1100        Surrey, 2½ hp motor

         1102        Station Wagon, 2,400 lbs


         1000        Stanhope, 2-passengers, body panels painted black, maroon, dark green, or blue. The gear was the same color as the panels, with matching cloth or leather upholstery. Buffed leather top. Rolling chassis 660 lbs, body with top 250 lbs, battery 690 lbs. Nickel plated bright work, speeds to 20 mph. Range, 75 miles in second speed, 40 miles in high speed.

         1001        Stanhope, 2-passengers, Victoria top, 1,775 lbs, $1,650

         1002        Small Coupé, inside drive, 2-passengers, 1,700 lbs, 69” wb, $1,900

         1100        Surrey, 4-passengers, 2,200 lbs, $2,500

         1102        Station Wagon, outside drive (front, lever), small cabin.


         1000        Stanhope, three bow buggy top

         1001        Stanhope, Victoria top, 1½-5 hp, 24 cell, 9 plate, 92 A h battery, tubular front axle, stationary tubular rear axle, pressed steel frame, 1,700 lbs.

         1002        Coupé, same platform as 1000 with Coupé body

         1100        Surrey, 3.5-10.5 hp motor, 24 cell 140 A h battery,


         1000        Stanhope, Victoria top, $1,750

         1001        Stanhope, American top, $1,700

         1002        Coupé, $2,000


Due to Anderson Carriage merging with Elwell-Parker: Columbus was forced to find a new electrical component supplier. They chose General Electric and used their motor, with the six-speed drum type controller.                    

         1000        Stanhope, three bow top

         1001        Stanhope Victoria, 75” wb, 24 cell battery

         1002        Coupé, 2-passengers

         1010        Runabout, 2-passengers, 83” wb, 25 MPH. Painted grey, it was very sleek looking with a lower hood and trunk than most similar models of any propulsion, advertised as having a range of 100 miles per charge with Exide Hycap Batteries.

         1202        Coupé, 4-passengers, 76” wb, 4 speeds to 18 mph.


All models were 60 Volts, and had silent chain drive (except the 1220). New for the year was a shaft drive model, with fully enclosed reduction chain.

         1000        Stanhope, seats 2, 60 Volt, $1,800

         1001        Stanhope with Victoria top

         1002        Coupé, 3-passengers plus drop seat, 76” wb, $2,000

         1012        Torpedo Roadster, 2-passengers, roomier cabin, 83” wb,

         1200        Stanhope, 4-passengers, 76” wb, $2,100

         1201        Stanhope with Victoria Top

         1202        Coupé, 4-passengers, 87 ½ “ wb, $2,400

         1220        Coupé, 4-passengers, shaft drive, 87½-inch wheelbase, $2,850


With GE motors, bevel drive, and ESB Exide Batteries. A drum controller gave six speeds to 22 mph. The battery was always in series, the motor had two field sets.                           1201         Stanhope, 30-cell battery

         1220        Brougham, 36-cell battery

         1222        Brougham, Claimed to be first “under slung” electric; a year after Detroit Electric sold their model 17 under slung Roadster. Curved front quarter glass.

         1225        Coupé, one headlight, two sidelights


Aluminum body panels and larger batteries for all models.

         1201        Stanhope Victoria, 4-passengers, 32-cells, $2,350

         1204        Stanhope, $2,450

         1218        Torpedo Roadster, 2-passengers, 92” wb, $2,350

         1220        Coupé, 4-passengers, 40-cell battery, 92” wb, $2,700

         1230        Colonial Coupé, 4-passengers, 86” wb, $2,550

         1234        Brougham, 4-passengers, $3,000    

         1250        Colonial Brougham, wheel steering in front, $3,200


         1230        Brougham, 4-passengers, $2,350

         1234        Brougham, 4-Passengers, $2,800

         1235        Colonial Coupé, Worm drive,

         1250        Colonial Brougham, 4-Passengers, $3,000


         1234        Brougham, 4-passengers, 3-hp motor, 80 Volt Hycap battery, 18 cells in front, 22 cells in rear, 6 speeds to 25 mph, 92” wheelbase, 3,525 lbs, $2,800

         1235        Colonial Coupé, 2-passengers, $2,350



Commercial Truck 1908-1927

Commercial Truck Company of America

1222 Arcade Bldg. Philadelphia, PA

H. S. Kerbaugh, president; Frank Brown, secretary & treasurer; J. M. Hill, general manager; L. A. Terrill & E. R. Whitney, engineers; A. J. Doty, superintendant.

A significant maker of electric trucks and busses.

1914        the 500 & 1,000 lb wagons were shaft/worm drive with the motor rigidly mounted to the rear axle eliminating the need for universal joints. 2,000 & 4,000 lb trucks had two motors geared to the drive wheel hubs. The 7, 10, & 14 thousand pound trucks had a motor at all four wheels, all of which turned for steering.

Compagnie de L’Industrie Électrique et Mécanique              1908 Geneva, Switzerland, see CIEM


Compagnie Française de Voitures Electromobiles       (CFVE)     1908 49-51 rue Cardinet, Paris, France

Bersey based Parisian cabs for CGV, with Lundell-Johnson motors.

Concord                   1907       

Concord Motor Car Company, Boston, MA.

See Boston Electric

Conklin Electric      1895       

Conklin Electric Tricycle Co, Dayton, OH

         Oliver F. Conklin was the holder of various electric motor & fan patents. He built a prototype electric tricycle for the 1895 Chicago race, but did not enter it.

160 lbs, tube steel frame, pneumatic tires, and oak battery boxes.

Contal              1903

The Contal Electromobile (Trac & Trans June, 1903) Camille Contal. See Electromobile

Contal made and designed battery electric vehicles in Paris France. They made an agreement with the Electromobile Co Ltd. Of Curzon St, London to construct Electric Vehicles to put in livery service.

Early models had an elaborate steering gear devised by Contel.

     1903    Contal cast lead plates were riveted together with lead paste in the middle and shipped to London from the factory in Paris. Battery cells were assembled and built into sets at Lambeth. Each cell had seven positive plates and weighed 21.446 lbs, with a capacity of 130 ampere-hours.  A rather large 215 lb 8 horsepower motor, or 5 hp 165 lb motor, with two sets of switchable armature windings and two commutators, allowing the battery to be kept in series, were mounted in cast iron cases driving the rear axle through a double set of reduction gears, the motor being suspended with the axle. The 1903-1907 models had a steel channel frame with the battery hanging underneath. Equipped with Victoria or Laundalet bodies.

Cooney            1906-1907     

M. J. Cooney & Co, (division of Cooney Carriage Co) Toledo, Ohio

Founded with $10,000 capitol by James J. Cooney, Albert F. Clark, Charles R. Bowman (president), and George L. Shanks (general manager).

Electric cars with interchangeable bodies, the prototype was operating by February of 1907

Couple-Gear           Dec. 14, 1905-1922       

Couple-Gear Freight Wheel Company,

Buchannan Ave., and Ashton Bldg. Grand Rapids, MI

Melvin B. Church, president; Alfred J. Brown, VP; Clay M. Church, secretary.

Battery and series hybrid trucks that were originally designed for the construction of the Mt. Wilson, California observatory. They had the motors in two or four “double cone” wheels. The motor wheels were also sold separately for custom truck manufacturers, or to convert a horse drawn vehicle to an electric. The motors in the wheels allowed them to pivot up to almost 90º for maneuverability. They were parallel wound providing regenerative braking.

E D2 one-ton truck, 90” wb, 15 hp from 4 hub-motors, band & regenerative electric braking, 11 mph, bronze bearings, $2,500.

1914        Trucks and tow tractors for loads from 2,000 to 14,000 lbs., each motor wheel was rated at 3 hp. Vehicles from 1-2.5 tons generally had two motor wheels, while units rated at 3-7 tons had four.

7-ton 4-wheel drive tractor, 48 cell lead battery w/25 plates per cell, divided into six trays of eight cells each carried above and below the floorboards.


Covel                        1912

Covel Manufacturing Company, Benton Harbor, MI

Two electric car prototypes, 2-doors with tiller steering. A photo showed a very nice Brougham of typical design.


Creanche                  1899       

Sté L. Créanche, Courbevoie, Seine, France

         4 hp, intermediate shaft & chains, spring mounted motor, 44 cells in seven boxes, 60 A h, two electric brakes and a mechanical emergency brake acting on the rear wheels. The company continued to 1906 making gasoline cars with de Dion engines.

An entrant in the 1899 Paris electric car race.

Cross-eyed-one      1899-1906

1899-1900 Heinrich “Cross-eyed one,” Cologne, Germany

         1900-1906 Cologne Electrical Mobile Company

Crowdus          1900-1903

Crowdus Automobile Co, 211 E. 57th St, Chicago, IL

         Walter A. Crowdus, pat #598,314, Oct. 9, 1896, issued February 1898, also battery patent #620582.

Light runabout, tube frame, bicycle fork front wheels, and shunt-wound motor w/clutch.


Crown Magnetic             1921-1922     

Owen Magnetic Motor Car Corp, Wilkes-Barre, PA

The Owen brothers made a few more Entz type hybrids under the Rauch & Lang brand. Crown was the branding for export cars. According to the local Wilkes-Barre newspaper, Owen failed before any cars were shipped to England.

Cummings               1894       

George K. Cummings of Chicago held patents for several electrical devices including an arc light, rheostat, and battery plates. He built an electric carriage with a four-passenger body held by full elliptical springs over a box holding the battery, which was mounted on the chassis. The car had a 2-hp 24-Volt motor driving countershafts, with a steel roller-clutch type differential, providing chain drive to both rear wheels. It had a leather lined steel band brake. Capable of 12 mph with a foot operated speed control. Probably inspired by the electric vehicles at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition.

Cunningham            1908

Rochester, NY

An established carriage and hearse manufacturer; they made a few electrics in 1908, and later, some gasoline cars.


Custer                    1920-42 

Levitt Luzern Custer, Dayton, OH.

12-Volt electric wheel chairs and tiny cars with hand controls. Custer also built amusement park rides.

Franklin D. Roosevelt had a single passenger model, capable of 25 MPH, which he drove indoors at the Whitehouse.




Daimler            1898-1907

Daimler Manufacturing Co, 939 Steinway Avenue, Long Island City, New York

General Electric bought this US licensee for the German Cannstatt engine from the Steinway family in 1898. They made gasoline cars and a light electric truck.

Closed after the factory was destroyed by fire in 1907.


Darracq           1896-1898     

Société A. Darracq & Cie, Duresnes, France

         Alexandre Darracq

 Originally a bicycle maker; Darracq started making electric cars in 1896, switching to gasoline two years later.

Société Darracq was one of the founding companies that went on to build the brilliant late 1930s Talbot Lago 150 Pourtout & Paulin Coupé

Darling             1900-1901        

Beardsley & Hubbs Manufacturing Co, Shelby, OH

1902 – Shelby Motor Car Co.

Capitalized under New Jersey law at $600,000 to make electric cars. It is not clear that any electrics were made. The “Darling” and the “Shelby” were gasoline cars. Co-owner Volney S. Beardsley went on to make an eponymous electric car in Los Angeles County, 1913-1917.

Dayton Electric          1910-1914

         1910-1911 Dayton Electromobile Co

         1912-1914 Dayton Electric Car Co,

St. Clair at 4th Street, Dayton, OH

Not related to the Dayton Motor Car Co. or Stoddard-Dayton

John L. Baker, president & general manager

John Baker was a Dayton carriage builder for 30 years. He finally motorized his product.

The Dayton was simple to operate, and had a steering wheel that was hinged at the floorboard, for ease of egress. The cars used foot operated expanding hub brakes, and a motor brake, Westinghouse motors.

The Company never fully recovered from the floods of March 1913, which inundated the first floor of their five-floor factory. Floodwaters from the Miami River were over 20 feet high in some areas. Dayton was built at the confluence of four rivers, and, leading up to the 1913 disaster, had flooding every ten or twenty years, just as some Native Americans had warned. After the disaster, a massive floodwall was built around the city. The National Cash Register Co factory was on higher ground, and they provided the town with significant relief: mitigating some anti-trust complaints against the company.

The Dayton Electric Car Co went into receivership around November of 1914.


80” wheelbase chassis for all models. 4 speeds forward, 1 in reverse, 56 Volts


The cars were available with chain drive, or shaft drive (for $100 more). The wheelbase for some models was lengthened to 86”, standard track (56”), with 32” wheels. Lever or wheel steering were available, with six speeds forward and one in reverse. 60 Volts. Edison Battery optional

         101           Coupé, 4-passengers, $2,500

         103           Coupé, 2-passengers, $2,300

         104           Victoria, 2-passenger, $2,000


         101          Coupé, 4-passengers,

         102           Extension Coupé, 4-passengers, six speeds to 20 mph, 86” wheelbase, 2,500 lbs, 28-cell 11-plate Exide battery, for $2,700

         103           Coupé, 2-passengers, 80” wb, $2,400

         104           Victoria, 2-passengers, 80” wb, $2,100


         101          Coupe, $2,600

         102          Extension Coupe, 4-passengers, six speeds to 20 mph, 86” wb, 2,500 lbs, 28-cell 11-plate Exide battery, $2,700

         103          Coupe, $2,300

         104          Victoria, $2,100     

         105          Stanhope, $2,000

         112          Extension Coupé, 4-passengers, with 30-cell Exide battery, 22 mph, Westinghouse motor, and bevel drive, on an 86” chassis. This model introduced an emergency cutout switch on the brake pedal. Shaft-drive only.

         1011        Extension Coupe, $2,600

         1021        Large Extension Coupe, $2,700


         101          Coupe, $2,600

         102          Coupe, $2,700

         1021        Coupé, $2,800

         1022        Coupé     $2,800

         1230        Brougham, 4-Passengers, $2,350

         1234        Brougham, 4-passengers, $2,800    

         1250        Brougham, 4-Passengers, $3,000

1915 - New cars were advertised for the season. As the company failed the previous November, these were probably closeouts.

         102          Extension Coupé, 4-Passengers, $2,600

         1021        Coupé, 4-Passengers, $2,800

         1022        Coupé, 4-Passengers, $2,900


Deering Magnetic  1918-1919

Magnetic Motors Corporation, Chicago, IL.

Rauch & Lang dealers: Paul A. Frank, president; Ray S. Deering, secretary; with W. G. Pancoast. They briefly made an Entz type hybrid in Chicago, based on the “Dorris” automobiles of St. Louis, before Deering bought Stevens-Duryea and Frank bought Rauch & Lang, moving to Chicopee Falls, MA.


De Dion-Bouton              1894-1906             

Puteaux, France. Marquis Jules-Albert de Dion, Georges Thadee Bouton, & steam engineer Charles Trépardoux (inventor of the “dead” axle {AKA de Dion tube}); de Dion-Bouton started with a steam tricycle, and then, after the departure of Trépardoux, became a significant gasoline carmaker in France. They made a wide variety of vehicles with gasoline and steam engines. Around 1900-1903 de Dion gasoline engines (designed by Bouton) were popular in autos of many marques on both sides of the Atlantic; in 1900, they made 400 cars and 3,200 engines. They also made some electrics.

1894                 Electric tug (tractor unit) to pull carriages

1902                 All of the mechanicals and the battery were on a ridged frame (with a narrowed front for tighter turning) with the body sprung above. A 10 horse, four-pole, 800-rpm motor was coupled though a shaft to the bevel drive rear end. It used a rheostat as large as the entire controller. The battery had parallel and opposite bars, cast integrally, to increase the mechanical and electrical durability over soldering or riveting the components.

These cars were essentially electric versions of the de Dion-Bouton gasoline cars. The bodies were interchangeable   



                 Milord similar to Victoria

                 Cab, 2-passengers plus front driver box


1904 - The company patented a two-motor electric drive, with the motors attached to the body, fore and aft of the rear axle, and the shafts, parallel to the axle, crossing to gears on the opposite wheels through two U joints, driving internal toothed ring gears on the wheels.

1920s               some electric busses and trucks

DeMars            1905-1906

DeMars Electric Vehicle Co, Cleveland, OH.

         Alfred A. De Mars, who had a patent for a wheel hub.

         Runabout, chain-drive 1 hp. Later, this car was built (same factory, different owners) as the Blakeslee, and then as the Williams.



Detroit Electric 1907-1939


1906-1911 Anderson Carriage Co, Factory ~414 (~1526) Clay Avenue near Riopelle. Milwaukee Junction, Detroit, Michigan      

1911-1919 Anderson Electric Car Co

1919-1924 Detroit Electric Car Co, 1725 (6561) Mt. Elliot St. near Milwaukee Avenue (when it went through)

(Numbers in parenthesis are post 1921 equivalences)

1924-1929 540 Piquette Avenue

1929-1933 Detroit Electric Car Co, At A. O. Dunk’s Puritan Supply Co, 1601 Lafayette Blvd at Tenth St.

1933-1939 Detroit Electric Vehicle Manufacturing Co 731 Tenth St. (same building, around the corner)


These companies made Detroit Electric brand cars from 1907 to 1939 in Detroit, Michigan. They also made trucks from 1911 to 1916 (+3 in 1925), gasoline automobile bodies on contract, and ambulance bodies from 1916 to 1919.

Detroit Electric was, by a minor margin, the most successful manufacturer of electric cars in the twentieth century, producing more than 12,900 Pleasure cars, and 538 trucks. They manufactured very dependable cars; with high quality coachwork, usually featuring curved quarter-glass windows, aluminum clad wood body, and a one-piece aluminum roof.

Anderson was not a leader in innovation. When Cleveland coachbuilder Rauch & Lang decided on electric propulsion for their luxury carriages in 1905, Anderson followed the next year. After Rauch & Lang merged with their electrical component supplier, Hertner, in 1907, Anderson bought their supplier, Elwell-Parker, in 1909. Baker introduced shaft drive in 1905, Rauch & Lang, Ohio, and others offered it in 1910, Anderson introduced it in 1911. Ohio introduced Duplex Drive cars in 1913, Anderson in 1914. After Milburn introduced a new “Light Electric” in late 1914, for thirty percent less money, Anderson introduced their lower price “Light Chassis” cars in 1916. The only key features they led with, which others copied, was the Hanlon rain visor design that provided a clear view when it rained; before the introduction of windshield wipers. They were also known for curved glass at the corners for maximum visibility.

Key to the companies success was a marketing approach that fit the times and customer base. Most of their competitors sold cars through loose networks of dealers. Anderson owned both the dealerships and service garages in many of the major markets. Although maintenance of the cars was minimal, the battery required frequent knowledgeable attention. Part of their reputation for reliability was by designing rugged vehicles; the other was by having direct oversight of the cars maintenance, where possible. Anderson built their own batteries and offered battery guarantees, thus overcoming the main complaint from electric car owners. With the exception of lighting, bearings, tires, and the later drivelines, Anderson/Detroit Electric made everything in-house for tight quality control.

In Detroit, Anderson had three garage locations; the main garage, with the showroom and sales office, was on Woodward. It was set up to stable and recharge 100 cars per night. The other two locations handled an additional 70 vehicles.

Whether the cars were garaged privately, or at a commercial garage, they were periodically inspected. Inspectors would even go to the customer’s house, and a written report for each was kept on file.

Anderson kept the independent dealers in line, dumping some, and winning suits against others, that were not up to contractual standards.

The archetypical Detroit was the classic “Cinderella’s Coach” style Brougham, which dominated sales from 1910 to 1919. They were generally available in four or five passenger bodies, with horizontal tiller steering at the left rear seat, the left front seat, or both.

As early as 1909 the company attempted to appeal to the sporting gentleman with a series of faux radiator cars that resembled the gasoline roadsters of the time. These styles had low sales and were abandoned during the peak years between 1914 and 1918. The First World War, and electric starting for gasoline cars, diminished sales.

After 1919, the surviving electric car company had no body factory. The majority of bodies, from 1919-1921, were small sedans, Coupés, and a convertible hardtop, in the faux radiator style, supplied by the H & M Body Co (Hupp & Mitchell) of Racine Wisconsin. By 1921 that factory was too busy making Hupmobile bodies to be troubled with low production Detroit bodies. The Broughams, from 1919 on, were built from old stock, left over from when their factories were going full tilt just a few years earlier.  The last entirely new car was made mid-1926; the cars sold as “new,” from then until February of 1939, were remanufactured cars with modified older Brougham bodies, or with body parts borrowed from contemporary gasoline sedans.




In 1906 Anderson Carriage founder William C. Anderson hired George M. Bacon to design electric coaches to compete with the other carriage companies that were abandoning the horse. Bacon had a prototype model A Victoria on the streets by the summer of 1907. Rather than start full production right off, they put the car through a number of well-publicized tests and endurance runs. It was Anderson’s intent to show that the modern electric was solid reliable transportation for men and women of affluence, who found a private chauffeur inconvenient.

The inside-drive Coupés, introduced in 1908, rapidly became the best seller. Dependable cars, with curved glass quarter windows on the enclosed cars, established the look and reputation of Anderson’s pleasure vehicles.


Car models are addressed by the relative model years. Manufacturing of new models started in the summer of the previous year. Detroit changed model numbers each year, after 1909, whether or not the actual style changed.

Beginning in the early teens, the introduction of new models started around July of the previous year. However, many of the cars were made to order and there was no strict correlation between the year of manufacture and the model number or (occasionally) the serial number. Typically, through the classic period, the new models started shipping in late summer, and were first advertised in the fall. The company was happy to make obsolete models on special order, and even made a few unique models, one was designed by the client.


The cars had tiller steering from the rear bench seat (except as noted). The earliest cars used a knife switch type motor controller; the rotating drum controller, with horizontal lever, was introduced in 1911.

For all cars through 1910, and some models to 1912, the cars used one of three types of chain drive. After 1912, the cars were shaft drive (except the trucks), at first with a straight bevel gear set, then the Lanchester worm & gear, and then with the modern Timken spiral-bevel, aka worm-bevel, ring and pinion drive. The frames were made of cold pressed steel and hot riveted, or bolted, as appropriate.

These cars were made for the wealthy, and were favored in cities, where electrical service was available while horses were inconvenient and expensive. The cars came to be associated with independent women, who were not interested in being chauffeured, the injury potential of hand cranking an engine, or fighting the balky transmissions and clutches of the era. They were also popular with business and professional men, such as doctors, with a similar need for simple, clean, solid, weather-tight reliability. 

 Anderson used the best technologies that could be bought, licensed, or borrowed. Body panels, including the roof (Coupés and Broughams from 1912 thru 1919, except type “B” cars), were aluminum. Structural woods were white ash for most frame elements (coated with white lead where exposed to moisture) or, where subject to abrasive wear, maple. Woods for shape and fill were softwoods such as poplar or white pine; artillery wheel spokes were of second growth hickory. Battery trays were made of seasoned oak. Wood for electrical insulation, such as the controller drum, was of maple, cooked in linseed oil to avoid loss of insulating factor when wet.

Anderson bought Elwell-Parker in late 1909 to acquire exclusive use of the robust, efficient, low-speed, E-P motors.

All cars had expsnding mechanical drum brakes at the rear wheels. In most models (except 25-45), these were augmented by one of three types of motor brake on the armature, ahead of the propeller shaft. Anderson did not use dynamic braking.

The Elwell-Parker 5-speed motor controller used minimal electrical resistance by switching both the battery sets and field coil sets from series to parallel. Putting battery sets in parallel was problematic before batteries became dependable, as the strong cells would recharge the “weak sisters” lowering overall efficiency.


The letter model cars all had dual chain drive to the rear wheels. Model A, B, C, & D bodies were on the same chassis, and interchangeable.

These frames were of 3-inch channel steel side members, angle steel cross members. Forged horns tapered from the 3” channel ends to the tube steel cross piece at the spring eyes. All supports and brackets associated with the chassis were hot riveted.

The rear axles were of extra heavy Shelby seamless steel-tube; the axles were slightly arched to give the proper set to all wheels. The steering knuckles were of the Elliot type, with the yokes brazed onto the axle ends. All parts of the linkages had hardened ball and socket joints. The wheel spindles used Timken roller bearings. They had 32”x 3½” pneumatic tires (cushion on request), artillery type wood wheels, on a 74” wheelbase (80” in 1910), a tread of 50½ inches, and were powered by a 24-cell Willard battery (48 Volts). There were no headlights; all models had twin carriage lights and a single taillight. The open cars had no interior lights, whereas the enclosed cars had two (at the back corners).

The early Elwell-Parker motors were rated at 2-3 horsepower with 200% overload capacity. The armature shaft spun on Hess-Bright annular bearings, requiring no maintenance, other then occasional repacking with grease. A counter-shaft, driven from the armature sprocket by a Renold silent chain, spun on three Hess-Bright bearings, one at the center near the drive sprocket. The controller and drive components were mounted on an aluminum sub frame, similar to Bacon’s previous design, used in the 1905-1910 Columbus Electric cars. All necessary maintenance and adjustments could be reached by removing the seat cushion.

Bodies were entirely of wood. The second growth Poplar panels were canvass backed to reduce splitting.




1907-1909 - on the type “K” 74” wheelbase chassis

       A    Victoria, leather buggy top and fenders

       B     Victoria, leather Victoria top with side curtains, leather fenders

       C     Coupe, two passengers, enclosed, with plywood roof

       D    Brougham, 4 passengers, the first of the classic curved front-quarter window enclosed coaches. Weston meter. By 1909, it was the best selling model, $2,500

In October 1908 the company hired Elwood T. Stretch to make lead batteries, in house, with plates supplied at first by Willard, and then Exide. Later, they were predominantly from Philadelphia aka Philco (Diamond Plate grids). The majority of cars were shipped with Detroit Electric batteries built with Philco plates.


The cars had five forward speeds and three in reverse. Bright work was nickel-plated. They were equipped with Palmer “Web” tires.

       A, B, C, & D models were still available.

       L     Cape Top Roadster, three passengers, on the new type 4 chassis with an 87” wheelbase. The model L had a faux radiator style hood and a rumble seat. It used a Renault enclosed silent chain-drive at the center of the axle, and was available with a 16, 20, or 24 cell battery. This confused customers, so the 1910 version just had the 24-cell set (48 Volts.) A larger hood was available to accommodate the “new” Edison battery. The first Edison equipped car was shipped late November 1909, regular sales came around June of 1910. Hess-Bright ball bearings were used throughout, except the front wheels, which had Timken roller bearings. Foot actuated brakes on rear drums, with a band brake on an armature drum. This model introduced fully skirted steel fenders to the brand. They had a mohair cape top. The car was available in blue, maroon, or green, which was the most popular color. At least two were painted fire engine red, and a few were painted canary yellow. About eight cars of this model were made with the optional steering wheel.


Larger versions of the model A-D cars were made, on the type R chassis, with an 80” wheelbase. The motor was lowered, to reduce interior noise, and emergency brakes were added to the countershafts.

A similar range of bodies was built on the less expensive model L platform with an 87” wheelbase and Alumaloyd fenders. The battery was electrically 50/50 but 18 cells were under the front hood and only six were in the back. With the power plant at the rear, this gave a balanced weight distribution.


Detroit Electric claimed that only their cars had enough battery space for a complete set of the larger Edison Battery. An ad stated the battery would outlast the car, which is believable. Edison’s “perfected” nickel-iron battery was heavily promoted with the introduction of 1911 models. From late 1910 through 1912 about 33% of the cars were shipped with Edison batteries, in 1913 demand plummeted to less than 5%, it never recovered.


Body types A, B, C, & D were still available for $2,500, the model L for $1,700.

Also on the L platform:    

       E     Coupe, 3-passengers, 2,300 pounds, $2,100

       F     Victoria, leather buggy top, 2,000 pounds

       G    Victoria, leather Victoria top

       H    Roadster, very similar to model L with no top, split folding windshield, Alumaloyd fenders, $1650

       M    An enclosed car (probably a larger Coupé) made from August to November of 1910. Not mentioned in the 1910 style pamphlet.



Shaft-drive cars, with a straight-cut bevel-gear axle, were introduced. This was the last year for the flat profile, un-skirted (bicycle), leather fenders, already abandoned in the Roadsters and newer models. It was the first year for the horizontal-speed-lever, drum-controller cars. The silent and tandem-chain-drive cars (model 17, 18, 19, and 20) still had the knife-switch controller. Anderson began to use aluminum panels for the front and rear battery compartment hoods. Body panels were still of seasoned yellow poplar glued to a canvas backing, frames and sills were second growth white ash.


The improved Edison battery became generally available late in 1910; it cost an additional $600, and was advertised as “exclusive” to the Detroit Electric, although any brand could be supplied with it, with a slight markup, through a battery wholesaler. Initially, cars designed for the Edison battery had larger battery compartments to accommodate the greater number of cells. An Edison battery had better storage capacity for its size and much better capacity for the same weight. However, it was a lot more expensive, and noticeably less efficient to charge.



Model styles could persist for years, but the new model numbers changed annually. Most new models were introduced by late August.


         10          Extension Brougham, 4-passengers, 85” wheelbase, $2,800

       11 S1     Brougham, aka the model “MS,” the S stood for Shaft. Four passengers, 80” wb, $2,600

       12 S        Coupé, two-passengers, with a fold down seat for a third. Shaft drive, with expanding internal hub brakes on the rear wheels, and a motor brake. 34 x 4” tires, 85” wb, Leather fenders. The distance on a charge was quoted at 50-125 miles, ranging from a speed demon climbing hills with the lead battery to a parsimonious penny pincher at 12 mph with the Edison battery. Designed for a 40-cell A-6 Edison Battery or 24 cell lead battery. 2,800 Lbs with the lead battery at $2,400. 2,500 lbs with Edison battery at $3,000.

       14 S        Large Victoria, four passengers dos-a-dos, the rear seat was 45” wide and the front seat was 37” wide. 85” wb, with shaft drive. Equipped with a buffed enameled leather top, $2,200.

       15          Victoria, two passengers. 80” wb, Leather top with open sides. $2,000

       16          Victoria, two passengers. 80” wb, Leather top with closed sides, $2,025

       17 P        Underslung Roadster, two-passengers, 96” wb, 138” overall, with double reduction silent chain-drive designed by Morris Towson, and a mohair cape top. This Roadster had a faux radiator and a sporty look for appeal to the “gentleman motorist.” George Bacon got the first one; forty-nine were sold at $2,000 each.

       18 L        Torpedo Body Roadster, four-passengers, 87” wb, double chain drive, with faux radiator, rumble seat, cape top, and aluminum fenders. An updated model “L”, $1,800

       19          Victoria Body Roadster 87” wb. Double chain drive, leather top, rumble seat, faux radiator. $1,800

       20          Roadster 87” wb, double chain drive, $1,700

       21          Extension Brougham, four passengers. 87” wb with double chain drive. $2,700

       22 R             Brougham, four passengers, 87” wb. Double chain drive. Very few made, $2,500

       23          Victoria 80” wb, double chain drive. $1,900


1912            The 1912 cars were built on four similar chassis of different sizes, nine body styles were available.

 This was the start of the classic Detroit Electric “Cinderella Coaches.” The cars looked different because of the aluminum fenders skirted to body. All models were shaft-drive cars, with the same bevel drive unit introduced the previous year.

The cars featured aluminum body panels on white ash frames, with a one-piece aluminum roof (on the Coupés & Broughams) separated from the wood ribs by a felt blanket. They had cast aluminum running boards (except as noted), and aluminum window moldings. All joinery was mortised, glued, and anchored by screws. The Broughams and Coupés featured Hanlon Rain-Vision windshields; the patent drawing shows it on a streetcar.

Upholstery included waterloo broadcloth or leather in blue, green, or maroon: goatskin, whipcord, or novelty cloth was available on special order. Stock paint colors: Brewster green, blue, or maroon.    

Battery: 60 cell A-4 Edison battery or 38 cell, 11 plate, lead-acid. Equipped with headlights, carriage lights, tail lamp, Veeder hub odometer, inspection lamp on cord, and interior lights. An “outfitting” of tools, a flower vase, a card case, and a watch (8-day Waltham clock). Motz (puncture-proof) cushion tires or various high-pressure, low rolling resistance, pneumatic tires were available.

For 1912 models, the frame was dropped so the bodies were 4” lower; the wheelbases were longer, as were the springs, the brake drums were also larger. Ball bearings were added to the steering knuckles.

The bodies were still available separately so that one could swap them according to season or need.

An Edison battery was an additional $600-$900, depending on the model.


       14          Large Victoria, still in the catalog

       25 V      Extension Brougham “The Priscilla” 90” wheelbase, rear seat 43” wide, 18” deep, and 58” from back of rear seat to the back of the front seat. With aluminum running boards. Price $2,800 

       26 V      Extension Brougham with 90” wb. Similar to model 25 with a slightly different body design and no headlights, only carriage lights.

       27 U      Brougham “The Ambassador” 85” wb. Smaller than m 25 & 26, same equipment as the m 26. $2,700.

       28 X       Town Car or Taxi, 112” wb, open bench seat in front for the driver and an enclosed cab at the back for the passengers. Seating for seven people. Steering by wheel, faux radiator, and wood running boards. $3,500. Two platforms were shipped to Paris, sans body.

       29 X       Limousine 112” wheelbase. Similar to Town Car but completely enclosed. $3,800. Faux radiator hood style, wood running boards, and a Steering Wheel. No record of any shipped. Note on engineering drawing suggests that only one was made.

       30 W      Roadster “The Clubman” 96” wb, 10’ 10¾” overall. Leather upholstery and cape top, with side and door curtains in mohair. Wheel steering, with the controller lever in the center of the wheel, faux radiator, and aluminum running boards. 69 model 30s were made, $ 2,200.

This is the model in which R. L. Hibberling of the Philadelphia Storage Battery Co, with J. D. Maxwell Jr. of the Anderson Electric Car Co, made a record electric run from Boston to Philadelphia on June 12, 1914: averaging 25.4 mph, which is good speed over dirt roads.

       31 B        Coupe, three passengers. Faux-radiator style hood with coach style body, tiller steering, aluminum running boards, 96” Wheelbase, $2,600.

       32 U      Victoria open top (closed top on special order), 85” WB, aluminum running boards, carriage and tail lamps, $2000.

       34 Y      A unique enclosed car with a 96” wheelbase and wood running boards. Not described in the sales brochure.

1913            The 1913 Catalog stated “a trip through the Detroit Electric factories will reveal the fact it is a car in which so-called ’stock’ parts are conspicuous by their absence. All mechanical and electrical parts being of our own design and built in our own shops.”

The cars still used a bell instead of a horn (still illegal in several cities) to alert the pedestrian, cyclist, motorist, or horseman. The front wheels were on Timken Roller Bearings. The rear wheels rode on double sets of S K F self-aligning ball bearings. The cold rolled carbon steel channel frames were dropped at the center by four inches for a lower floor and center of gravity.

Larger tires mounted on artillery wheels were used for these models, 34”x4½” pneumatic, or 36”x4” Motz cushion. The body style was typified by the model 42 “Clear Vision Brougham,” which was designed and patented by W. C. Anderson himself. The design featured more greenhouse glass than any previous Coupé, with the addition of curved glass rear quarter panels.  


       35 B        Extension Brougham, 90” wheelbase, four-passengers, no cowling, $2,850 or $3,514 with 40 cell A-4 Edison battery. The design of this initial “type B” car might have been suggested by Morris S. Towson of Elwell-Parker, as the first one built was delivered to him in Cleveland. The frame was unique to this model.

       36 A      Brougham, 4-passengers, similar to the 35 but with a shorter cabin, no cowl, 85” wb, 2,700.

       37 D      Large Brougham, 5-passengers, 104” wb, 142” overall, $3,600. $4,264 with 64 cell A-4 Edison battery.

       38          Roadster Coupe, 3-passengers, 96” wb, faux radiator, successor to the m31, $2,600.

       39 C      Roadster, regular hood and coach body, 2-passengers, leather upholstery in blue green or maroon, 96” wb, 42 were made, $2,350, or $3,014 with Edison battery.

       40 A      Victoria, 3-passengers, 85” wb, enameled leather top with side and door curtains, $2,300, or $2,964 with Edison battery.

       41          Limousine, 112” wb, wheel steering, four doors, seven passenger, 34 x 5” tires, with a 60-cell A-6 Edison battery as standard, $5,000

W. C. Anderson had one built for him in 1917.

       42 E        Clear Vision Brougham, five passengers, 96” wb, 128¼” overall, The front driving position offered maximum view of the road, and the curved glass rear quarter windows with an absence of blind spots, gave this model it’s name. A cowling from the windshield to the hood pushed the firewall forward, giving the driver more legroom. With 40 cell 11 plate Detroit Electric battery, $3,000; with 64 cell Edison battery $3,664


1914            The Anderson factory in Detroit was where almost all of the components for the car, other than the Elwell-Parker motors and controllers, were made. Type A Broughams featured a one-piece aluminum roof, body panels, moldings, and fenders. Wood wheels were of second growth hickory. The Lanchester-Daimler undershot worm-drive axle on models 46, 47, & 48 was advertised as imported, so they might have found a way around the US & Canadian rights obtained by Warner Gear and Walter Baker’s ABBCo in 1911; under the patents of Englishman Frederick W. Lanchester. Bevel drive cars had 800-rpm motors and the Worm drive cars ran at 1,000. They claimed that the weight of the heavier motor was mitigated by the lighter drive possible by lack of a second speed reduction. The Houk Manufacturing Company of Buffalo New York made the optional wire wheels. The motor brake returned, with an electric powered clutch type flat plate, made by Elwell-Parker with Cutler-Hammer components (until mid-1917).

       The model 46, and all subsequent models, had a 100” wheelbase (unless noted).


       43 A      Brougham, four passengers, 94” wb, bevel drive rear end, lighter bobtail chassis, ½ elliptical leaf springs in front, ¾ elliptical springs at rear, type 22 controller. No cowl, $2,550

       44 A      Victoria, two passengers, Leather top, no motor brake, bevel drive axle, 85” WB, $2,300

       45 B        Brougham, five passengers, forward drive (for chauffeur), 98” wheelbase Timken rear end, $2,800

       46 B        Cape Top Roadster, Brown & Sharp differential, Lanchester-Daimler worm drive, $2,500

       47 B        Brougham, 4-passengers, rear drive, Brown & Sharp differential, worm axle

       48 B        Brougham, five passengers, duplex drive, Brown & Sharp differential, Lanchester-Daimler worm drive, $3,000.


1915            Anderson was settling into two car lines by 1915:

The type “A” heavy chassis cars, these were usually large (11’ 10” long) broughams with 4 & 5-passenger bodies (front, rear, or duplex drive), or the roadster body (models 46-50-56-62.)

The type “B” light chassis cars, were smaller (11’ 4 ½” long) 4-passenger broughams (except m 69) driven from the rear seat with a tiller (models 35-43-55-61-68-69-75-90-95-97), and with the controller under the seat, with a heel actuated reverse switch built in.

The cars were made slightly lighter by replacing some castings with forgings and stampings. This, plus a 50 lb lighter battery, and a lighter rear end, made the 1915 cars 150 lbs lighter overall.

At this time, Detroit Electric was making one third of all electric cars sold, they had the largest factory campus (20 acres) with over one thousand employees.

The cars featured sash-less, roll up, plate glass, door windows. They had a height of 88”, a length of 11’ 10” (except m 55 at 11’ 4½”). The choices for the interiors of these models featured superfine broadcloth, or hand-buffed leather, in blue, green, and maroon shades; or imported Bedfords and whipcords. The Turkish type of deep upholstering was used throughout. Cushions were thickly padded with genuine curled horsehair. The tops (headliners) were trimmed in plain broadcloth or tufted satin as specified. It was popular to paint the wheels white, red, blue, or (occasionally) yellow. Worm drive with Brown & Sharp differentials for models 50-54 (first 680 cars). English & Mersick (M50-54) made the door locks.

By 1915 the Edison Battery was rarely ordered because of initial expense (by then up to $880- more than lead), lower charging efficiency, and the related higher charging voltage, which limited the car to a 72 volt battery when a 110 volt AC source was the highest available. Lead acid batteries were standardized at 84 volts. In March 1915, Edison signed a contract to provide his battery to the Navy (for submarine duty), which curtailed availability.


       50 A      Cabriolet, three passengers. Leather top, 88” high, aluminum oval crown fenders. 5, 8, 13, 17, 20, mph. $2,650.

       51 A      Brougham, four passengers, $2,850.

       52 A      Brougham, five passengers, duplex Drive, $3,000.

       53 A      Brougham, five passengers, forward Drive, $2,950.

       54 A      Brougham, five passengers, $2,950.

       55 B        Light Chassis Brougham, four passengers, 4½ hp (nominal) motor, spiral-bevel drive with 6-1 reduction, lead battery only. No cowl (front hood hinged below windshield) body similar to the 35, 43, and 61, $2,650


1916                   Prices were reduced for the 1916 cars. The company said this was possible due to the efficiencies of higher production. Competition from the new, lower priced, Milburn Light Electric (among others) must have been a factor. The reduction did not last, as the war in Europe was driving up commodity prices.

For these models, improvements included: a redesigned cutout switch. A battery of exclusive Detroit Electric design and manufacture, weighing ~50 pounds less than the previous one, although its capacity was somewhat greater than before. The wiring harness was redesigned with shorter runs, giving less loss (and using less copper). The controller was made “self lubricating” with a long strip of felt, saturated with sperm whale oil. A lighter stamped metal cover was used. For the electric motor-brake, Detroit replaced the clumsy sets of a half dozen or so adjustment washers, by cutting threads in the case halves, allowing adjustment by turning the free half. A more compact 1st speed resistor was introduced with these models. A spiral-bevel drive axle (ring and pinion) was available in most models. Starting with the model 56, the controller elements were standardized, after which they remained little changed.

This was the end of the brass era for Detroit Electric cars; more castings were done in zinc-based alloys.

Among the new details incorporated in the 1916 models were several for the convenience and comfort of the user that materially improved the product. These included new locks that could be operated from either inside or outside of the doors, improved arm rests, and thick rubber-channel settings for the glass, making the windows watertight and rattle free. Electrical improvements included the incorporation of a new-style battery in eight trays of identical construction, having all connections outward so that when the hoods were raised they were completely accessible. The battery hold-downs, and several other metal parts, were treated to prevent the accumulation of rust and corrosion due to acid or water.

For the rear-drive models, an improvement was made in the steering gear whereby the effects of shock and vibration on the driver's arm, and the mechanism, were obviated.


       56 A      Cabriolet, an identical body to the model 50, with worm or bevel axle, 88” tall. The model 56 was a three-passenger cabriolet listing at $2,075. It was especially designed for businessmen's use seating two side-by-side on the rear bench with a third on the auxiliary front seat. For fine weather use this was essentially an open car, but for bad weather the top could be raised and the windows closed, affording complete protection. All body panels and battery hoods were of sheet aluminum. In finish and equipment the machine was on a par with the other models.

       57 A      Brougham, four passengers, rear-drive, worm or bevel, now selling at $2,175, instead of $2,850.

       58 A      Brougham, five passengers, front drive, worm or bevel, $2,250. Now selling for $2,250, as against its former price of $2,950. Front seat drive, operated from the Pullman chair in the fore part of the cabin.

       59 A      Brougham, five passengers, rear-drive, worm or bevel, $2,225, formerly $2,950. There was seating accommodation for three on the rear seat, while a fourth passenger was taken care of by the revolving Pullman chair in the right front corner, and the fifth sat on the large upholstered box seat in the left front corner. The foot brakes on the rear hubs were controlled by the double pedal arrangement. To the left of the main pedal, by which the brakes were ordinarily operated, was a smaller pedal, the application of which cut off the electric power through the operation of a knife-blade switch, and applied a ratchet that retained the brakes in the set position.

       60 A      Brougham, five passengers, duplex drive, worm or bevel axle, $2,275, formerly sold for $3,000. As a matter of convenience, two complete sets of controls were provided, one for the front and the other for the back seat. Each set included the standard arrangement of parallel steering and control levers and a brake pedal, so that the operator may select either of the two driving positions to suit his convenience and the seating of his party. When one set was in use, the other set was automatically locked, with the levers folded against the side of the car, so that there was no danger of unintentional interference. The wheelbase was 100 inches, and this fact, coupled with the properties of the long leaf springs, rendered the car particularly smooth riding.

       61 B        Light Chassis Brougham, four passengers, the last of the series of cowl-less cars $1,975. A four-passenger brougham of compact form particularly well suited for use about town and in crowded traffic, owing to its easy-handling qualities. The broad rear seat accommodated three persons comfortably, while a fourth seat was provided in a revolving Pullman chair at the right front corner of the body. The equipment included head-lights, body side lamps, two interior lights, tail lamp, sash-less door window lifts operated by turning a crank, Weston volt/ammeter, Veeder odometer, alarm bell or horn, toilet case, cut glass flower vase, Hanlon patented rain-vision front windshield, and a full set of tools. Wire or wood wheels and Goodrich Silvertown cord or Motz tires. A higher capacity battery afforded a greater radius of travel. The two operating levers were mounted at the left side of the rear seat, the longer being the steering lever, while the shorter, operated by the left hand, was the speed controller. When the car is parked, these levers were lifted up against the side of the car and key locked, thus rendering the machine inoperative.

Two sets of brakes were employed, either of which may be operated independently. The foot brakes were of the internal expanding type and acted on I4 x 2.5-inch drums at the rear hubs. The hand brake was of the electric type at the motor: a backward movement of the controller lever applied it. The drive was by the increasingly popular spiral bevel type of gears. All portions of the body that were exposed to the weather, such as panels, battery hoods, moldings, fenders, window frames, and roof, were of aluminum. The finish and appearance placed it well up in the scale of vehicles of luxury, as well as utility.


1917            Starting with the model 62, spiral-bevel drive replaced the worm-drive rear axle on all models. As stones and gravel can dent aluminum fenders, they were replaced with steel ones. Models 62-66 (type A heavy chassis cars) were 11’10” in overall length. Spring-steel bumpers were optional and Houk wire wheels were standard. An Anderson designed mechanical motor-brake replaced the electric one, after the first thousand cars.

The “B” type cars were standardized with the controller and reverse switch in a single case located under the seat. Bearings on the B cars, M 68-69, were from US Bearing, SKF, or Gurney. The Edison Battery was no longer advertised as an option for any model. Door locks for models 62-90 were made by the W. W. Woodruff Co. Standard colors were Detroit grey-green, royal blue, or maroon.

       62 A      Cabriolet, a light body on the heavy chassis. The car could run on a level road at 30 mph with the speed shunt in. $2,175

       63 A      Brougham, four passengers, 142 inches long, 67” wide, wire wheels, pneumatic or cushion tires, 42 cells, 24 mph, $2,275

       64 A      Brougham, five passengers, front drive, $2,350

       65 A      Brougham, five passengers, $2,375

       66 A      Brougham, five Passengers, duplex drive, $2,375

       68 B        Brougham, light chassis, four-passengers, most cars had cork linoleum over 16 gauge pressed steel running boards, rather than the more expensive cast aluminum of the type A cars. The controller was under the seat, and reverse was by heel pedal. Priced at $1,775, this was the first of the later design, cheaper, light chassis cars that became the only type made (new) after 1922. Houk wire wheels and Goodrich Silvertown cord pneumatic tires only. Rear “rebound snubbers” of the strap and drum-clutch variety, and front chassis extensions for bumpers, were available as options. Spiral bevel rear end.

       69 B        “Springfield” style Convertible, Faux radiator hood, 25 mph, with steering wheel optional at an additional $30. Same running boards and controls as 68. Standard color was cobalt blue. This car was not in the 1917 sales brochure, as it was introduced in February, at the Chicago Auto Show. It is possible that the top was made by the Springfield Body Corp, where the convertible was invented (by Hinsdale Smith). They had a factory in Detroit, and 1917 was their last year in business. $1,775 ($1,975, June 28th Motor Age).


1918             Little change from 1917. Available in Detroit grey, green, Rolls-Royce blue, deep maroon, or Brewster green. Prices were higher as WWI drove up commodity prices; copper and lead in particular.

       70 G      This may have been the model number set aside for a proposed gasoline or hybrid model. Plans were drawn, in pencil, for engine accessories; flex pipes, exhaust pipes, brackets, and linkages. Nothing in the drawings referenced a clutch or a dynamo. The hood design was similar to the model 69, but there were louvers along the sides. Designated as a Type 18 G with the model number left blank. This was the only “Type G” assigned, the “G” probably stood for gasoline.

       71 A      Brougham, four passengers, $2,940.

       72 A      Brougham, five passengers, forward drive, $3015.

       73 A      Brougham, five passengers, $2,990.

       74 A      Brougham, five passengers, duplex drive, $3040.

       75 B        Brougham, light chassis, four passengers. Very similar to the model 68, no carriage lamps, $2,175

       76 B        Convertible Roadster, three-passenger, the side and rear windows were removable (with a dedicated storage space) but the roof was permanent. Lever steering standard, with a steering wheel optional for $30 more, Houk wire wheels only, 33 x 4½” Silvertown tires, faux radiator, cobalt blue with blue stripe or green grey with green stripe, 23 mph, 42 cell battery, 65-100 mile range, $2,175.

       77 C      A duplex drive model on the light (type B) chassis. Plans were drawn, in ink, for an additional controller linkage with a unique mast. Pressed steel running boards, front and rear trays for a 42-cell battery. The 77 shared most parts with the Model 75, & 76. Designated as a type 18 (C) Model-77, it was not mentioned in sales literature.


1919              By the spring of 1919 the Anderson Electric Car Co was breaking up. The new Detroit Electric Car Co. was a much smaller operation, and, with the loss of the main factory (it eventually became part of Murray Body) the company started to outsource most of the components. Bodies for the Broughams, from 1919 on, were from remaining stock.

Rear axle-assemblies for the type A cars were made by Timken (through the m 88). The toggle type brakes on this axle were designed to work with light pedal pressure, however if pushed too hard, or out of adjustment, they could lock up and break the axle linkage to the chassis. The motor brake was not used with this rear end. Spicer or the Peters Machine & Manufacturing Co made the propeller shaft assemblies. Wire wheels were made by the Wire Wheel Corporation of America. Headlights and pillar lights were made by the Vesta Accumulator Co (through the model 95), and featured a Clamert lens. The first 225 cars had a slightly different controller.

       78 B        Brougham, 4-passenger Brougham, light chassis, Update of model 68, 75 et al. Running boards and roof were not aluminum.

       79 A      Brougham, five passengers, forward drive.

       80 A      Brougham, five passengers.

       81 A      Brougham, five passengers, duplex drive.

1920            Model’s 82-85 shared the same Faux Radiator hood, the bodies resembled contemporary gasoline sedans, similar to the model 69 & 76. These squared off bodies were made by the H & M (Hupmobile & Mitchell) Body Works of Racine Wisconsin.

       82 A      Coupe, three passengers, no pillar lamps. 95-units shipped. The cars shipped to Chicago had a brake light added to the rear as per Chicago law.

       83 A      Sedan, five passengers, front drive, 2 were made

       84 A      Sedan, five passengers, 4 were made

       85 A      Sedan, five passengers, duplex drive, 174 units were shipped

The classic Brougham bodies were from remaining inventory.

       86 A      Brougham, clad in aluminum, with rear quarter glass for a better view (like the 42), Door glass on lifts, only one made. $4,000

       87 A      Brougham, five passengers, forward drive, a unique car.

       89 B        Brougham, light chassis, Update of model 68, 75 et al.



       86 A      Brougham, clad in aluminum, rear quarter glass for better view (like the 42), door glass on lifts, $4,000

       87 A      Brougham, five passengers, forward drive.

       88 A      Brougham, five passengers, Duplex drive, $4,000

       90 B       Brougham, light chassis four passengers, 82” High, with hood mounted Vesta headlights, lighter at 3,385 lbs, 25 mph, 75 mile range, Turkish style whipcord. Body panels were painted cobalt blue, or Brewster green, with gold pin stripes. 240 were made between August 31, 1921 and January of 1924.


1922            New, more pliant, springs were introduced for all models. Enclosed cars still had the Hanlon Rain-Vision windshield introduced ten years earlier. Type A cars returned to the earlier axle design, once again a motor brake (of mechanical design) assisted the drum brakes.


       90 B       Brougham, light chassis four passengers, 82” High, with hood mounted Vesta headlights, lighter at 3,385 lbs, 25 mph, 75 mile range, Turkish style whipcord. Body panels were painted Cobalt blue, or Brewster green, with gold pin stripes.

       91 A      Brougham, five passengers, 88” High, chassis mount headlights.

       92 A      Brougham, forward drive

       93 A      Brougham, duplex drive   



       90 B       Brougham, light chassis four passengers

       91 A      Brougham, five passengers, 88” High

       92 A      Brougham, forward drive

       93 A      Brougham, duplex drive


1924            In the middle of the year George Bacon quit, after twenty-two years as head designer, in August 1924, Detroit Electric started buying their motors from Roth Brothers & Co (Chicago). In 1926, the company went back to Elwell-Parker motors.

       90 B       Brougham, (early ’24) light chassis four passengers, 82” High, with hood mounted Vesta headlights, lighter at 3,385 lbs, 25 mph, 75 mile range, Turkish style whipcord. Body panels were painted Cobalt blue, or Brewster green, with gold pin stripes. 240 were made between August 31, 1921 and January of 1924.

       91 A      Brougham, (1922-1924) five passengers, 88” High, chassis mount headlights.

       92 A      Brougham, forward drive

       93 A      Brougham, (1922-1924) duplex drive

       94 A      A mystery model (nine were shipped late in ’24 and one early in ’25).

       95 B       Brougham, light chassis, four passengers, like the model 90, available in blue or Brewster green with black chassis and fenders. Speeds of 6, 10, 15, 20, & 25 mph. 101 were shipped between 2-28-24 and 10-4-1926.


1925             The company moved to the small Piquette Avenue factory in January-April, which truncated production.

       95 B       Brougham, light chassis, four passengers, like the model 90, available in blue or Brewster green with black chassis and fenders.


       95 B        Brougham, light chassis, four passengers, like the model 90, available in blue or Brewster green with black chassis and fenders.




       95 B       Brougham, Continued

       97 B        Brougham, light chassis, four passengers. This car was an update of the model 68, 75, 90, or 95 of 1916-1926. The model 97s are any of these earlier cars chopped by 6-8” (interior height 49”), and, in June 1928, were standardized with crown fenders, smaller diameter (32”) wider wheels with balloon tires, hood (or fender) mounted headlights, and given new interiors with lower seats, and new glass, then re-badged as 97s. These are the best daily drivers of the classic looking cars. They are not as tall as the earlier cars, to accommodate modern garage doors. Bumpers were standard, as was a Remy horn, and a windshield wiper. The jump seat could fold out of the way, and a package box for the left front corner was optional. The first 97 was shipped 2-1-26, the last one 12-17-34. The price listed at Aetna’s 1935 Automobile Show was $2,345 (a Ford was $495-$635).

       98 A      Brougham, re-manufactured type A heavy chassis cars, all models, rear, forward, and duplex drive positions.

       99B (version A) made with Willys bodies on type B running gear.



A. O. Dunk purchased the assets of Detroit Electric from Anderson and his remaining partners. They continued making cars to order, from remaining stock, and remanufactured older cars.

The Dunk Co shipped their first Detroit Electric 2-3-1930.



       98A or RD    Heavy chassis (type A) five (occasionally four) passenger Broughams. Starting in the last Anderson days the model 98 was used to designate remanufactured cars that were lowered and modernized, similar to the Model 97 described above. They were any of the larger five passenger broughams of the classic period, whether front, rear, or duplex-drive, originally made circa 1915-1924.



             99 B, type A Coupé, Willys bodied 2-door on 112” WB, front drive with wheel or tiller, walnut interior trim, 30 mph, windshield wiper, faux radiator, $4,250.

1928      99 S (type B chassis)  A unique car, with Hudson fenders.

1929      99 B (type B chassis)  Coupe, Peerless body, ‘29 Chevy fenders, probably unique.



Among the Company artifacts are two photographic prints of design concepts for a pair of contemporary models. These cars had the same body components up to the rear of the doors. Probably meant for the type B chassis. No hint of either model being made.

       100 A    Town Car, a two-door, four-passenger sedan, with a faux radiator. This drawing was released to the press in April of 1931, with a price of $4,250.

       100 B     Coupé, artists drawing of a sporty two-passenger Coupé with a faux radiator.


1933-1939    A. F. Renz got the remaining assets (for back-salary owed). His main business was maintaining the existing cars of established customers. He also sold used electrics, even a Rauch  & Lang. With a few assistants, he made five more 97’s and one model 98. He also made nine of his version of the model 99.  

       97   Brougham, The Renz versions had Monogram headlights, similar to those on a ’26 Cadillac.


       98 S (type A) Brougham, as above, originally a 1916, with different headlights and trim then other 98’s. Renz made only one type A conversion, a unique car that is still running.

       99 C (type B) Coupé, The front hood, fenders, and running boards were from a Dodge sedan, circa 1935. The cabin was a 2-door Fisher Body on a 112” wheelbase type B Detroit light chassis, (a 100” chassis, cut in front of the motor, and extended 12” with welded on angle iron), with wheel or tiller steering. The price in 1935 was $2,965.


DEW                 1927                

Zschopauer Motorwerke, AG Filiale, Berlin, Germany

J. S. Rasmussen,


Dey-Griswold          1895-98 

Dey-Griswold and Co, Brooklyn, NY

Harry E. Dey & Frederick B. Griswold. This pair patented a hydraulic drive bicycle in 1892, and an electric railcar drive system.

A light two-passenger Phaëton made with bicycle parts. The front wheels turned on tandem bicycle forks. An electric motor, with a spinning field, drove a four cylinder radial pump for the hydraulic drive system. On down grades the hydraulics drove the motor as a dynamo, recharging the battery.

Dey also made a gasoline car in 1896, said to be the first with an electric starter.

Dey                   1915-1919     

Harry E. Dey, Inc, 180 Greenwood Aveue, East Orange, NJ

H. E. Dey, president; William H. Dey, VP; Kenneth

C. Underwood, secretary and treasurer. Other directors; C. William Stengel, & Henry H. Gaylord; Charles P. Steinmetz was the consultant

1915-1916      Dey Electrical Vehicle Syndicate Room 197, 45 Broadway, NY

1916-1919      Dey Electric Corporation, New York, then, Jersey City. 1917 address 45 Broadway NY.

Electrical engineer Harry Eugene Dey.

Dey vehicles were built by the Ward Electric Vehicle Company. The special motors were made by GE

The cars never reached the production levels, which Steinmetz estimated could allow them to sell for $750, and compete with gas cars.


A small light (1,400 lbs). runabout with a 2 hp motor that had a spinning field. The armature shaft was connected (thru reduction gears) to one drive wheel and the field shaft (with the same reduction) to the other, eliminating the need for a differential (pat #1,158,456). The motor was said to produce twice the power of a conventional motor of the same weight, and provided regenerative braking with a 5% downgrade providing full charging current. $985. The car had a wood chassis and used pneumatic suspension.


Model 4 Runabout, 3 passengers, faux radiator, $985


Dey built a series-hybrid version with a 3-hp air-cooled engine/generator that could be removed as a stationary power plant, or placed under the bonnet for trips longer than the battery could sustain.

Dickson            1893       

Dickson Carriage Works, Ontario, Canada

An electric carriage built for patent attorney Frederic Barnard Fetherstonhaugh, who drove it for 15 years. Designed by electrician William J. Still. See Still

         Runabout 2-passengers, brake on differential, center pivot steering, 4-hp, 15 mph for one hour, pneumatic tires on bicycle wheels.


Dinen               1904       

Alfred Dinen and Co, Putaeux, Seine, France


Dolan               1900                

Clarence W. Dolan, Torresdale, Philadelphia, PA


Dora                 1905-1906     

Sta Industriale Halinana Dora,      Genoa, Italy


Doré                 1898-1900              

Sté G. Doré Levallois,     Perret, Seine, France

         Cab, center pivot steering, with motor on front axel, battery in celluloid cases.


Dowsing 1898       

London, England   

Electrical engineer Herbert John Dowsing. Invented a flywheel dynamo/starter for the “Arnold,” a Benz based gasoline car, in 1896.


Dudly Electric 1914-1915

1914, Menominee Electric Manufacturing Co

1915, Dudly Tool Co, Menominee, MI.

         Henry Tideman

A light electric, weighing 1,600 lbs, with artillery wheels and a 100-inch wheelbase. Wheel steering.

         Cabriolet, 1½ hp motor, $985


Durey-Sohy             1899-1903     

Automobiles Durey-Sohy, Paris, France

An electric taxicab


Dynamobile             1906                

E. H. Geist Elektrizitats AG, Cologne, Germany