Early Electric Car Companies L-M-N-O

Version 3.0


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.



Lacre                1904-1905     

Lacre Motor Car Co Ltd, London W, England

Founded as Long Acre, principally a maker of commercial vehicles.

Twin 4-hp motors drove the rear axles.      


Laird, Robert           1899        Hanford, California


Lansden                        1904-1923

1904-1912, The Lansden Company,

         54-56 Lackawanna Avenue, Newark, New Jersey

1912, May, a new factory

         394 to 408 Frelinghuysen Avenue, Newark, NJ

1912-1914, Allentown, PA

1914-1920, The Lansden Co Ltd. Foster Ave. & the Brighton Beach RR, Brooklyn, NY

1920-1928, Danbury, CT, Branch factory & service, Flatbush and Nostrand Avenues, Brooklyn, NY


John McMurray Lansden Jr. and William M. Little made some experimental electric cars at the Birmingham Electric and Manufacturing Co around 1901. They moved to Newark, New Jersey, and started the Lansden Co on April 24, 1904. With a market cap of $30,000 they begin making light flatbed and panel delivery trucks, soon adding heavier trucks and a small 2-passenger runabout called the Electrette.

Lansden was general manager and designer; Leon L. Brockman (who died shortly after founding), secretary & treasurer; Frank A. Whitten, superintendent.

J. M. Lansden Jr., held Patent #837,628, issued Oct 14, 1904, for his basic light truck chassis, with a 3-chain drive design.

The Newark history information website claimed Edison as the company founder. There was a close relationship that was certainly more than geographic, as letters between J. M. Lansden and the Edison Company started as far back as April 1, 1903, when Edison employee Alexander J. Churchwood responded to a letter from Lansden regarding batteries and motors. By late June, Edison himself was answering Lansden’s letters, mostly regarding financial operations and labor issues.


Lansden’s vehicles featured Edison Batteries from the start, and was one of few that seems to have gotten some fresh supplies of the cobalt enhanced version after 1904, before the “perfected” cells became available (1910). In his papers, Edison mentions giving design advice during development. In 1906 some new old-style cells (the intermediate design with Cobalt) were supplied to the Adams Express Co: The company’s head was a friend of Edison.

Tiffany & Co’s fleet of 21 vehicles used Edison Batteries. The Steinway Piano Company also chose electric vehicles for delivery in New York City; starting with a pair of Lansden trucks in 1910, expanded to five trucks by 1916, with two more Lansdens and a GVC.


In January of 1907, Edison’s records show 500 autos with Edison batteries, with a halt on new sales.

On April 24, 1908, Edison acquired controlling interest in Lansden, and might have gotten a little too helpful, as J. M. Lansden left in 1911 to set up an electric truck department at the Rapid Truck division of General Motors (re-branded as GMC Truck in 1912). Edison sold his Lansden interest In January of 1912. W. L. Case, Wm D. Schantz, and W. J. Maloney briefly refinanced the company, building a new fully outfitted factory, only to go into receivership less than a year later.

The remaining operation moved, around August of 1913, to the former Allentown Foundry factory in Allentown, PA as part of the Webb & Mac-Carr Company interests (formerly the Webb Fire Equipment Co of St Louis). The principals being; A. C. Webb, G. E. Blakeslee, W. J. W. Groves, and Roland Carr, with John Mack. Mack had recently sold his stake in the eponymous truck company and, as a principle investor, became chairman of the Lansden executive committee, assuming many of the CEO duties. George E. Blakeslee, long connected with the Lansden Co, became VP & GM

The enterprise moved to Brooklyn, NY, where it was reorganized in 1915 with $250,000 in capitol stock. The new owners purchased the rights, patents, and equipment of the former company and set up business in the 200' x 100' factory previously occupied by the John R. Corbin Co.

In 1920 the company moved to Danbury, CT, and went out of business completely around 1928


Lansden made trucks from ¾ to 6 tons. Early trucks had a chain reduction from the motor to the differential, and long drive chains from the jackshaft sprockets to each rear wheel sprocket. Later trucks used shaft drive


About 200 trucks were made with Edison types H or E Battery sets. The trucks were only offered with the Edison Battery. As of September; manufacturing difficulties at the Edison Battery Co limited production to one battery set a day, some of which were promised to others, thus limiting Lansden's production.  The first nine trucks were sold to the Abraham & Straus Co in Brooklyn.

Truck manufacturing was reportedly suspended after Edison stopped battery production in November of 1904: to work out a perfected version. Some exception must have been made for Lansden, as sales brochures, ads, and trade publications between 1906 & 1908, clearly featured the battery. This would have been the intermediate design; using Cobalt to solve the electro-chemical problems. They were too expensive, and cobalt availability too limited, to be commercially viable.


Electrette         runabout, 2-passengers, wheel steering, with an Edison Battery under a long, low-slung, front hood, kept low by the battery cells extending below the frame members, 90” wb, 4.5 hp motor, 25 mph.

46A 2 ton truck, 4,700 lb vehicle weight, 4 hp GE motor, 60-cell Edison battery in under-slung boxes, Lansden designed a controller with no jerking between the four forward speeds, driveline by single chain reduction and twin-chain drive. Firestone solid tires, Hess-Bright ball bearings. $3,100, with a one-year guarantee.


Electrette         Cyclops headlight, 90” wb, 60 cells, 1,850 lbs, $1,850, speeds to 25 mph, range to 60 miles, "price, complete with Edison Battery, $2,250."


Trucks were built with capacities up to 3 tons.

For heavier trucks, bodies were made to customer specifications.

42E           2,000 lb load, 3,000 lb weight, body to order, 88" WB, $2,450

46G          4,000 lb capacity, 111" wb, 4,800 lb weight, 66" tread, semi-elliptic springs, armored wood frame, irreversible wheel steering, 3 speeds forward, 2 reverse, solid rubber tires, twin chain drive, $3,250-

66G 6,000 lb capacity, 5,700 lb weight, 120" wb.

76E           1,000 lb load, 2,400 lb weight, 80" wb,                                    $2,350

79E           Panel delivery, 750 lb load, 2,450 lb weight,                     $2,250

36D          closed panel truck with roof overhang over driver, 2,000 lb load capacity, 3,300 lb weight, 10 mph, 25 mile range, $2,450-


76E           Standard panel Wagon

186E        Standard Panel Wagon

86A          Standard Express Wagon, 3,000 lb load

356H       Four-Wheel Industrial Truck. An odd design made for maneuverability; with a pair of drive wheels on either side at the middle, and small wheels centered fore and aft under the truck.


Production of the runabout was halted. A line of taxicabs was introduced, and a small three-wheeled electric truck was made for use on steamship piers, railroad terminals, warehouse yards, and factory floors.

Ads stressed the new perfected Edison Battery.

A novel, flat, spring-steel countershaft absorbed sudden jerks: saving chains.

3 Ambulances were built for the Presbyterian Hospital of New York.

Trucks ranged from load capacities of 350 lbs to 6,000 lbs


Models 76, 96, 166, 186, 196, 266, 416, and 436.

With a fresh supply of the perfected Edison type A-4 150 Amp-hour batteries; the factory cranked up to full production. By the end of the year a total of 1,750 new Lansden trucks were on the road.


A 5-ton truck was added to the line utilizing the new hi capacity A-8 Edison cells.


The driveline was redesigned with the motor just ahead of the rear axle, directly connected to a bevel gear reduction differential, driving the rear wheels through chains by means of sprockets on jackshafts. Latest Edison battery of 60 cells for charging from 110 Volt circuits as efficiently as possible. Continuous torque controller with 4 speeds forward and two in reverse, operated by a handle on the steering post.

Range of trucks from 500 lbs to 5 tons.

A special truck was made for Commonwealth Edison of Chicago for hauling coal from rail cars to the power plants. A single truck was made with two demountable coal boxes. The coal was shoveled in from the rail cars, and then, at the boilers; the boxes would tilt to dispense the coal. Two boxes allowed one to be filled while the other was delivering.    


The Edison Connection was history. Trucks now featured the Exide "Ironclad" battery.

Capacity to 6-tons



Latil                  1909       

Française de Mécanique et d’Autos     

9 Rue Meuve-de-Villiers, Levallois, Perret, France


Leader             1905-1907     

Columbia Electric Co,     McCordsville, IN

1907-1912, Knightstown, IN

Gasoline cars


Lefert               1902                 M. J. Lefert, Ghent, Belgium


Leitner             1898-1899     

Electrical Undertakings, Ltd.

12 Miller Street, High Street, Camden Town, London, N.W.

Henry Leitner, managing director, with A. A. Jordan

         Game cart       an electric runabout with twin motors driving the rear wheels via spur and ring gears at the wheels. The company was in England and France, with some manufacturing in the US. The cars employed a 40-cell Leitner 4-plate battery, which was the companies principal business. They also had a proprietary series/parallel controller with six speeds, and made their own motors, with regenerative braking. Claimed to run 62 miles at 26 mph on a single charge.


L’Electromotion     1901        Levallois-Perret, France

EVC Columbia cars, fitted, painted and sold in France

Lems                         1903-1904     

London Electro-mobile Syndicate, London England

         Runabout,       2-passengers, 12 mph, 40 mile range


Lemp       see General Electric


Lenox               1908-1909     

Maxim & Goodridge, 550 Prospect Ave. Hartford, CT

A prototype designed by Hiram P. Maxim and made by Herman A. Brunn in Buffalo, NY.


         Victoria, 2-passengers, tiller steering. The driveline employed an overshot worm gear on an extended armature shaft, independent rear axle shafts with U joints at the differential housing and wheels. All weight of the motor and reduction gears/differential was bolted to the body allowing for minimal un-sprung weight on the drive wheels. Solid tires, 30 cell battery under front hood giving nearly 50/50 weight distribution, 84” wb, GE motor, multiple series controller, 18 mph, 2,100 lbs. See Maxim-Goodridge.


Lewis Electric  1893                

John D. Perry Lewis, St. Louis, MO

High wheel single passenger piano box runabout, chain drive from armature sprocket to large sprocket at right rear wheel, steering by a vertical lever at right side, speed lever at left hand. Wagon brakes on rear tires. Said to be first motorcar in St. Louis. In 1912 he set up the Lewis Automobile Co, an automotive dealership.


Lindsay            1902-1908      Lindsay Auto Parts Co.

220 S. Penn St. Indianapolis, IN

         Thomas J. Lindsay went into business, with millionaire threshing machine maker Harley Russell, to make the running gear for a light electric runabout. He had patents for drive axles and steering spindles.

Lindsay supplied these platforms for the first generation of light Studebaker electrics.


Lloyd                1907-1915      Norddeutsche Automobil und Motoren Gmbh    Bremen, Germany

A division of the Norddeutsche Lloyd Shipping Co

Early cars were built under the Kriéger license. They continued as a gasoline carmaker to 1929, and remain as a shipping company.




         1898-1905 Jacob Lohner & Co, Vienna, Austria

         1906-1908 Built by Austro Daimler, for Société Mercedes Électrique, of Paris, a coalition between Emil Jellinek, Jakob Lohner, and Daimler Motorengesellschaft, Stuttgart. With manufacturing in Paris, Wiener Neustadt, and Berlin Marienfelde.

         1906-1915 Austro Daimler


Lohner was founded by Henry Lohner in 1821, as a cart making company. His son Jacob (1821-1892) built it into a thriving carriage and coach building company. Jacob retired in 1886 and Henry’s grandson Ludwig continued the business.

After a bad experience trying to mate a gas engine to a carriage, Ludwig Lohner hired Béla Egger’s firm to electrify them. Four Egger-Lohner proto-types were built, but the motors kept burning out, so Lohner hired Egger’s bright young electrical engineer, Ferdinand Porsche, to design a new electric car.

Porsche’s new design featured parallel wound hub-motors built into the drive wheels, most models had two drive wheels and one had four, later buses and trucks usually had four. He also designed a gasoline-electric hybrid version for greater range. The hybrids were nice fast cars on a smooth road, but rather expensive. The un-sprung weight of the hub-motors was a problem at speed over bumpy surfaces, and, compared with other electrics, there was less torque at zero RPM, which was trouble if one or more drive wheel was stuck in a hole at startup.

The design was sold to Daimler in 1906 and was used in trucks and buses.


Four Egger-Lohner prototypes were built. They had two seats accommodating four passengers. Wheel steering. The rear wheels were driven with large inside toothed ring gears by spur gears on the armatures of two 3-hp Egger motors.

1900        Lohner-Porsche     

         Phaëton Runabout, 2 + 1 seating, with a jump seat behind the folding leather top, bat-wing leather dash, front hub-wheel drive with pneumatic tires, large diameter solid-rubber shod carriage wheels at the rear. The body was of wood with a wooden frame that rested on forged iron rails, the suspension was by leaf springs bolted to these rails and the bottom of the frame. Things were kept in alignment by pair of a parallel tubular steel reach rods about 1½“ in diameter between the axles. Each rear wheel had a cast brass drum with foot pedal operated band brakes. Twin carriage lights and a single headlight. Full elliptic springs at the rear and ½ at the front. This model was on display at the 1900 Paris World Exposition. One remains at the Vienna technology museum.

         Racing Phaëton “Tonjours Contente,” 4-passengers dos-à-dos. Custom built for E. W. Hart of Luton, England, with four hub motors. Each motor was rated at 2½ hp nominally, and up to 7 hp briefly. The three-ton vehicle carried a seventy cell, 270 Ampere hour, Leecoll battery weighing 3,920 lbs. The controller gave four speeds, with electric brakes, and regenerative braking for down hill. In the British distance tests of November 6-8, it went 34 miles on a charge.     



         Landaulet, outside drive for chauffeur and footman, plus four passengers

         Racing Trap, a two-place, tandem-seat, racing version was built, with an aero nose.

         Late in the year: five series-hybrids were built with Mercedes Cannstatt engines.


In the spring, a new hybrid version was built.         


May - a contract was concluded between Cannstatt Daimler and Jacob Lohner, for the production of hub motor hybrid vehicles to be made at a new factory in Vienna. They were called the Mercedes Electromobile.


         Ludwig Lohner left to start a body company, and Jellinek, disappointed by low sales volume, ended his relationship with Daimler, and the French factory closed.

Fire truck. 7.5 hp hub motors on the rear wheels, 36 km per hour. With a 900 kg Akkumulatoren-Fabrik Berlin-Hagen battery under the drivers seat providing a working radius of 50 kilometers.


By the end of the year 333 vehicles had been sold (per Gijs Mom), 153 were automobiles and 105 were commercial vehicles, including; 75 taxicabs, 67 fire engines, and 29 busses.

1914 & 1915

Trucks were marketed as Elektro-Daimler.”


Final year of production


Egger-Lohner (not hub-motor)

1898        2

1899        2


Hub-motor cars, omnibuses, fire engines, and trucks

Lohner-Porsche      1900-1905     

               Electric               Hybrid

1900        5                       0

1901        11                     5

1902        2                       2

1903        3                       2

1904        12                     1

1905        50                     1

Austro Daimler 1906-1915

1906        125                   1

1907        61                     36

1908        30                     2

1909        1                       1

1910        1                       1

Hub-motor trolley busses


1907        3

1908        6

1909        17



London Electrical Cab Co                1896-1899

6 Old Jewry, London, England

Walter C. Bersey was the electrical manager; he patented an electric vehicle in England in 1894.

On November 12, 1896 he announced the intention to build 300 cabs, under license from the British Motor Syndicate.

The first fifteen cabs were on the streets August 19, 1897, they weighed two tons, and used a 2.2 kW Lundell motor. In April 1898, 50-71 “Growler” style cabs, with a heavier 1,500 lb battery and a lighter body, replaced them; the principal change was a stronger wheel with a canvas reinforced cushion tire. In August 1899 the business was liquidated. The problems were blamed on tires and wheels. No doubt the weight of the battery was a major factor.


London Electric Omnibus Company     1896           Successor to Ward (UK).

Buses between Liverpool Street and Hammersmith, with plans to expand to 100 units

Other companies under this corporate umbrella built the vehicles.

25-passenger omnibus’ designed by Radcliff Ward


Logan      1904       

The Motor Storage & Manufacturing Co                      Chillicothe, Ohio

Delivery, or flat bed light truck. The company also made a gas car


Lugo        1891

Electric Road Carriage Co. Boston, MA.

Electrician, and insulated electrical cable inventor, Dr. Orazio Lugo, built a motor-axle tractor unit for a 4-passenger wagon. A 3-hp motor drove the front wheels by chain through the axle, the entire assembly pivoted for steering.


Lunant             1900-1914      Sté des Constructions de Cycles et Automobiles Lunant, Lyons, France


Lutonia            1900-1901 E. W. Hart & Co

Windmill Road, Luton, Bedfordshire, England

Hart was the British dealer for Austro-Daimler and Lohner-Porsche.

He also sold a light tandem seat electric Victoria built to his own design, with a 2-hp Bergmann motor directly driving the rear axle.


Lux           1897-1898      Lux-Werke Ludwigshafen

                 1898-1902      Lux’sche Industriewerke AG, Ludwigshafen Germany 





M & P      1913       

M & P Electric Vehicles, Detroit, MI     

Delivery trucks: 1,000 lbs capacity, with express body $1,500, with closed panel body $1,600. 2,000 Lbs capacity with express body $1,850


Mackenzie      1899       

Mackenzie Carriage Works

26 Walnut Tree Walk, Kensington Road, Lambeth, S E, England.


         Sporting Dogcart 4-passengers, tube frame, 3 hp

         Phaëton  2-passengers, 1½ hp 


Madelvic 1898-1900     

Madelvic Electric Motor Carriage Co

Granton, Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland

Founded by William Peck, the Royal Astronomer of Scotland.

         Carriages with a small fifth-wheel electric tractor unit at the front.


Magnetic 1921-1926      Magnetic Car Company Ltd.                           Callow Street, Chelsea, London SW3

Cars built under the Entz/Owen patents


Marienfelde    1898-1902      Motorfahrzeug-und Motorfabrik, Berlin         Marienfeld AG


Mark Electric           1897                 Berlin, Germany


Martini    Jenatzy-Martini


Maxim-Goodridge          1908-1909         “Lenox”

Maxim-Goodridge Co, 550 Prospect Ave, Hartford, CT

A prototype made by Herman A. Brunn in Buffalo, NY.

Hiram Percy Maxim (of Columbia/EVC) and T. Wells Goodridge. They were not able to get enough capitol to start an automobile factory, so they tooled up to make the gun silencer that Maxim invented.

This car was very similar to the Columbia Victoria, which Maxim designed earlier. It was hard to distinguish from a dozen other makes of small Victorias, other than the longer front hood and minimal visible running gear.

1908        Victoria Phaëton, 3-9 hp motor, five speeds forward and three in reverse, 30-cell 120-A h 800 lb Exide battery. Steel tube front axle, solid 32 x 3½” Hartford tires on artillery wheels with Timken bearings, Maxim-Goodridge worm reduction drive with fully floating axles, 2,100 lbs, $1,800


Maxwerke       1899-1903     

Elekrizitats-und Automobil-Gesellschaft Harff & Schwars AG, Cologne, Germany


McCrea Electric Wagon 1905-1907     

         McCrea Motor Truck Co, Cleveland, OH



McFarlan 1917       

McFarlan Motor Corporation, Connersville, IN

This was a six-cylinder gas car, with the Vesta Electric Co’s centrifugal clutch available on special order. Marketed by the Triumph Electric Company of Cincinnati. This clutch created a car a bit like a poor man’s Owen Magnetic. At less than 20 mph speed reduction was obtained by magnetic drag between the rotating armature and field of the magnetic clutch, the current generated was utilized for ignition, lighting, and starting. At low speeds there was no mechanical connection between the engine and the drive wheels. As speeds reached 20 mph centripetal pressure caused carbon brushes to engage an internal commutator, creating a mechanical link and locking up the clutch. The vehicle speed was controlled by push buttons. For low speed torque a planetary gear set behind the clutch could be engaged. It was also used for reverse gear.


Media Electric Media Carriage Mfg. Co

216 E. State St,                Media, PA

Media made an electric around 1900


Mendel, Leon 1882

Peter Stuyvesant Hotel, 2 West Eighty-sixth Street, New York, NY

 A two-passenger tricycle driven by the front wheels and steered by a single rear wheel, with a battery under the seat. Said to be the first electric vehicle driven in New York.

On display at the 1922 Electric Motor Vehicle Show held on the main floor of the New York Edison Co.


Menominee             1902       

Menominee Submerged Electric Motor Co. Menomonee, MI

         Menominee built a car to demonstrate their battery.


Menominee             1913        Dudley Tool Co

1914-1915      Menominee Electric Manufacturing Co, WI


Dudley Bug     2-passenger runabout


Cabriolet, 1,800 lbs, leather drop top, royal blue & black, Exide battery, 50 miles, up to 20 mph, Goodyear cord tires, 108 inch wheelbase, charger included, $1,250

150 cars projected for 1915


Mercedes Electric            1906-1907         Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft, Marienfelde, Germany. Trucks, fire engines, and busses, designed by Ferdinand Porsche.

See Lohner-Porsche


Mercedes-Lohner-Porsche 1903

A Daimler (Cannstatt) engine drove a dynamo where a geared transmission would usually be, the electricity drove two hub motors on the front wheels rated at 28 hp (for both), eight-cell battery for starting.

See Lohner-Porsche


Meteor            1903-1905      Pritchett & Gold Ltd. 

Feldham, Middlesex, England, see P & G


Metrovick       1930-1940      Metropolitan-Vickers Electrical Co Ltd. Manchester, England.         Trucks



Milburn Light Electric

1914-1923, the Milburn Wagon Co, Toledo Ohio.

3112-3214 Monroe St. between the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern railroad and the Canada Southern railroad.            

1923-1924      Factory on Grand Avenue, mail Box 68 Station B Toledo Ohio.


In 1848 George Milburn founded the Milburn Wagon Co in the small town of Mishawaka, Indiana, where they owned important waterpower rights. They moved to the bustling city of Toledo Ohio in 1873. The success of steam power made their original location, with limited access to shipping, less compelling.

An impressive new factory was built on Monroe St. in 1873-1875, where they suffered a series of disasters. Much of the partially built new factory collapsed in a major storm that struck on December 4, 1873. Shortly after opening they suffered a trio of fires. The new Milburn steam power plant was centered around a 250 horsepower engine: with a 24 inch bore and a 42 inch stroke. It drove a flywheel 16 feet in diameter with a 36-inch face. This powered the factory’s machine tools through a series of line shafts, pulleys, gears, and belts.


Frank Dunlevy Suydam, had a successful steam wood bending business in Toledo, making carriage and wagon parts. He had recently inherited his father’s estate. Suydam helped fund Milburn’s rebuilding. He got a seat on the board of directors, and in 1876, was elected secretary, in 1894 he became president; a position that he held until his death in April of 1911. By 1898 the Milburn Wagon Company was the most successful maker of farm wagons in America.

By the time they started making electric cars; the Milburn family was no longer involved with the company.


In 1909 Henry Perkins Dodge, with his brother Frederick Holms Dodge, and a few Toledo investors, founded the Ohio Electric Car Company. The first cars were made at the Milburn factory, and the Suydam family became partners. Production started in 1909 with the 1910 models.


In late 1910 there was an announcement of a planned merger between Ohio Electric and Milburn Wagon: pending negotiations. At that time, the capitol value of Ohio was stated at $150,000. A. M. Chesborough, president; Robert R. Lee, vice president; James Brown Bell, treasurer; Frank D. Suydam Jr., secretary; and H. P. Dodge, general manager. Frederick H. Dodge was a director, but was busy running the family’s white lime and insurance businesses.


With his father’s death, in the spring of 1911, electrical engineer Horace W. Suydam, Milburn’s secretary since 1896, became president. This apparently upset the merger plans between Ohio and Milburn. H. P. Dodge wanted to continue making sophisticated coaches for the wealthy, and Horace favored a more affordable electric car under the Milburn brand. Ohio moved to a new home several blocks away on Bancroft Street.

At the time of the split, Milburn was making farm wagons, buggies, and motorcar bodies; they had a market cap of $700,000. Ohio had continued success, and doubled the size of their factory in 1913.


Horace Suydam wanted to make a new generation of simple lower priced electrics using the Milburn Company’s efficient, highly mechanized, body assembly techniques, which kept Milburn a price point leader in wagons and carriages long after most such enterprises had either failed or introduced motor vehicles.


Throughout the electric car period, Milburn’s main business was as a contract body builder for other automobile companies, such as Pope-Toledo, Willys-Overland, and Ford, with electric car production occupying a minor part of the factory complex, perhaps 25%. Other than bodies: outside contractors made most of the components in Milburns.


In 1914 Frank D. Suydam Jr. Frederick H. Dodge, and Otto Marx returned to Milburn from Ohio Electric for the start of the Milburn Electric vehicle program. Frank D. Suydam Jr. became secretary of Milburn and Frederick H. Dodge became treasurer.

Karl Probst designed the Milburn Electric’s platforms and George H. Woodfield designed the bodies. Horace Suydam probably worked out electrical design details with the General Electric engineers, who supplied the motor and controller. The lighter (2,100 lbs), less expensive, electric Coupé was promoted vigorously, and rapidly gained market share with the affluent women who were the core buyers at the time. They had the same look and feel of quality found in the established brands, and triggered a price war.

Although the marketing stressed saving weight through clever engineering; the manufacturing methods showed an emphasis on saving cost.

Part of the initial strategy with the first models was to use a smaller 20-cell battery, rather than the nearly standard 42-cell battery. If the cells were of the same capacity as the established makes, those cars would have about twice the energy storage capacity of the Milburn, but take more energy to move about. In practice, Milburn used 17-plate cells (15-plate in the published specs) instead of the standard 9-plate ones, giving the cars similar energy storage capacity while saving 50 lbs. In 1916 Milburn joined the competition, offering the model 22 with a 40-cell battery, if requested. In 1917 the larger battery became standard with the model 27. Another cost savings, with negative impact on weight, was the use of steel cladding rather than aluminum. The body sides were of one piece with the battery compartment sides, creating a smooth seamless effect. They employed crank-up sash-less windows and skirted crown fenders.

The lower price point, and aggressive marketing, helped make the Milburn popular. They proved to be good reliable cars.


Milburn was the last significant manufacturer of electric cars to enter the American market in the early twentieth century.

From 1920 to 1923 Milburn was probably the largest producer of electric pleasure cars in North America, as the competition had all but vanished. Only Detroit Electric and Rauch & Lang were still limping along, in much smaller factories. George Woodfield left Milburn in 1920, while Karl Probst remained as chief engineer until April of 1923. He later consulted as lead designer of the “Jeep” at American Bantam.


At the dawn of 1923, the corporate officers were; Horace W. Suydam, president; Otto Marx, vice-president; Frank D. Suydam Jr., secretary; and Frederick H. Dodge, treasurer.

In February, the company’s major assets, including the 20-acre grounds, the coach-works, lumberyard, and mill, were sold to the Buick Manufacturing Co (General Motors) for two million dollars. GM turned around and put the plant up for sale five months later, as GM had recently acquired a 60% ownership in the Fisher Body Co where they were pushing other clients out. This new capacity made the Milburn factories redundant.

Milburn ran the plant through April to finish current contracts; building Oldsmobile Brougham bodies. The last few electric cars were shipped by May.


Milburn car owners included William H. Seward (son of Lincoln’s sec. of state), Col. Webb C. Hays (son of Rutherford B. Hays and co-founder of Union Carbide), Atwater Kent Jr., and football legend Amos Alonzo Stagg. Woodrow Wilson’s Secret Service, which had been using a large Cadillac, borrowed a Milburn, as Wilson objected to the sound of a motor running behind his horse drawn carriage.


Milburn made around 4,300 cars, of which at least 60 remain. The fact that so many Milburns remain, compared with other electrics by percentage of production, is a testament to their design and build quality.




Production started late in the year with 1915 models.


Two models were offered on the same platform, they had a 100” wheelbase and 50” track, 30 x 3½” wheels. Compared to other worm drives; The worm-gear rear axle had a rather large nickel-steel worm gear driving a relatively small bronze alloy worm wheel, with a ratio of 9.75 to 1. The driveshaft was of one piece with no U-joints, similar to the Ohio.

The front axle used Bower roller bearings, Hess-Bright bearings were used elsewhere. The cars were shipped with a 20-cell (40 Volt) Philadelphia (PHILCO) Diamond Grid battery, under the principal that the lighter weight of the car required less energy. The competition, many of which had started with a smaller battery, used 42-44 cell sets, which provided greater range, and was more compatible with charging from 110 Volt AC house current.  To make up for the added weight the others used lighter, more expensive, aluminum clad bodies, whereas Milburn used steel. The motors were from General Electric and rated 2 HP at 35 Amps. The Coupé had a top speed of 18 mph on a hard paved level roads, running at about 25 Amperes. The front and rear windows, along with the door windows, were raised and lowered with Dura Mechanical Window Lifters (a Milburn sister company). Standard order 1915 cars were painted a dark “Milburn Blue.”

 15            Coupé, 4-passengers, tiller controls, 180 A h battery, 16½ mph, cantilevered leaf springs up front––allowing a shorter chassis, Goodyear pneumatics were standard, Motz Cushion tires extra, $1,485.

151 Roadster 3-passengers, steering wheel with worm & sector gearing, 100” wheelbase, 20-cell, 205 A h battery, 19-24 mph, $1,285.

16             Delivery truck, 180 AH battery, cantilevered rear suspension and half elliptical front springs, 90” wb, 14-17 mph, 32x3” solid tires, $850- sans body, bodies started at $100.  


The model 22, introduced to the press in January, and in production by April, was advertised as being larger, and having more power “for the season.” They called it a Brougham to distinguish it from the smaller predecessor, and it was what the more expensive competition called their Coupés. It had a 105” wheelbase and 52” track with 32x3½” wheels. Twenty cells were standard, but a larger battery, or an Edison Battery, was available for more money. 

Although other companies started making lighter cheaper models to compete with Milburn, they were still among the lightest and most cost effective. As the new Brougham had a larger battery and a longer chassis, to accommodate more conventional ½ elliptic springs in front, the difference in weight and price was narrowing from both directions.

15             Coupé, Still advertised in March, Both the 15 Coupé and the new 22 Brougham were available simultaneously through the spring. $1,485

16             Delivery, $1,485

22             Brougham, 4-passengers, 4-speeds, 105” wb, 22 or 40-cell versions, 18-25 mph, blue body w/black running gear, $1,585. Raised to $1,685 on July 15, in an effort to be profitable.

151          Roadster, 2-passengers, 20-cells, $1,285    


The Roadster was dropped due to disappointing sales.

22             Brougham, still available early in the year. $1,685

27             Brougham, available from February on, 5-passengers, 105” wb, wire or wood wheels, rain shield, 40-cell 11 plate battery, five speeds forward, 23 mph, a new 10 contact controller, $1,885. The sales brochure showed a two-tone car with the body panels and hoods painted deep royal blue, and the fenders, gear, and window frames (everything above the belt line) painted black. The car was also available in Brewster green, with the wire wheels white, green, or black. Grey wool upholstery was standard.

30             Town Car, this was a model 22 body perched at the far aft of the chassis, giving room for a drivers seat in front of the windshield.

A dozen of these 5-passenger limousines were made for the American Motor Livery Co, of Chicago, IL, they were offered to the public in February at $1,995.       


Milburn expanded its model line, making entirely new gasoline style vehicles, including a big new limousine/Taxi; none of these of found much of a market.

27             Brougham, 5-passengers, 56” track, 23 mph, 40 cell 11 plate battery, 105” wheelbase, expanding brakes in rear drums, $1,885

31             Sedan/Coupé, with a faux radiator, steering wheel, and quick exchange battery boxes. Said to run at 30 mph with a range up to 100 miles, 118½” wb, 42-cell 17-plate Philco battery, $2,785

36-L Touring/Limousine, 5-passengers, similar to the 1917 limousine but with squarer lines and a longer chassis, driver in front of the passenger compartment with a steering wheel, 25-30 mph, 118½” wb, Hungarian Blue, 42-cell battery, $2,985

After November 1, 1918, The 31 was dropped, and the 27 was replaced by the 27-L. The “L” had a new 12 contact controller.


27-L         Brougham, 5-passengers, 4 hp, 4-speeds to 23 mph, 105” wheelbase, motor brake, 44-cell 11-plate battery, or 40-cell 13-plate quick exchange battery, front springs semi-elliptical, expanding rear hub brakes & electric motor brake. Available in blue, green, or brown; with black running gear and wool or mohair upholstery. Introduced at $2,185

36-L Limousine


27-L Brougham, 4-passengers, 40-cell 13-plate battery, 24 mph, 2,900 lbs, 33x4” wheels, $2,485

36-L Town car/Cab, 6-passengers, 118 ½” wb, 42-cell 15-plate quick change battery, 30 mph, 3,300 lbs with 1,200 lb battery, 74’ turning radius, tan body with black chassis and trim, $3,250


27-L Brougham, $2,385


27-L Brougham, 4-passengers, updated with 42-cell battery, welded body sections, Gabriel “snubbers”, 4-speeds forward plus a field shunt actuated by a switch on the floor, which was referred to as a fifth speed in some advertising. Alemite fittings were used at all lube points, the headlights used a “Spreadlight” lens, $2,500

40             1-Ton truck

43             ½ Ton truck


The later Milburns had different controllers and wiring

27-L Brougham

27-F         Runabout, 4-passengers in staggered seating, forward driving position, $2,550.

27-D        ¼ Ton truck

40             1-Ton truck

43             ½ Ton truck


Milburn continued to offer the 27-L and the truck, probably from remaining stock.


Mildé & Mondos            1898       


Mildé              1899-1909     

Mildé Fils Et Cie, Levallois-Perret, France

         Charles Mildé, electric clock and telephone maker (1893)

         Mildé bought l’Electromotion in 1901.


Phaëton  2-passengers, a tricycle with a front motor-wheel steered by a handlebar. The entire motor-wheel rotated on a series of grooved rollers holding a large disc (the “fifth wheel”) at the top of the wheel assembly. A single headlight turned with the wheel



Tricycle, two passengers, two motors at rear wheels, wheel steering connected to the front wheel through a chain, tubular steel frame


Motor-tractor,        for converting horse drawn carriages into electric motorcars. This tractor unit replaced the ordinary fore-carriage. Motor, battery, and transmission gear were all mounted on the carriage assembly, which pivoted at the center pin for turning.


Landau hybrid        6 hp De Dion engine, 4,400 Watt dynamo, compound field Mildé motor, 9 speeds forward & three in reverse.


Coupé     Driver in front of cabin with wheel steering under an overhang, 42-cell battery

Hybrid    two versions with either a one cylinder 6 hp, or two cylinder 12 hp engine spinning a dynamo, which powered a motor and charged a small battery. The cars could be used as portable electric power generators.


Mills Electric            1917       

Mills Electric Co, Lafayette, Indiana


Monnard         1898                 France

Henry Monnard,

Monnard’s system had two independent armatures, with a single field coil set, in the same case. Mounted on the axles, between the armatures and the wheels, was a double set of simple reduction gears. The nominal 4-hp motor speed was 600 RPM. The two field coils had their own 4-cell battery set. A Lignum Vitae (a wood that can handle heat) drum controller was used, providing four speed positions by switching the battery sets, for the armatures and the fields, from parallel sets to series, the armatures were always in series with each other. The entire front carriage turned at a central pivot for steering.


Morgan           1904-1905


Morrison Electric      

         1887-1892 Des Moines, Iowa;

William Morrison ~1850-1927.

Born in Scotland, Morrison arrived in Des Moines in 1880 as a chemist.

In 1907 Morrison stated that he built his first electric in 1887, to demonstrate his new battery, by modifying a Des Moines Buggy Co wagon.

It was a failure, partly due to the center-pivot steering that was a vestige of its equine draft roots. It proved nearly impossible to steer, as any unequal loading of the front wheels, such as hitting a curb, would jerk the front carriage around. A steering tiller directly coupled to the axle assembly could either slap you in the ribs, or try to throw you out of the car. This first attempt was scrapped, and the motor went into a boat.

Morrison then commissioned a fringe-top, three-seat, six-nine passenger Surrey from the Shaver Carriage Company of Des Moines, with the newer (patented 1818) Ackermann type steering. Through the summer of 1890 he enlisted clock and eyeglass maker Dr. Lew Arntz to install a new rack and pinion steering system, the front wheels pivoted at the axle ends, near the wheel hubs, turned by a small horizontal steering wheel. He electrified it as the first successful four-wheeled open-road vehicle (except a few ponderous steam tractors) in the United States, on the streets September 5, 1890. Powered by 24 storage cells (48 Volts) with 112 Ampere-hours capacity, it weighed two tons. The car was propelled by a four horse-power Siemens-Halske trolley car motor, that Morrison rewound to work at the lower voltage, reducing power to 2½ hp. Rail traction motors of the time generally ran at closer to 600 Volts. The controller consisted of a board of switches giving three speeds, with 3 groups of 8 parallel cells in series providing first speed, 2 groups of 12 parallel cells in series for second speed, and all 24 in series for third speed. The car had a “dead man” switch, which interrupted all battery current if the driver’s foot was not pushing a pedal on the floor. A spur gear on the armature shaft drove a large, straight-cut ring-gear, mounted on the axle near the right rear wheel. The axle turned the left wheel without benefit of any differential.

The front wheels were 3½ feet in diameter, and the rear ones were 4, they were shod with steel rims.

Morrison, who enjoyed a comfortable life from the sale of his battery patents, was considered eccentric. He was a vegetarian; said to eat mostly fruits, nuts, and puddings. Morrison went on to develop new batteries for the Vesta Accumulator Co of Chicago.


The American Battery Company formed in Chicago in 1892. They made an agreement to make the Morrison battery, and also purchased the demonstrator car for $3,600. It was running on the streets of Chicago by August 11, 1892.

This car became very influential at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exhibition in Chicago-–sometimes driven by 17 year old Edgar Rice Burroughs--where ABC used it to demonstrate their commercial version of the Morrison battery, which was given an award at the fair. This “Electric Horseless Surrey” was transported to the American Battery Company exhibit in the Electrical Building, and displayed there while the right rear wheel, damaged when the car was unloaded from a horse-drawn transport wagon, was repaired. There were other motor vehicles, from Germany and England, on display in the transportation building, but they were all stationary.

Permission was obtained to run the car on the fair grounds, and it made its debut on July 4th 1893. With a top speed of 12 mph, and the ability to carry up to 9 people on the three seats, getting a ride was in demand. At the fair almost everyone who would be influential in early motoring history saw the Morrison carriage; including the Duryea brothers, Albert A. Pope, Alexander Winton, Henry Ford, Walter Baker, the Studebaker brothers, Charles B. King, and Elwood Haynes. Even President Grover Cleveland got a ride.

Thomas Edison saw the Morrison car at the Fair and was not impressed. He said:

“It would seem more likely that horseless carriages will be run by a gasoline or naphtha motor of some kind. It is quite possible, however, that an electric storage battery will be discovered which will prove more economical, but at present the gasoline or naphtha motor looks more promising.”

Edison subsequently spent a considerable amount of time and money developing a suitable Nickel/Iron alkaline battery, with limited success. It was good enough to eventually recoup his investment, but not good enough to save the electric car.


By 1895, former ABC vice-president, Harold Sturges, owned the vehicle. He wanted to put it into production, and took the car wherever he thought capitol, or the publicity that attracted capitol, might be found.

He entered the “motocycle” in Americas first automobile race, the Chicago Times-Herald Thanksgiving Day event. In preparation he installed a new 3 hp Lundell motor and removed the rear seat to accommodate a larger 250 Ampere hour battery. A. A. Pope’s Hartford Rubber Works mounted solid rubber tires on the steel rims.

The race version weighed 3,535 lbs. with 2,085 at the rear wheels and 1,450 on the front. Due to over five inches of fresh snow on a frozen crust, and temperatures near freezing, the car had little chance. The battery had less capacity due to the low temperature, and was depleted at twice the normal rate, with the front wheels plowing through snow and ice, and the drive wheels slipping on the icy patches.

Even in the freezing weather the motor kept overheating. After several stops to cool it, Sturges gave up, managing 13 miles of the 54-mile course in three hours, an effort rewarded with a $500.00 prize. On April 6, 1896, Sturges took the car to Minneapolis for an Auto show. A photograph taken April 14, 1896, showed the surrey, with no top, and a third seat, now facing aft, back in place. There was a trolley bell mounted at the right front of the dash to alert cyclists and pedestrians, a bare-bulb trouble light dangled at the center as a headlight.

By 1899 Sturges had abandoned the car dream for those of Klondike gold.

Major George Tyler Burroughs, vice-president of American Battery, estimated that more than $20,000 had been invested in the car. Sturges figured the production cost would be about $1,000 per unit, at least when talking to prospective investors and the press.


Morrison-Electricar        1933-1983     

A. E. Morrison & Sons Ltd, London, England

         Commercial vehicles, including milk floats


Motette           1900-1903     

Canadian Motors Ltd.

A two-seat buggy.


Munson           1899-1902     

Munson Electric Motor Co, LaPorte, IN

         John Henry Munson, patent #654,478.

A hybrid system with a 2 or 4 cylinder engine; It was designed to be fitted to existing wagons. An electric motor served as the starter and generator, automatically switching modes depending on engine speed. The motor’s armature served as the engine flywheel. A hand lever in front of the driver operated friction clutches. It had a two-speed gearbox: low for hills and heavy loads, or high for good roads.


Murphy            1940-1942     

Murphy Cars & Trucks Ltd, Maidenhead, England




NAG 1901-1911

         1901-1908, Allgemeine Elektrizitats-Gesellschaft, Berlin, Germany

         1908-1915      Neuer Automobil-Gesellschaft,

         1915-1934      National Automobile-Gesellschaft, Berlin, Germany      

The company started with gasoline cabs.

1901        They took over the automotive part of Kühlstein Wagenbau in Charlottenburg, which had made electrics since 1898.

1905        NAG put their first electric on the road.

1911        Berlin – with electric cabs since 1899 - had a fleet of 300 NAG taxies. They had 44 cells, 30 kmh top speed, with a range of 100-140 kilometers.


Namag                1906-1912     

Norddeutsche Automobil & Motoren A.G., Bremen, Germany.

On May 17, 1906 the rights to the Kriéger system, for the German Empire, were secured from Abam & Kriéger by licensee Norddeutsche Machinen-und Armaturenfabrik (a subsidiary of Norddeusche Lloyd since 1902), Deutsche National Bank of Bremen, and Compagnie Parisienne des Voitures Électriques S.A., with capitol from Indusmine (Kriégers parent company).

Namag took over the Berlin branch of Kréiger (Abam), and liquidated it in 1907.

Georg Heinrich Plate, was the director at Lloyd, and he became the director of Namag. Three fifths of profits were paid to Kriéger. After setting up a factory for 2.5 million marks, they borrowed 3.5 million more to start production and buy a coach builder, which they renamed Bremer Wagen und Karosserie-Werke vorm.

1907                 the first car was called the “Lloyd” 22 cars were made that year.

1908                 production up to 130

One was made for the German Emperor

They also produced fire engines, ambulances, and mail vans.



1900-1903 National Automobile & Electric Co

         2200 E. 22nd St, Indianapolis IN.

1904-1907 National Motor Vehicle Company        

         900-1013 E. 22nd St. (near Alvord) 2100 E. 22nd St

A two-story 350 x 75 foot brick factory with a three-story addition at the back (South) end. A rail spur ran along the West side.


Capitalized in February 1900 at $250,000 by Loren S. Dow, president and general manager; Albert E. Metzger, Arthur C. Newby, Charles E. Test, (from Indiana Chain & Stamping Co), Philip Goetz, Robert Martindale, and H. T. Hearsey.

Dow was the manager at Indiana Bicycle and bought the rights to the American Electric design with his partners. They started making the first Waverley Electric car based on that design. Dow and Goetz resigned when the (unrelated) American Bicycle Co took over. They made their first series of National Electrics using the Karsten Knudsen design from American Electric.

National started making gasoline cars in 1904, and continued gasoline car production after dropping electric cars in 1907.


The motor drove an intermediate shaft to enclosed spur and ring gears at the rear wheels, 80 volts, 5-speeds, all but the runabout had wood wheels.

Style A     Runabout 2-passengers on basket seats, wire wheels, 1½ hp, 14 mph, 50-60 mile range, $750

Style B     Combination Vehicle 4-passenger break, with a removable rear seat to    add a delivery top, 2½ hp, 12 mph, $1,500 complete

Style C     Park Trap 4-passengers Dos-à-dos, 1½ hp, 12 mph, $1,200

Style D    Break 4-passengers, 2½ hp, 14 mph, $1,600

Style E     New York Trap 4-passengers dos-a dos, as D, $1,650

Style F     Stanhope 2-passengers with top, as D, $1,750

Style G     Road Wagon 2-passengers, as C, $1,200.

Style H    Road Wagon with top, as C, $1,250.


The intermediate shaft was replaced by center axle chain drive, 16 mph


The proprietary motor was redesigned for smaller size with more power. The motor was supported on the rear axle. The battery was reduced from 40 to 32 cells. Reverse was by a button on the controller.

100           Electrobile 1,600 lbs with an 800 lb Western Storage Battery Co (Indianapolis) battery of 44 cells.

120           long distance faux radiator, steering wheel, 16 cells in front and 20 at the rear. 32” diameter wheels,

                 Tonneau As 120 


An Edison battery for the model 50, 55, 65, or 85, added $300

Model 50 Electrobile Piano Box body, 64 Volt, 2½ hp, 4 speeds to 16 mph,         $950.

Model 55; as 50, with top, $1,000

Model 60 Road Wagon as 50, $950

Model 65 Road Wagon with top, $1,000,

Model 70 Runabout $950

Model 75 Runabout with top, $1,000

Model 85 Stanhope 64 Volt 3 hp 6-pole motor, $1,500

Model 100 Electrobile Special; piano box body, 36-cell battery, motor as 85, $1,200

Model 110 Park Trap; 4-passengers dos-à-dos, as 85, $1,250, fringed canopy top add $50


50    Electrobile With 40 E-18 Edison cells, $1,350    

65    Road Wagon with Edison Battery, $1,300

75    Runabout, w/ 40 E-18 Edison cells, $1,300

85    Stanhope, w/ 40 E-18 Edison cells $1,800

100  Electrobile Special, piano box

110  Park Trap dos-à-dos

135  Stanhope, 2-passengers, new model with front and rear battery compartments, designed for the Edison Battery (which was discontinued before the year begin), leather top and side curtains, leather upholstery, leather fenders, royal blue body with wine colored gear and gold strips, plated brass bright-work, 3-9 hp motor, with 36 cell Western or Exide battery, $1,500; with 40 E-27 or 60 E-18 Edison Cells, $2,000


50    Electrobile, 2.5 hp, 67” wheelbase, 1,500 lbs, 32 cell battery, $950

75    Runabout, 70” wheelbase, 1,600 lbs, 3 hp, $1,200


Neale               1897                

Douglas Neale, Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland

         Dogcart tricycle, body by Drew, the single rear wheel was driven, four cars were made


Neftel               1902-1903     

Neftel Automobile Co, New York, NY

Capitalized at $75,000 by William Hoey, Frank Queeney, and Knight Neftel.

1902        September 16th, Knight Neftel, in his custom electric, beat a Waverley at Narragansett Park, Road Island; he averaged 27.38 mph.

         October, Neftel demonstrated a 4-passenger series hybrid weighing 3,500 lbs, with a 64-cell battery of 75 Amp-hour capacity; giving a pure electric range of 15 miles. This car was in the October 9-14 1902 New York to Boston reliability run against 12 steam and 62 gas cars. An article about the event made no mention of the man or the car as a finisher.


Nelco               1930-1950     

Nelco Electric Co, Surrey, England

         Mostly trucks, in 1948-50 they made a single seat electric car called the Solocar


New Century           1902-1903     

Suffield & Brown,  Willesden, London NW, England.

They briefly tried their hand at steam, gas, & electric


New Columbus Buggy Co,     see Columbus


New England          1899-1901

New England Electric Vehicle Co, Boston, then Waltham, MA,

Name changed to Stanton in 1902.

Runabout based on Barrows’ patents


New York Electric   1900       

N. Y. Electric Vehicle Co, N.Y., NY




Officine di Sesto             1909       

San Giovanni, Camona e Cie, Sesto-San-Giovanni, Italy


Ohio      1909-1917

         1909 Ohio Electric Carriage Co, Toledo, OH

         1909-1911 Ohio Electric Car Co offices 2011 Michigan Avenue, manufactured at the Milburn factory on Monroe Avenue.

         1911-1917, 1501-1507 West Bancroft Street, Toledo, OH         


The Dodge brothers of Toledo grew up in a fine house to a successful father. Frederick B. Dodge was the head of a large insurance brokerage, and a White Lime manufacturing company. White lime (Calcium Hydroxide) was the base material for whitewash, mortar, plaster, and a hair removal crème. He was also a director of the Toledo Electric Co, Toledo Bolt & Nut, and VP of the Great Western Pin Co, of which Charles F. Milburn was secretary and treasurer.

Frederick Jr. was the eldest son by five years over Henry Perkins (Perk) Dodge, and was favored by the lion’s share of inheritance. When Frederick graduated from MIT he was made secretary of the Toledo White Lime Co. When Perk graduated from the University of Michigan–-with an electrical engineering degree–-he was put to work in the engineering department. By this time Frederick was the treasurer, and, when their father died in 1893, he became president. Frederick Jr. also got the Dodge Insurance Brokerage. Perk remained in the white lime engineering department where he developed a superior manufacturing method in 1906.


H. P. Dodge, with mechanical engineer Cassius M. Fuller, developed a design for an electric car drive system that appears to be based on the Baker "Motor Front” shaft-drive cars, which were first sold five years earlier. 1909 was the year Baker put shaft drive into all of their heavy cars, three years before shaft drive in electrics was almost universally adopted.

Around February of 1909 Henry P. Dodge was said to be looking for a manufacturing partner. Perk was on the University of Michigan tennis team (class of ’93) with Horace Suydam (class of ’94). Horace’s father, Frank Suydam, was President of the Milburn Wagon Co, and Horace had become secretary.

An agreement was made in which Milburn would make the bodies for Perk's electric, and the cars would be assembled at their factory, with other components from outside vendors. Carpenters, blacksmiths, upholsterers, and sheet metal workers made Miburn’s farm wagons and contract automobile bodies. The factory was not equipped with heavy drop forges, rolling mills, or full machine shops. The motors were from General Electric.


In September of 1909 the Ohio Electric Car Co. was incorporated at $75,000 by lumber baron Abram M. Chesbrough, president; James Brown Bell (married to Marie Suydam), treasurer; Frank D. Suydam Jr., secretary; and Henry “Perk” Perkins Dodge, general manager.

Other directors included; Rathbun Fuller, Henry E. Marvin (Perk’s father-in-law), Frederick H. Dodge, and Robert R. Lee.


In December of 1910, press reports mentioned a planned merger between Ohio and Milburn. The merger didn’t gel. After his fathers death, in the spring of 1911, Electrical engineer Horace W. Suydam, Milburn’s secretary since 1896, became president. This seems to have upset the merger plans between Ohio and Milburn.

By 1911, a rift had formed between the Dodge brothers and Horace Suydam over the future of the electric car. The Dodges, and Frank D. Suydam Jr., wanted to continue making sophisticated coaches for the wealthy, while Horace Suydam wanted to make a new generation of lower priced electrics using the Milburn companies efficient, highly mechanized, body assembly techniques.


Ohio moved to a new home on nearby West Bancroft Street. The new factory was four stories high with a footprint of 60 x 240 feet. At the time of the split, Milburn was making farm wagons, buggies, and motorcar bodies on contract; they had a market cap of $700,000. The market cap of Ohio was $150,000.


After the initial model “D,” Ohio used a one-knob electric controller that switched solenoid actuators, rather than a mechanical controller, which required moderate effort. This system was known as the Dodge Magnetic Controller. They added electric brakes a bit later. It was similar to the Sprague design; first used in streetcars, such as the Chicago South Side Elevated RR, and interurban lines. This was an ideal car for the elderly, and some people with physical disabilities. The downside was that the controller solenoids depended on gravity to open a circuit. The contactor points could arc and weld themselves to the fixed contacts, potentially causing a runaway car.


Ohio bought rights to Fay O. Farwell’s patent for dual drive cars, which the company employed starting with the 1912 model M. This format was intended for a forward driving position when driven by a chauffeur, or when a fifth passenger might block the drivers view from the rear seat. In 1914 Ohio sued Anderson (Detroit Electric) and Rauch & Lang over infringement of the dual drive patent.


In 1913 Ohio doubled the size of the factory and workforce by adding a second building and employing 200 more workers. The new plant was of the same dimensions as the 1911 factory. Production was said to be 55 cars a month.


At the annual meeting, in mid February of 1914, Ohio declared its first cash dividend of 6%. The executives were; Frederick H. Dodge, president; C. M. Foster, VP; Otto Marx, VP & treasurer; with H. P. Dodge as general manager. Also on the board of directors were, J. F. Vogel, F. D. Suydam Jr., Rathbun Fuller, and Robert R. Lee.


In 1914 Frank Suydam Jr. sold his interest in Ohio and moved back to Milburn joining his brother Horace to develop a simpler car at a lower price point, this became the Milburn Light Electric. Frederick Dodge and Otto Marx followed him that winter.


H. P. Dodge left Ohio Electric in August of 1915 to form the H. P. Dodge Engineering Co, primarily a maker of lead batteries. He was also a director of Walding, Kinnan, and Marvin, his father-in-law’s drug company. People with affiliation to the Dodge family bought the Ohio shares from Suydam, F. Dodge, & Otto Marx. Ohio was reincorporated with the new owners.

Lumberman Marcus Barbour became president, VP Cassius M. Foster took over as general manager, Herman Brand was secretary and treasurer. He was also secretary of the Toledo White Lime Co. The other directors were; Joshua F. Vogel, Arthur E. Baker, Rathbun Fuller, and founding director Henry E. Marvin.


Factory capacity had apparently grown to exceed demand for the electrics, as Ohio started making bodies for the model 86 Overland Roadster. It had two doors and a unique “cloverleaf” seating arraignment, with two bucket-seats in front, and a rear bench seat, accessible by a passage between the front buckets. It sold for $2,900. Rathbun Fuller, who was also on the board at Overland, probably brought in this business. Orders for the car were placed though Ohio Electric.


The US Congress declared war on Germany April 6th 1917; on October 11th 1917 Ohio filed to dissolve.


Model Descriptions

On the first series of cars, a four point yoke suspended the motor on a large ball joint directly behind the front axle. The armature shaft faced forward and had a sprocket that drove a silent-chain reduction to a sprocket wheel on a long drive shaft, which kept the radius of movement low. The shaft had no U joints and went straight to the bevel drive rear end. All of the driveline was encased in a stamped sheet metal tube, which, with the help of reach rods, kept things in alignment. It was very similar in concept to the Motor-front Bakers.

The next series had a shorter driveshaft, with the motor directly coupled to the driveshaft with no reduction. The motor was cantilevered from a suspension point along the driveshaft tube

Later cars suspended the motor on a pair of leaf springs, with a pivot, on both sides of the motor, which was directly coupled to the propeller shaft.


The steel channel frame was made more ridged by the insertion of wood in the channels. It was thought that a more ridged frame would reduce the rate at which the flexing led to disassociation of the body components.

These luxury coaches had aluminum body panels.



Production begin at the Milburn Wagon Company with a progressive design using a long driveshaft to a bevel-gear rear end, forged I beam front axle, wood filled steel frame, or pressed steel alone if preferred.

D      Coupé, Shaft drive, Motz cushion tires, 7-speed continuous torque controller offering 18 mph in 6th, or up to 25 with the speed shunt in, 2,500 lbs, 80” WB, 32” artillery wheels with Marsh rims, 48 V 13-plate Exide battery, always in series. The motor drove an enclosed shaft through a reduction chain, mechanical brakes on rear hubs, a drop frame brought the floor to 24” above the road, leather fenders.


         D      Coupé, 4-passengers, 24 cell 13 plate battery, expanding and contracting brakes on rear drums, 80” wheelbase, 2,480 lbs, Palmer web tires, $2,600


Ohio introduced the Dodge Magnetic Controller in the new models. These cars ran on 60 Volts, had an 80” wheelbase chassis, 36” wheels, and cushion tires.

D      Coupé, 4-passengers, $2,600

F       Victoria, 2-passengers, $2,300

G      Brougham 5-passengers, 26 mph, foot accelerator (field shunt), Hess-Bright annular ball bearings at all wheels, direct bevel drive (with no U joints), fully floating rear axles, four brake shoes on two rear drums, front and rear crank-up windows, which dropped out of sight into the bodywork, fixed lubrication tube around steering post. $2,700


Duplex-drive introduced, 5-speeds.

D      Coupé     4-passengers, 80” wb, $2,600

F       Victoria   $2,400

G      Brougham $2,700

K      Brougham 5-passengers, Ohio Blue, green, or maroon, Cyclops headlight, $2,900

M     Straight Line Brougham with rounded Limousine style rear, 5-passengers with revolving front seats, duplex drive, Warner Auto Meter, electric heater (in first two speeds), 96” wheelbase. Ohio had a patent on this design, where the low speed Crocker-Wheeler motor drove a shorter driveshaft through a rigid tube with no chains or reduction. The motor and tube pivoted from a large ball joint on the tube just aft of the motor, causing it to be cantilevered. The armature shaft was hollow; the drive shaft went through it and was connected at the front of the motor. This gave solid alignment between motor and driveshaft, using only one set of bearings. They had the magnetic brake and other appointments found in all Ohio cars, $3,200

Q      Victoria 4-passengers, 90” wheelbase, 30-cell battery, $3,250

X      Coupé, 5-passengers, duplex-drive. Designing a car to be driven either from the front or rear seat requires new interior arrangements, and this car was built to accommodate three passengers on the rear seat and two in the forward chair seats, which revolved on pedestals so the passengers could be seated facing the occupants of the rear seat, or facing in the direction the car was driven. This arrangement became fairly standard for enclosed electric cars. 102” wheelbase, $4,000

A half-ton delivery was introduced.


All new models were built on the “M” platform using low speed Crocker Wheeler motors (800 rpm at 75 Volts). The control knob was of knurled gutta-percha (like hard rubber), and sat atop the left side steering mast, going into reverse required pressing a separate button, a second button on the knob case operated an electric motor-brake. Coils in the firewall of the body provided electrical heating. All models used a 40-cell battery. The controller had a Yale lock.

L       Colonial Brougham 96” wheelbase, Exide batteries, 5-passengers, $3,200

M     Brougham, Duplex drive, at $3,200

O      Brougham “Semi-Colonial”, rear drive, 100” wheelbase, $2,900

Y       Semi-Colonial Brougham, duplex drive, 100” wb, Ohio called the model Y “the first electric car of Viennese design built in this country.” This type of body, with slight modifications, became very popular in all high-grade enclosed cars. Ohio built and marketed two models of this type in 1913, and developed the design into its later models: $3,500


The 1914 Ohios had sash-less windows, and electric heaters under the front seats. A 40-cell 13-plate Exide battery in non-wash jars, and a double set of band brakes on the rear drums.

20    Roadster, 2-passengers, buggy top with side curtains,

30    Coupé, 3-passengers, 3,200 lbs, 86” wheelbase,  $2,700

40    Brougham (“Dresden Design”), 5-passengers, rounded back, 3,400 lbs, $3,200

50    Extension Brougham, 5-passengers, 98” wheelbase, Both contracting and expanding brakes on rear hubs with magnetic brake, five speeds to 22 mph, Duplex drive by lever, $3,200

60    Extension Brougham (“Viennese Design”), the same as the 50, except the 60 had rounded bodywork at the rear, $3,500


Ohio built a battery powered “Trackless Trolley” to extend the streetcar lines of the Merrill Railway & Light Co in Merrill Wisconsin. It resembled a trolley car, but had a small front hood, solid tires, and no trolley.


Equipped with a worm or helical drive rear end (except m 11), to customer preferences. Fully aluminum clad with cast aluminum window frames.

11    Coupé, 4-passengers, Westinghouse motor, bevel drive, the doors used blind hinges. There was a minimum of seams and molding giving a smooth, unified look. $2,400

21    Roadster, 3-passengers, proprietary motor, 42 cells, $2,650

31(?)        Coupé, 4-passengers, 86” wheelbase,

41    Brougham, 4-passengers, rear lever, 42 cells, in “Coach Blue”, 20 mph, 98½” wheelbase, minimum body seams, $2,900

51    Brougham, 5-passengers, duplex drive, 44 cells, $3,250

61    Coupé, 5-passengers, duplex drive, 44 cells, $3,500


Top speed was increased to 28 mph; Ohio was also making a Roadster body for Overland. Ohio had the highest priced electric offered this year (average of 27 models, $2,100; $500 more than the average gasoline car).

12    Coupé, 4-passengers, 72 Volts, mechanical window lifts, helical bevel gears, $2,400

22    Roadster, $2,650

42    Brougham, rear drive, 80 Volts $2,900

62    Brougham, 5-Passengers, duplex drive, 103” wheelbase, 80 Volts, 5 speeds to 28 mph, $3,250.


14    Coupé, 4-passengers, hand hammered seamless aluminum body.

43    Brougham, 5-passengers, coach blue, 103” wheelbase, 40 cell 13 plate battery, 28 mph, contracting brakes on rear drums, minimal seams, $3,250

44    Brougham, pressed steel fenders, easier maintenance controller, Goodyear Silvertown or Motz tires, $2,380

The model 44 was Ohio’s first “stock” car, made just one way, to save costs.

63    Brougham, 5-passengers, duplex drive, $3,250

                 Roadster, $2,600


The company was out of business, but 1918 models had been announced.

44    Brougham, 5-passengers, double external drum brakes, $2,600

15    Coupé, rear drive, The windshield lowered into the firewall, two sets of brakes on the outside of each rear drum, motor suspended on pivots by a pair of leaf springs, the drive was through a ridged tube to the rear end, all moved as a unit with the motor contributing very little to the un-sprung weight. There were few apparent seams in the bodywork. The doors were hinged at the rear, with a Soss invisible hinge at the top.

63    Brougham, 5-passengers, duplex drive, electric heat, hand-hammered aluminum panels for a nearly seamless body.


Olds                 1899-1901

Olds Motor Works, Detroit, MI

Olds & Sons was a machine shop in Lansing Michigan that built gasoline fired steam engines for stationary applications.

One son, Ransom E. Olds, built several gasoline, a few steam, and 7-20 electric cars, before his original Detroit factory burned down on March 9, 1901.

To return to production as soon as possible Olds concentrated on his inexpensive one-cylinder, curved dash runabout, as an assembled car using interchangeable parts (off the shelf components, the engine was made by Henry Leland). To build as quickly and cheaply as possible, Olds set up the first automobile assembly line in late 1901. The workers had specialty stations and the work came to them. By 1903, these methods brought the price for the curved dash Olds down to $650.

As this car was an enormous success, Olds settled on gasoline car production.

The Electrics;

Designed by Olds superintendent Willis G. Murray, with Sievers & Erdman bodies, they used Eddy motors and Willard batteries. All but two of the cars were destroyed in the fire, one being the electric Stanhope that was Olds’ personal car.


                 Stanhope, 2-passengers, goatskin upholstery, $1,650

                 Phaëton, 5-passengers, $1,750



Oppermann             1898-1902              

Carl Oppermann, Wyngate Street, Clerkenwell, England

1902-1907      Carl Oppermann Electric Carriage Co Ltd

Watchmaker Carl Oppermann made a variety of cars and cabs with a proprietary battery.


         Oppermann was marketing a full running gear with steel tube frames, worm drive at front or rear axle for any type of body. 3 hp motor,

         Dog Cart, 40-cell 150 A h 1,15 lb battery, band brakes at rear wheels, artillery wheels with 2” solid rubber tires, electric brake,  

         Victoria, 50-mile range


2-passengers, 3-hp Oppermann motor, wire wheels, series/parallel field and battery switching for three speeds. A steel worm gear on the armature tuned a phosphor bronze ring gear on the differential. Forty cells in four boxes, the battery lasted six to nine months. Enameled leather fenders & dash, leather top, band & carriage brakes


An outside drive Landaulet and a Delivery were offered.


A car was sold to the King of Siam.


Orient Electric Carriage 1898       

Waltham Manufacturing Company, Waltham, MA

They also made steam and De Dion based gasoline vehicles.

Designed by James W. Piper and George M. Tinker and displayed at Madison Square Garden from January 21 to 28, 1889.


Flexible steel-tube frame, 1,000 lbs, $1,000. Fairbanks laminated wood rimmed wheels 32 & 34 inches in diameter, wheels on ball bearings, 550 lb Cloride (ESB) battery, 100 lb 10 kW Riker motor, compensating gear designed by company President Metz.



British trucks 



The Otis Elevator Company made 13 electric delivery trucks.


Owen Magnetic

1914-1915 R. M. Owen & Co New York, NY

1915-1920 Baker R & L Company, Cleveland, OH

1920-1921 R. M. Owen Co Wilkes-Barre, PA


The Owen Magnetic was a gasoline car with an electric transmission. This was an enormous advantage before automatic transmissions were introduced in the late 1930s.

Justus Buckley Entz, an electrical engineer at the Electric Storage Battery Co in Philadelphia, patented the design May 4, 1897. The Pope Manufacturing Co in Hartford Connecticut built a prototype in 1898 as the Columbia Mk IX. In 1907 Entz was a Vice President of the Electric Vehicle Co, which then owned Columbia, and Columbia briefly made a production model called the Mk MXLVI, sold in 1908. Only ten were made, but they proved to be solid reliable cars. EVC/Columbia was sold to new owners in 1909.

Entz wanted royalty payments, so he shopped the patent around, and, after a brief engagement with the White Sewing Machine Co, Walter Baker bought the rights in 1912. Baker and Entz both got new patents for improvements over the Columbia version.

In 1914 Entz, still seeing no royalties, talked Raymond Owen into licensing the rights, and he made the cars in New York for a couple of years. In December 1915 the recently merged Baker and Rauch & Lang companies bought out Owen and made him vice president of sales. General Electric was interested in the concept (mostly for Diesel Electric locomotives), and invested two million dollars in the company. GE manufactured the electrical components at their Fort Wayne Indiana factory. The platforms were built in Cleveland at the Edgewater Park Baker factory; most of them had Bodies made at the Rauch & Lang factory. Buda 6 or Continental made the gasoline engines.

Owen took the company back in January of 1919, when Rauch & Lang’s electric car business was sold. He then made cars in Wilkes-Barre Pennsylvania until bankruptcy in 1921.       

In 1930 three more Entz type cars were made for Ned Green, a wealthy disabled client, by the last iteration of the Rauch & Lang Co, by this time owned by the Owen brothers.

Fewer than a thousand of these cars were made over the years.



In all but the top speed position, the car functioned as a semi-series hybrid. As neither the small 24-volt starting/lighting battery, or any other secondary energy source, directly propelled the car, it was not a strictly defined hybrid, as motive power was all from the gasoline engine. These same components, with a larger battery and different wiring, could have worked as a series-parallel-hybrid, but that would involve a lot more weight and complications for moderately better fuel economy. The Owen Magnetic was one of the most expensive automobiles on the market as it was.

Rather than using a clutch, and various gear ratios, the crankshaft was bolted directly to the spinning field coil frame of a dynamo, with the armature of the dynamo connected to the driveshaft through the armature of an electric motor in the same case. By switching circuit wiring: the relative speed of the two dynamo components could slip, or lock up: transferring up to 93% of the engine’s power to the driveshaft. Any slippage between the field and armature caused the unit to behave as a dynamo, generating current, which was delivered to the electric motor just behind it. When the car was static; torque was delivered to the drive wheels by the electric motor alone. Between the first speed and the sixth, the system shifted energy transmission from that of a series hybrid to a gasoline car with a magnetic clutch. The car featured dynamic braking, but it dumped the current as heat, and was not regenerative.

The dynamo field always spun at the speed of the engine, the armatures of the dynamo and motor rotated at the speed of the driveshaft. The motor field was fixed to the case shared with the dynamo. Behind the electric transmission case was a small gear cluster for reverse, or a low gear, with a 50% reduction.




         4W 29 HP motor 125” wb, 6 cylinders, $3,100

         5W 34 HP motor 130” wb, 6 cylinders, $5,700

1917        M-25

1919        W-42

1921        M-60

1930        Three more Entz type cars were made by the last iteration of the Rauch & Lang Co, at this time owned by the Owen brothers (see Rauch & Lang).