Archive for May, 2013


 

Charles Brady King (1868 – 1957) of USA was an inventor and Engineer.  In 1894 he formed the Charles B King Company to manufacture Stationary Engines, Marine Engines and Pneumatic hammers and was holding numerous patents.
In 1893 , he made a plan to develop a “horseless” carriage which will be self-propelled by a Gasoline engine.
The first car was made in 1895 with a 2-cylinder King engine. The second car was made in 1896 and was driven around.
After experimenting successfully with cars, King continued to concentrate on Engines and pneumatic hammers. In 1900, King sold the Marine Engine business to Old Motor Works and joined the company as Chief Engineer. After the disastrous fire at Old Motor Works , he left the company and joined Northern Manufacturing Co (Later to be renamed as Northern Motor Company) in 1902.
At Norther Motor Company , King developed many engines and introduced new features on Northern cars. One of the well know being the “Silent Northern” car.
When Northern Motor Company was taken over by E-M-F in 1908 , King left Norther Motor Company and pursued higher studies. On completion of his studies , in 1910, King incorporated his company – King Motor Car Company.
King Motor Car company produced a few cars , the famous being the King 8 with a 8-cylinder engine, advertised as “the car of no regrets“. A 1912 King 36 roadster –
The King Logo –

After 1916 , sales kept falling and finally King Motor Company was closed down in 1924

 

Louis Semple Clarke (1866 – 1957) of USA was in the business of steam boat services. Early in 1890s  he started experimenting with motorization. In 1897, he formed the company Pittsburgh Motor vehicle Company. The first attempt was a Gasoline powered tricycle in 1897 and later, in 1899,  a proper 4 wheeled car called “Pittsburgher” was introduced.

In 1899 , the company was renamed as The Autocar Company and was experimenting with cars and trucks.
A 1901 Autocar car –
Autocar was known for innovation and inventions. LS (Louis Semple), as he was known, invented the Porcelain insulation for spark plugs. The patent was later sold to Champion and is still the main element of a modern spark plug. LS also was the first to put the steering on the left hand side which led to standardization of RH traffic. He was also the first to use oil circulation system for lubrication of engines.
By 1907 , Auto car decided to concentrate on manufacture of trucks. Some of the early Autocar trucks – a 1910 Autocar truck and a 1932 Autocar Tanker.

By 1912 , Autocar stopped manufacture of cars and  concentrated on the manufacture of trucks.
The Autocar Logo –
Autocar was taken over by White Motor Company in 1953 and trucks were manufactured under both White and Autocar brands. In 1981 , Volvo acquired White Motor Company and Volvo also continued to manufacture trucks under Autocar brand. In 2001 , Volvo stopped manufacture of Autocar trucks sold the Autocar brand to General Vehicle Holdings.

 

Thomas Buckland Jeffery (1845 – 1910), emigrated from England to the USA and was involved in selling bi-cycle components. In 1881, along with his friend R Phillip Gormully, he started a bi-cycle manufacturing company – Gormully and Jeffery.  G and J successfully fought Albert Pope over the Lallement patent on bi-cycle manufacture. G&J made bi-cycles under the Rambler brand name.
Thomas Jeffery , being an inventor, was holding many patents to his name including the “clincher tyre” , which was later sold to Dunlop.
In 1897 , Thomas Jeffery designed and created the first Rambler car.
The car received good reviews over the next few years and this made Thomas Jeffery to exit the bi-cycle business and enter automobile business. In 1900, Thomas Jeffery sold off his holdings in the G&J manufacturing company to the American Bi-cycle company and invested in Thomas B Jeffery company to manufacture automobiles.  Along with his son Charles Jeffery , Rambler cars became famous and sought after. A 1902 Rambler –
During the initial years , the Rambler cars were sold by John Willys , as a distributor.
After the sudden death of Thomas Jeffery during 1910 , Charles Jeffery took over control of the company. In 1914 , Charles Jeffery renamed the Rambler brand as Jeffery in memory of his father (reverted back to Rambler later). Rambler also expanded in to the manufacture of Trucks with 4 wheel drive and 4 wheel steering and was used extensively during the World War I.  A 1918  Rambler Quad ( Nash) –
A running model of the Nash Quad military truck can be seen here
Logo of Jeffery and Rambler –
In 1916, Charles Jeffery sold his company to Charles Nash of Nash Motors. Nash Motors continued to make cars and trucks under the Rambler as well as Nash brands. 1937, Nash Motors merged with appliance manufacturer , Kelvinator to form Nash-Kelvinator.
By 1954, Nash-Kelvinator and Hudson Motor co merged to formAmerican Motor Corporation and Nash and Rambler brands continued to exist along with AMC. By 1966 – 68 , the Rambler brand was slowly dropped and then disappeared.
American Motor Corporation, after a brief alliance with Renault , was taken over by Chrysler corporation in 1987.

 

Rene Thury (1860 – 1938), a Swiss electrical engineer, was known as the “King of DC” due to his inventions in the field of high voltage Direct Current. transmission. In 1877 , along with his Medical student friend , Jean-Jacques Nussberger , he built a steam powered tri-cycle which operated on coal.
In 1904, it is claimed that Thury developed the first “Parallel Gasoline – Electric Hybrid“, where the gasoline engine and electric motor operate on the same shaft. This hybrid vehicle had a range of 40 Kms in pure electric mode with 500 Kgs of battery. The vehicle like the current Toyota Prius , can operate in 3 modes – Pure electric , Pure Gasoline and Mix of both.

Rene Thury continued his career in the electrical engineering field and no more Automotive exploits were recorded.

Emile Mors (1859 – 1942) , a Frenchman , was in to his family business of electrical equipment when he got interested in cars – steam cars.  During 1887 – 89 , one of his employees Henri Brasier built a three wheeled steam car. After experimenting with steam for a few years , they shifted ther focus to petrol engine cars
By 1897 , Mors built their first car – a 2 seater , 5 HP car and achieved an average speed of 19 mph in races.
Mors and Panhard & Levassor were the leaders in all the races during this period and race car driven designs evolved very quickly , each trying to out do the other. In 1901/1902 , Mors introduced the famous race car , the Mors 60 HP – the first V4 engine on a car , pumping 60 HP out of 10 litre capacity. The rear wheels were driven through chain. A Mors 60 HP –
In 1902, Mors was the first car to use shock absorbers to improve the ride quality and thus improve stability and increase average speeds in the races.
Some of the famous MORS models are – a 1904 Mors, a 1909 Mors and a 1925 Mors  (last car) –
In 1905/06 . Mors Collaborated with St Louis Motors in the US to make and sell Mors in America, a venture which did not work well.
The Mors Logo –
By 1906 , Mors was in financial trouble and Andre Citroen was appointed as the Managing Director. Things started looking better for the next few years in car production and later during war production. By 1922, Mors was acquired by Citroen Motors as additional capacity to manufacture Citroen cars and by 1925 the Mors brand was dropped.