Tag Archive: gormully

Col. Albert Augustus Pope (1843 – 1909) founded the Pope Manufacturing Company in 1878 to manufacture and sell bicycles. His bicycles were branded as Columbia and one of the first bicycle was the Columbia High-wheeler.

Pope was an innovator and was credited with using ball bearings and hollow steel tubes in his bicycles. He bought Pierre Lallement’s patent and started manufacturing ‘true” bicycles.

In order to control the bicycle market, Pope bought almost all the patents related to bicycles and was manufacturing close to quarter million bicycles by 1900. Apart from that he was earning $10 per bicycle of other manufacturers as royalty.

In 1898 , to further strengthen his hold over the bicycle market , he bought more than 50 independent manufacturers and created the American Bicycle Company. He also acquired the Gormully patent from Thomas B Jeffery of Rambler.

As  gasoline engines were becoming popular, Pope expanded in to Motorcycles also. A 1914 Pope Motorcycle –

Pope began experimenting with Automobiles in 1896 and one of the first venture was with electric vehicles. Many prototypes were made and tested. In 1899 , Pope founded the Columbia Automobile Company along with Electric Vehicle Company to manufacture Electric vehicles under the Columbia brand.  Later in 1899 , due to differences in opinion between the two companies  Pope sold off his stake in Columbia Automobile Company to Electric vehicle Company.

After his exit from Columbia Automobile Company , Pope entered the Automobile business with a series of acquisitions starting 1903. He acquired many Automobile companies under his new company – Pope Automobiles.

  • Pope – Hartford
  • Pope – Robinson   (From Robinson Motor Vehicle Company)
  • Pope – Toledo
  • Pope – Tribune
  • Pope – Waverly  (From Crawford bicycle Company)

Some of the cars of Pope acquisition

A 1904 Pope – Hartford

A 1902 Pope – Robinson

A 1907 Pope – Toledo

A 1904 Pope – Tribune

A 1905 Pope – Waverly Electric

Due increasing competition and dropping prices , Pope Automobiles could not keep pace and was finally bankrupt and closed in 1915.

The Pope & Columbia Logo –



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.