Tag Archive: thomas jeffery


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.

Mechanical Engineer Henry G Morris and Chemist Pedro G Salom (in pic) created the world’s first successful electric car, in 1894.
In 1896 , they founded the Electric Carriage and Wagon Company to manufacture and  supply electric cars for the New York Taxi so as to replace all the horse-drawn taxis of that time.
In 1899, sensing possible success of electric mobility over Gasoline and Steam, Isaac L Rice of Electric Storage Battery Company bought over the Electric Carriage and Wagon company and renamed the merged entity as Electric Vehicle Company. The EVC sold about hundred vehicles to the New York Taxi fleet.
This attracted the attention of few businessmen who sensed an opportunity to monopolize the electric car business and acquired Electric vehicle company and merged it with Albert Pope‘s Columbia Automobile Company to form Columbia and Electric Vehicle Company (later renamed back as Electric Vehicle Company). To further strengthen their position , in 1901 , they acquired Riker Electric Motor Vehicle Company. They sold about 2000 electric cabs.
During this period , the electric , steam and gasoline cars sold one-third each and from then on steam cars and electric cars started losing traction, the former due to complexity and latter due to battery/range/weight related concerns.
To shore up for the future , the Electric Vehicle company had bought the famous Selden Patent in 1899 , which requires all Gasoline engined automobile manufacturers to pay a royalty of 1.25% (later 0.8%) to EVC. As the revenues from electric cars started to dwindle, the revenues from royalties helped them. However, the Selden patent was challenged by Henry Ford and Thomas Jeffery which led to its overthrow in 1911 after a protracted legal battle.
The Electric Vehicle Company became part of  United States Motor Company by 1910, which ultimately evolved in to Chrysler.