Dodge from 1864 to 1920
John Francis Dodge is born on October 25th in Niles, Michigan.
Horace Elgin Dodge is born on May 17th in Niles, Michigan.
Horace Dodge receives Patent #567,851 for a dirt-resistant bicycle bearing. In typical fashion, he shares credit with John.
Production starts for the Evans & Dodge Bicycle Company in Windsor, Canada.
The Dodges sell their interest in the bicycle business and start what would be the largest machine shop in Detroit.
The Dodges become a major supplier of engines, transmissions and axles to the new automobile industry. Oldsmobile and Northern were major customers.
Dodge gave up all other business, borrowed $75,000 for tooling and created the production drawings and all mechanical parts for the new Ford Motor Company. Starts shipping the first of 650 Ford cars. Dodge employs its entire shop – 135 workers; Ford employs only 12. The Dodge brothers accept a 10 percent share of the new Ford Motor Company stock for their risk.
Dodge Main plant was built to supply Ford with engines and transmissions. The property will eventually grow to 78 acres and have more than 5,140,000 feet of manufacturing and office space.
Dodge gave up all Ford business to introduce its own car – the first with an all-steel body. The first Dodge vehicle leaves the plant on Nov. 14, 1914. By the end of the year, 249 Dodge vehicles are built.
Dodge ranks as America’s third best-selling automaker. The word “dependability” is first used in Dodge advertising. Dodge offers a “winter car” with a removable hardtop and snap-on side glass.
Dodge supplies 150 cars to the United States Army. General John Pershing uses these Dodge vehicles to catch Mexican bandit Pancho Villa. Lt. George Patton Jr. uses a Dodge vehicle in the first mechanized cavalry charge in U.S. history with three cars and 15 soldiers. Dodge introduces an all-new multi-disc clutch.
Dodge enters the commercial truck field, offering both civilian and military trucks built on a passenger car chassis. The wheelbase on passenger cars is stretched from 110 to 114 inches. Dodge is fourth in U.S. sales.
Calendar year production is just over 60,000 units. Dodge produces a 155 mm gun recoil system for the Allied armies during WWI.
Dodge builds its 400,000th vehicle with a yearly total of 104,000 units. Dodge introduces a four-door enclosed sedan.
Both Dodge Brothers die of influenza – John on January 14th and Horace on December 20th. Dodge is the second best-selling car in America.
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