Baltimore Car Dealerships – 1900 to 1910
In 1909, one could find a ” Spoerer Car ‘ at Cal Spoerer‘s Sons Co at 901 – 909 South Carey Street, which would place it near the intersection of Herkimer Street. I have a feeling a Spoerer Car was a local Baltimore brand, of which many were popping up in Cities all over the Country at this time. Research has found that the Spoerer was also available in Virginia during this time. Apparently, Spoerer was a new car for 1909, winning a contract in 1911 with the City’s Engineering Department ,one of the main reasons they won the contract was that the vehicle was a “Baltimore made vehicle” for that agency, closing up shop somewhere from around 1916. In 1914 we found an ad for a used Spoerer in the paper for $450., which had sold new for $3,000, and a 1920 Ad has one listed for $200. The vehicles were actually assembled in Baltimore from parts shipped here however.
A 1909 ad for Pierce Cars , which were announcing the opening of their new business home at 533 North Howard Street. Pierce started out in the early 1900’s, and continued making cars until about 1937. The dealership would have been just north of Franklin Street, and just down the street where the Little Theatre was, while across the street , you would would find the Academy of Music.
We found an old ad for 1914 for the location for the sale of a Indian Motorcycle, for a dealership going by the name of Heinz Motor Co.
The perfect place for the Auto-Show in 1909 was the Fifth Regiment Armory on Howard Street in Baltimore City. Rain one day of the event prevented the opening to 2 P M as the cars were loaded into the Armory. Comments from several of those bringing vehicles to the event stated the Armory had more room available tan that in Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Kilduffs does not believe that claim is true however.
Later Auto Shows were noted as ” Fifth Annual” etc, and yes, we still have auto show in Baltimore to this day, however it has long since moved to the Convention Center downtown.
In 1988, papers were running ads for the Fourth Annual “International” Auto Show at the convention Center downtown .
An auto show in 1906 shows an excellent attendance with cars being sold right off the the Auto Show lot.
With more and more car dealerships popping up all over Baltimore, it was a matter of time before several different dealerships would open up in a block to block area, allowing people to see more than one brand at a time as they shopped. The postcard to the right shows Mount Royal Avenue at Charles Street ( looking West ), which would be the hub of car sales in Baltimore up until the 1950’s. The building on the top right is the Lyric Theatre, and the ” tower” in the center of the street is the Mt Royal Train Station
” Just across of the Gas Company ” as mentioned in this ad, you could find the Winton Motor Carriage Company at 209 North Liberty Street ( which would put it at Lexington Street ). Winton’s were available from around 1897 to 1924, and the Winton Motor Company was later sold to General Motors Company.
Kilduffs found ads for the dealership through the 1910’s in local papers.
REO created cars from about 1904 to 1936, and continued making trucks under that nameplate until the 1970’s. In 1909, you could buy a REO ” Runabout” for $500. at Little Joe’s, located at Baltimore and Howard Streets. A 22 H-P Touring car would run you an additional $500. Before going into the car market, Little Joe’s sold all sorts of items, from frying pans to fishing rods. They did not last in the car dealership market for long.
Oakland’s were produced from about 1907 to the early 1930’s. Considered a branch of Pontiac ,and later General Motors Corp., the cars could be found at several dealerships in Baltimore over the years. Little Joe’s seems to have disappeared quickly, as little mention could be found of the dealership after the 1910’s.
In the spirit of the old style Kilduff’s page on cars, the pages go by ten years. Click here for the next section of Cars Dealerships 1910-1920.