Baltimore Car Dealerships – (Part Two) 1910 to 1920
By the 1910’s, Baltimore Car dealerships were getting larger and more organized. Some of the smaller local brands were beginning to disappear, while others would pop up and you would begin to see less and less brands as the years went on.
I’m not quite sure of the exact year, but the Babcock 30 , built by the H.H. Babcock Co was waiting for you at the dealership , located at 107-09 West Fayette Street. That address is currently in the heart of Downtown Baltimore, and while nothing remains of the old dealership, it would be interesting to see a active car dealership open in downtown Baltimore today.Babcock produced cars out of Watertown, New York from 1909 until World War I, when they produced many of the ambulances for that war.
Typical newspaper ad for 1913 listing all the early early small dealerships and brands. As years went by, most would fail, but others would combine and grow. Kilduff’s is going to start listing the cars section in some type of A to Z order, but will be using both car type and dealer to do that. While several of the above dealers are from all over the City, you can already see many of that in the Mount Royal and Charles Street area, which would become Baltimore’s first car dealership strip.
406 to 410 North Calvert Street was home of Haynes Motor Sales Co. who sold Auburn Vehicles in the 1910’s. A 4 Cylinder , 40 Horsepower car would run you $1490. and the 6 Cylinder 48 Horsepower car would run about $2,000 . Auburns were produced from 1900 to the 1930’s.
An old Cadillac ad makes references to the Ford’s Theatre and Belvedere Hotel. The dealership was located in the ” Cadillac Building ” at 1000 North Eutaw Street.
Charles Street near North Avenue has been the address of several car dealerships in Baltimore. The best known is Chesapeake Cadillac at the corner of 24th and Charles Streets, which remained open until the 1980’s, in a beautiful art deco building. This as for for a Cacteccar, sold from the 1900 block of North Charles Street.
Another Mt Royal Dealership, this one located at 106 West Mount Royal Avenue ( with a service station located at 1020 Morton Street ), was the Poehlmann Automobile Co. For $1,795, you could purchase a Chandler “ Light Weight Six “. The Chandler “six” below is only $1395.
Dorts were made from 1915 to 1924, and were built in Flint Michigan. You could buy one in Baltimore at Rasch Motors starting at $695.
Empires were built in Indianapolis, Indiana, and had the knickname ” Little Aristcrat” The company only survived from 1910 to 1919. You could buy one Central Automobile Co. at Baltimore and Fallsway ( and Market Place ).
Franklin was founded in 1893 and began making automobiles in the early 1900’s. The engines were air cooled and the vehicle’s were considered luxury vehicles. The company closed up shop in the late 1920’s.
Even back in the 1910’s, cars needed those much needed repairs . Here is an ad for the ” One – Man tops ” for a Ford from the Baltimore Buggy Top Co., which would run you about $8.50
Chesapeake would later become Chesapeake Cadillac of 2400 North Charles Street. In the 1910’s, it would be Hupmobiles ” The Car of The American Family “, which were sold by Chesapeake from 20th Street and Charles. Hubmobile produced vehicles from about 1909 to 1940.
A West Baltimore dealership, the Beehler & Ogden Motor Company of West Lexington Street and Carey Street. A Krit Motor Car could only be found in Baltimore from about 1909 to 1915.
I’ve been emailed by the family of the Lambert Automobile Co of Ohio, although I’m not sure if Lambert Automotive in Baltimore was any relationship or not. This dealership was located at 4 & 6 East Chase Street, and sold the National “40” Touring car for a mere $2,500. That appears to have been quite an expensive car in those times.
In an advertisement for the Baltimore Auto Show, this ad could be found for the Lozier , which was available for sale at Southern Auto Company , 1300 Mt Royal Avenue. Lozier’s were considered luxury cars, with prices well over the year salary of most working folks of the time.
The corner of North Avenue and McCulloh Streets are currently occupied by a fast food restaurant, a gas station, a car wash ,and a row of houses. The exact corner where Walter Scott’s Marmon Dealership remains a mystery, but we hope to have that mystery solved and soon. ( I suspect the dealership was on the Northeast corner ) .
During the 1910’s, Mount Royal Avenue was the center of Baltimore City auto sales. You could find all types of cars in these blocks, but over the years, business would trickle up town, and to North Avenue, which would soon become the hub, before dealerships would spread out all over the City and beyond.
This very attractive building is home to Maryland Motors, located on North Calvert Street . I only found a few references to the dealership in the 1910’s and I have to wonder what happened to the building, and the dealership. It appears that the building has been greatly altered and would be in the area of the Orleans Street Viaduct.
In the 1910’s, Cathedral Street was teaming with smaller car dealerships, including the Wilson – Nash Motors Company. Cathedral Street leads off of Mt Royal Avenue, and was likely popular for dealers and buyers alike that could not afford the Mount Royal Avenue prices.Nash made cars from about 1902 until about 1957, and later the company went under the name plate of AMC.
Oldsmobile , a name plate that lasted for years! The model 42 could be bought for only $1,350 in 1914 and could be purchased at Auto Sales Company at 1007 North Cathedral Street.
about 1909 to about 1927, later to merge with Graham Motors, to become Paige-Graham Co. Schall – Crouch Auto Company of Baltimore , Maryland was located on North Charles Street in the 1910’s, and sold the Paige Automobiles.
Pierce – Arrow’s were sold out of Foss – Hughes Company from 1315 Cathedral Street and appears to have been a truck dealership. Pierce Arrow trucks were produced from about 1911 to the 1930’s.
By the mid 1910’s, dealerships began to move North and pop up on North Avenue. REO’s could be bought at Curry-Stout , located at 131 West North Avenue, just East of Oak Street ( currently Howard Street ) .Reo produced cars from 1904 up until the 1930’s and truck were produced by REO well into the 1970’s.
An early dealership at 631 West North Avenue , near where the current JFX ramps meet North Avenue today. The car was listed as the Trumbull Cycle Car, ” America’s First Fully Equipped Light Car ” and sold complete for $425. It was available at Randall Mfg. Co. at both 28 South Charles Street and at 631 West North Avenue. Trumbull’s were produced from 1913 to about 1915.