The Dodge Brothers: The Men, the Motor Cars, and the Legacy

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Wayne State University Press, 2005 - Biography & Autobiography - 251 pages
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At the start of the Ford Motor Company in 1903, the Dodge Brothers supplied nearly every car part needed by the up-and-coming auto giant. After fifteen years of operating a successful automotive supplier company, much to Ford’s advantage, John and Horace Dodge again changed the face of the automotive market in 1914 by introducing their own car. The Dodge Brothers automobile carried on their names even after their untimely deaths in 1920, with the company then remaining in the hands of their widows until its sale in 1925 to New York bankers and subsequent purchase in 1928 by Walter Chrysler. The Dodge nameplate has endured, but despite their achievements and their critical role in the early success of Henry Ford, John and Horace Dodge are usually overlooked in histories of the early automotive industry.

Charles K. Hyde’s book The Dodge Brothers: The Men, the Motor Cars, and the Legacy is the first scholarly study of the Dodge brothers and their company, chronicling their lives—from their childhood in Niles, Michigan, to their long years of learning the machinist’s trade in Battle Creek, Port Huron, Detroit, and Windsor, Ontario—and examining their influence on automotive manufacturing and marketing trends in the early part of the twentieth century. Hyde details the brothers’ civic contributions to Detroit, their hiring of minorities and women, and their often anonymous charitable contributions to local organizations. Hyde puts the Dodge brothers’ lives and accomplishments in perspective by indicating their long-term influence, which has continued long after their deaths.

The most complete and accurate resource on John and Horace Dodge available, The Dodge Brothers uses sources that have never before been examined. Its scholarly approach and personal tone make this book appealing for automotive historians as well as car enthusiasts and those interested in Detroit’s early development.

 

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Contents

Growing Up in Niles Michigan and the Long Road to the Dodge Brothers Machine Shop in Detroit
1
Automotive Suppliers to Ransom Olds and Henry Ford 19011914
29
The First Dodge Brothers Automobile
61
A Successful Car and a Successful Company 19151920
79
The Dodge Brothers in Perspective
115
Dodge Brothers under Frederick J Haynes 19201925
153
The Dillon Read Years and the Merger with the Chrysler Corporation 19251928
181
The Dodge Brothers The Men the Motor Cars and the Legacy
205
Early Dodge Family History in America
209
Notes
211
Index
243
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About the author (2005)

Charles K. Hyde is professor of history at Wayne State University. He has authored many books, most recently Riding the Roller Coaster: A History of the Chrysler Corporation (Wayne State University Press, 2003), which was selected as a 2004 Notable Book by the Library of Michigan.

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