The second notebook covers the period, July to July , when the Dodge Brothers automobile actually went into production. As a result, in addition to materials like in the first volume, the second notebook also contains detailed personnel information. When the Dodges started promoting their new company, even before the car was designed, they were flooded with applications from mechanics, engineers and managers looking for work.
Included in some cases were letters of recommendation from previous employers. George McDade, she laughed out loud and said that a former employer today would never send out such an honest letter:. I have your letter of the 19th inst.. George McDade. McDade is a very capable mechanic and is very aggressive. I have always felt that with the proper boss and in a small Company he would be a great success. He requires, however, some one to tell him where to get on and off.
He was a type of man who could not possibly succeed in our Company on account have having too many bosses, and I certainly think you would make no mistake in trying him. The second notebook also contains information on how the new factories were outfitted. There are pages of diagrams on the layout of the main plant including materials handling systems, machinery placements and die management. The third notebook, from April to June , shows how conscientious the firm was about continuous improvements. It was in that Dodge built the first automotive test track in the Detroit area, adjacent to their Hamtramck factory, to test cars after production.
Volume 3 has more information on suppliers and alternatives. For example, there are ten pages of detailed comparisons between Exide and Willard batteries. The Exide was available worldwide, had a better reputation and it weighed significantly less, but it was also 30 cents per car more expensive. The third volume also includes notes on visits made to seven different rolling mills, comparing plants, equipment and processes before deciding on a sheet steel vendor.
Likewise they evaluated body suppliers before settling on the Edward G. Budd Mfg.
Nov 13, John Dodge, who with his brother Horace co-founded the Dodge a machine shop in Detroit to make parts for the fledgling auto industry. John and his younger brother, Horace, were inseparable as children and as adults. The origins of the Dodge family lie in Stockport, England, where their company began making parts for the automobile industry.
The notebook clearly indicates that the relationship was rocky. Besides being an irreplaceable historic artifact, the content in the Dodge Brothers notebooks at the NAHC gives us an incredibly unique and altogether fascinating look at the early days of automotive manufacturing and into the personalities involved as well, like Haynes, Budd and the Dodges.
Study the history of the early auto industry, and you see the same two dozen or so names over and over again. A spider-like web-work connecting all of them in the most unlikely ways. Study the history of the early semiconductor, or personal computer, industry and you notice the same phenomenon.
The conditions of society remain static for long stretches of time, and then a few people turn everything on its head seemingly overnight, then the process repeats itself. The only thing we can be sure of is that the cycle will continue. Seemed appropriate. The latest tycoons of this recent era have made their fortunes and changed the landscape in the online world.
There is a reason why great men could chang the world back then, and why it took all those thousands of years for them to be able to;. You seem to blame the government for standing in the way of business.
I started and ran a small business for twenty seven years, and I never felt that the government was putting obstacles in my way. When I retired, I offered to give the company to the employees.
I was turned down, because not one of them wanted to work like I did to keep things going. Looking at the auto industry of that time. They did not fail because government put obstacles in their way. They failed by the usual business methods, under capitalization, bad products, poor management, or just bad luck. Companies being formed today, need good management, adequate capitalization, good products, and a little bit of luck.
Government is run by business.
There would have been absolutely no demand for cars if it was not for the road network that the federal, state and local governments built. The Dodge family likely would have never gotten into cars, except that the railroad system, heavily subsidized by the government with land grants, put a lot of pressure on their riverboat supply business. And I lean pretty libertarian. Hating public sector unions and protectionist economic regulations like three tier liquor distribution. But Rand was just a broken Soviet reactionary with no sense of the complexity that actually makes society work.
She died relying on Social Security to stay out of poverty. The development of American roads came about after the growth of the auto industry.
The feds were Johnny come latelies. Automotive pioneers like Henry Leland promoted road building though things like the Lincoln Highway Assoc.
However, the historical record is that governments at the county and state level had to be convinced of the need for roads beyond the minimum needed for farmers to get their crops to market. Until the idea of the Interstate highway system was developed and promoted under the Eisenhower administration, governments took a following, not leading, role in road building. They had a successful bicycle business Horace had patented a successful, dust-free bicycle hub in Windsor, Ontario which they sold to a cartel whose corporate descendant is the CCM company that makes hockey skates and gear.
They used that money to set up their machine shop in Detroit in I think that David Buick was more involved with marine and stationary engines than the Dodges were. By , the Dodges were supplying Ransom Olds. Soon after they started supplying Olds and other automakers, the Dodges decided to stop working with typography equipment and concentrate on cars.
There was federal involvement in road building dating back to the National Road in Transportation has never been a primarily private concern in this country. Jimble is correct, the League of American Wheelmen, a group of bicycle enthusiasts, petitioned the government for paved roads before anyone had seen a motor car. BTW, the auto and aerospace industries both grew out of the bicycle industry of the late 19th century. The same technologies that allowed for the mass production of cheap, high quality bicycles, were used in both the early auto and airplane industries.
Henry Ford, the Dodge brothers and the Wright brothers were all involved either in bicycle manufacture or repair before they went on to cars and airplanes. This is what I saw about the Dodge family being pushed to the Detroit area because of the rise of the government land grand subsidized railroad and fall of the riverboat:. Within four years, however, they had moved again. But if it was not for government interference in the market through the subsidy of railroads the Dodge family likely would not have ended up in Detroit.
People like to complain about the EPA because that is a talking point that is given to them by talk radio, but I think the letter of recommendation for George McDade is more interesting as an example of regulation interfering with business. The biggest challenge for modern companies is getting good employees, not complying with environmental regulations. Hyde says the reason for the move from Niles is unclear.
When Upton moved to Port Huron, the Dodges moved as well. He may have been following, and decided to hitch onto the steam traction engine business. Upton was a builder of steam traction engines; the ones I documented were built in The period of to the s was the peak of the steam engine; when steam powered everything from boats and ships to vehicles to traction engines and construction equipment to locomotives.
Port Huron would have made sense as several steam manufacturers were located there; the same was true of Battle Creek. Steam power then was like the Internet today; the thing to hitch your star to if you are machinest.
I was an electronic technician. My company did everything from TV repair to keeping up the closed circuit systems at local hospitals.