Early Electric Cars

One of the trends in 21st century America is the development of electric cars. Almost every auto manufacturer is producing or is developing electric or hybrid electric/gas vehicles. The advantage of quiet, steady power with no exhaust emissions is proving quite popular.

What may shock a great many people is that Electric Cars are far from a recent development, and have a very long and rich history, in the U.S. and elsewhere.

From the timeline below, you will find that the first generation of electric cars began in 1897 and continued until 1939. In the ads you will see a broad range of electric vehicles, from small powered buggies, to sporty roadsters, to luxurious family sedans, to workhorse trucks and even buses.

Early electric cars, surprisingly, had about the same range of travel, before needing to recharge, as modern electric cars.

We think you will enjoy viewing advertisements from this great variety of pioneer American electric car manufacturers.



Early Electric Car Links

1896 Morris Salem Electric Coupe photograph 10″x8″
1905 11 1 Electric A Light Electric Serves His Purpose THE HORSELESS AGE November 1, 1905 University of Minnesota Library 8.5″x11.5″ page 501
1910 ELECTRIC PLEASURE CARS. BABCOCK     BAKER     OHIO MoToR’s 1910 MoToR CAR DIRECToRY Published By MoToR, New York 10″x7.25″ page 115
1910 ELECTRIC PLEASURE CARS. BABCOCK     BAKER     OHIO MoToR’s 1910 MoToR CAR DIRECToRY Published By MoToR, New York 10″x7.25″ page 115
1910 ELECTRIC PLEASURE CARS. BAILEY     BAKER     RAUCH & LANG MoToR’s 1910 MoToR CAR DIRECToRY Published By MoToR, New York 10″x7.25″ page 112
1910 ELECTRIC PLEASURE CARS. BROC     RAUCH & LANG     FRITCHIE MoToR’s 1910 MoToR CAR DIRECToRY Published By MoToR, New York 10″x7.25″ page 116
1910 ELECTRIC PLEASURE CARS. COLUMBIA     DETROIT     WAVERLEY MoToR’s 1910 MoToR CAR DIRECToRY Published By MoToR, New York 10″x7.25″ page 108
1910 ELECTRIC PLEASURE CARS. COLUMBUS     COLUMBUS     COLMBUS MoToR’s 1910 MoToR CAR DIRECToRY Published By MoToR, New York 10″x7.25″ page 119
1910 ELECTRIC PLEASURE CARS. DETROIT     RAUCH & LANG     WOODS MoToR’s 1910 MoToR CAR DIRECToRY Published By MoToR, New York 10″x7.25″ page 113
1910 ELECTRIC PLEASURE CARS. FRITCHIE     BROC     BAKER MoToR’s 1910 MoToR CAR DIRECToRY Published By MoToR, New York 10″x7.25″ page 111
1910 ELECTRIC PLEASURE CARS. IDEAL     DETROIT     FRITCHIE MoToR’s 1910 MoToR CAR DIRECToRY Published By MoToR, New York 10″x7.25″ page 110
1910 ELECTRIC PLEASURE CARS. KIMBALL     CLARK     COLUMBUS MoToR’s 1910 MoToR CAR DIRECToRY Published By MoToR, New York 10″x7.25″ page 118
1910 ELECTRIC PLEASURE CARS. KIMBALL     CLARK     COLUMBUS MoToR’s 1910 MoToR CAR DIRECToRY Published By MoToR, New York 10″x7.25″ page 118
1910 ELECTRIC PLEASURE CARS. WAVERLEY     BABCOCK     STUDEBAKER MoToR’s 1910 MoToR CAR DIRECToRY Published By MoToR, New York 10″x7.25″ page 109
1911 1 14 ELECTRIC Vehicle Article The Modern Pleasure Electric Vehicle Scientific American January 14, 1911 10.5″x15.5″ page 31
1911 1 14 ELECTRIC Vehicle Article The Modern Pleasure Electric Vehicle Scientific American January 14, 1911 10.5″x15.5″ page 32
1911 1 14 ELECTRIC Vehicle Picture THOMAS A. EDISON AND HIS IMPROVED STORAGE BATTERY Scientific American January 14, 1911 10.5″x15.25″ page 1
1911 1 25 ELECTRIC Vehicle Article Electric Pleasure Vehicles BABCOCK, BAKER, BROC, OHIO THE HORSELESS AGE January 25, 1911 8.5″x12″ page 192
1911 5 3 EDISON Electric Garage Article Garage Situation in Boston— Edison Electric Garage THE HORSELESS AGE May 3, 1911 University of Minnesota Library 8.25″x11.5″ page 762
1911 5 3 Electric Garage Article Toledo Auto & Garage Co.’s Garage THE HORSELESS AGE May 3, 1911 University of Minnesota Library 8.25″x11.5″ page 764
1911 5 3 Electric Garage Article Toledo Auto & Garage Co.’s Garage Electric Vehicle Department THE HORSELESS AGE May 3, 1911 University of Minnesota Library 8.25″x11.5″ page 763
1911 6 14 Electric Car Article Electric Cars “Suburbaning” THE HORSELESS AGE June 14, 1911 University of Minnesota Library 8.25″x11.5″ page 1022
1911 6 21 Electric Article Eleven Electric “Suburbaned” on Long Island THE HORSELESS AGE June 21, 1911 University of Minnesota Library 8.25″x11.5″ page 1057
1915 10 20 ELECTRIC Vehicle Article Electric Taxicab Is Popular in Detroit MOTOR WORLD October 20, 1915 8.5″x11.75″ page 9
1915 10 20 ELECTRIC Vehicle Article Usefulness of Electric Depends on Garage Battery Exchange System Increases MOTOR WORLD October 20, 1915 8.5″x11.75″ page 10
1915 10 21 ELECTRIC Vehicle Article Co-operation Voiced at E.V.A. Meeting Function of the Electric Garage MOTOR AGE October 21, 1915 8.5″x12″ page 18
1915 10 21 ELECTRIC Vehicle Article Function of the Electric Garage, conn. The Electric Taxicab MOTOR AGE October 21, 1915 8.5″x12″ page 19
1915 2 ELECTRIC Detroit Taxicabs The Finest Fleet of Electric Taxicabs in the World American Ball-Bearing Company Cleveland, OHIO AUTOMOBILE TRADE JOURNAL February 1915 6.25″x9.75″ page 12
1916 11 ELECTRIC Vehicle Article Electric Vehicles Prominent at the New York Electrical Exposition AUTOMOBILE TRADE JOURNAL November 1916 6.25″x10″ page 116
1916 2 Electric Passenger Cars 27 Models MoToR February 1916 10″x14″ page 62
1916 2 Electric Passenger Cars Brief Specifications of Electric Cars 1916 MoToR February 1916 10″x14″ page 63
1916 ELECTRIC Vehicle Article Electrics in Taxicab Service AUTOMOBILE TRADE JOURNAL 1916 6.25″x10″ page 171
1919 1 Electric Passenger Cars AUTOMOBILE TRADE JOURNAL January 1919 University of Minnesota Library 9.5″x6.5″ pages 206 & 207
1920 11 Electric Article Electrical Show Has Many Automotive Features AUTOMOBILE TRADE JOURNAL November 1920 University of Minnesota Library 6.5″x9.5″ page 53A
1923 1 25 Electric Specifications Mechanical Specifications of 1923 Electric Cars MOTOR AGE January 25, 1923 University of Minnesota Library 8.5″x11.5″ page 78
1923 1 25 Electric Specifications Mechanical Specifications of 1923 Electric Trucks MOTOR AGE January 25, 1923 University of Minnesota Library 8.5″x11.5″ page 79
Automobiles of the World By Albert L. Lewis and Walter A. Musciano Simon and Schuster New York 1977 ISBN: 0-671-22485-9 1886-1889 5.5″x8.5″ page 46
Automobiles of the World By Albert L. Lewis and Walter A. Musciano Simon and Schuster New York 1977 ISBN: 0-671-22485-9 1910-1914 5.5″x8.5″ page 187
Automobiles of the World By Albert L. Lewis and Walter A. Musciano Simon and Schuster New York 1977 ISBN: 0-671-22485-9 1910-1914 5.5″x8.5″ page 535
Automobiles of the World By Albert L. Lewis and Walter A. Musciano Simon and Schuster New York 1977 ISBN: 0-671-22485-9 1960-1969 5.5″x8.5″ page 530
Automobiles of the World By Albert L. Lewis and Walter A. Musciano Simon and Schuster New York 1977 ISBN: 0-671-22485-9 1960-1969 5.5″x8.5″ page 532
Automobiles of the World By Albert L. Lewis and Walter A. Musciano Simon and Schuster New York 1977 ISBN: 0-671-22485-9 1960-1969 5.5″x8.5″ page 537
ELECTRIC CARS SCC INDEX: ALTERNATE-POWER CARS Electric Cars Standard Catalog of AMERICAN CARS 1805-1942 By Beverly Rae Kimes & Henry Austin Clark, Jr. Krause Publications ISBN: 0-87341-428-4 8.5″x11″ page 1591
Index to Cars in MoToR’s 1910 Directory MoToR’s 1910 MoToR CAR DIRECToRY Published By MoToR, New York THE NATIONAL MAGAZINE OF MOTORING 10″x7.25″ page 2
Index to Cars in MoToR’s 1910 Directory MoToR’s 1910 MoToR CAR DIRECToRY Published By MoToR, New York THE NATIONAL MAGAZINE OF MOTORING 10″x7.25″ page 3
MoToR’s 1910 MoToR CAR DIRECToRY Published By MoToR, New York THE NATIONAL MAGAZINE OF MOTORING 10″x7.25″ Front cover
power WITH NO STRINGS ATTACHED LEAD INDUSTRIES ASSOCIATION, INC New York 17, NY NS (1/63) 15M 8.5″x11″ Front and Back covers pages 1 & 12
power WITH NO STRINGS ATTACHED LEAD INDUSTRIES ASSOCIATION, INC New York 17, NY NS (1/63) 15M 8.5″x11″ pages 10 & 11
power WITH NO STRINGS ATTACHED LEAD INDUSTRIES ASSOCIATION, INC New York 17, NY NS (1/63) 15M 8.5″x11″ pages 2 & 3
power WITH NO STRINGS ATTACHED LEAD INDUSTRIES ASSOCIATION, INC New York 17, NY NS (1/63) 15M 8.5″x11″ pages 4 & 5
power WITH NO STRINGS ATTACHED LEAD INDUSTRIES ASSOCIATION, INC New York 17, NY NS (1/63) 15M 8.5″x11″ pages 6 & 7
power WITH NO STRINGS ATTACHED LEAD INDUSTRIES ASSOCIATION, INC New York 17, NY NS (1/63) 15M 8.5″x11″ pages 8 & 9
The Electric “SPIRIT OF ’76” Experimental Cars – General Engines Co., Inc Sewell, New Jersey
The Electric “SPIRIT OF ’76” Experimental Cars – General Engines Co., Inc Sewell, New Jersey 10″x8″
The Electric “SPIRIT OF ’76” Press Release GREATER NEW YORK AUTO SHOW New York Coliseum Exhibits #119-120 1st Floor Center Aisle Rear Experimental Cars – General Engines Co., Inc Sewell, New Jersey 8.5″x11″ pages 1 & 2