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Carriage Builders to Car Makers
Clark & Company, carriage manufacturers, grew out of a
farriers (horseshoeing) business. The firm employed 100 men and produced 3,000
carriages, buggies and cutters a year at its peak. In 1897, Clark was still feeling the
effects of the depression and had only about 50 men on the payroll. The photograph of the
museum exhibit shows a Clark & Company carriage piano box body style
carriage ca. 1895-1900.
In spring 1896, Clark & Company built the body for Ransom Olds first
gasoline-powered horseless carriage. Frank G. Clark, vice president of the carriage
company, was a part-owner of the vehicle. He later bought 125 shares of the Olds Motor
Vehicle Companys first stock. Following Olds success, Frank Clark joined with
Arthur C. Stebbin
s and Harris E. Thomas in 1902 to form the short-lived Clarkmobile
Lansing Wagon Works
Another manufacturer of vehicles, the Lansing Wagon Works, was organized in 1881 to
manufacture farm wagons. By 1890 the company had added carriages to its line. In 1895 the
company was reported to produce an average of 5,000 vehicles a year.
Eugene F. Cooley, the firms secretary and treasurer, was instrumental in forming
several new businesses in the 1890s, including the Maud S. Windmill & Pump Company and
the Michigan Supply Company. He was vice-president of both the Olds Gasoline Engine Works
and the Olds Motor Vehicle Company.
J. C. Schneider Carriage and Wagon Shop
John Conrad Schneider worked as foreman and
general superintendent at Lansing Wagon Works for about 15 years before starting his own
carriage and wagon shop at 110-112 East Shiawassee Street. He produced custom-built
horse-drawn vehicles and special wagons for dairies, ice companies and other delivery
firms. Schneider also built a wheeled boat used by the Grand River Boat Club to make New
Years Day calls on Lansing ladies.
Schneider served two terms as a city alderman representing the 4th
Ward and was on the building committee that supervised the construction of the new City
1897 Lansing carriage makers and related businesses included:
Carriage, Wagon and Cart Manufacturers
- Clark & Co., Carriages, Wagons and Cutters, e end Washtenaw
- Geo L. Freeman, mnfgr carts, e end Lenawee
- Lansing Wagon Works, e side Grand n of Shiawassee
- Powers Bros Carriage Manufacturing, cor Michigan Ave. and Larch
- Isaac N. Redfern, 730 Turner
- John C. Schneider, Carriage and Wagon Manufacturer, 106-108 Shiawassee e
- Frank Beeman, corner Center and Franklin
- John T. Cox, 408 Washington Ave. n.
- Anthony Dunnebacke, 111 Grand n.
- Henry J. Dunneback, 523 Michigan Ave. e.
- Dunnebacke & McKrill (August Dunnebacke, Benj. McKrill), 110 Washtenaw e.
- Noble Emmett, 123 Michigan Ave. w.
- Geo. J. Frey, 740 Turner
- Frank L. Henderson, 311 Capitol Ave. s.
- John H. Kistler, 715 Center
- Ernest Kowalk, 37 Turner
- Petty & Staley, 111 Kalamazoo e.
- Wm. K. Whyte, 117 Washtenaw e.
- William H. Wood, 513 Michigan Ave. e.
Saddle and Harness Makers
- Chas. Brodhagen, 223 Washington Ave. s.
- J. W. Edmonds Sons, Wholesale and Retail Saddlery, Harness, Trunks, Bags, etc., 107
Washington Ave. s.
- Abel W. Fishell , 320 Washington Ave. n.
- R. G. Grammell & Co., 719 Turner
- Chas. Vores, 204 Washington Ave. n.
- Willson & Jordan, Buggies and Harness, 201-203 Washington Ave. n.