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Lansing 1897, Michigan Historical Museum

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Carriage Manufacturers

 

Carriage Builders to Car Makers

Carriage Scene in Museum Gallery Clark & Company, carriage manufacturers, grew out of a farrier’s (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 Company’s 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 Company.

 

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 firm’s 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 C. Schneider Carriage and Wagon Manufacturer 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 Year’s Day calls on Lansing ladies.

Workers, John C. Schneider Company 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 Hall.



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

Blacksmiths

  • 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.
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