Chatham Carriage Co. - 1880s 1910s - William Gray & Sons Ltd - Chatham, Ontario, Canada
A contract with an American manufacturer was no guarantee of success in Canada, either - a few names that no longer exist are the Briscoe, made by Canada Carriage; the Everett, made by our good friends and competitors the Tudhopes of Orillia, and the Gray-Dort, made by the Gray Carriage Company of Chatham. In the carriage business Gray was actually bigger that we were at first, but we soon passed it.
REO production stopped in 1913 or 1915 in St. Catherines for at least two reasons. Production costs had become prohibitive, possibly since competition was becoming fierce in this period (Ford had just debugged his moving assembly lines in Michigan). The other reason was an attempt to save on weight by using a pressed fibre body, supplied by the CHATHAM CARRIAGE COMPANY [William Gray & Sons Limited]. Sadly this scheme turned into a nightmare as the panels could not be completely weatherproofed and moisture quickly caused distortion, and eventual disintegration [I think that this also applied to early Gray-Dort bodies as well]. The opening of a sales office in St. Catharineís to handle REO distribution for Canada followed the end of production.
Canadian Motors Limited
The history of this company goes back to the formation of the Canadian Motor Syndicate in Toronto in 1898. William Still then went on to form the Still Motor Company Limited who started operations in May 1899 at 710-724 Yonge Street, Toronto. The company ran out of money in 1900, and was re-organised as The Canadian Motors Limited at 710 Yonge Street, Toronto, though this company closed down in 1902. By 1903, the Canada Cycle & Motor Company leased the old premises at 710 Yonge Street for two years to produce little runabouts, bearing the name "Ivanhoe" as per Stillís 1899 machine with William Gray & Sons Limited body.
For more information please read:
Heather Robertson - Driving Force: The McLaughlin Family and the Age of the Car
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