W.B. Jarvis Company - 1930s-1946 - Doehler-Jarvis Corp. - 1946-1997 - Grand Rapids, Michigan & Toledo, Ohio


Jarvis Body Manufacturing Co Collectible Automobile, February 1994 pp50

Studebaker Woody

Here's an oddity from GM's photo files: a Studebaker Champion station wagon with body by the Jarvis Body Manufacturing Company. It's a '42 with '46 bumper guards and 1945 California plates. Did Jarvis build this as a prototype in a vain effort to gain some business from Studebaker, which didn't offer wagons?

Or was this simply a one-off?

(body appears to be a Studebaker wagon with either embossed or applied wood-look panels)

Jarvis Company of Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Doehler purchased the WB Jarvis Company of Grand Rapids, Michigan, a company
that made automobile trimmings, furniture and appliances.


Doehler Die Casting

DOEHLER DIE CASTING.  Toledo, Ohio, Was the major caster of American hood ornaments in the 1900 up till the 1930s. Doehler bought out Jarvis in 1946, to form the Doehler Jarvis Co. The casting logo was changed to A J superimposed over A D. Prior to 1946 Doehler made the castings and sold them to Jarvis who did the final finishing work.

W.B. JARVIS.  Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA.  Made hardware for the auto industry and also finished off pre cast ornaments they purchased from Doehler.


H. H. Doehler moved his Doehler Die Casting Company from Brooklyn in 1921 to the old Worden Monument Works on Evans Street in Batavia, NY. Mr. Doehler had chosen Batavia because it was near the Kodak plant in Rochester, one of his customers. There was also adequate room for expansion in the Evans Street area. Mr. Doehler got his start making aluminum parts for gas masks during World War I and it was the aluminum casting machinery that was first set up in the Evans Street buildings. The next year Mr. Doehler bought factory buildings on Robertson Street from the Batavia Rubber Company and installed brass casting machinery. All the original Evans Street buildings were rebuilt to make them fireproof, and later they were reinforced for use in the manufacture of munitions. They were not used after the end of World War 11 and have now been cleared to make way for parking around the city skating rink. Many additions were made to the Robertson Street buildings. In 1945 a magnesium foundry was built east of Ganson Avenue. Reflecting the expansion of the company in 1944 it became the Doehler-Jarvis Company, Inc. when Doehler purchased the W. B. Jarvis Company of Grand Rapids, Michigan, a company that made automobile trimmings, furniture and appliances. Two earlier purchases had brought the number of DoehlerJarvis plants to four. In 1952 National Lead of New Jersey purchased all plants of the Doehler-jarvis Company and the Batavia plant became the Doehler-Jarvis Division of National Lead. The plant employed 1,500 men in the busy years, but work decreased under National Lead until by 1980 there were only about 150. The numbers continued to decrease until the plant finally closed in 1981.


1997 news article

Once the biggest independent manufacturer of aluminum die castings in North America, Doehler-Jarvis has been put up for sale by Harvard Industries, which blamed its own economic difficulties primarily on the "continued operational inefficiencies" at Doehler. Harvard Industries filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection early in May.

Plants in  Stowe, PA - Toledo, Ohio - Grand Rapids, MI - Batavia, NY


    For more information please read:

Collectible Automobile, February 1994 pp50

Beverly Rae Kimes - The Classic Car

Beverly Rae Kimes - The Classic Era

Beverly Rae Kimes - Packard: A History of the Motorcar and Company

Beverly Rae Kimes & Henry Austin Clark Jr. - Standard Catalog of American Cars 1805-1942

Richard Burns Carson - The Olympian Cars

Raymond A. Katzell - The Splendid Stutz

Marc Ralston - Pierce Arrow

Brooks T. Brierley - There Is No Mistaking a Pierce Arrow

Brooks T. Brierley - Auburn, Reo, Franklin and Pierce-Arrow Versus Cadillac, Chrysler, Lincoln and Packard

Brooks T. Brierley - Magic Motors 1930

Nick Georgano - The Beaulieu Encyclopedia of the Automobile: Coachbuilding

John Gunnell - Standard Catalog of American Cars, 1946-1975

James M. Flammang & Ron Kowalke - Standard Catalog of American Cars, 1976-1999

Daniel D. Hutchins - Wheels Across America: Carriage Art & Craftsmanship

Marian Suman-Hreblay - Dictionary of World Coachbuilders and Car Stylists

Michael Lamm and Dave Holls - A Century of Automotive Style: 100 Years of American Car Design

Thomas E. Bonsall - The Lincoln Motorcar: Sixty Years of Excellence

Fred Roe - Duesenberg: The Pursuit of Perfection

Arthur W. Soutter - The American Rolls-Royce

John Webb De Campi - Rolls-Royce in America

Hugo Pfau - The Custom Body Era

Hugo Pfau - The Coachbult Packard

Griffith Borgeson - Cord: His Empire His Motor Cars

Don Butler - Auburn Cord Duesenberg

George H. Dammann - 90 Years of Ford

George H. Dammann & James K. Wagner - The Cars of Lincoln-Mercury

Thomas A. MacPherson - The Dodge Story

F. Donald Butler - Plymouth-Desoto Story

Fred Crismon - International Trucks

George H. Dammann - Seventy Years of Chrysler

Walter M.P. McCall - 80 Years of Cadillac LaSalle

Maurice D. Hendry - Cadillac, Standard of the World: The complete seventy-year history

George H. Dammann & James A. Wren - Packard

Dennis Casteele - The Cars of Oldsmobile

Terry B. Dunham & Lawrence R. Gustin - Buick: A Complete History

George H. Dammann - Seventy Years of Buick

George H. Dammann - 75 Years of Chevrolet

John Gunnell - Seventy-Five Years of Pontiac-Oakland


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