New Haven Carriage & Auto Works - 1910s-present - Portland, Oregon


New Haven Carriage & Auto Works – Portland, Oregon – (1920s – still in business) 1930s beverage truck body. Edward Muth and Richard Wagner were partners that owned New Haven Carriage & Auto Works. Muth died in 2000 after working over 50 years at the firm. New Haven Carriage Works - Owned by John Wagner.  Mr. Wagner purchased the business from a man who lived in New Haven, Connecticut, thus the name.  After Mr. Wagner's death the business was run by his three sons:  Charles, Edward, and Richard.  The business was originally located in Southwest Portland and later moved to Southeast Portland.  The following Oregonian article was written to celebrate the 100th anniversary of this business in 1980: 

Customizer ready for 100th birthday by Bob Olmos - The Oregonian

Horses to horsepower - that's the time bridge spanned by New Haven Carriage & Auto Works Inc., 2323 S.E. Clatsop St. The business, which started out making horse-drawn carriages and now customizes truck bodies, will celebrate its 100th birthday July 4. The date isn't the actual anniversary of the business founded in 1880 by Frank Tannader, a Swedish blacksmith from New Haven, Conn., No one today is certain just when Tannader opened up business at Northwest Fourth Ave­nue and Glisan Street. “But if you're going to pick a date to celebrate, you might as well pick a good one," said Richard Wagner, company president. With everyone geared up for the Fourth of July, July 3 seemed like a good time to hold an open house at the business location off McLoughlin Boule­vard to observe the July 4 “birthday.” New Haven's business history is linked with that of other Oregon enterprises. “The company built all the horse­-drawn wagons that Meier & Frank used to use at the turn of the century,” Wagner said. “Then when Meier & Frank went into trucks, we did that work, too. We still do all of Meier & Frank's customizing work.” Maletis Inc., Pacific Seafood Co. Inc., Pacific Coca-Cola Bottling Co. are other customers that help keep the business grossing around $350,000 per year. “Eighty-five percent of our business is return business - replacing and repairing equipment - rather than new customers,” said Wagner, 60, a native of Portland and a graduate of Jefferson High School. Wagner owns the business with Edward L. Muth, vice president. Tannader, who started his business in New Haven; moved to Oregon with the big rush of population to the West Coast during the last half of the 19th century. In 1904, John Wagner, born in Russia of German parents, started work in the shop and by 1912 he and his brother George had acquired the business. John bought George out in 1927. Later, John's three sons, Carl, Edward and Richard, joined the business. Carl and Edward are deceased. Muth, who started as an apprentice body builder in 1945, advanced through the years to shop foreman and became co-owner in 1978. “My father was a blacksmith,” Wagner said. “He came from a family of blacksmiths. In those days, the son always followed in the footsteps of their fathers.”From 1880 until 1909, the company operated as a general blacksmith shop building and repairing horse-drawn wagons. The first truck bodies were constructed in 1909 and by 1914 the last wagon was built. In 1916, the firm moved to Northwest Fifth Avenue and Everett Street. It was located at Southeast 11th Avenue and Main Street from 1956 [note: this date should be 1958] to 1972, at which time it moved to its present site.


New Haven also built bus bodies at least from the teens.



For more information please read:

G.N. Georgano & G. Marshall Naul - The Complete Encyclopedia of Commercial Vehicles

Albert Mroz - Illustrated Encyclopedia of American Trucks & Commercial Vehicles

Denis Miller - The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Trucks and Buses

Tad Burness - American Truck Spotter's Guide, 1920-1970

Tad Burness - American Truck & Bus Spotter's Guide, 1920-1985

Robert M Roll - American trucking: A seventy-five year odyssey

David Jacobs - American Trucks: A photographic essay of American Trucks and Trucking

David Jacobs - American Trucks: More Colour Photographs of Truck & Trucking

John Gunnell - American Work Trucks: A Pictorial History of Commercial Trucks 1900-1994

George W. Green - Special-Use Vehicles: An Illustrated History of Unconventional Cars and Trucks

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

Ronald G. Adams - 100 Years of Semi Trucks

Stan Holtzman - Big Rigs: The Complete History of the American Semi Truck

Stan Holtzman & Jeremy Harris Lipschultz - Classic American Semi Trucks

Stan Holtzman - Semi Truck Color History

Donald F. Wood - American Beer Trucks

Donald F. Wood - Beverage Trucks: Photo Archive

Donald F. Wood - Commercial Trucks

Donald F. Wood - Delivery Trucks

Donald F. Wood - Dump Trucks

Donald F. Wood - Gas & Oil Trucks

Donald F. Wood - Logging Trucks 1915 Through 1970: Photo Archive

Donald F. Wood - New Car Carriers 1910-1998 Photo Album

Donald F. Wood - RVs & Campers 1900-2000: An Illustrated History

Donald F. Wood - Wreckers and Tow Trucks

Gini Rice - Relics of the Road

Gini Rice - Relics of the Road - Impressive International Trucks 1907-1947

Gini Rice - Relics of the Road - Keen Kenworth Trucks - 1915-1955

Richard J. Copello - American Car Haulers

Niels Jansen - Pictorial History of American Trucks

John B. Montville - Refuse Trucks: Photo Archive

Bill Rhodes - Circus and Carnival Trucks 1941-2000: Photo Archive

Howard L. Applegate - Coca-Cola: Its Vehicles in Photographs 1930 Through 1969: Photo Archive

James T. Lenzke & Karen E. O'Brien - Standard Catalog of American Light-Duty Trucks: 1896-2000

James K. Wagner - Ford Trucks since 1905

Don Bunn - Dodge Trucks

Fred Crismon - International Trucks

Don Bunn - Encyclopedia of Chevrolet Trucks

Ed Strauss & Karen Strauss - The Bus World Encyclopedia of Buses

Donald F. Wood - American Buses

Susan Meikle Mandell - A Historical Survey of Transit Buses in the United States

David Jacobs - American Buses, Greyhound, Trailways and Urban Transportation

William A. Luke & Linda L. Metler - Highway Buses of the 20th Century: A Photo Gallery 

William A. Luke & Brian Grams - Buses of Motorcoach Industries 1932-2000 Photo Archive

William A. Luke - Greyhound Buses 1914-2000 Photo Archive

William A. Luke - Prevost Buses 1924-2002 Photo Archive

William A. Luke - Flxible Intercity Buses 1924-1970 Photo Archive

William A. Luke - Buses of ACF Photo Archive (including ACF-Brill & CCF-Brill)

William A. Luke - Trailways Buses 1936-2001 Photo Archive

William A. Luke - Fageol & Twin Coach Buses 1922-1956 Photo Archive

William A. Luke - Yellow Coach Buses 1923 Through 1943: Photo Archive

William A. Luke - Trolley Buses: 1913 Through 2001 Photo Archive

Harvey Eckart - Mack Buses: 1900 Through 1960 Photo Archive

Brian Grams & Andrew Gold - GM Intercity Coaches 1944-1980 Photo Archive

Robert R. Ebert  - Flxible: A History of the Bus and the Company

John McKane - Flxible Transit Buses: 1953 Through 1995 Photo Archive

Bill Vossler - Cars, Trucks and Buses Made by Tractor Companies

Lyndon W Rowe - Municipal buses of the 1960s

Edward S. Kaminsky - American Car & Foundry Company 1899-1999

Dylan Frautschi - Greyhound in Postcards: Buses, Depots and Post Houses


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