Spaulding Manufacturing Co. - 1880s-1930s - Grinnell, Iowa


    Spaulding Manufacturing Company  - Grinnell, Iowa - Henry W. Spaulding was born in Vermont in 1846 and arrived in Iowa in 1876 where he set up shop as a blacksmith and carriage manufacturer in Grinnell. At the turn of the century the Spaulding Manufacturing Company was the oldest and largest producer of vehicles west of the Mississippi. By now Spaulding's sons, Frederick E. and Ernest H., had joined their father in the family business. The Spauldings went automotive in 1910 with a pair of four-cylinder 30 hp cars: Model C with three-speed sliding gear transmission and Model D with a two-speed planetary. The wheelbase was 112 inches, and the price $1,500. These cars were sold through the Spaulding carriage agents. In 1911 the Model D became a larger (122-inch wheelbase) and more expensive ($2,500) 40 hp car, which the Spauldings attempted to market through established automobile dealers. This did not work well, apparently, for in 1912 Spaulding returned to using its carriage outlets almost exclusively. In 1913 the Spaulding was revised into a 40 hp four on a 120-inch wheelbase, and remained thus for the rest of its life. Engines that had been Rutenbers thus far were switched to Budas in 1914. An interesting model for 1915 was called the "Sleeping Car," which provided overnight accommo­dations. But the most fascinating news from Spaulding was its performance in 1914 in traveling the River-to-River (Mississippi-to-Missouri) Road in what was claimed "a world's dirt-road speed record" and its establishing a new cross-state speed record, feats that persuaded the Panama-Pacific International Exposition the following year to select the Spaulding to map the overland route to the California exposition. Difficulty in getting parts transported to Grinnell and underfinancing of the venture spelled the end for the Spaulding car in 1916. Thereafter the firm survived building truck bodies, and by the early Twenties the Spaulding Manufacturing Company was producing road machinery. Henry W. Spaulding died in 1937 at the age of 91. In addition to building the only automobile in Grinnell, he was also for a time mayor of the town and president of the Citizens National Bank.

 

   

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

 



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