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George P. Harvey
George P. Harvey
Associated Builders
Abbot, Downing & Co.; H.M.S. Motor Co.

George P. Harvey was a little-known independent body designer who worked in Manhattan during the pre-classic era. Harvey had spent most of his career (1870-1913) as a superintendent for Abbot, Downing & Co. the well-known carriage and stage coach manufacturer which had plants in Manhattan and Concord, New Hampshire.

Towards the end of its long history Abbot, Downing manufactured the Concord Motor Truck and used its Manhattan factory to provide its New York customers with custom-built truck bodies.

In 1913 Harvey left Abbot, Downing and established the HMS Motor Company with two partners. Organized in February of that year with $ 22,500 in capital, the name of the firm corresponded to the first initials of the three partner’s surnames: H - George P. Harvey; M - Joseph P. Meyers; and S - Charles K. Starr.  Meyer’s former profession was unknown, but Charles K. Starr was a well-known Manhattan bicycle enthusiast and was a member of the League of American Wheelmen.

The March 13, 1913 issue of The Automobile announced: 

“HMS Company founded - HMS Motor Co., New York City, recently incorporated, will deal in trucks, build bodies and repair and paint them. It is incorporated for $22500.”

The March 16, 1916 issue of The Automobile included an article written by Donald McLeod Lay called “Custom-Built Bodies Grow in Popularity” that included a number of body designs attributed to the George P. Harvey Co. New York City:

"All the bodies illustrated on these two pages, 488 and 489, are reproductions from drawings of special custom design" by the George P. Harvey Co., New York City."

Little else is known about Harvey, and his HMS partnership was short-lived.

© 2004 Mark Theobald -







Biographies of Prominent Carriage Draftsmen - Carriage Monthly, April 1904

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"Above is what may be termed a landau-sedan, the top folding neatly down at the rear. This design was based on a customer's suggestion.

"A coupé of unusual and distinctive lines. Note the slope of the top which merges gradually into the rear deck and the triangular window beneath the slanting windshield.

"Above and at the left are two designs which might be classified as freaks. The boat body was built to meet the fancy of a New York theatrical manager and the job at the left was conceived merely with the idea of attracting attention."

"Above is a design which is perfectly round, tapering like a barrel from the radiator to the slanting, flat-faced rear deck, where it is exactly the size of the spare tire.

"Below is one of the designs now going through the plant of the George P. Harvey Co. It is a very low, rakish four-passenger construction.

"Below is a design which is a semi- torpedo style, the distinctive feature being the continuation of the bonnet hinge line, carrying a rounded effect back to the rear seat.

"A real torpedo type which tapers, cigar-like, from the pointed radiator to the point of the bullet tail. Note the absence of running boards, a step being used."



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