George Briggs Weaver - 1884-1965


George Briggs Weaver, Sr  - WEAVER - Although it cannot be documented with certainty, it is probably that George Briggs Weaver, Sr. built at least a few automobiles in Newport, Rhode Island. He apparently said he did in any case and, given his subsequent career, truth rings clear. Certainly there were enough wealthy people in Newport. Who might have wished to have special cars built, and certainly Weaver could have built them. The conundrum is precisely when. George Briggs Weaver was born in Newport in 1884. His family owned a hardware store in town. Following study at the Rhode Island School of Design, he became a jewelry designer for Gorham in New York City. His father's death brought him back to Newport, and it was during this period that he presumably produced automobiles until a fire wiped out his business. Thereafter he worked as a tool designer for Gorham and as an automatic-machinery designer until the late Twenties when he joined the coach­building firm of Waterhouse. His body designs, especially for duPont, became famous during the pre-World War II era. After the war Weaver became famous all over again when he served as designer for the sports car produced by Briggs Cunningham.





All Waterhouse bodies, with the exception of those built for Lincoln to their own design, were designed by one man - George Briggs Weaver. Known generally as Briggs, he was born in Newport, R.I., in 1884.


His rather unusual background before coming with Waterhouse included working in his father's automobile (Weaver) manufacturing plant and the Weaver family hardware store in Newport. There he got to know the history of every car in Newport, most of which came from abroad.


He studied at the Rhode Island School of De­sign and after graduation became a jewelry de­signer for Gorham Bros. in New York, but on his father's death, he returned to Newport and built Weaver automobiles until a fire wiped out the business. After working as a tool designer for Gor­ham and as an automatic-machinery designer, his basic love for automobiles brought him in 1926 to the Providence firm whose machinery and equip­ment Waterhouse bought two years later.


Briggs left us before our body-building days were over to become Chief Engineer for duPont Motors in Wilmington, for whom we were building bodies. However, duPont agreed to let Briggs continue designing for us as long as we needed him, and this agreement was kept.


Fortunately we had on the staff a skilled body draftsman who could work from Briggs Weaver's design sketches. Briggs also helped out as much as he could on his visits to the plant.


In the years following the closing of duPont Motors in the mid-30s, Briggs held several engi­neering positions, including Chief Engineer for Indian Motorcycle Co. He came out of retirement in the 1950s to serve as Supervisor of Engineering for Briggs Cunningham for four years while Cun­ningham was building his own racing and sports cars and competing at Le Mans in France.


During his busy life, this man who played such an important part in the familiar Waterhouse body designs, owned and rebuilt many interesting cars, including foreign makes, for himself. With the ability to make either a beautiful oil painting or a piece of sculpture, he has had the most satisfying life, devoted to creating in many fields, that I know. Now (1963) in his late 70s, he spends time working at his lifelong hobby of designing sail­boats, complete with full working drawings.


During the first months of Waterhouse's ex­istence, in 1928, Briggs made sheafs of design sketches, black and white wash drawings and de­signs in full color for us to use with prospects.



Indian's stylist George Briggs Weaver, a former DuPont Motors car designer, penned the daring new streamlined designs that were to become a hallmark of Indian style in the 1940s.

While at Indian, Weaver was granted a number of patents.

1 1,922,338 08-15-33 Street Sweeper George Briggs Weaver
2 1,933,102 10-31-33 Motor Tricycle E.Paul Dupont & Weaver
3 1,956,319 04-24-34 Convertible Motorcycle Chassis E.Paul Dupont & Weaver
4 2,316,477 04-13-43 Shaft Drive for Motorcycles G. Briggs Weaver




For more information please read:

Biographies of Prominent Carriage Draftsmen - Carriage Monthly, April 1904

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

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

Nick Georgano - The Beaulieu Encyclopedia of the Automobile: Coachbuilding

George Arthur Oliver - A History of Coachbuilding

George Arthur Oliver - Cars and Coachbuilding: One Hundred Years of Road Vehicle Development

Hugo Pfau - The Custom Body Era

Beverly Rae Kimes - The Classic Car

Beverly Rae Kimes - The Classic Era

Richard Burns Carson - The Olympian Cars

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

Brooks T. Brierley - Magic Motors 1930

James J. Schild - Fleetwood: the Company and the Coachcraft

John R. Velliky - Dodge Brothers/Budd Co. Historical Photo Album

Stephen Newbury -  Car Design Yearbook 1

Stephen Newbury -  Car Design Yearbook 2

Stephen Newbury -  Car Design Yearbook 3

Dennis Adler - The Art of the Sports Car: The Greatest Designs of the 20th Century

C. Edson Armi - The Art of American Car Design: The Profession and Personalities

C. Edson Armi - American Car Design Now

Penny Sparke - A Century of Car Design

John Tipler - The World's Great Automobile Stylists

Ivan Margolius - Automobiles by Architects

Jonathan Bell - Concept Car Design

Erminie Shaeffer Hafer - A century of vehicle craftsmanship

Ronald Barker & Anthony Harding - Automobile Design: Twelve Great Designers and Their Work

John McLelland - Bodies beautiful: A history of car styling and craftsmanship

Frederic A. Sharf - Future Retro: Drawings From The Great Age Of American Automobiles

Paul Carroll Wilson - Chrome Dreams: Automobile Styling Since 1893

David Gartman - Auto Opium: A Social History of American Automobile Design

Nick Georgano - Art of the American Automobile: The Greatest Stylists and Their Work

Matt Delorenzo - Modern Chrysler Concept Cars: The Designs That Saved the Company

Thom Taylor - How to Draw Cars Like a Pro

Tony Lewin & Ryan Borroff - How To Design Cars Like a Pro

Frederick E. Hoadley - Automobile Design Techniques and Design Modeling: the Men, the Methods, the Materials

Doug DuBosque - Draw Cars

Jonathan Wood - Concept Cars

D. Nesbitt - 50 Years Of American Auto Design

David Gartman - Auto Opium: A Social History of American Automobile Design

Lennart W. Haajanen & Karl Ludvigsen - Illustrated Dictionary of Automobile Body Styles

L. J. K Setright - The designers: Great automobiles and the men who made them

Goro Tamai - The Leading Edge: Aerodynamic Design of Ultra-Streamlined Land Vehicles

Brian Peacock & Waldemar Karwowski - Automotive Ergonomics

Bob Thomas - Confessions of an Automotive Stylist

Brooke Hodge & C. Edson Armi - Retrofuturism: The Car Design of J Mays

Gordon M. Buehrig - Rolling sculpture: A designer and his work

Henry L. Dominguez - Edsel Ford and E.T. Gregorie: The Remarkable Design Team...

Stephen Bayley - Harley Earl (Design Heroes Series)

Stephen Bayley - Harley Earl and the Dream Machine

Serge Bellu - 500 Fantastic Cars: A Century of the World Concept Cars

Raymond Loewy - Industrial Design

Raymond Loewy - Never Leave Well Enough Alone

Philippe Tretiack - Raymond Loewy and Streamlined Design

Angela Schoenberger - Raymond Loewy: Pioneer of American Industrial Design

Laura Cordin - Raymond Loewy


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