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.
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