Brush Motor Car Company

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Brush Runabout
En av Stockholms första automobiler, en Brush Runabout, med förare på Apelbergsgatan - Nordiska Museet - NMA.0042174.jpg
Overview
ManufacturerBrush Motor Car Company (1907-1909)
Brush Runabout Company (1909-1913)
Production1907–1913
13,250 produced
Body and chassis
ClassEntry-level car
Body stylerunabout (2 passenger); delivery
Powertrain
EngineOne Cylinder,

Brush Motor Car Company (1907-1909), later the Brush Runabout Company (1909-1913), was based in Highland Park, Michigan.

History[edit]

Brush Runabout Company factory

The company was founded by Alanson Partridge Brush (February 10, 1878, Michigan – March 6, 1952, Michigan). He was a self-taught prolific designer, working with Henry Leland at Oldsmobile, and went on to helped design the original one-cylinder Cadillac engine.[1] Although there were many makes of small runabouts of similar size and one to four cylinders at this time (before the Model T Ford dominated the low-price market), the Brush has many unusual design details showing the inventiveness of its creator. The Brush Runabout Company, along with Maxwell-Briscoe, Stoddard-Dayton, and others formed Benjamin Briscoe's United States Motor Company(USMC) from 1910, ending when that company failed in 1913. Runabouts, in general, fell out of vogue quickly, partly due to the lack of protection from the weather.

After Brush and the other companies of the USMC folded into Maxwell Motor Company, President Walter Flanders wrote in 1913 document "Why We Did Not Use All Our Plants", the Brush factory in Detroit (along with the Flanders and Sampson Plants) were to remain open and running as factories.[2]

Design[edit]

Brush[edit]

Touted as the "Everyman's Car", Brush designed a light car with a wooden chassis (wooden rails and iron cross-members), friction drive transmission and "underslung" coil springs in tension instead of compression on both sides of each axle. Two gas-powered headlamps provided light, along with a gas-powered light in the rear. The frame, axles, and wheels were made of oak, hickory or maple, and were either left plain or painted to match the trim. Wider axles were available for use in the Southern region of the United States, where a 60-inch tread fit wagon ruts on country roads.[3] The horn was located next to the engine cover, with a metal tube running to a squeeze bulb affixed near the driver. A small storage area was provided in the rear, with a drawer accessible under the rear of the seat.

The engines were a single-cylinder, four-stroke water cooled design, producing 6BHP, with power going to a chain-driven rear axle. The rear-axle disengaged one of the rear wheels while driving around a curve to avoid undue wear and tear on the drivetrain. A feature of engines designed by Brush was that they ran counter-clockwise instead of the usual clockwise. This was Brush's idea intended to make them safer for a right-handed person to crank-start by hand. Prior to the invention of the electric starter, crank-starting a clockwise-running engines frequently resulted in dislocated thumbs and broken forearms if the hand crank kicked back on starting.

According to a contemporary review from Cycle and Automobile Trade Journal in 1907, author Hugh Dolnar described the recently introduced Brush as a "...very, very new and also very, very old, as will be seen from the detailed constrction illistrations below..." In his critique of the Brush, Dolnar was referencing the decision to use wooden axles.[4]

In addition to the Runabout, Brush advertised a $600 "Package Car" (also advertised as the "Delivery Car") based on the same chassis as the runabout. Also offered was a "Coupe" model for $850. It is unknown how many (if any at all) of these models were ever produced or sold by Brush.[5]

Liberty-Brush[edit]

In order to increase sales, Brush introduced a lower priced version of the car. Sold between 1911–12, the Liberty-Brush was a simplified version of the standard Runabout offered at a lower price. The most distinguishing feature between the two models were the fenders: the Brush had sweeping front and rear fenders that connected at the midpoint of the car in a short running board, whereas the Liberty-Brush had four bicycle type fenders over only the wheels.[6] While the standard Brush sold in the $450 - $850 range, the Liberty-Brush was extensively advertised at a $350 price.[7]

Feats of Endurance[edit]

Pikes Peak In 1908, Fred and Florence Trinkle took their 7BHP Brush Runabout. It was the third car to make it to the top of Pikes Peak under its own power. The trip to the top of Pikes Peak was part of the Trinkle's "Across America" trip, covering 2,340 miles. [8]

Glidden Tour In 1909, two Brush Runabouts participated in the Glidden Tour. Neither Brush successfully completed the tour.[9]

Abernathy Boys In 1910, Jack Abernathy and his two boys, Bud and Temple rode their horses to see former President Theodore Roosevelt at a celebration. The two boys convinced Jack to return to Oklahoma via automobile, and the trio purchased a 1910 Brush Runabout for the trip. Their return trip included stops in Albany, NY, Niagara Falls, Detroit (and a stop at the Brush Factory for a tune-up), Chicago and Omaha. Brush used the "Little Cowboys from Oklahoma" in their advertisements.[10]

Trans-Australian Trip In 1912, Sid Ferguson, Francis Birtles and a dog named Rex drove a Brush Runabout across the Australian continent. The pair started out on the west coast in Freemantle and ending on the east coast in Sydney, with the trip occurring between March and April of that year. Ferguson and Birtles became the first persons to successfully undertake such a trip.[11]

Extant Examples on Display[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Liberty-Brush automobile". Smithsonian. Archived from the original on 3 September 2006. Retrieved 3 March 2020.
  2. ^ "Motor Age". Volume 23. Class Journal Company. January 2, 1913: 54-55. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  3. ^ "Liberty-Brush automobile". Smithsonian. Archived from the original on 3 September 2006. Retrieved 3 March 2020.
  4. ^ Lamond, Robert A. The Brush Rounabout - everyman's car, 1907 to 1913 : a tribute to Alanson Partridge Brush, self taught engineer, designer and manufacturer of the Brush Rounabout (PDF). p. 44. ISBN 9780646949000.
  5. ^ Lamond, Robert A. The Brush Rounabout - everyman's car, 1907 to 1913 : a tribute to Alanson Partridge Brush, self taught engineer, designer and manufacturer of the Brush Rounabout (PDF). pp. 55, 70, 71, 81. ISBN 9780646949000.
  6. ^ "Liberty-Brush automobile". Smithsonian. Archived from the original on 3 September 2006. Retrieved 3 March 2020.
  7. ^ Lamond, Robert A. The Brush Rounabout - everyman's car, 1907 to 1913 : a tribute to Alanson Partridge Brush, self taught engineer, designer and manufacturer of the Brush Rounabout (PDF). pp. 87, 92. ISBN 9780646949000.
  8. ^ Lamond, Robert A. The Brush Rounabout - everyman's car, 1907 to 1913 : a tribute to Alanson Partridge Brush, self taught engineer, designer and manufacturer of the Brush Rounabout (PDF). p. 78. ISBN 9780646949000.
  9. ^ "1909 Glidden Tour - Indianapolis Star". The First Superspeedway. Retrieved 30 March 2020.
  10. ^ Lamond, Robert A. The Brush Rounabout - everyman's car, 1907 to 1913 : a tribute to Alanson Partridge Brush, self taught engineer, designer and manufacturer of the Brush Rounabout (PDF). p. 97. ISBN 9780646949000.
  11. ^ "Two men in a Brush and a dog called Rex". The Barrier Daily Truth. 15 April 2014. Retrieved 30 March 2020.

External links[edit]