Buckeye Manufacturing Company

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Buckeye Manufacturing Company, 1908

The Buckeye Manufacturing Company was a company originally formed to manufacture horse and buggy parts. It was started in the later part of the nineteenth century and by the early part of the twentieth century was making parts and materials for the Buckeye gasoline buggy automobile as well as for the Union automobile and the Lambert automobile.[1][2] The company was organized in 1884 in Union City, Ohio, originally under the name of Lambert Brothers and Company.[3] One of the subsidiaries was the Pioneer Pole and Shaft Company, which was run by George A. Lambert, the son of John W. Lambert.[4] Other subsidiaries were the Union Automobile Company, Lambert Automobile Company, and the Lambert Gas and Gasoline Engine Company—run by John W. Lambert.[5][6][7][8]


The Buckeye Manufacturing Company started with the sum of money of two thousand dollars. They initially started to manufacture buggy neck yokes and other carriage parts. They had a crew of six men and a few young boys that were helpers. The company name was changed to J. H. Osborne and Company within a few years. They added a line of hardware specialties to the business. Some hand-powered, wood-boring drills have been located bearing this company's name and its Indiana address. By 1890 Mr. Osborne dropped out of the company and the name reverted to the Buckeye Manufacturing Company.[9]

A single Buckeye gasoline buggy was built in 1890, and offered for sale in 1891, though none were produced. The Buckeye Manufacturing Company factory burned in 1891. There was a loss of $15,000 in buildings and materials of which $12,000 was covered by insurance. They constructed new buildings to replace the ones lost.[9]

The stationary Buckeye engine designed and invented by John William Lambert was patented in 1894. The company then started manufacturing these stationary engines since at the time there was no market for Lambert's automobile. In that same year the company was reorganized and incorporated with a capital stock of $100,000.[2] John William Lambert became the company's president with his parents taking key positions. His father became the vice president and his mother become the secretary and treasurer.

The Buckeye Manufacturing Company then moved to Anderson, Indiana, where it was built in the Evalyn industrial park at Third and Sycamore streets.[9] The company expanded in 1903 with the purchase of 5 acres (20,000 m2) on Columbus Ave in Anderson, Indiana. The Anderson Weekly Herald newspaper reported that the new factory would have up to 300,000 square feet (28,000 m2) of factory floor space and employ 350 to 400 people. The factory was to have the latest up to date equipment and electric cranes. The cost of the new buildings would be $150,000. A contract for the iron frame steelwork of the buildings was to be signed with the general contractors within a few days of the newspaper article. The factory manufactured gasoline engines and pressed steel articles for Lambert's automobiles.[10]

The property was known as the Hannah Croak property owned by a Mrs. Hannah Carey and a Mrs. Pfafflin. The transaction was conducted by the Sears Real Estate Company. The Buckeye Manufacturing Company then shared its name with "The Lambert Gas and Gasoline Engine Company."[10] The new factory began making Lambert automobile parts and materials in mass production beginning in 1905.[11]


  1. ^ Indianapolis Star, March 22, 1914; Anderson section, pp. 18–19
  2. ^ a b "A Very Early Manufacturer". Retrieved 2008-12-19. [dead link]
  3. ^ Forkner, p. 452
  4. ^ Netterville, vol. 2, p. 223–224
  5. ^ The Horseless Age: The Automobile Trade Magazine, p. 127
  6. ^ Anderson Morning Herald, June 24, 1904, p. 3; March 14, 1905, p. 8; March 21, 1905, p. 1; April 30, 1905, p. 2; May 10, 1905, p. 1; May 24, 1905, p. 1; June 16, 1909, p. 1; November 18, 1909, p. 8; Jan. 27, 1911, p. 8; March 11, 1911, p. 8
  7. ^ Anderson Sunday Herald; Anderson, Indiana; November 16, 1958
  8. ^ Brandon, p. 180
  9. ^ a b c Forkner, p. 453
  10. ^ a b Anderson Weekly Herald. March 20th, 1903 One of the Largest Factories in the city is now promised by the Lambert Brothers
  11. ^ Anderson Sunday Herald, November 16, 1958.

See also[edit]

Primary sources[edit]

  • Biography of John W. Lambert, written by his son January 25, 1935 — obtained from the Detroit Public Library, National Automotive History Collection
  • Brandon, Rodney H. Who is Who in Anderson, published privately, 1906
  • Dolnar, Hugh, Automobile Trade Journal, article: The Lambert, 1906 Line of Automobiles, Chilton Company, v.10 January 1906
  • Forkner, John L., History of Madison County, Indiana, New York and Chicago, The Lewis Publishing Company, 1914
  • Netterville, J. J., Centennial History of Madison County, Indiana, Anderson, Indiana, Historian's Association, 1925
  • The Horseless Age: The Automobile Trade Magazine, The Horseless Age Company, 1902

Secondary sources[edit]

  • Bailey, L. Scott, Historic Discovery: 1891 Lambert, New Claim for America's First Car, Antique Automobile magazine, Vol. 24, No. 5, Oct–Nov 1960
  • David Burgess Wise, The New Illustrated Encyclopedia of Automobiles ISBN 0-7858-1106-0
  • Dittlinger, Esther et al., Anderson: A Pictorial History, G. Bradley Publishing, 1990, ISBN 0-943963-16-8
  • Georgano, G.N., The Beaulieu Encyclopedia of the Automobile, Taylor & Francis, 2000, ISBN 1-57958-293-1
  • Huffman, Wallace Spencer, Indiana's Place in Automobile History in Indiana History Bulletin, vol 44, no. 2, Feb. 1967; Indianapolis, Indiana Historical Bureau
  • Huhti, Thomas, The Great Indiana Touring Book: 20 Spectacular Auto Tours, Big Earth Publishing, 2002, ISBN 1-931599-09-2
  • James, Wanda, Driving from Japan, McFarland, 2005, ISBN 0-7864-1734-X
  • Kimes, Beverly Rae, Standard Catalog of American Cars, 1805–1942, Krause Publications, 1996, ISBN 0-87341-428-4
  • Madden, W. C., Haynes-Apperson and America's First Practical Automobile: A History, McFarland, 2003, ISBN 0-7864-1397-2
  • Scharchburg, Richard P., Carriages Without Horses: J. Frank Duryea and the Birth of the American Automobile Industry, SAE, 1993, ISBN 1-56091-380-0

External links[edit]