Lewis Reed As Chauffeur

To be a successful motorist in the early 1900s, you needed to have mechanical skills. Alternatively, you simply hired someone who did. Rather than learn to do it themselves, wealthy people employed private chauffeurs not only to drive, but also maintain and repair their large, expensive automobiles. Chauffeurs would be in charge of everything to do with the owner’s motor vehicle including repairs, maintenance and cleaning: this meant that early personal chauffeurs had to be skilled mechanics. Lewis Reed worked as a chauffeur early in his life, receiving some of his training at the Pierce-Arrow factory in Buffalo, New York, whose cars he is pictured with below.

Pierce-Arrow was one of the most prestigious makers of luxury automobiles in the early 20th century. Their models could easily cost ten times the price of a standard touring car.

Chauffeur Lewis Reed (left) with unidentified family, 1914

Chauffeur Lewis Reed (left) in the 1914 photo above poses with an unidentified family and their Pierce-Arrow Model 48.

Lewis Reed Chauffeur

Two ladies with parasols are sitting in the landaulet section of an early Pierce-Arrow limousine, while chauffeur Lewis Reed tends to the motor. The rear portion of the limousine is partitioned from the driver with a glass shield, and covered by a convertible top, which you can see is currently in the lowered position behind the ladies.


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About Reed Brothers

I am a co-owner of the former Reed Brothers Dodge in Rockville, Maryland. Lewis Reed, the founder of Reed Brothers Dodge was my grandfather. We were a family-owned and operated car dealership in Rockville for almost a century. I served in the United States Air Force for 30 years before retiring in the top enlisted grade of Chief Master Sergeant in July 2006. In 2016, I received the Arthur M. Wagman Award for Historic Preservation Communication from Peerless Rockville for documenting the history of Reed Brothers Dodge in both blog and book format. This distinguished honor recognizes outstanding achievement by writers, educators, and historians whose work has heightened public awareness of Rockville’s architectural and cultural heritage, growth and development.

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