Reed Brothers Becomes an Original Member of Chrysler

1930s Chrysler radiator "ribbon" emblem

1930s Chrysler radiator “ribbon” emblem

May 28, 1928 marks an important milestone in the history of Chrysler.  It was on this day in 1928 that Dodge Brothers, Horace and John Dodge, became a part of Chrysler. It was on this same date that Lewis Reed, founder of Reed Brothers Dodge in Rockville, Maryland also became an original member of the Chrysler family.

During 1920, the Dodge Brothers company lost its founding fathers. John Dodge died in January, and his younger brother Horace succumbed the following December. A New York investment banking firm paid the brothers’ widows, in a single cash payment, $146 million for the Dodge Brothers firm. Within three years, the bankers initiated negotiations, and on May 28, 1928, Walter P. Chrysler purchased Dodge Brothers, Inc. for $170 million, making it, at the time, the largest business transaction in history. When the transaction was complete, the Chrysler Corporation had grown five-fold overnight to become the third of Detroit’s “Big Three” automakers.

The first Plymouth was built in 1928 and Plymouths were sold at Reed Brothers until 1969, when the Plymouth brand was given to the Chrysler dealers.

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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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