Hudson Motor Car Company

Hudson Motor Car Company

The Hudson Motor Car Company’s first plant in Detroit, MI. The company used this building from 1909 to 1912 when it moved to a larger plant. Image credit: Hudson Motor Car Company

Lewis Reed received his automotive training at the Pierce-Arrow factory at Buffalo, New York, the Dodge Hamtramck and Hudson Motor Car factories in Detroit, Michigan, and the Washington Auto College. A mechanical aptitude was necessary to be a dealer in the early 1900’s. When cars were shipped to the dealer from the manufacturer, they arrived partially assembled in railroad boxcars. It was the dealer’s responsibility to unpack and assemble the cars at the rail yard and drive them back to the dealership. Mechanics were often needed to repair the new cars if they broke down along the way.

The first shop force of Rockville Garage

1916 – The first shop force of Rockville Garage (from left: Lewis Reed, (first name unknown) Long and Phillip Reed.

Lewis Reed’s Rockville Garage sold more than just Dodges. During the early years, Reed Brothers represented several franchise nameplates along with Dodge, including Oldsmobile, Hudson and Essex. The Hudson and Oldsmobile were sold at Reed Brothers from roughly 1917 through 1923.

Hudson introduced the Essex brand in 1919. The Essex was intended to compete with Ford and Chevrolet for budget-minded buyers. The Essex offered one of the first affordable sedans and by 1925 the combined Hudson and Essex sales made Hudson the third largest automobile manufacturer in the United States.

The Hudson Motor Car Company made Hudson and other brand automobiles in Detroit, Michigan, from 1909 to 1954.

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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.

2 responses to “Hudson Motor Car Company”

  1. Jonathan B. Richards II says :

    Hello Again, Jeanne Gartner,
    I continue to enjoy the posts you present on this excellent Reed Brothers Dodge blog. Today’s installment is significant because you have explained the business environment for auto dealerships in the early 20th Century when the dealer needed to be a capable business man and salesman but also had to be a capable mechanic. In the present day of heavy capital requirements for auto dealerships the mechanical skills aspect is largely a thing of the past. With the coming of non-serviceable auto components , replaced by the procedure in which parts are simply exchanged for new , the entire nature of automotive repair is changed. With heavy reliance on computer diagnostics the servicing and repair of automobiles is vastly different 100 years later. Your grandfather’s training at the Washington Auto School and apprenticeship at the Pierce-Arrow,
    Dodge and Hudson motor car production facilities perfectly prepared him for his long and successful career as a Dodge dealer. I would very much have enjoyed making his acquaintance. Lewis Reed was “Old School” in the best sense of the term. I know you are proud of that. Keep up the great blogging.

    • Reed Brothers says :

      Hello Jonathan, I read your comment several times because I was so touched by it. I’m always so happy to hear people say they enjoy reading my blog. Your comments made my day. Thank you!

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