Rockville Garage Hudson Motor Car Ads (1919-1920)
The advertisements in this post do more than just simply pitch a product, they capture a moment in history. A moment in history when Lewis Reed’s Rockville Garage 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.
Prior to the advent of television and radio advertising, print media was the most popular form of advertising and most car ads were black and white. The following ads distributed by the Lambert Automobile Company in The Baltimore Sun newspaper advertises the Hudson and Essex automobiles.
In addition to franchise car dealers, there were also factory stores. In the early days, the factory stores did the national advertising. A factory store, also known as a branch store or branch dealer, was a dealership owned and run by the manufacturer. A list of area Dealers was placed in fine print at the bottom of the ads. Rockville Garage, Rockville, Md, is highlighted in yellow on each of these ads.
By the 1920s, Hudson and Essex Motor Car advertisements featured elegant architectural borders with static drawings of their cars; some ads never pictured people during this period.
A lot of old newspapers have found their way online and with digital archival, it’s easier to take a trip back through old newspapers than ever before. These ads were found on NewspaperARCHIVE.com, the largest historical newspaper database online.