1935 Auto Body Repair & Fender Repair Addition

Auto Body and Fender Repair Addition, 1935

Montgomery County Sentinel, February 14, 1935

Reed Brothers Announce New Department of Auto Body and Fender Work

Reed Brothers Dodge and Plymouth dealers of Rockville, have inaugurated a new department of auto body and fender repairing under the direction of E.J. Sherman, who has had 20 years of experience along this line. Edgar Reed pointed out that this new department will enable automobile owners to get a satisfactory and economical service in Rockville, whereas, they have in the past been obliged to go to Washington or Baltimore for such work.

With a surge in automobile purchases in the early 1900’s, and an equal amount of car accidents and breakdowns, Reed Brothers began offering collision repair services. Just as the automobile has gone through numerous transformations over the last century, so has the auto body repair industry. When Henry Ford first mass produced the car in 1908, it was so new and unlike any other means of transportation at the time, that no one, outside of the few people who designed and built the old Model T Fords, was really qualified to do repairs. In the early years, many people turned to a machinist or even a bicycle repair shop for car repairs. As the popularity of the automobile grew, so did the demand for experienced and reliable mechanics and auto body specialists.

By the 1920s, there were a great deal of cars on the roads, which meant that manufacturers and dealerships needed to provide drivers with the means of repairing their vehicles in the event of a collision or breakdown. To meet this demand, manufacturers started making standardized parts that could easily replace damaged components of a vehicle. Dealerships were now able to employ mechanics that were able to easily repair vehicles using the prefabricated parts provided by the manufacturers. This method of auto repair lasted into the 1930s and 40s, though production and demand for repairs did hit a major decline at this time due to the Great Depression and World War II.

By the 1970s, Reed Brothers Auto Body Shop used state of the art equipment in the repair and refinishing process on all vehicles. Reed Brothers had computer downloaded specifications for practically every vehicle made and they color matched all paints in-house, with world renowned Spies Hecker paint and mixing system. The skilled “plastic surgeons” of the automobile world, their technicians were all formally trained professional with ASE and I-CAR, which kept them up to the minute with the latest technology.

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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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