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Oct. 2—Whereas the Thought-about the American made car Most probably brings to thoughts pictures of these iconic Detroit-headquartered corporations acknowledged collectively as “The huge Three,” there was as quickly as a time when America was house to lots of of small, unbiased car producers. From 1910 till 1925, The F. A. Ames Co. of Owensboro was A Sort of corporations.
Visitors to the Photo voltaic Home windows & Doorways currentroom at 1515 E. 18th St. in Owensboro Shall be greeted by two of these historic cars and a Selection of historic artifacts detailing the constructing’s historic previous, from the time it served as an auto physique manufacturing plant to when Frank Anderson’s grandfather relocated the househprevious enterprise to Owensboro from Detroit in 1942.
“This constructing, when it was constructed, wasn’t in Owensboro,” Anderson said. “Owensboro ended at Ninth Road, and this was a group referred to as Seven Hills.”
Anderson said that the constructing that has been house to his househprevious agency since 1942 was as quickly as the second of two factories owned by Frederick A. Ames, a carpenter fliped carriage producer Inside the late 1800s.
After many yrs constructing wagons and carriages, Ames did what a quantity of flip-of-the-century carriage builders did and fliped his consideration in the direction of the burgeoning car enterprise. A partnership with Vincent Bendix quickly had the pair working collectively on constructing cars beneath the Ames Motor Automotive Co. moniker.
Bendix finally left The agency, and the Ames Motor Automotive. Co. started to wrestle beneath the growing strain from Henry Ford and his Ford Mannequin T car.
“(The Ames) was Definitely one of many first cars that had electrical lights and An electricalal starter, however he Might not promote it as a Outcome of it was too costly,” Anderson said. “That was A drawback with All of the small car producers.”
The recently restored Photo voltaic currentroom not solely reveals the historic previous of the window and door producer, But in addition informs the story of Ames and his cars.
In a single nook of the currentroom, a framed informationpaper commercial declares the Ames as “Made in Owensboro, used All by way of the place.” That very similar commercial goes on To inform The angle buyr that “You are taking no hazard in any respect in buying for this car.”
The Owensboro Messenger reported in its March 17, 1910, version that The primary cargo of Ames cars had left Owensboro Yesterday and have been sure On the market in Texas. The agency was as quickly as extra Inside the information Inside the Oct. 25, 1913, version, which reported on simply how far The agency had Are out there Just a few brief yrs.
“This manufacturing unit makes all Number Of pleasure and driving car and the now well-known Ames car That is quick turning into as extensively well-known as his buggies have Discover your self to be,” the report said.
It is believed that between 1910 and 1915, 2,700 Ames cars have been constructed.
When it was evident that Ames Wouldn’t Be In a place To grab a aggressive share of The car market, he decided it was time To change gears. In the previous “Do You’d like to can’t beat them, joInside them” adage, The agency started manufacturing aftermarket car our bodies for the Ford Mannequin T.
Usually acknowledged Since the car that put America on the transfer, Henry Ford was Succesful of good the meeting-line course of to create an pretty priced car availSuccesful of the lots for The primary time.
“Rather than going out of enterprise, Ames diversified And commenced the Ames Body Co., And that is the place he actually blossomed,” Anderson said.
Whereas these lining As a lot as buy a Ford Mannequin T have been restricted in colour choice, with Ford well-knownly declaring that, “Any buyer can have a car painted any colour that he wants, As prolonged Because it is black,” an Ames physique Might be painted any colour The client wished.
“Do You’d like to had Barely bit extra affluence You can customise your car,” Anderson said.
An estimated 30,000 Ames our bodies have been manufactured in Owensboro between 1915 and 1925, with types Starting from racing impressed speedsters to enterprise coupes.
An Ames brochure from the early Nineteen Twenties hailed The regular of an Ames physique.
“All Ames our bodies are constructed of Definitely one of the biggest supplies, solely 20-gauge full accomplished car physique sheet metallic is used, and our inspection by way ofout and after manufacturing is most inflexible,” the brochure said. “They match goodly on Mannequin T Ford chassis, although on account of the completely different sizes of radiators used, we urge you To say the yr of the car’s manufacturing.”
Whereas Ames died in 1925 at 60 yrs previous, the legacy of his agency and Owensboro’s time as an car producer lives on Contained in the Photo voltaic Home windows and Doorways currentroom. There are presently Ames bodied Mannequin T Ford’s on current, Together with a quantity of gadgets of memorabilia found by way ofout the yrs.