Historic Kerr County photographs available!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Automobiles once produced here in Kerrville

Joe Bader produced these Paterson Automobiles
right here in Kerrville. Click on photo to enlarge.
The Paterson Automobile concept was different than others -- they'd ship the cars anywhere they had a dealer, but the dealer had to put them together.
The entry on Paterson Automobiles in Wikipedia reads "The Paterson was a Brass Era/Vintage car built in Flint, Michigan from 1909 until 1923.
Canadian-born William A. Paterson set up the W. A. Paterson Company in Flint in 1869 to make carriages. Even though he entered the automobile field later than many of his fellow carriage makers, he was totally committed to the enterprise, and manufactured a well-built automobile. By 1910, he had completely stopped producing carriages. The earliest Patersons were typical of motor buggies at the time, featuring a two-cylinder air-cooled engineplanetary transmission, doublechain drive and solid rubber tires. In 1910, the Paterson matured into a more refined automobile, with four-cylinder 30HP engines, shaft drive, and selective transmission.[1] Six-cylinder engines were introduced in 1915, and the four was dropped the following year. For the remainder of its production run, Patersons featured Continental six-cylinder engines.
As with Cole in Indianapolis, Patersons enjoyed a high degree of owner loyalty. There was also a widespread distribution network, with dealers in all 48 states.[2] After William Paterson died in 1921, his son, W. C. Paterson, and associate W. R. Hubbard had trouble running the company during the postwar depression. In July 1923, the two sold the company to Dallas Winslow, who was the Dodge dealer in Flint. Winslow stated he would be hiring the engineering and production manager, E. C. Kollmorgen, to alter the Paterson in order to continue production, but he must have soon changed his mind. The Paterson was thus added to the list of automobile manufacturers that were put out of business by the postwar depression."

The Badermobile, created in Comfort, Texas
Before he started assembling Patersons in Kerrville, Joe Bader had already made a name for himself in the automobile business, creating the Badermobile in Comfort years earlier.
It appears to be an open carriage in which he'd placed an engine, drive train, and steering system. I'm lucky enough to have a photo in my Kerr County photo collection of the little car.
It appears that later Mr. Bader became a dealer for the Paterson, and that he assembled them opposite the St. Charles Hotel.  The St. Charles was on the site now occupied by the old Sid Peterson Memorial Hospital, on the corner of Sidney Baker and Water Streets.
An advertisement postcard for the Paterson 30
I really like the old photo of the Patersons above.  If you look closely, you'll notice they're chained together.  Something tells me the only vehicle that was operational was the first one -- and it had towed the others to make this photo.
The buildings in the background are on Water Street.  The two-story rock building is still there today, in the 700 block of Water, and is owned by Dr. and Mrs. William Rector.
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