• Jason Chandler

Henry Ford and the Dodge Brothers

Many know both names. Ford is synonymous with the american dream, early american innovation and the assembly line to name just a few. Dodge and the Dodge brothers are know for horsepower, engines and design. However, many are unaware of the partnership of the two iconic companies and the early beginnings of the automotive industry. Lets start with the Dodge Brothers.

In 1902, the Dodge Brothers (Horace and John Francis Dodge) won a contract to build transmissions for the Olds Motor Vehicle Company upon which they built a solid reputation for quality and service. However, the following year they turned down a second contract from Olds (Oldsmobile) to retool their plant to build engines for Henry Ford in a deal that included a share position in the new Ford Motor Company. They had invested in Ford's business and eventually Ford would be in debt to the Dodge Brothers. By 1910, Horace Dodge and his brother were so successful they built a new plant in Hamtramck, Michigan.

For ten years, the Dodge brothers' company was supplier to Ford, and John Dodge worked as vice president of the Ford company. In 1913 the Dodge brothers terminated their Ford contract and devoted their energies toward producing a Dodge automobile. They began building motor trucks, ambulances and other vehicles for the United States military during the arms buildup for World War I and in October 1917 they produced their first commercial car. At war's end, their company manufactured and marketed both cars and trucks.

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