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Historical Timeline

Select Period: 1800s | 1900s | '10s | '20s | '30s | '40s | '50s | '60s | '70s | '80s | '90s | 2000s | '10s


Thomas Jeffery is born in England; emigrates to U. S., becomes maker of Rambler bicycles in Chicago; sells company to build Rambler automobiles in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in 1902.


Charles W. Nash is born in Cortland, Illinois; as President of Buick, hires Walter Chrysler; later produces Jeffery Co. to produce the Nash automobile.

Jonathan Dixon Maxwell born in Howard County, Indiana; co-founds Maxwell-Briscoe in 1903.

John Francis Dodge is born in Niles, Michigan.  Forms Dodge Brothers with brother Horace in 1914.


Horace Elgin Dodge is born in Niles, Michigan.

The Dodge Brothers biography (pdf) Chrysler Corporation: The Official History by Charles K. Hyde


John N. Willys born in Canandaigua, New York; will rescue Overland (founded 1903) to form Willys-Overland in 1909.

Hugh Chalmers born; will acquire control of Thomas-Detroit in 1908 to former Chalmers-Detroit, ultimately Chalmers, later merged with Maxwell.


Walter Percy Chrysler is born April 2 in Wamego, Kansas.  He will become only major railroad industry figure to achieve success in the automobile industry, introduce the advanced Chrysler automobile and found the Chrysler Corporation which, under his leadership, will become the third of the Detroit Big Three automakers and the second largest producer after General Motors.


 Joseph E. Fields biography (1878-1951) (pdf) Chrysler Corporation: The Official History by Charles K. Hyde


Carl Breer is born in Los Angeles, California.  He will become one of the three major engineering talents behind Chrysler’s early success.

Kaufman Thuma Keller born in Mount Joy, Pennsylvania; will work with Walter Chrysler at General Motors and later succeed him as President and, ultimately, Chairman of Chrysler Corporation.

Kaufmann Thuma Keller biography (1885-1966) (pdf) Chrysler Corporation: The Official History by Charles K. Hyde


Fred Morrell Zeder is born in Bay City, Michigan; he will join with Breer and Owen Skelton to develop the first Chrysler car and will head Chrysler engineering until 1951, ultimately serving as Vice-Chairman of Chrysler Corporation.

The Three Musketeers (pdf) Chrysler Corporation: The Official History by Charles K. Hyde -– Walter Chrysler’s term for the talented trio of engineers, Zeder, Skelton and Breer, whom he brought to Willys-Overland from Studebaker Motors.

Bernard Edwin Hutchison biography (1888-1961) (pdf) Chrysler Corporation: The Official History by Charles K. Hyde


George Mason born; will lead engineering at Maxwell Motors under Walter Chrysler.  Later heads Nash-Kelvinator and merges it with Hudson to form American Motors.


Joseph W. Frazier born; will become first Chrysler Corporation sales manager, later President of Willys-Overland and Kaiser-Frazer.  The first vehicles are built by Willys-Overland while Frazier leads the company.


Morris & Salom build four “production models” of their new battery-powered car.

Pope Manufacturing Company of Hartford, Connecticut, manufacturer of the Columbia bicycle, produces an electric car.


Morris & Salom form the Electric Carriage & Wagon Company, concentrating on electric car production.

A. L. Riker forms the Riker Electric Motor Vehicle Company in Brooklyn, New York.


Issac L. Rice, President of Electric Storage Battery Company and the Electric Boat Company, purchases Electric Carriage & Wagon Company and joins it with the Electric Vehicle Company in Elizabeth, New Jersey.

Pope Manufacturing begins production of the Columbia electric; the vehicles are also sold in England and France.


The Dodge brothers begin working for a Canadian company in Windsor, Ontario, where they will later create the Evans & Dodge bicycle.


The automobile division of Pope Manufacturing becomes the Columbia Automobile Company.

The Riker Electric Motor Company is taken over by the Electric Vehicle Company.  Production of the Riker car moves to Elizabeth, New Jersey.