Early Electric Cars

One of the trends in 21st century America is the development of electric cars. Almost every auto manufacturer is producing or is developing electric or hybrid electric/gas vehicles. The advantage of quiet, steady power with no exhaust emissions is proving quite popular.

What may shock a great many people is that Electric Cars are far from a recent development, and have a very long and rich history, in the U.S. and elsewhere.

From the timeline below, you will find that the first generation of electric cars began in 1897 and continued until 1939. In the ads you will see a broad range of electric vehicles, from small powered buggies, to sporty roadsters, to luxurious family sedans, to workhorse trucks and even buses.

Early electric cars, surprisingly, had about the same range of travel, before needing to recharge, as modern electric cars.

We think you will enjoy viewing advertisements from this great variety of pioneer American electric car manufacturers.



Early Electric Car Links

1896 Morris Salem Electric Coupe 10×8
1905 Electric A Light Electric Serves His Purpose THE HORSELESS AGE November 1, 1905 Page 501 8.5"x11.5" From the University of Minnesota Library
1910 ELECTRIC PLEASURE CARS. BABCOCK     BAKER     OHIO MoToR's 1910 MoToR CAR DIRECToRY Published By MoToR, New York Page 115 10"x7.25"
1910 ELECTRIC PLEASURE CARS. BABCOCK     BAKER     OHIO MoToR's 1910 MoToR CAR DIRECToRY Published By MoToR, New York Page 115 10"x7.25"
1910 ELECTRIC PLEASURE CARS. BAILEY     BAKER     RAUCH & LANG MoToR's 1910 MoToR CAR DIRECToRY Published By MoToR, New York Page 112 10"x7.25"
1910 ELECTRIC PLEASURE CARS. BROC     RAUCH & LANG     FRITCHIE MoToR's 1910 MoToR CAR DIRECToRY Published By MoToR, New York Page 116 10"x7.25"
1910 ELECTRIC PLEASURE CARS. COLUMBIA     DETROIT     WAVERLEY MoToR's 1910 MoToR CAR DIRECToRY Published By MoToR, New York Page 108 10"x7.25"
1910 ELECTRIC PLEASURE CARS. COLUMBUS     COLUMBUS     COLMBUS MoToR's 1910 MoToR CAR DIRECToRY Published By MoToR, New York Page 119 10"x7.25"
1910 ELECTRIC PLEASURE CARS. DETROIT     RAUCH & LANG     WOODS MoToR's 1910 MoToR CAR DIRECToRY Published By MoToR, New York Page 113 10"x7.25"
1910 ELECTRIC PLEASURE CARS. FRITCHIE     BROC     BAKER MoToR's 1910 MoToR CAR DIRECToRY Published By MoToR, New York Page 111 10"x7.25"
1910 ELECTRIC PLEASURE CARS. IDEAL     DETROIT     FRITCHIE MoToR's 1910 MoToR CAR DIRECToRY Published By MoToR, New York Page 110 10"x7.25"
1910 ELECTRIC PLEASURE CARS. KIMBALL     CLARK     COLUMBUS MoToR's 1910 MoToR CAR DIRECToRY Published By MoToR, New York Page 118 10"x7.25"
1910 ELECTRIC PLEASURE CARS. KIMBALL     CLARK     COLUMBUS MoToR's 1910 MoToR CAR DIRECToRY Published By MoToR, New York Page 118 10"x7.25"
1910 ELECTRIC PLEASURE CARS. WAVERLEY     BABCOCK     STUDEBAKER MoToR's 1910 MoToR CAR DIRECToRY Published By MoToR, New York Page 109 10"x7.25"
1911 EDISON Electric Garage Article Garage Situation in Boston--- Edison Electric Garage THE HORSELESS AGE May 3, 1911 Page 762 8.25"x11.5" From the University of Minnesota Library
1911 Electric Article Eleven Electric "Suburbaned" on Long Island THE HORSELESS AGE June 21, 1911 Page 1057 8.25"x11.5" From the University of Minnesota Library
1911 Electric Car Article Electric Cars "Suburbaning" THE HORSELESS AGE June 14, 1911 Page 1022 8.25"x11.5" From the University of Minnesota Library
1911 Electric Garage Article Toledo Auto & Garage Co.'s Garage Electric Vehicle Department THE HORSELESS AGE May 3, 1911 Page 763 8.25"x11.5" From the University of Minnesota Library
1911 Electric Garage Article Toledo Auto & Garage Co.'s Garage THE HORSELESS AGE May 3, 1911 Page 764 8.25"x11.5" From the University of Minnesota Library
1911 ELECTRIC Vehicle Article Electric Pleasure Vehicles BABCOCK BAKER BROC OHIO THE HORSELESS AGE January 25, 1911 Page 192 8.5"x12"
1911 ELECTRIC Vehicle Article The Modern Pleasure Electric Vehicle Scientific American January 14, 1911 Page 31 10.5"x15.5"
1911 ELECTRIC Vehicle Article The Modern Pleasure Electric Vehicle Scientific American January 14, 1911 Page 32 10.5"x15.5"
1911 ELECTRIC Vehicle Picture THOMAS A. EDISON AND HIS IMPROVED STORAGE BATTERY Scientific American January 14, 1911 Page 1 10.5"x15.25"
1915 ELECTRIC Detroit Taxicabs The Finest Fleet of Electric Taxicabs in the World American Ball-Bearing Company Cleveland, OHIO Automobile Trade Journal Page 12 February 1915 6.25"x9.75"
1915 ELECTRIC Vehicle Article Co-operation Voiced at E.V.A. Meeting Function of the Electric Garage MOTOR AGE October 21, 1915 Page 18 8.5"x12"
1915 ELECTRIC Vehicle Article Electric Taxicab Is Popular in Detroit MOTOR WORLD October 20, 1915 Page 9 8.5"x11.75"
1915 ELECTRIC Vehicle Article Function of the Electric Garage, conn. The Electric Taxicab MOTOR AGE October 21, 1915 Page 19 8.5"x12"
1915 ELECTRIC Vehicle Article Usefulness of Electric Depends on Garage Battery Exchange System Increases MOTOR WORLD October 20, 1915 Page 10 8.5"x11.75"
1916 ELECTRIC Vehicle Article Electric Vehicles Prominent at the New York Electrical Exposition Automobile Trade Journal November 1916 Page 116 6.25"x10"
1916 ELECTRIC Vehicle Article Electrics in Taxicab Service Automobile Trade Journal 1916 Page 171 6.25"x10"
1919 Electric Passenger Cars Automobile Trade Journal January 1919 Page 206 & 207 9.5"x6.5" From the University of Minnesota Library
1920 Electric Article Electrical Show Has Many Automotive Features Automobile Trade Journal November 1920 Page 53A 6.5"x9.5" From the University of Minnesota Library
1923 Electric Specifications Mechanical Specifications of 1923 Electric Cars MOTOR AGE January 25, 1923 Page 78 8.5"x11.5" From the University of Minnesota Library
1923 Electric Specifications Mechanical Specifications of 1923 Electric Trucks MOTOR AGE January 25, 1923 Page 79 8.5"x11.5" From the University of Minnesota Library
Automobiles of the World By Albert L. Lewis and Walter A. Musciano Simon and Schuster New York 1977 ISBN: 0-671-22485-9 Page 187 1910-1914 5.5"x8.5"
Automobiles of the World By Albert L. Lewis and Walter A. Musciano Simon and Schuster New York 1977 ISBN: 0-671-22485-9 Page 46 1886-1889 5.5"x8.5"
Automobiles of the World By Albert L. Lewis and Walter A. Musciano Simon and Schuster New York 1977 ISBN: 0-671-22485-9 Page 530 1960-1969 5.5"x8.5"
Automobiles of the World By Albert L. Lewis and Walter A. Musciano Simon and Schuster New York 1977 ISBN: 0-671-22485-9 Page 532 1960-1969 5.5"x8.5"
Automobiles of the World By Albert L. Lewis and Walter A. Musciano Simon and Schuster New York 1977 ISBN: 0-671-22485-9 Page 535 1910-1914 5.5"x8.5"
Automobiles of the World By Albert L. Lewis and Walter A. Musciano Simon and Schuster New York 1977 ISBN: 0-671-22485-9 Page 537 1960-1969 5.5"x8.5"
ELECTRIC CARS SCC INDEX: ALTERNATE-POWER CARS Electric Cars Standard Catalog of AMERICAN CARS 1805-1942 By Beverly Rae Kimes & Henry Austin Clark, Jr. Krause Publications ISBN: 0-87341-428-4 Page 1591 8.5"x11"
Electric Passenger Cars 27 Models Motor February 1916 Page 62 10"x14"
Electric Passenger Cars Brief Specifications of Electric Cars 1916 Motor February 1916 Page 63 10"x14"
Index to Cars in MoToR's 1910 Directory MoToR's 1910 MoToR CAR DIRECToRY Published By MoToR, New York THE NATIONAL MAGAZINE OF MOTORING Page 2 10"x7.25"
Index to Cars in MoToR's 1910 Directory MoToR's 1910 MoToR CAR DIRECToRY Published By MoToR, New York THE NATIONAL MAGAZINE OF MOTORING Page 3 10"x7.25"
MoToR's 1910 MoToR CAR DIRECToRY Published By MoToR, New York THE NATIONAL MAGAZINE OF MOTORING Front cover 10"x7.25"
power WITH NO STRINGS ATTACHED Front and Back Covers LEAD INDUSTRIES ASSOCIATION, INC New York 17, NY NS (1/63) 15M Pages 1 and 12 8.5"x11"
power WITH NO STRINGS ATTACHED LEAD INDUSTRIES ASSOCIATION, INC New York 17, NY NS (1/63) 15M Pages 10 and 11 8.5"x11"
power WITH NO STRINGS ATTACHED LEAD INDUSTRIES ASSOCIATION, INC New York 17, NY NS (1/63) 15M Pages 2 and 3 8.5"x11"
power WITH NO STRINGS ATTACHED LEAD INDUSTRIES ASSOCIATION, INC New York 17, NY NS (1/63) 15M Pages 4 and 5 8.5"x11"
power WITH NO STRINGS ATTACHED LEAD INDUSTRIES ASSOCIATION, INC New York 17, NY NS (1/63) 15M Pages 6 and 7 8.5"x11"
power WITH NO STRINGS ATTACHED LEAD INDUSTRIES ASSOCIATION, INC New York 17, NY NS (1/63) 15M Pages 8 and 9 8.5"x11"
The Electric "SPIRIT OF '76" Experimental Cars – General Engines Co., Inc Sewell, New Jersey
The Electric "SPIRIT OF '76" Experimental Cars – General Engines Co., Inc Sewell, New Jersey 10"x8"
The Electric "SPIRIT OF '76" Press Release GREATER NEW YORK AUTO SHOW New York Coliseum Exhibits #119-120 1st Floor Center Aisle Rear Experimental Cars – General Engines Co., Inc Sewell, New Jersey Page 1 and 2 8.5"x11"