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Enoch Pratt Free Library Digital Collections

About this collection

A collection of photographs, mechanical drawings, and documents of Carl Spoerer's Sons Company, one of the earliest manufacturers of motor vehicles in Maryland, that shows the transition from the blacksmith and carriage shop to motor vehicle manufacturer.

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Blueprint of car exterior, workers in the Spoerer factory, and photo of carCollection Location: Maryland Department, Enoch Pratt Free Library / State Library Resource Center

Collection Overview: Consisting of thirteen photographs, fifty-nine blueprints or mechanical drawings, and two other documents, this collection from Carl Spoerer's Sons Company, one of the earliest manufacturers of motor vehicles in Maryland, shows how a small business in the carriage-building industry made the transition into the motor vehicle industry, spurring development of one of the major inventions of the twentieth century--the gas-powered automobile.

In 1890 Carl Spoerer opened a carriage, wagon, and truck works at 400-402 South Fremont Avenue in southwest Baltimore City, eventually bringing his sons Charles and Jacob into the business. When he died in 1899, Charles and Jacob changed the name of the business to Carl Spoerer's Sons Company and began to transition the company from a carriage-making business to a motor vehicle manufacturer. The sons expanded the factory in 1904, using their father's former home at 404 South Fremont Avenue to build an annex onto the old building at 400-402 Fremont Avenue. They also added the repair and sale of rubber tires to the business, slowly turning their father’s carriage-making business into a business building motor vehicles. Then, in 1907, they purchased property and built a new, larger factory at 901-909 South Carey Street (corner of Carey and Herkimer Streets). About this time they also took on a new partner, John F. Reus, although the name of the firm remained unchanged. During the years 1907 to 1914, the company produced several types of motor vehicles: a roadster, a five-passenger touring car or convertible (tonneau), a seven-passenger touring car or convertible, a town car, a landaulet, a limousine, and trucks including Spoerer-built fire equipment. Carl Spoerer's Sons Company eventually gave up building motor vehicles and concentrated on providing accessories such as tires for motor vehicles. The company went out of business in 1934.

Related Material:

Seal, Rector R. "Maryland Automobile Manufacturers 1900-1942". Chicago, Adams Press, 1985.

 

Collection overview prepared by Bill Cady, Digitization Assistant, Enoch Pratt Free Library / State Library Resource Center.

 
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