Baker Motor Vehicle Company

From Ohio History Central
1899 Winton Stanhope.jpg
1899 Winton Stanhope

The Baker Motor Vehicle Company began producing electric-powered automobiles in Cleveland in 1899. Its founders were Walter C. Baker and Fred R. White, of the White Sewing Machine Company family. Baker became the automobile manufacturer's president and White was vice president and general manager. Baker had begun experimenting with automobile design in the early 1890s. He built the Electrobat Automobile, which at the World Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893 became the first automobile to be demonstrated in a public setting.

One of Baker Motor Vehicle Company's earliest automobiles was a racer that could reach speeds of more than seventy-five miles per hour, an amazing speed for this time period. This model was also the first automobile in history to have passenger seat belts. In the early twentieth century, the company also began to manufacture electric-powered trucks for commercial purposes. These trucks were used across the United States and exported to countries around the world. One of Baker Motor Vehicle Company's most famous customers was Thomas A. Edison.

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