First Regularly Produced Car and Ad

Alexander Winton founded the Winton Motor Carriage Company, the first American company to sell a regularly produced automobile and the first to produce a truck. Winton emigrated from Scotland to New York in 1878, and then settled in Cleveland, OH in 1882.  He is said to have placed the first automobile ad, which appeared in Scientific American magazine.

Winton's first cars were built and assembled by hand.  They were beautiful, with a leather roof and gas lamps. Winton promotional brochures explained that the car had "just enough polished brass… to enliven the general effect."
The Goodrich Rubber Company of Akron, Ohio made the rubber tires for Winton cars.

On March 24, 1898, Robert Allison of Port Carbon, PA became the first person to buy an American-built automobile. He reportedly was inspired to buy one after being influenced by Winton's ad in Scientific American magazine.

By the end of 1889, Winton sold 21 automobiles, and by the end of 1890 more than a hundred more. That total made Winton the largest manufacturer of gas-powered automobiles in the U.S. at the time.

In 1903 Horatio Nelson Jackson drove a new Winton cross-country.  It was the first successful automobile drive across the United States. His young bulldog, Bud, accompanied him on the trip.

Winton stayed open for business until 1924, when the onslaught of automobile manufactures provided too much competition.

Did You Know?

  • Winton was the first to incorporate a steering wheel in his design, instead of a tiller

  • Winton developed the first storage battery that proved practical.

  • Winton was the first to put the engine in the front of the car, instead of underneath the frame.

  • Winton built the first car carrier in America to help deliver his product.

  • The Winton's tank held 11-12 gallons of gas. According to the Winton brochure, this was "sufficient to run the car about 175 miles over ordinary roads."

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