Elwood Haynes helped found the Haynes-Apperson Automobile Company in 1893 in Kokomo, Indiana. Haynes was an inventor and metallurgist who had previously worked for several companies. They included the National Steel Company and the Portland Forge Company.
Parsing Words for History
Later on, Haynes was said by many to be the father of the American automobile. (Karl Benz is credited as inventor of the automobile in Germany in 1885). His Haynes Pioneer model is also said to be the first commercially-produced automobile in America.
Again, the key here is the term “commercially-produced”. In 1893 Massachusetts, newspaper accounts say that Frank and Charles Duryea drove their “horseless carriage” around Springfield.
In 1893, Haynes teamed up with Edgar and Elmer Apperson at the Riverside Machine Works in Kokomo. The Appersons did most of the mechanical work on Haynes’s concept. The Appersons worked with Haynes until around 1901. Then they left to form their own company. Afterwards, Haynes called the company the Haynes Automobile Company.
Haynes’s first car, known as the “Pioneer,” was completed in 1894. It was the first car built in the United States with an all-aluminum engine. The Pioneer was also the first car to use a sliding-gear transmission. It was also the first to use a clutch pedal to engage and disengage the transmission. He whizzed down the streets of Kokomo at the blinding speeds of 6 or 7 miles per hour powered by an engine from Sintz Gas Engine Company.
Haynes continued to refine his car designs and in 1904, he introduced the Haynes-Apperson Automobile, which he built in partnership with Elmer Apperson. The Haynes-Apperson was a luxury car. It featured a six-cylinder engine and a full complement of accessories, including electric lights, a horn, and a speedometer.
In 1912, Haynes left the company he had founded to start a new venture, the Haynes Stellite Company. They produced a new alloy that was used in the production of sparkplugs, valves, and other automobile parts.
After Elwood Haynes left the Haynes Automobile Company in 1912, he was succeeded as president by a series of executives. These included his brother Edgar Haynes, Harry L. Horner, and Robert C. Studebaker. However, the ownership of the company did not change at this time, and it remained under the control of its board of directors.
Only in 1922, several years after Elwood Haynes had left the company, did ownership of the Haynes Automobile Company changed hands. At that time, the company was sold to a group of investors led by John R. Slaymaker. He became the new president of the company.
Sale and Disappearance
Despite the departure of its founder, the Haynes Automobile Company continued to produce cars until 1925. It was then purchased by the Auburn Automobile Company. The Haynes brand was then phased out in favor of the Auburn, which continued to produce cars until the onset of the Great Depression in 1929.
- Year Started: 1893
- Year Ended: 1925
- Origin Of Name: Name of Founders
- Location Sales: United States
- Brand Name Predecessor: N/A
- Brand Name Successor: Auburn Automobiles
- Owner Original: Elwood Haynes; Edgar and Elmer Apperson
- Owner While In Use: Haynes Family
- Owner Successor: Auburn Automobile Company
- Year Resurrected: N/A
- What’s Popular Today: Toyota
- Naics Code: 336110
- Location Headquarters: Kokomo, Indiana, USA