The Boston Auto Exchange in 1906


The Boston Auto Exchange - Nov., 19, 1906

This very interesting picture shows the inside of the Boston Auto Exchange in 1906. On the back of this image is written: Taken Nov. 19, 1906 at Boston Auto Exchange, 177 Berkeley St., Boston, Mass. Agents for Crawford Cars. Additionally, it notes: Winfield & Read(?) 302 Columbus Ave., Boston, Mass - W A Read.

I have found reference to the Boston Auto Exchange in the February, 1905 issue of the Motor, under the title Motor Station Directory, the following are listed:
 - Charles R. Cummings – 43 Columbus Ave.
 - Yale Touring Car Agency – 41 ½ Columbus Ave.
 - National and Imperial Motor Cars – 41 Columbus Ave.
 - Wayne Automobile Co. – 14 and 16 Columbus Ave.
 - Moore & Smith – 24 Columbus Ave.
 - The Commission Automobile Co. – 41 Columbus Ave.
 - Boston Automobile Exchange – 173 Berkeley St.
 - Locomobile Co. – 15 Berkeley St.
 - Tinker Bros. – 43 Columbus Ave.
 - Park Square Auto Station – 43 Columbus Ave.
 - K.A. Skinner – 170 Clarendon St. (I’ve written about Kenneth Skinner in the 1903 De Dion post)
 - Lewis & Matthews Co. – 66-68-70 Stanhope St.
 - White Sewing Machine Co. – 6 Warren Ave.
 - P.A. Williams Jr. – 147 Columbus Ave.
 - The Angier Co. – 43 Columbus Ave.

The Motor - August, 1906
The Boston Auto Exchange is also listed in the August, 1906 issue of the Motor as a dealer of pumps (oil, air, and fuel) as can be seen in the ad shown here. Finally, I found the company listed in the Feb., 13, 1907 issue of The Horseless Age under New Agencies as the dealer for the Crawford Automobile. There are numerous “auto exchanges” seen around this time and from what I can tell they were a combination auto parts supply, used car, and new car dealer.

Cycle and Automobile Trade Journal - Jan., 1906
The Crawford Automobile Company has an interesting story to tell (you can see a 1906 Crawford in this photo – click on the photo to enlarge).  Organized in 1902, the company was the combined effort of Robert and George Crawford, who had sold their successful bicycle business to the Pope Manufacturing Co., and Mathias P. Möller, who created the largest organ (pipe organs) company in the United States.

Produced in Hagerstown, Maryland, Crawford built 2 cars in 1904 and by 1906 are said to have produced 150 cars. The Crawford was an assembled car and never produced in large numbers. By 1908, the company was reorganized when the Crawford brothers wanted out. Möller would produce cars under the Crawford name until 1922, when he introduced the Dagmar (named after one of his daughters). By 1927, Möller was exclusively building taxi cabs under a couple different brand names (including Luxor).

I can identify a few of the cars seen in this picture – if you can name any, please leave me comment.



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