|John McAnlis' 1909 Stearns model 30-60 Toy Tonneau|
|1909 Stearns when owned by Burton Upjohn|
|Mrs. K.R. Otis and her Stearns model 30-60|
Frank Ballou Stearns was the son of Frank M. Stearns, the Ohio area stone quarry baron (Superintendent of the Berea Stone Co. - circa 1880s; general superintendent of the Mussey Stone Co.- circa 1895; and board of director of the Cleveland Stone Co. circa 1903). F. B. Stearns left high school to pursue his automotive ambitions, and his understanding father built him a well-equipped machine shop in the basement of the family's home in Cleveland.
The F. B. STEARNS CO. produced automobiles in Cleveland from 1898 until Dec. 1929. Interestingly, Stearns started out with partners Ralph and Raymond Owen, who would go on to create the Owen-Magnetic after leaving Stearns in 1900. By 1910, the company is said to have been producing 1,000 units a year. Never a large producer, production peaked in 1920 (3,850 units). In 1925, John Willys bought controlling interest in the company. However with the depression, Willys couldn't make it work and the company was dissolved on 30 Dec. 1929.
In researching the Streans, I came across the exploits of Mrs. K. R. Otis of Cleveland and her 1909 Stearns 30-60 light touring car. I'm guessing Mrs. Otis was related in some way to the Otis Brothers Elevator Company - also from Cleveland. Mrs. Otis set a number of records (including winning a local hill climb event) with her Streans and was quite a local celebrity. The newspaper article below is worth reading (click on it to enlarge) - great story.
|Mrs. K.R. Otis and her record run|