Everyday is a good day in a Pope-Hartford

A Pope-Hartford leaving Prescott, Arizona (photo credit: The Sharlot Hall Museum)

In another wonderful photo from the Sharlot Hall Museum collection, what looks to be a 1910 Pope-Hartford Model T Pony Tonneau, speeds out of town. The town would be Prescott, Arizona and Sharlot Mabridth Hall was the territorial historian at the time - the first woman to hold territorial office.

I don't know why people have gathered to watch these well dressed motorist charge through town, but a car like the Pope-Harford would have drawn a crowd in any little western community of the time. Pope's Model T, introduced in 1910, was a refinement of the previous year's 4 cylinder, 40 horsepower car. 

The Pope-Hartford was an expensive and powerful car - the result of the tireless effort of Albert Pope, who's success in buying up the patent-rights and manufacturing bicycles, lead to great wealth. Pope grew up selling fruits and vegetables in Boston's Quincy Market, however with his bicycle money Pope entered the automobile business in 1896. Convinced that electric cars were the way to go, Pope was producing just over 2000 cars by 1899 - nearly half of all cars produced in the US. By the end of the year (1899), Pope would sell out to the Electric Vehicle Company. In 1901, Pope wanted back into the automobile business and began acquiring companies. These cars were named according to their location of manufacture; Pope-Robinson (Hyde Park, Massachusetts), Pope-Waverly Electric (1904-1908,made in Indianapolis), Pope-Tribune (Hagerstown, Maryland, 1904-1908), Pope-Toledo (1904-1909, Toledo, Ohio) and Pope-Hartford (1904-1914, Hartford, Connecticut). 

Unfortunately for Pope, a series of bad investments led to financial ruin and he died in Boston in August of 1909. When the Pope Manufacturing Company went into receivership in mid-1914, the Pope-Hartford went with it. Wilber and Charles Walker, who had been associated with the Pope Company since 1902, reorganized the service and repair department and continued making parts and servicing cars for a few more years. However, the mighty Pope empire was finished.

Horseless Age October 6, 1909

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