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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

C.R. Patterson, sons, and grandsons: Black pioneer car builders | Hagerty Media

Charles Richard Patterson, born a slave on a Virginia plantation in 1833, became patriarch of the first and last automobile manufacturing enterprise organized by Black Americans. At age eight, Patterson escaped bondage in Virginia with his parents and a dozen siblings and traveled via the underground railroad to Greenfield, Ohio, a small town between Cincinnati and Columbus.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/people/c-r-patterson-sons-and-grandsons-black-pioneer-car-builders/
10 REPLIES 10
GRP_Photo
Instructor

Looks like the first photo has been flipped. Unless they were making right-hand drive cars.
HASCpres2019
Intermediate Driver

Many early American cars were RH drive, although always driven on the right side of the road. Pierce-Arrow built RH drive cars until 1920.
DAdams
Intermediate Driver

The (circa) 1915 advertisement appears to show righthand drive. While most manufacturers had standardized on lefthand drive around 1910, it appears the Patterson's were holdouts for righthand drive.
Flashman
Instructor

An appropriate topic for Black History Month; thanks.
67Firebird
Intermediate Driver

Imagine the value of just one genuine example existed. Or just recreate a "tribute" version .
roadio55
Intermediate Driver

The article states, "none of which survive intact today." Does that mean there are one or more partial examples somewhere? Do any of the Greenfield bus bodies remain?
GoFast
Detailer

To our knowledge, no traces remain of either the cars or bus bodies manufactured by the Pattersons.
MoparMan
Advanced Driver

It is ALWAYS interesting to discover these "hidden" nuggets of history! It's a shame that the Great Depression spelled the end of the company!...what if....? 🙂
jaysalserVW
Detailer

What a great generational story of a family which made the best of every opportunity. I wonder why we did not hear about this during Black History Month? Please keep these invigorating historical stories coming!
GoFast
Detailer

Check your calendar! Black History month runs until March 1.