The Dodge Brothers
Bicycle builders, machinists, businessmen, manufacturers.
The DODGE name is well known throughout the automotive world. Few know that these world famous brothers got their start right here in Windsor, Ontario.
John and Horace Dodge were born in Niles, Michigan in 1864 and 1868 respectively. They learned the machinist trade in their fathers own machine shop and grew to be skilled tradesmen. Wanting to strike out on their own, they moved to Windsor, Ontario in 1892 and began working for the Canadian Typograph Company, which arranged type for print publications. Shortly afterwards, the brothers partnered with Fred Evans to create the “Evans & Dodge Bicycle” which was manufactured by leasing the facilities of the Typograph company. As a sideline, John and Horace began manufacturing automotive parts for some of the pioneering automotive manufactures of the time. Their reputation as master craftsmen grew quickly and they transferred their production to Beaubien Street in Detroit in 1901. Some time later, after meeting Henry Ford and being greatly impressed with his product, the brothers took a one-tenth interest in the newly formed Ford Motor Company.
The brothers prospered greatly under their Ford connection, while continuing to build automotive parts under their own name. Finally, with enough capital, and a growing disenchantment with Henry Ford, they created Dodge Brothers Incorporated on July 17, 1914. From their humble beginnings in Windsor, Ontario, Dodge grew to become one of the most recognised automotive names in the world.
Hyde, Charles K. The Dodge Brothers: the men, the motor cars and the legacy. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2005.
McPherson, Thomas A. The Dodge Story. Sarasota, FL.: Crestline Publishing, 1975.