The Studebaker brand started off selling wagons and horse-drawn buggies. Henry and Clement Studebaker opened a blacksmith shop in South Bend, Indiana and called it The Studebaker Brothers Manufacturing Company.
A third brother, J. M., moved to California around this time with fifty cents in his pocket. He set up shop as a wagon-maker, but eventually ended up succumbing to the desperate needs of the region, and began making wheelbarrows instead. J. M. saved $8,000 before returning to South Bend to invest and help his brothers’ business—they were in dire need of hands, as the Civil War prompted a rising need for wagons, and business was booming. Quickly, the Studebaker wagons were considered the best in the industry, and in 1877, the annual sales for the company exceeded over $1 million.
A man named Fred Fish married into the family and pushed the brothers into exploring horseless carriage options. In 1902, the company decided to build electric cars. Sales increased from $3.6 million in 1901 to $43.4 million in 1914.
Studebaker produced several military vehicles during World War II, including the B-17 Flying Fortress Engines, trucks, and the amphibious Weasel. Studebaker closed its doors in 1966.
At Period Paper, we have always loved listing Studebaker advertisements. Often, they feature beautiful Art Deco images in bright and bold colors. We offer Studebaker vintage ads from all decades of the company’s existence, but particularly from the 1920s and 1950s.