This is an original 1913 halftone print of an advertising illustration for the 38 Horse-power Six-cylinder Pierce-Arrow Brougham, Model C automobile, seating five persons. (Please note that there is printing on the reverse.)
This 98+ year old Item is rated Very Fine ++. Light aging in margins. No creases. No natural defects. No surface rub. No tears. No water damage.
The predecessor to the Buffalo, New York-based Pierce-Arrow American automobile manufacturer was Heinz, Pierce and Munschauer, founded in 1865. The predecessor focused its interests on household items, particularly birdcages and iceboxes. However, in 1872, George Norman Pierce bought out Heinz and Munschauer, changing the companyÕs name to the George N. Pierce Company. In 1896, bicycles were included in the companyÕs product line. Sometime later, motorcycles and camper trailers were added as well.
In 1903, the first complete Pierce-Arrow car was introduced, and in 1905, the automobile won the Glidden Trophy, an endurance race for the most reliable car.
In 1908, the company was renamed The Pierce-Arrow Motor Car Company.
In 1909, United States President William Howard Taft placed an order for two Pierce-Arrows for presidential events; thus making Pierce-Arrow the first official automobile of the White House. In 1921, Woodrow Wilson and Warren G. Harding rode to HardingÕs 1921 inauguration in an open-body Pierce-Arrow vehicle.
In 1912, Herbert M. Dawley, who later became a Broadway actor and director, joined the Pierce-Arrow team and designed practically every automobile model until 1938.
In 1914, the Pierce-Arrow Motor Car Company attempted to distance itself from its rivals by creating distinctive headlights that were placed on the front fenders of the car instead of on either side of the radiator. This created a characteristic individuality that appealed greatly to consumersÕ aesthetics. Not to be outdone, Pierce quickly patented the headlightsÕ placement, and continued the placement until the final model in 1938.
Pierce-Arrow automobiles quickly became world-renown among Hollywood celebrities, corporate moguls, government officials, as well as a favorite among the royal families of Japan, Greece, Belgium, Saudi Arabia and Persia. However, in America, Pierce-Arrow still faced strong competition from Peerless and Packard, which were often referred to as the Three PÕs of Motordom.
In 1928, the Studebaker Corporation, based in South Bend, Indiana, purchased Pierce-Arrow; though they still operated as separate entities. One year later, the company manufactured the straight-eight models, which set sale records for Pierce-Arrow.
In 1936, the Pierce-Arrow Traveloge camper-trailers were introduced.
In 1938, the company shut down its operations.
Some fire departments were known for stripping second-hand Pierce-Arrow cars down to their very core and then building them back into fire engines. It is said that some of these ÒPierce-ArrowÓ fire engines operated for up to 20 years after constructed. The Rio Grande Southern Railroad was another known for converting Pierce-Arrow vehicles. This particular railroad company turned the automobiles into motorized railcars, all of which are said to still survive.
Ernest Elmo Calkins of Calkins & Holden advertising agency became Pierce-ArrowÕs primary advertisement generator around 1910. Adolph Treidler, an illustrator on the account, is accredited with the success of Pierce-Arrow advertisements. Often, Treidler was given no direction from its client and usually did not plan ahead prior to painting, though at one point Treidler stated, ÒPierce-Arrow never returned any of my paintings for change or correction.Ó The Pierce-Arrow advertisements broke rule barriers. In most cases, the car (generally only a portion of it) was featured in the background. The automobiles were usually featured in either glamorous fashionable locations or in rough terrain, which was meant to illustrate the automobilesÕ strength, vigor and quality manufacturing; either way, the advertisements resonated with one group or another, and generated much of the publicÕs attention.
The Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library houses a restored 1919 Pierce-Arrow automobile.
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