Friday, January 21, 2011

The Jewett Car Company

Imagine riding the interurban railway.  I think it would be wonderful!
The Jewett Car Company moved to Newark Ohio from Jewett Ohio in 1897.  It seems the company began there in 1893 and found Newark to be a better location.
It was located on South Williams Street.  The graceful arch-windows and the elegant well built wooden cars made them not only well known but desirable.  In 1917 France had an ambulance delivered to them and that ambulance was built by none other than the Jewett Car Company of our very own town.  How about that!
The company received orders from Brooklyn Union Elevated RR, Salt Lake & Ogden Railway and from New Castle Indiana and Toledo Ohio.
The President of the company was a gentleman by the name of William Shrewsbury Wright and the Secretary/Treasurer  John Glover, purchasing agent-W. B. Winegerter Arthur Vanatta the office boy.
One day in December of 1901 Mr. Glover’s bloody body was discovered by Arthur Vanatta as he was sweeping the office.  Apparently Mr. Glover had shot himself in the head and no one knows why.   Then in December of 1909 the company had a major fire in the planning-mill area and needless to say it did great damage.
The company survived and in May of 1915 William came to work as normal in his automobile but wanted to check out some problems he was having so he hung his coat on a post and began.  In doing so he never suspected he was about to be shot at by a former employee Charles Morris.  He was only 4 or 5ft away from William and he missed, the two struggled and Mr.  Winegerter step in to help.  All in all Morris popped of 3 shots at William Wright grazing his cheek and William left hand, the third shot his William’s coat.  
Several things lead to the end of the company including the automobile.  Other factors were the competition from larger car builders such a J. G. Brill & St. Louis Car Co.  The Jewett Car Company was ask to make munitions (War materiel, especially weapons and ammunition) for WWI, but the company’s major financial backer  was a German nationalist and would not extend the loan as it might lead to harm for millions in Germany.  By the end of WWI business had dropped and the interurban era was over.  They went out of business in 1919.
You car buffs might find it interesting to know that the company also made the rear end for the Russell axle.
I enjoyed looking at the interurban cars pictures.  They show the inside and out and one can just imagine what it was like to take part in that journey of time. 
Many cities used the Jewett Car Company!  They made over 2000 cars and shipped to Canada and 26 other states.
REF: Newark Advocate archives, Google books, Wikipedia, builders of Wooden Railway Cars

1 comment:

  1. Raynola, who has the builders photos from Jewett Car? All railroad equipment, streetcars and interurban builders photograph all four sides, entries and interior. So someone must have the collection. Can you help?