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All posts for the month March, 2018

Bates Model B. 1905, 3-Cylinder Touring Car. Price $2,000

The Bates Automobile Company (1904-1905) was formed on May 27, 1903.  The investors in the new corporation were Madison F. Bates, Bliss Stebbins and J.P. Edmonds.  The initial capitalization was $60,000.  The company, as stated by Mr. Edmonds, was entirely separate from the Bates & Edmonds Company.

Bated Model B. 1905, 3-Cylinder

The Bates automobile was the brainchild of M.F. Bates.  A local paper stated, ‘For a long time M.F. Bates has been perfecting an automobile and it is claimed that he has made several important inventions that will be used on the new vehicle’.  The article also mentions that Bates had recently patented a new carburetor that is claimed to be one of the best on the market. See patent #729,254.

The Bates Two Passenger Runabout

The Bates Automobile Company had an interesting history.  Just a side note, an interesting ad campaign.  ‘Buy a Bates and Keep Your Dates’, I wish that was true I would have bought one of those cars immediately.  The company produced a two-seat runabout and later a four-seat automobile.  The plant was in the 300 block of South Capitol Ave, in the old Armory building.  The Bates Automobile Company only produced about 25 vehicles and ceased the manufacture of automobiles in 1905.  Other investors in the company were J. Edward Roe, R.W. Morse and H.A. Hayse. There is rumor that when the Bates Automobile Company closed Madison F. Bates gather all the materials related to the company and burn them on the shop floor. I have not been able to substantiate the rumor.  So why did the company fail? Well the price of their vehicles was much higher then those of their competitors.

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