Baker Electric Car Company
The Baker Electric Car Company start in Cleveland Ohio in 1899 and produced cars in the United States until around 1916. They were very successful and are considered a forerunner of the electric vehicle. In fact, at one point they were the largest manufacturer of electric cars in the whole world. It is strange to some to realize that the electric automobile is not a new concept and that they were actually more popular to some people back in the day than the gasoline counterpart. Another interesting fact about the Baker Electric car Company is that some of their batteries were made by Thomas Edison who also owned a model.
I found advertising as early as 1902 (below), however, the majority of the ads were found after 1907. This indicates to me that it took some time for the brand to catch on. The Baker Electric car Company made many models of both automobiles as well as trucks and we will take a look at some of the most popular models in their advertising. Click any ad for larger size.
The first of the new Baker electric runabouts seen in Washington were brought here last week by E. Gruenfeldt, designer and chief engineer for the Baker Company of Cleveland Ohio. Led by the increased demand for an electric carriage on the lines of the modern automobile, the Baker Company has placed on the market this runabout which has scored an Instantaneous hit. The chassis and the motor and the controller used are the same as on the new Baker-Victoria model. Simplicity is the prime merit of the runabout and this simplicity it is claimed, is combined with the highest of reliability. The battery, consisting of thirty cells, is located in front of and near the carriage and is so divided that its weight is distributed with that of its two passengers. The Washington Times – 1907.
KING OF SIAM AND HIS AMERICAN AUTOMOBILE – This advertisement appeared in the Daily Arizona Silver Belt in 1909 and tells about how the Baker Electric car made its way to the little know country of Siam in Indo-China.
A rare tiny Baker Electric car – A tiny Baker electric automobile has been seen on the streets the last few days and has blocked the traffic more than once on account of the curious crowd that gathers around it. The little machine Is to be given away by the Hamburger department store next February and is now being used to advertise the fact.
While it has the appearance of being a toy it is really very efficient. It will run at the rate of ten miles an hour, and the battery charge is good for thirty miles, which is as much as the average electric runabout of larger size Is equal to. The wheel base of the little runabout is forty inches with wheels fourteen inches in diameter. The control has three speeds ahead and a reverse. When the control lever is pulled back hard to throw off the current the brake is set. Lamps and bell are furnished with the equipment and the tiny affair is in almost every respect a replica of the standard type of larger size.