February 20, 1909 – Hudson is founded

When department store founder Joseph L. Hudson was approached by eight businessmen from Detroit requesting an investment for a new automobile company he was likely a bit confused, as he was a dealer of suits, not cars. In any case, he was sold on the idea and chose to provide the necessary capital to get the operation up and running. For his contribution, the new company was given his name, leading to the Hudson Motor Car Company being founded on this day in 1909. 

This and cover: 1909 Hudson Model 20 (red) next to a 1909 Hupmobile (blue). By Brian Corey

The company made its first home in the old Aerocar factory on the intersection of Mack Avenue and Beaufait Street in Detroit, Michigan, and quickly went to work with their first car rolling off the production line on July 3, 1909. In 1910 a total of 4,508 Hudson Twenty automobiles were produced, a record amount for the first full year of production of any automaker at the time. 

Hudson’s resulted in the company moving to a new 223,500 square foot facility in October 1910. The larger space led them to increase production to 6,486 for 1911. Hudson would go on to merge with Nash-Kelvinator in 1954, leading to the phase out of the Hudson name in 1957.

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