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February 20, 1909 – Hudson is founded

When eight businessmen from Detroit approached department store founder Joseph L. Hudson requesting an investment for a new automobile company he was likely a bit confused. He dealt in suits, not cars, after all. Regardless, their pitch sold him on the idea. He put up the necessary capital to get the proposed operation up and running. For his contribution, the new venture received 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 left the assembly line, a record amount for the first full year of production of any automaker at the time. 

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The company moved 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. The Hudson name saw its last use on an automobile in 1957.

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