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August 16, 1906 – The first Mason Motor Car

1907 Mason ad

The first Mason Motor Car rolled off a Des Moines, Iowa assembly line on this day in 1906. Edward Mason, a lawyer, financed the company for his local mechanics, brothers Fred and August Duesenberg. The brothers designed the car and powertrain and led management and assembly efforts for Mason. Marketing efforts for the new car promoted its strength by having it drive up the 47 steps of the Iowa state capitol building. Other advertisements boasted about the excellent fuel efficiency of the Duesenberg two cylinder engine, claiming it could carry the car 475 miles on 18 gallons of gasoline. The 1906 Mason cost $1,250.

1910 Mason 20 HP Model A.

In 1909, washing machine magnate Frederick Maytag purchased the company and starting the next year the cars were badged Maytag-Mason. At this time that the Duesenberg brothers left the company, having decided to pursue racing interests. In 1913 they would officially found the Duesenberg Motor Company, Inc. Back at Maytag-Mason, sales slumped. Mr. Maytag sold his interest in the company only two years after acquiring it. The name was reverted back to Mason Motor Car for 1913, but the jumbled leadership proved lethal. The company went bankrupt in 1915 and in 1917 the business closed for good.

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