March 12, 1831 – Clement Studebaker is born

Clement Studebaker and his older brother Henry founded H&C Studebaker Company in 1852 in South Bend, Indiana to build wagons and provide blacksmithing services. Clement, who was born on this day in 1831, was a skilled blacksmith by age 14 after apprenticing under his father. Henry sold his interest in the company to their younger brother John in 1858 when the business was busy building wagons for the U.S. Army. This was likely a conflict of interest for Henry, who was a Dunkard, a committed pacifist. 

Above: Portrait of Studebaker brothers. Left to right, (standing) Jacob; (seated) Peter, Clement, Henry, and John.
Top: An advertisement for Studebaker wagon

The younger two brothers were joined by two more brothers and they created the Studebaker Brothers Manufacturing Company. The company became the world’s largest wagon manufacturer and the only manufacturer of horse-drawn vehicles to successfully transition to automobile production, which they began to do in 1897 and marketed its first motor vehicle, an electric model, in 1902.


Thomas Edison in his 1903 electric Studebaker

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