1920 Other Makes Milburn Model 27L Brougham For Sale
Description 1920 Other Makes Milburn Model 27L Brougham
A brief history of the Milburn Electric automobile - George Milburn (1820-1883) was born in Alston, England (June 3, 1820), from where he emigrated to Canada. After but a short residence in Canada, he moved to Goshen, Indiana, in 1835. Soon after marrying Miss Barbara Stauffer of Goshen on April 8, 1841, they located upon Bone Prairie in Kosciusko County and engaged in farming. In 1846, they moved to a farm in St. Joseph County, about three miles southeast of Mishawaka, Indiana. In 1847, Milburn brought his family to Mishawaka, Indiana. A daughter, Ann, later became the wife of Clement Studebaker.
In 1848, Milburn started George Milburn Co., which owned a prosperous general store at the corner of Main and Vistula Streets. He invested money in the Mishawaka Hydraulic Co. (estab. 1867) whose incorporation was to "keep up the dam, water power, races, banks and other matters connected with the power, and to sell and dispose of water power to other manufactures". Milburn later secured and bought a one-third interest in James Oliver's first plow company, forming the Mishawaka Wagon Works. On August 23, 1869, the Milburn Wagon Company was incorporated, with a capital of $100,000. Milburn also owned a hotel and a city block, and still had the Joseph County farm land. Another business started by George Milburn was the Hollow Axle Manufacturing Company (Mar. 4, 1871) incorporated along with William A. Lewis and William Moffitt.
Meanwhile, in 1852, Henry and Clement Studebaker started a blacksmith shop in South Bend and in 1856, Milburn's Mishawaka Wagon Works subcontracted out 100 wagons to the Studebakers to complete.
In 1873, George Milburn reported the value of his company at $446.65-Million. Evidently, Milburn requested that the city of Mishawaka extend RR-tracks from the Lake Shore railway line to the Milburn Factory. The town resisted and Milburn decided to move the complete operation of the wagon company to Toledo. Milburn's leaving Mishawaka left a large hole in a town that was already reeling from the devastation of its business district from fire. Also formed in Mishawaka was the Dodge Manufacturing Company in 1880 by Wallace H. Dodge. It is not known what relationships there were between the Mishawaka and Niles Indiana Dodges and the Dodges that were involved with the Ohio and Milburn Electric car companies.
After moving to Toledo, the Milburn Wagon factory opened in the spring of 1875 and soon became the largest manufacturer of farm wagons in the world. The Milburn Wagon Works, with its completely mechanized production, required workers only to operate the machines. A broad variety of wagons were produced, some of which survive to this day.
Before 1910, Milburn was producing bodies for the Ohio Electric car company as well as gas car company bodies. Frederick Holmes (F.H.) Dodge and his brother, Henry P. (H.P.) Dodge were involved with both the Milburn Wagon Co. and Ohio Electric---F.H. Dodge becoming the President. These Toledo Dodge Brothers were not the same as the Indiana Dodge Brothers that produced gas cars. In 1910, Milburn and Ohio were in major discussions to merge and produce a single brand electric car. Those talks fell through and the Dodge Brothers fell on opposite sides of it, with H. P. Dodge staying with Ohio Electric (as Gen. Mgr. until 1915) and F. H. Dodge staying with Milburn as Treasurer until GM Purchased the Milburn factory in 1923. Milburn, with its vast manufacturing ability and its view that the electric car could be made lighter, lower and cheaper, opted to get into electric car manufacture themselves.
In late September of 1914, the Milburn Wagon Company began the manufacture of their 1915 Milburn Light Electric automobiles, based on a design by Karl Probst, who later designed the Bantam Jeep. During their eight years of production, from 1915 to 1923, they turned out over 4,000 cars.
The 1915 Milburn Light Electric Coupé (Model 15) sold for $1,485 and the Roadster (Model 151) for $1,285; both were built on the same chassis with a 100-inch wheelbase. The Milburn was the lowest-priced electric of the time and much lighter than its competition. The 1915 Milburn had four forward speeds and two reverse speeds. It had a range of about 50 miles on a charge and could attain a speed of about 15 MPH as a Coupé and about 19 MPH as a Roadster.
In 1916, Milburn introduced a Brougham and, in 1917 added a Touring style (advertised as a Limousine or a Town Car) to the line; this style featured an open front driving position and an enclosed rear passenger compartment (also with a driving position, as noted below). Also offered was a Light Delivery truck style for $985 (with various bodies for it starting at $100), discontinued after the 1918 model year.
In 1918, Milburn offered a Sedan that looked more like its gasoline-burning competition and which boasted a top speed of 30 MPH and a range of 100 miles on a charge. Also in 1918, Milburn put the batteries in wheeled boxes to facilitate rapid exchange of spent batteries for charged ones at central power exchanges.