by: James May
had a long and honorable history as a trans porter of goods.
From 1852 onward the company was a major mover on the North
American continent. Whether it was the US Civil War, where Studebaker
supplied wagons and buggies to the Union Army or getting pioneers across
the prairies to the west coast in famed Conestoga wagons, Studebaker was
the emphasis was on passenger cars, trucks were always part of the
corporate lineup. As early as 1902 Studebaker offered a range of delivery
vans ranging from a half-ton to two-ton models.
By 1905 the company had developed five-ton electric tracks. These
early models had a motor at each wheel. Gasoline Studebaker trucks were
available in 1904. The Everitt-Metzger-Flanders concern was folded into
Studebaker in 1911. Since E-M-F was building trucks, those models became
part of Studebaker. Also that year Studebaker purchased an empty Ford
plant in Detroit and all vehicles were built there until November of 1918.
1913 Studebaker introduced an engine governor that "will insure the
owner against the evils of high speeds." Nineteen thirteen was also
the first year that Studebaker used the word "pickup" to
describe its trucks. Studebaker
was first to offer its services to the US government when that country
finally entered World War One in 1917. While many horse drawn vehicles
were ordered, not a single motorized Studebaker was used in combat.