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C. R. Patterson And Sons Was The First And Only African American Automaker

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The C. R. Patterson and Sons was the first and only African American automaker till date.

The company owned by former slave was making cars more than 100 years ago in the US.

Today, the story of C. R. Patterson and Sons has secured Charles’ and Frederick’s place in the automotive history books.

The C. R. Patterson and Sons of Greenfield was the maker of the Patterson-Greenfield automobile produced from 1915 to 1918.





The name may not be familiar like Ford and Chevrolet, but this automobile manufacturer was the first and only African American-owned car company.

The founder, Charles Richard Patterson, was born enslaved on a Virginia plantation in 1833. In 1861, Charles escaped from the plantation and traveled to Ohio to start a new life.

He began his successful business of manufacturing horse carriages in 1873 by partnering with carriage manufacturer J. P. Lowe.

c-r-patterson-and-sons-was-the-first-and-only-african-american-automaker

The C. R. Patterson And Sons was the first and only African American automaker till date.

He later went on to re-established the company as C. R. Patterson and Sons after buying out Lowe’s shares of the business and 1893.

Charles Richard Patterson died in 1910, leaving the business to his oldest son, Frederick.

Frederick quickly began converting the company into an automobile repair shop before turning it into a car manufacturer.

c-r-patterson-and-sons-was-the-first-and-only-african-american-automaker





In 1915, the company introduced its first-ever car, the Patterson-Greenfield automobile.

It featured a four-cylinder Continental engine that competed with Ford’s Model T.

In 1918, having built between 120 and 150 vehicles, the company halted auto production, reversing back into repairing side of the business.

Not done yet. In the 1920s, the company began building trucks and buses, using chassis made by other manufacturers like Ford and General Motors.

c-r-patterson-and-sons-was-the-first-and-only-african-american-owned-automobile-company

In 1939, after the Great Depression, C. R. Patterson and Sons closed its doors forever.

Today, the story of C. R. Patterson and Sons has secured Charles’ and Frederick’s place in the automotive history books.





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