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A 1908 Matheson And The New Silent Six

The photo above shows the 50 hp Matheson as it appeared in this 1908 photo. At around the same time, the new Silent Six model seen below, was being developed, which was a change in direction for the company. They were moving away from the big double-chain driven four, to a more refined six cylinder, along with the other companies who were going in the same direction. The big four was continued all the way thru 1911 and only the six was made in the last year of operation, 1912.

In this photos we can see one of the factory buildings in the background. This was in their final location,  Forty Fort, PA,  just north and across the river from Wilkes-Barre PA. The company was lured to move there from Holyoke MA, by the Board of Trade. This kept them fairly close by to their main market for expensive high-end cars, New York City and Philadelphia. To read more about this fine company, follow this link and scroll down to a series of  earlier posts. Photos from the Robert C. Laurens collection courtesy of Alan Ballard.

3 responses to “A 1908 Matheson And The New Silent Six

  1. On the touring it looks like they were using the very expensive Solar Clipse headlamps for headlamps. I also note the use of smooth leather upholstery on the seats. Smooth leather was actually more expensive than diamond tufting. On the chassis photos I notice a Lukenheimer exhaust pressure valve on the firewall on the engine side of the firewall. On the driver’s side of the firewall it appears as if there was a oil sight gauge as well as a Bosch magneto switch in use. Obviously Matheson used very expensive items on their high quality cars. Just like those used by their competitors, namely Lozier.

  2. I knew one of the principal’s of the Matheson Car Company as a boy, my Great Uncle Frank Matheson. His Brother, known as Uncle Charlie within the family, was the other. Their sister, Mary Matheson Fox, was my Great Grandmother on my Mother’s side. Uncle Frank talked about Louis Chevrolet having raced his cars and people like Diamond Jim Brady having owned them. I was bequeathed his Sleigh leather topped writer’s desk after my Mother’s passing. I thought it had possibly been his while the Matheson car was being manufactured but after looking up the piece’s history, it was in fact produced around 1950. Frank was an interesting man with much of his mind still intact until just before his death in 1967.

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