The Edward G. Budd Manufacturing Company began operations in Philadelphia, PA, in 1912 manufacturing pressed steel stampings, automobile bodies, and parts. It was the fulfillment of Budd’s goal to produce all-steel automobile bodies that were more durable, stronger, less expensive and could be built in far less time than a traditional wood-framed or all wooden coachwork.
In 1914 the Dodge Brothers placed an order for five-thousand steel bodies for the Company’s new-to-the-market four-cylinder touring car. This new automobile was so popular that Dodge soon ordered fifty-thousand more auto bodies and became Budd’s largest account until it was acquired in the mid-1920s by the Chrysler Corporation.
Today’s feature image was taken by the Budd Manufacturing Company Photography Department which documented the production and manufacturing operations of the Dodge Brothers car and truck bodies in its Philadelphia, PA, plant.
This photo was taken at the scene of an accident involving a Dodge four-door sedan to show just how well the Budd bodywork and structural members held up in an accident. A conventional metal covered wood-framed auto body probably would have suffered from broken rear door and quarter panel framework and more deformation than this all-steel coachwork sustained.
Help us identify the tow truck in the enlargement (below) and share with us what you find of interest in the photos via reader Doug Walters a member of the Dodge Brothers Club.
- Pressed steel body components – Construction details of a Dodge touring car body (below.)
- Enlargement (below) of the chain driven tow truck used to haul the Dodge from the scene of the accident. It appears this machine may be a circa 1908 to ’10 Fiat open fronted limousine or touring car converted into a wrecker. Note the dog on top of the cowl of the body.