Automotive History in Kenosha, WI

Automotive History in Kenosha, WI


automaking in Kenosha dates back to
1902 that’s actually measured from
that
date when Thomas Bucklin Jeffrey
sold his first automobile first canosa
built automobile
seven hundred fifty dollars solid cost
back then but Jefferies connection with
automobiles was back really a little
further I’ll
born in England he came to the United
States in the
18 hundreds he began making bicycles
which he called
ramblers in Chicago well about that time
the late a.m. nineteenth century
a a monopoly was beginning to form in
the bicycle industry
the American a bicycle company which
went around the country and began buying
up or forcing out a business many the
small bicycle manufactures
I Jeffrey saw the handwriting on the
wall he realized that he couldn’t
function as a bicycle manufacturer for
very long
so he to sold-out a
thank you grandma is to cart was to by
companies
we just really bicycle company and
around our place
bicycle it was never
RAM or bicycle built in no know if the
High School on
was a sterling bicycle company which
arrive in Kenosha
in the mid late 1800s is no ATT
anything a pretty went bankrupt here’s
MP where do it legally will use to make
bicycle
that hey there was a very favorite wanna
transportation you I’ll
mister jeffrey billion bicycle Chicago
his bicycle call Graham one day in them
in the middle 1890 his son
is this and that in resist somewhere
him it when have people get together
this time talkin each one
contribute something well the story that
I get
I can document to raise was at them
a publisher of a paper had been out to
allow the course
yet seen on publicity created by an
ordinary
sorry comeback Chicago
and he called him on his friends and
said
sponsor I love you raise huge cock
courses kiri trees Co yes
going from some more about how much
harder every
in a chorus on publicity because I have
no idea
in the story goes it
mister jeffrey Scott yet via
up or a scary injury on school watch
well
the father Earl you he
was it because he had seen he had heard
throughout the country the rupee
companies with
be making bicycles an hour making
horseless carriages you feel threatened
by his son
bring it up was kinda the catalyst for
let’s do something about so they want to
resell
challenge I’ll and I guess they’re the
real that kinda
probably a stupid let’s go on
questions carry in 1900
a bicycle plant in Kenosha called the
Sterling
company was purchased wat out
by the bicycle trust by the bicycle
monopoly
and a the factory
became empty up Jeffrey in Chicago
heard about this came to canosa what the
factory
and pecan to planned to
cell automobile said he would build in
the factory here
so they did make some protest and they
didn’t come experiment
with different steering and already and
you could be
apparently father and son who disputes
of that good
when protection on he really likes one
she was a killer
he had a model a at a Model P
many other model seeing it was finally
ready for the market so we took this
our model see in 1902 in march of
nineteen oh
to and took it to the automobile Scholl
in Chicago in there he sold his first
car is from that date 1902
that weeee mark
as the beginning up the automobile
industry in Kenosha
reason that the kyr with me
bicycle is that the RAM a price could
being such a high quite a high standard
of
quality its frame 13 credible
you were known for quality bicycle
and I think you was a thing the car that
to people on me
to bridge from and great bicycle
to agree a movie in the first year
leasehold hooking up
with Capri was a record but the other
claim to fame
Rambler is it your point although bill
was Armenian and put up it was a mass
produce aisle
you know go down 70 huh
so ramen became the second mass-produced
car in america thank you
to before forward
unfortunately mister jeffrey had a heart
attack
on ninety tale
in the early teens about 1914
believe it was a to honor his father’s
name
Charles Jeffrey change the name the
automobile
from the Rambler to the Jeffrey
Jeffrey were made for several years
Charles
family took a trip to Europe
with him for the city yeah here in
he decided like
of you something you know
the company was purchased companies
purchased by
the president above general motors in
Detroit
Charles Manish yes i’d time
to build a car with his name
well you know here cashiers carry
Jeffrey
whining about the
so we came to canosa he purchased the
Jeffrey company
change the name to Nash the design solid
cars for middle america
and Nash cars were produced for
nearly a half-century after that
in the nineteen twenties a a
Nash began designing a his own
automobile with the Nash nameplate on it
and the company grew earlier in the
about the time of World War one perhaps
as many as 200 different
nameplates in the auto industry in the
United States
when the Depression hit in 1929
many went outta business but that’s only
ash
Nash had a
some success because he was
a a tight-fisted businessman and as a
result he managed to survive
the depression years and come out the
other side is that bad time
with a car company that was
going to be what and was one of the
survivors
a the thirties were marked by
labor strife in the automobile industry
in Kenosha trail Nash borrowed
that he would not have a union in his
factory and
I’m sort of for autoworkers
a it was hard to get a job it was hard
to keep a job
at the auto plant much of the time auto
worker
simply sat around when the assembly line
was shut down
for lack of parts or or whatever it
might be
sat around and was in pain and so to try
to change their
their lot the organized the form the
Union
I’m which became ultimately United Auto
Workers
local 72 initially Nash
would have none of this a
he said to sum up the union organizers
before all except the Union in this plan
I’ll take these keys
and for men like Michigan May said go
ahead we can’t live
on the wages were being paid here well
timidly
the in the labor-management problems
were resolved not before
several lengthy strikes including the
first break in the automobile industry
and a
that mean for some difficult times in
the 1930s
and both for the company and
for the workers but ultimately it was
resolved
and as the depression was
and being around 1940 Nash had a brand
new car out in economical car
a call the Nash 600 600
in the in the name of the automobile
was meant to signify that you could go
600 miles on a fill up with gas
which is pretty economical car for time
so things were looking up
for the Nash company as the
1940s begin Nana course came
December 7th 1941 I
in nineteen 42
cord roosevelt head commissioned
worries Kevin member was everybody every
fact you’d
world production no the Alaska
I was built in 1842
January thank you according to the
nation no
so therefore in a here thank you for the
through the ashes
the only built 5,000 wide
when I Q 43 theory me 300,000
power
largest largest amount in the world a
ashley moore propellers at that me
anybody else
him nor antiquity ask me
feel me your point 9045 plant with
civilian
in fact over for that year Chris Curcuma
the periphery 16 came after my nap or
thank you 45 for the other innovations
went everywhere if they had a flat tire
from the other cars
you have to disassemble we’ll take off
here hard by the bill like you know and
you really have
right away we carry a spare wheel it
would match the other 4
yes you know whether I system
previous to that they hear a car just
recirculated
the air inside a car glad he did play a
little rain here with
court going through it but Yvonne 1938
and created the weather a system by
which
fresh air fun
in Warren to read here
and then poured into the car and car
the air in the car was continually
circulate
human crash adhere you agree to the
comps
Lori gave through the windows so it was
it was kinda neat
to go downtown you people drive by
international in the wintertime
no one will be steamed up it was here
here
you we gonna workers
today no wonder and when we drive
that whether I’ve principal his within
the
Walker to green share
yes good another innovation here was
her yet
it was an option it was a system
born use in Greece’s
would all the way inside the car
and when you want to convert the vaccine
the head
this whole thing wanna cool you know
my heart to small double bed have
with the year places we play with the
any converted to avi s and
and event and the hotel
another great idea agree
have won every call shares to perm
at their with the that feature
and if you’ve got to an accident
somebody had to be taken
to the hospital the doctor right away it
to bed now uses ambulance and
I’ll he decided that perhaps meet
to incorporate some renown world
designer
you to design their
here Pimpri designer exotic cars up to
that point
was commissioned to design full line
beginning with thank you to
but the ambassador and that can you call
States you 58 here one of his trademark
to keep hood below the headlight
if you look at of creative design I love
to them
carry with and he leave you design the
only the hood
below the head by have to
course with and there was quite a
it was quite a deal and he came me a
tour of America
yet wrote to the dearest
himself rooms quiet and they were really
great country meet
great great use a broom 149
they came out with revolutionary
Prada who was the most aerodynamic
Carney industry
of four wheel drive covered and the head
wind tunnel tested
on a major credit they’re here so really
came out with this
week reacted aerodynamic
very fuel-efficient I will
you were very early conscious
safety for the Danish company
in 1953 he felt
now but less even go back from
thank you Corey initial Chris company
to mass-produce unified
whether cream integral part the body
and that me too carsey for
it cream car was surrounded by
Pritam dreams just his
to the point where think in 1950
the company’s downer
bulletin seen how
if you have s there are 50 people
in the car car was almost the martian
and down the line people got her their
factor safety
and we have done that with waterline 21
240 149 online with your body
a new era was born on january fourteenth
love 1954
when the hudson Motor Company and Nash
motors joined to form a brand new
company
and I whose retirement was gonna be that
his company
hasn’t if it’ll have a kind
American or good you
with a fuel bill the car was still
builders in here
to work the first american borders
product when the 50
in something also happened in the
nineteen fifties
that really change the whole automobile
industry
and that was a the creation
on the Rambler the first compact
car for small compact car really weren’t
expecting serving cars were bigger and
a new president for American Motors
with man call George Romney George
Romney would later go on to
some political success but prior to that
he was the head
I’ll American Motors and he was the one
who had the vision
he was the one who railed against
what he called a gas guzzling dinosaurs
the being cars at just
gobble up the gasoline he was the one
who saw
a future for American Motors
in producing a
economical small
car and that was the Rambler in
for number years was a very
very successful car for American Motors
after Romney left AMC
his successors file
long or believed
that American Motors future
lei in producing a wide granger via
mobile
dealers really wanted a full line of
cars from the economical
to the mid-range to the more expensive
in a number i do. up sizes from from
from small to
a compact cars to the larger ones
and I’m so they broadened
the line cars that American Motors was
producing
I love perhaps this was inevitable but
it also made it very difficult to
compete across the entire range
I love automobile models with the larger
and more affluent companies like General
Motors and Ford
then Chrysler one of the more
interesting people associated
with the Jeffrey company between about
1910 in 1950 was
and we’re Jordan made Jordan
ned was would come to be recognized as
an
advertising genius a
he realizes the long before anybody else
in the industry
that automobiles
should be sold by their image
the image the way they make you feel he
should say things
to hell with the mechanical chater who
cares about what the brakes are and what
the clutches and all of this sort of
thing
nobody really cares about that what they
care is what the car
makes them feel like and so he was the
first one for example who sold
automobiles advertising was directed
at women at telling them that they could
drive tell could drive to church and
they would be just as fresh
clean when they got there because the
came in not annual buggy but they came
in this
Jeffrey automobile they would be just as
clean and fresh
as the women who lived in town I mean
that’s that’s selling the car
that selling what it will do for you and
that
is what near jordan brought to
the automobile industry that
sense love image selling the sizzle
not stake selling the image of the
automobile
and what it will do for the owner and he
was
really decade ahead if anyone else was
the 1920s before
anyone else in the auto industry began
trying to sell that that of course is
the way
all automobiles are sold today speed
image in all of that sort of thing
nobody cares about mechanical details
near jordan realized that I came in 1938
from Italy and came straight to Kenosha
and I went to school for a while then I
went over
vocational school and then I went in the
army
for two years and when I came back to
1946
February 1st in 1946 as their work in
and I’m a while company there at that
time was not america more
was Kelvinator and when I start working
there
a the work was very good for about two
years
1951 things stand the slow down a little
bit
and we’ll we would be laid off like
sometime in December
and on go back to work until maybe the
middle of February
or to begin in the market for a new
model
a that went on for about 3 three years
like that
three or four years and then about
nineteen 56 with him on a new model
and can start picking up love it
and 1958 ram it came to Kenosha
and gotta give a big speech to call
everybody at a plant
about I two-and-a-half three hours you
paid everybody well we’re
in a in a lot for on for speech
Andy call us that I’m I think we’re
gonna be improved
and he was going to come out we don’t
know models
which he did and from that time on
things work
much much better a in america motor
a I think it was 1954 I think that
they change it to america motor I’m
pretty sure what 5455
and in fact in 1955
would merge would had them and
things were pretty slow for a little bit
but then when
when Romney came in in nineteen fifty 8
things going to blow but better a
on their time on seemed seemed that
things went
pretty fair we came up with new models
I every three or four years and a
it was very good work October
a when I first started at america
moreover can
shipping and receiving a call it that
supply the lines with material
that they need it to assemble a car I’m
very good condition no work no complains
about work goodnight
in america more accurate that there are
no them work and if it were good
the union was superb
we wonder strike few times while you
know when when a new contract came up
the company didn’t agree on certain
things but
other than that I thought it worked out
pretty good a
I’ll change jobs
I went from shipping and receiving in
sixty
that thing or 62 I’m pretty sure I
wanted to find a repair worried with
pericardial there was anything wrong
with the car
if we had two on I change offender or
change a carburetor or
a no tailpipe I’m up for whatever we
probably would have to be done
I will be param a
and then from that from their job I went
to our
it was like a partner final repair
but I got my own cheap and I use to
if anything us broke down and I wait cuz
they would
it would take cars especially by men
with their cars
and with their commander or for road
test
an offensive any of them will break down
a highway
they would call a the repair shop
now would have to go with the Jeep and
pick them up change a tire
or or whatever was wrong with the car I
would have to
you repair otherwise it would have to
get a tow truck to bring it in
and that’s about all I didn’t feel I
retired in 1982
so I was so not not
nothing to complain about pension is
good
repair shop I mean to I George is good
no complaints i’m glad that I worker
hours sixteen-years-old
and I thought I am
have a car greatest thing in the world
think my generation
have to set or or we we didn’t we have
car
Sony 46 I got a job at Nash
my first job there was on laurin
boxcars knows 16
and I work fare
I worked really hard and I have to thank
you 51
I want I can look back to work here I
1953 but then I realized
really one maybe something our
but routine there did provide me with a
car
yes give me the financial means
have that kind of social independent
I wanna phone line to borrow I wanted
ideas are made as on a Friday night
have disturbing you have Monday having
all kinds of promises
so on Friday the car
you wanna get away from 1670
yes it did provide
then there were some years were the
sales
the downturn in sales the
yet became larger for american voters
became almost crippling something had to
happen
and about that
time the auto industry was beginning to
feel
the impact are vile
Japanese automobile makers European
automobile makers and so
the answer or an answer seemed
for American Motors to form a
partnership
with one of the foreign auto
making companies in 1979 EMC and Renault
struck he
$250 million dollar deal American
motors in effect sold
he share its
company to the
to the French automaker the
a result of this partnership meant that
the French
form plowed millions
several hundred millions of dollars into
designing a you automobiles
for for EMC to produce
by in the and a reno
had its own financial difficulties
and a felt that it needed
to recall of this
arrangement that had kenosha
Harry a long history ups
and downs I’ll there’d be boom years
everyone will be working
the community you would be a or
affluent a in there be a downturn in
people were laid off this difficult
economic times that was sort of the I’ll
the pattern for years and years
but here we were for the
and
19 E with the PN
times times difficult in again there was
another rescuer like the French
few years earlier a this time
it was levy iacocca
and in Chrysler who seem to ride to the
rescue
automaking kenosha so in September 1986
iacocca cut a deal with you know to
build
50,000 full-size
embody chrysler’s in Kenosha and
used some 3,000 call
back to work you know there are workers
you know there are workers employees
here in Kenosha
and then in March
1987 Chrysler announced it was buying
the controlling interest with the
Chrysler in charge should look like your
good times
were coming again but this community
optimism in Kenosha
I’ll would not last very long
up rumors began to fly and
on January 27 19
any 8 a rumor became reality chrysler
announced that
automobile production would shut down
here
by the end of the year automakers
a water workers the rest of the
community
the city the county state officials were
shock in and outraged
a workers held angry rallies
the thought they had in sold out
by iacocca and Chrysler a
been much to the anger for a
focused on on chrysler’s lee iacocca
he was once a hero and now he was a
villain
I’m but ultimately
Chrysler did a a
of or some economic
incentives a trust fund
I’ll money which would go to
up those workers who had lost their jobs
for
retraining other purposes
to help them out and many people who did
lose their jobs
a they did find other employment
a after their autumn are making jobs
a ended
all all there have been legitimate
complaints
that the new jobs for these people who
once were well-paid autoworkers
a that the new jobs simply thought
a as well but I’m
life went on life goes on
plant
did not completely closed down although
no
automobiles there’s no assembly line no
automobiles
are assembled in Kenosha built in
Kenosha
there remains a to a
a a Chrysler factory that produces
a a engines now that the tire
carbon on the engines and
recent plea E
new engine was announced for the future
so
it does look as no there will
the an automobile present
presence in Kenosha beyond
this century automotive auto
with the coming of George Romney a
to American Motors a
10 Union
representatives from that time noted
that
Romney flew in
from Detroit a
to speak to the kosher autoworkers
and the line stop the assembly line
staffed he ordered it shut down
me call the auto workers all of them
outside for a pep talk
union representative jack rice
three decades later said that had never
taken place
in my lifetime before he said
a the column employees
outside shut down the line just to tell
them how valuable they were
a soul out between the factory buildings
the workers stood amazed in
you know probably a little awed by the
big boss have flown in from detroit
the talent that the corporation that
they work for
needed their cooperation in building
cars
a check grace would go on to say it it
worked pretty well
the Hollywood director was asked
why he chose to film
a few of the opening scenes for his new
movie in
you know she’s American Motors plant
this was in there
late nineteen seventies and he said
kenosha was chosen because they were the
only automobile company that led us into
the factory
was a movie that was called the Betsy
and it wasn’t much over movie
actually saw I think
the a American Motors executives
at the time probably thought it would
get him a little publicity
but it wasn’t that great a movie and so
maybe they didn’t quite get from it what
they had hoped for


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