Omar Motor Co. - Browniekar Car - Newark, NY - c.1908
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Sold Date: 08/24/2008
Channel: Online Auction
Category: Books, Paper & Magazines
OMAR MOTOR CO. - BROWNIEKAR CAR - NEWARK, NY - C.1908 AAA SELLER PICTURES ARE WORTH A MILLION WORDS! Browniekar 001.jpg Browniekar 003.jpg Browniekar 002.jpg Browniekar 004.jpg Browniekar 005.jpg Browniekar 006.jpg Browniekar 008.jpg DESCRIPTION
Omar Motor Co. - Browniekar - Children's Car - Newark, NY - c. 1908Published - c. 1908 Publisher - Omar Motor Company - Newark, New York Pages - 12 plus covers Size - 8.375" x 4.00" Color - Black & Red cover w/ Red printing and White pages w/ Black printing and pictures Condition - Very Good to Fine w/ some soiling & wear and missing page 7 & 8 Special Notes - This booklet is for the Browniekar that was only produced from 1907 to 1909. Samuel Hancock Mora had worked for the Eastman Kodak Co. for almost 13 years, and had risen to head of sales. He and William H. Birdsall were working on an automobile project and their headquarters were in downtown Rochester. Birdsall was no stranger to the fledgling motorcar business. They formed the Mora Motor Car Company which was incorporated in Newark in March of 1906. By July, a crew of 35 men were building 4-5 cars a week, and Mora was selling more than that amount. Stockholders in the newly formed company were Samuel Mora, William N. Freeman of Eastman Kodak, William H. Birdsall, and George S. Whitney of Akron, Ohio. The vehicles made in the Seigrist Street plant in 1906 and 1907 were a roadster and touring car. They only offered a four cylinder 28 h.p. water cooled engine. These cars sold for $2000 to $2500. To put this into prospective, the average worker made 5 to 10 cents an hour for a 6 day week, and clearly could not afford to buy any car at all. The automobile was a plaything for the wealthy, and according to many observers, it would stay that way. In and near Detroit, many new makes of motor cars were introduced in 1906, including Aerocar, Jewell, Thomas Detroit, Mason, Hewitt. Oldsmobile was number one in sales for the year with 6,550 sold. The lack of a middle class in Newark, New York in 1907 drew a clearly defined line as to who would be driving an automobile. Newark was a very progressive village, and had many industries and businesses. T were several automobile owners in the village and several auto dealers, including the H.R. Drake Buick-Reo sales agency. The automobile soon became a status symbol and driving clubs were formed. Mora's business prospered and he continued to live in Rochester but commuted to Newark on the new Rochester Syracuse & Eastern electric trolley. He also stayed many evenings at the Gardenier Hotel, corner of East Avenue and East Union Street. It is not known w Billy Birdsall lived but records show that Mora purchased a building lot on the Bailey tract, south-east corner of East Maple Avenue and East Avenue. A small but colorful part of the Mora story is the Browniekar . A child's car or cycle car. Equipped with a one cylinder 3.5 horsepower engine, it would go 10 miles an hour, enough for any child. Advertising indicated that The boy or girl who drives a Browniekar will obtain, by practical experience, a knowledge of things mechanical, construction, carburation, ignition and operation of gas engines that he or she would not be able to obtain from books. Its most comfortably arranged and sufficiently racy to thrill the hearts of all juvenile auto aspirants. At a price of $150 or $175 for custom colors, it was clearly a toy for the children of the wealthy. Initially, the little car was made by a division of Mora called the Child's Automobile Co., later changed to the Omar Motor Car Co. a clever touch, Omar being an anagram of Mora. One very lucky owner was vaudeville and MGM child star Buster Keaton, who drove a Browniekar at the age of 13. Keaton's family was far from poor, and lived in an Italian Villa in Los Angeles. Historians differ on Mora's choice of Browniekar for the name. Some feel that it was named after cartoon character Buster Brown, but the most plausible answer indicates that Mora simply latched on to the notoriety of George Eastman's Brownie camer...
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