Another History Tidbit Of The Edwards Motor Co.

By Staff
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8710 Vickery Rd. Castalia, Ohio 44824 willc@lrbcg.com

The recent article on Edwards engines was quite interesting.
(See both the November and December 1999 issues of GEM for
carticles on Edwards
.) I have one piece to add to it.

While I am not well acquainted with the Edwards Motor Co., I
have done much research on old engines built near my home area of
Sandusky, Ohio. While compiling a history of the Matthews
Engineering Co. of Sandusky, Ohio, I came across the following
Edwards Motor Co. reference. First let me give you a brief overview
of the Matthews Engineering Co.

The Matthews Boat Co. of landlocked Bascom, Ohio, was founded
before the turn of the century by Scott J. Matthews. He catered to
the affluent yachting customers, and due to his insistence on high
quality, his business quickly flourished. In 1906 the city of Port
Clinton, Ohio, offered the Matthews Boat Co. free land where the
Ottawa River enters Lake Erie, and the company made the move.

About 1912 the Matthews Boat Co. hired two Engineers to design
and built gasoline-powered generators so that their yachts could be
equipped with electric lights and appliances. The Matthews Boat Co.
built and sold about 275 of these 1 or 2 cylinder units between
1913 and 1915. In 1915 the Engineers who had designed these
direct-coupled generators gathered financial backers and purchased
the engine-building division away from the boat-building concern.
They named the new corporation The Matthews Engineering Company and
sold under the Matthews trade name, although the Matthews family
had no control over the new firm. Within months the Matthews
Engineering Co. moved to nearby Sandusky, in search of bigger
facilities, proximity to foundries and railroads, and a larger
labor pool.

The Matthews Engineering Co. nourished and expanded their
product line to include direct-driven generators from 300 W to 75
KW. Although they had a number of military contracts, the products
that sold the best were 32 volt dc light plants. In 1923 a holding
company that owned a large share of Matthews Engineering Co. stock
collapsed, and the Matthews Engineering Co. was forced into
receivership. In December of 1924 the Matthews Engineering Company
was sold at public auction for $127,000, a small fraction of the $
1,500,000 capital investment. All new product development was
suspended at that time. The Matthews Engineering Co. continued to
fill orders for existing designs through 1928, but the plant was
already closed when it was partially destroyed in an accidental
fire in the early 1930s.

Now, back to the Edwards Motor Co. story! The 1927 – 1928
Sandusky City directory lists the Edwards Motor Co. as
manufacturing engines at 607 King St. in Sandusky, the same address
as the Matthews Engineering Co. Company

officials are as follows

:

President

C. L. Bauer

Vice president

Albert Y. Edwards

Secy/Treasurer

C. M. Hollenbeck

General manager

Albert Y. Edwards

Albert Y. Edwards and his wife Anne H. are listed as residing in
Sandusky, whereas C. L. Bauer and C. M. Hollenbeck are not listed
in the residential section. The Edwards Motor Co. is shown as being
incorporated in 1920 with $60,000 capital. Albert Y. Edwards and
the Edwards Motor Co. are not listed in any Sandusky City
Directories previous to or subsequent to the 1927-28 issue.

Although I cannot locate the story now, I believe that I have
heard that the Edwards Motor Co. suffered a major fire at their
Springfield, Ohio, plant. Apparently they attempted to keep
building Edwards Motors for a time at the under-utilized Matthews
Engineering facility.

A few years ago I met a local gentleman who claimed that he once
owned an Edwards engine that supposedly was built in Sandusky, but
I have not been able to trace this engine any further. If anyone
has any further information on Edwards or any other engines built
in Sandusky, Ohio please contact me.

ANOTHER EDWARDS ENGINE

By Donald W. Chapman, 18 Hayden Lake Road West, Champlin,
Minnesota 55316

This is a picture of an Edwards engine. Note the large V Pulley
for easy starting with El motor. It runs very well, but I don’t
know if that is the original color or not. It is serial number
20887.

More Edwards Engine Info

By Harold W. Hauger 10819 Tucker Road Mt. Vernon, Ohio
43050

I own an Edwards engine, serial No. 20655 with high tension
ignition which I restored several years ago.

Although I live no more than 75-80 miles from Springfield, Ohio,
factory.

I have seen only four or five Edwards engines in the past 25
years at the engine shows I have attended so would guess they are,
indeed, rare.

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