Any guesses as to the make of cars?
Herb, from a previous thread it was determind to change it you had to do it before any one posted on it and since you posted on it, it is to late.
Filled in the damaged sections and converted to grayscale with enhanced contrast.
My guesses include a REO (perhaps 1-cyl) center with top up and a Harley-Davidson at right. Could the second from the left be a Model B Ford?
Well now Richard someone might be able to check the ledgers and see if any Model B Fords went to or near Boone Iowa.
Richard, I think the second car from left is a Cartercar. The radiator, cowl, fenders, rear door shape, etc. look a lot like the photo below.
Here's what i think i know about that.......
Looks like Johnson Auto Company of Boone IA was an EMF-Studabaker dealer:
By April 1910 they are selling REO:
They also opened a store in Marshalltown, and there was a Ford Model B at a point in that city, about 60 miles away. And, yes, a Model K:
I found the following information from the February 12, 1908 Horselesss Age. The Johnson Auto Company become a new dealership for the Cartercar automobile that year.
The Cartercar is generally known as an oddity among the many "regular" automobiles of the era. The truth, however, is somewhat different. The Cartercar was about the size of Buicks of their day. A few smaller models, large two cylinder cars. On up to rather large four cylinder cars. Byron Carter was an inventor. He developed a friction drive mechanism that eliminated several shortcomings and problems common to all other friction drives used by early automobiles. His system offered infinite variable speeds, forward and reverse. It was robust, rarely slipped or chattered, and was quite reliable.
Byron had trouble finding an automobile manufacturer to buy into his method, so he invested into the Jackson Automobile company that was forming in Michigan. Being one of three equal partners, he believed that he could convince them to use his transmission. However, his two partners wanted to go with "proven" designs. So, after only a few years with the Jackson. Byron Carter sold his third to one of the other two investors. He figured he had learned enough to run his own company, and the money he got from selling his third of the very successful Jackson was enough to make a very good start.
Now, Byron Carter was another one of those fascinating people of the early automobile history. He was young, a brilliant designer, and driven to succeed. He truly believed that his transmission design was the best of its day. His small company got going, and becoming profitable almost from the start. He still had trouble getting other companies to take on his transmission, but continued success with his cars was beginning to get noticed.
Then, the unthinkable. Byron stopped to aid a motorist with car trouble. Byron cranked the other motorist's car, and it backfired. What should have been an annoying but basically minor injury, instead developed complications and the young entrepreneur died (at least that is the story I have read in a couple places).
Byron Carter was a driven man, determined to get other car companies to use his transmission. Had he lived longer, he could well have succeeded. The course of automotive development could have gone in very different ways, and it is very possible that we could to this day have infinite variable speed transmissions as an option on many cars.
Byron's surviving family did not have his drive, or desire for the automobile business. After his death, they wanted only to rid themselves of his company. Enter William Durant and his growing General Motors. GM became the owner of Byron Carter's company. While they continued for several years to build the Cartercar, and used his transmission in them, they did not promote the cars very much. The Cartercar continued to sell well. It appealed to many people because of its simplicity, and ease of operation. Some people did not like the planetary transmission that Henry Ford favored. Nor did they like the sliding gear transmission because of its difficulty and heavy clutch in those days. Carter's transmission had offered a third, good, alternative.
I don't know what the deal was with Carter's patents. Maybe the family kept those? But I have read that General Motors owned quite a few patents for sliding gear transmissions. Those, they wanted to license to others, as well as use themselves.
Although the Cartercar sold well, without good marketing, and advertising (they did some, but not a lot), after a few years, GM rolled the Cartercar factory, facilities, and assets, into Buick and other GM holdings. The Cartercar simply faded away.
Over the years, I have met a few owners of Cartercars in the Horseless Carriage hobby. They tour with them, and they love them. They tell me that the Cartercar was a well designed and well built car, whether early models built by Byron Carter's company, or later models built by GM.
One can only wonder what might have been, if only Byron Carter had not died so young.
I intended to add, "Wonderful photo!" Whether that one car is in fact a Cartercar, or maybe a Ford model B, or not, it is a great picture of an incredible time. I did also spot the REO almost immediately. A couple other cars, I have suspicions of what they are (one may well be a BUICK). However, the clarity and detail make it tough to know for sure. There were a lot of companies making similar looking cars in those days.
Mark, good job on fixing the photo! That Cartercar sounds very interesting Wayne, Thanks.
Herb - thanks for posting the picture. I've been working on compiling the history of the Cartercar company including the many agencies. I don't know much about this one, but have a few notes on it. Note that it was common for these agencies to sell multiple brands of cars at the same time so we can't tell that they stopped selling Cartercars just because they have an ad for another brand. Note too that Marshalltown is over 50 miles away from Boone so I don't think they are the same Johnson Auto agencies.
As posted above, Johnson's Auto Company became a Cartercar agency in early 1908. It was located at 7th and Story in Boone, IA. I believe the building is no longer standing.
In May, 1908, Will Johnson sold his interest to GD Johnson who was the "senior member" of the business.
In January 1910, the Johnson Automobile Company was purchased by Dr. S.O. Stockslager and Chris Williams from the retiring owner E.R. Johnson and renamed as the Johnson Auto Company. E.R. Johnson remained with the company for some time after the sale.
In March, 1910, Johnson Auto opened a garage in Nevada, IA (on the opposite side of Ames, IA) to sell Cole autos.
It would be nice to help date the photo by the name ("Johnson's Auto" vs "Johnson Auto" vs "Johnson Automobile", etc.) but the period articles can't be trusted for that level of detail.
There appear to be a few Cartercars in the photo but it is difficult to tell with certainty. The second from the left looks like a 1906-1908 touring (Model A or Model F). The third from the left looks like a 1908/9 Model G gentleman's roadster (but I didn't think that had a curved front axle). Both of these cars were 2-cyl cars with a 214ci displacement (5-1/2" bore!). There appears to be a 1909 4-cyl Cartercar on the right side of the photo. In 1909, Cartercar switched to an enclosed chain drive. Note the very long belly pans on these cars to shield the friction drive.
GM bought Cartercar for friction drive patents, but those patents are of rather murky value. For example, Carter and Lambert were issued patents on friction drive on the same day! Later Cartercar and Lambert sued and counter-sued each other but the outcomes have been difficult to document for various reasons. My guess is that Lambert won a small victory regarding the alloy used in the friction disk because Cartercar changed from aluminum to a copper-looking alloy around that time.
Cartercar moved from Detroit to Pontiac in 1908 just before GM bought the company and built cars there until 1915. The factory was then used to build Olympian and Friend automobiles before auto production ended. One of the Pontiac factory buildings is still there and used as a warehouse and is largely unchanged from its auto days - the elevator used to move the cars between floors is still there and working along with the "Japaning" paint room and office area. The Byron Carter cranking story is a great story, but I tend to think it is not accurate - more on that here: http://cartercar.org/selfstarter.html
It should also be noted that his descendants didn't hear about this cause of death from their grandmother (Byron Carter's wife).
Thank you John Carter for additional information. And thank you for that link. I found their take on Byron Carter's death interesting to say the least.
Here's a pic I think I got off here of a T racing at Boone.