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Inside Cleveland's Crawford Auto Museum

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1920 White Motors DanDee Potato Chips Delivery Van
Inside Cleveland's Crawford Auto Museum
(© 2006 S. Mitchell; Licensed to About, Inc.)

Cleveland's White Sewing Machine Company had been a thriving manufacturer of sewing machines, roller skates, phonographs, kerosene lamps, and machine tools, among other things, since 1866. Thomas White, however, was not interested in automobiles until his son Rollin, who had worked briefly for Baker Motors, began studying them at Cornell. In 1900, Rollin returned home to make four steam-engine prototypes and by 1906, the White Sewing Machine Co. manufactured 193 vehicles. The auto division separated that same year and moved to a new plant at E. 79th and St. Clair.

White eventually switched to gasoline engines around 1909 and then to the manufacture of heavy trucks. The company stayed in business until the mid-1970s. The delivery truck pictured above is typical of the company's customized trucks.

(Last updated on 11-09-07)
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