History of the Cameron Automobile 1903 to 1920

By Dick Shappy

    In 1903, Everet Cameron convinced a wealthy textile machinery manufacturer from Pawtucket, Rhode Island named James Brown to finance the production of a single cylinder gasoline-powered automobile. Cameron produced over five hundred single cylinder air cooled cars in 1903 and 1904. In late 1904, two and three cylinder cars were added to the line.

    The Cameron won the distinction of being the first air cooled car to reach the top of Mount Washington without a stop. It also won the dirt track half-mile record that year in Cincinnati, Ohio. The company produced cars until 1920.

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    Although all the single cylinder cars were manufactured in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, Cameron moved his company to eight other cities. Manufacturing moved to Brocton, Massachusetts, Beverly, Massachusetts, New London, Connecticut, Attica, Ohio, Alma, Michigan, West Haven, Connecticut, Norwalk, Connecticut, and finally to Stamford, Connecticut. No other car company in production had moved to more cities since the first cars were made at the Pawtucket facility.

    In 1920, after producing and selling only a handful of cars, the company ceased production forever. Everet Cameron then put his efforts into the design and manufacture of aviation and marine engines.

    For the past three years, Dick Shappy and Sean Brayton have been restoring one of the earliest known surviving examples of this rare and beautiful little piece of Americana.