4 Cylinders, 30 Horsepower, With Speeds Reaching Up To 50 Miles Per Hour!
In the first couple of decades of U.S. automaking, there were so many car companies competing for what was originally a very limited business. From 1895-1930 it is estimated that there were over 1,800 car manufacturers in the United States alone. Cadillac is one of the few companies that survived those early days and have flourished into the 21st century.
I found this ad which appeared in the September 8, 1906 issue of Scientific American Magazine while researching the previous story on the Singer Building. Cadillac Motor Car Co. proclaims several things for the new Model H:
A veritable wonder in hill climbing!
Perfect planetary transmission
Double acting steering device that greatly increases safety
Independent steel engine suspension
Practically noiseless in operation
Capable of 50 miles per hour
Proving that automobile ownership was a rich man’s hobby, the Model H Cadillac would set you back $2,500. To put that in perspective a working man who made a decent salary took home around $900 per year. If that was too expensive you could opt for The Model M Light Touring car for $950 or the Model K, Runabout which was only $750.
Cadillac manufactured 2,884 automobiles in 1907. This modest sales figure was good for sixth overall behind Ford, Buick, REO Motor Car Co., Maxwell and Rambler. To illustrate the rising popularity of the automobile consider this: In 1905 There were 78,000 cars in the U.S.. By 1910 it increased to 459,000. In 1914 the figure jumped to 1.7 million cars.