To the editor:In the “Down the Decades” March 22, 2022 edition, under the section of 110 years ago - 1912 was information about Dr. Augustus Meyer of Callicoon purchasing an Alpena auto …
To the editor:
In the “Down the Decades” March 22, 2022 edition, under the section of 110 years ago - 1912 was information about Dr. Augustus Meyer of Callicoon purchasing an Alpena auto from William H. Lawrence of Jeffersonville. Being an antique buff, and reading about many car manufacturers that no longer exist, I went online and found some information about this brass era vehicle of which I had never heard.
The Alpena Motor Car Company (AMCC) was incorporated in June 1910 in Alpena, Michigan. They had expected to make about 2,500 cars, but only about 500 were ever manufactured. AMCC only had 75 employees. The company ran into more financial difficulties after being sued for a patent infringement on its suspension design. They lost the case to Emile Huber, the patentee of record, who was awarded $400,000. This led to more financial difficulties and the company closed in 1913 and declared bankruptcy in 1914.
The price of the 1911 Alpena Flyer Model J, a four-door touring car, was $1450, while the Model F, a five passenger touring car, was $1600, and the Model G Roadster with seating for two sold for $1450. The Alpena came with a 40-horsepower engine, three speeds and reverse, a 112-inch wheelbase and 34-inch tires, weighed 2250 pounds and came in a dark royal blue color.
It was advertised as the “greatest value for the price,” “the highest point of mechanical construction,” and “so simple a child could operate it.” The vehicles were right-hand steering, and had some electric lights, three oil body side lamps, two gas headlamps and were self-starting.
There is only one Alpena Flyer known to exist today, a 1911 model. It was located in 2014 in Washington state, in a badly deteriorated condition, by an Alpena resident. He entrusted the restoration to Restoration Unlimited 2 Inc. of Cary, Illinois, and they took 42 months to reassemble the Alpena Flyer. It now is on permanent display at the Besser Museum of Northeast Michigan in Alpena, Michigan.
As a footnote, I spoke with Charles and Grace Mills of Callicoon, and Charles says his father, Dr. George Mills, bought out Dr. Meyer’s practice when he came to town in the early 1930s. Charlie thinks he lived in the building next to the movie theater that was torn down and is now parking for the theater, and that his office was down and across from the 1908 school building.
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