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A Family Car Option in 1918

A quick glance at this trade catalog’s front cover suggests the manufacturer might be advertising a family car. Perhaps this family is on the way to an afternoon picnic or maybe a ride through the countryside in their Paterson Six. Sometimes images in a trade catalog provide a glimpse into how the item was advertised to the general public.

This trade catalog is entitled Paterson Six (1918) by W. A. Paterson Co. Halfway through the catalog, our guess is confirmed when it describes the Paterson Six as the “ideal family car.” W. A. Paterson Co. began manufacturing automobiles in 1908, just ten years before this catalog was printed. According to this catalog, the company’s goal was to build medium priced cars.

man and two women in a car while a girl and lady pick flowers on the side of the road
W. A. Paterson Co., Flint, MI. Paterson Six, 1918, front cover.
title page with small image of a car driving by a large tree
W. A. Paterson Co., Flint, MI. Paterson Six, 1918, title page.

The motor for the 1918 Paterson Six was a six-cylinder Continental motor, and the car came with a handy accessory. A tool set in a case was built into the driver’s door. It came complete with an electric trouble light. The car was available in three bodies: the Paterson touring body, the “Chummy Roadster,” and the Convertible Sedan.

Paterson 6-45 car
W. A. Paterson Co., Flint, MI. Paterson Six, 1918, pages 8-9 (partial pages), Paterson 6-45 car.

One of these, the “Chummy Roadster,” is shown below. The roadster body was mounted on the same chassis as the touring body, and both had a 117-inch wheelbase. The “Chummy Roadster” had the capacity to seat four passengers, but the seating arrangement was a bit different from the Touring Car, as shown in the plans below. The Roadster’s driver and front passenger seats appear to be separated while the front seats in the Touring Car seem to be connected.

Paterson "Chummy Roadster"
W. A. Paterson Co., Flint, MI. Paterson Six, 1918, page 10, Paterson “Chummy Roadster.”
seating plans for Touring Car and Roadster
W. A. Paterson Co., Flint, MI. Paterson Six, 1918, page 11, seating plans for Touring Car and Roadster.

The Convertible Sedan, shown below, was described as a car for all seasons because it offered the advantages of open air in the summer and a closed car in the winter or during rainstorms. The top of the car was stationary while the windows on either side were removable to provide open air. The car was converted into an open-air car by lowering the side glass windows and removing the sash braces giving passengers the advantage of open air and cross breezes.

Paterson Convertible Sedan
W. A. Paterson Co., Flint, MI. Paterson Six, 1918, page 7, Paterson Convertible Sedan.
specifications of the Paterson Six car
W. A. Paterson Co., Flint, MI. Paterson Six, 1918, page 13, specifications of the Paterson Six.

The last few pages include detailed information about the motor and other parts of the car, including the specifications shown above. W. A. Paterson Co. continued manufacturing cars for several years after this particular catalog was printed. Paterson Six (1918) and other W. A. Paterson Co. trade catalogs, including one from 1922, are located in the Trade Literature Collection at the National Museum of American History Library.

six people driving in a Paterson Six with a mountain landscape in the background
W. A. Paterson Co., Flint, MI. Paterson Six, 1918, page 2, Paterson Six car driving along a road.

One Comment

  1. Antonio Mamgrsfreaks

    I love reading about old school classic cars. Seeing a family car back in the early 1900 is something I’m not used to reading. Great post. Love to read more like this as it’s very insightful. Antonio

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