Remington Automobiles

It is well known that the Remington Arms Company of Ilion, New York manufactured a full line of bicycles in the 1890s. What is less well known is that the parent company developed an internal combustion motor as early as 1895. Unfortunately, other than the magazine clipping (see below) nothing more is known of
this early venture.

The Horseless Age – November 1895 – page 17:

“The Remington Arms Company are reported to be experimenting with a kerosene motor which they will soon apply to their bicycles, and also put on the market a line of motor tricycles.”

The Ilion Motor and Vehicle Company

Philo E. Remington (b.1869-d.1937) was the wealthy
grandson of Eliphalet Remington, founder of the worldrenowned
E. Remington & Sons of Ilion, New York, but he was
not affiliated with the Remington Arms Company. Around the
turn of the century he became involved with a number of early
automobile manufacturing companies, hoping to draw upon the
recognition of his famous last name.


His first endeavor, the Ilion Motor and Vehicle Company,
was organized in Orange, New Jersey in 1899, in the hopes of
manufacturing a vehicle in his hometown of Ilion, New York.
Philo E. Remington, Charles B. Storrs, and William A. Lord were
Directors. In late October 1900, they leased the site of the old
Novelty Works (where the present day Masonic Lodge is now
located, on the corner of Morgan and Otsego Streets, Ilion).

Remington Automobile and Motor Company

However, after financing fell through, the Utica Chamber of
Commerce spearheaded a move to relocate the firm to Utica,
New York. The board agreed to
relocate its manufacturing plant to the
Utica after George I. Dana, president
of the Utica Chamber of Commerce,
provided them with a suitable piece of
property and helped raise $30,000
through a subscription of the new
company’s stock.
On August 3, 1900 the company
was reorganized by its directors as the
Remington Automobile and Motor
Company with an authorization to
issue $250,000 in capital stock. This
company was not affiliated in any way
with the firearms company in nearby
Ilion. Local suppliers included Willoughby, Owen & Company
(bodies) and Weston-Mott (wheels and axles) and the firm’s
assets relocated to a vacant 3-story factory on First Street, in
downtown Utica.

On August 10, 1900, the Otsego Farmer newspaper
A New Industry in Ilion – The
Remington Automobile and Motor
Philo E. Remington – President
S.C. Burch – Treasurer
P.A. Stubblebein – Secretary


Soon after, Stubblebein was
replaced by James S. Holmes, appointed
Secretary and General Manager.
For the previous four years
Holmes had been in charge of sales of
Remington bicycles. A September 7,
1900 issue of the Ilion Citizen reported
that Holmes “is soon to sever his
connection with the Remington Arms
Company and will assume the general management of the new
Remington Automobile and Motor Company.”

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Officers of the new automobile company purchased the assets
and car-making machinery and equipment of the defunct Quick
Manufacturing Company of Newark, New Jersey, and moved
everything to Ilion. The Quick Company had recently developed
the Phelps motor, a DeDion-style engine that would provide the
power for the proposed Remington automobile. In fact, the first
Remington car offered was just a modified Quick automobile, and
the new company completed the orders previously given to the
Quick Company.

The first Remington automobile was an open topped, carriagelike
vehicle which sold for $750 – a staggering figure at the turn of
the century. This horseless-carriage was powered by a gasoline
powered, two cylinder, 4 horsepower motor, which ran on acetylene
and hydrogen gas. The engine was the invention of Wilhelm
(William) Schmidt of Ilion. Later, improved and more powerful
gasoline engines were made, including a 4-cylinder engine which
put out 4 or 6 horsepower, depending upon its configuration.


Despite the fact the firm had produced only a handful of
prototypes its directors helped garner much needed publicity, as
evidenced by a flurry of mentions in the automotive trades
between 1900 and 1902 which follow:

  • The Remington Automobile and Motor Company informs usthat the streets of Ilion. N. Y., are covered with 18 inches of snow, and that its vehicles, weighing 1,200 pounds, and equipped with a 4 horse power motor, are operating successfully over these streets.
  • January 4, 1901 – the Ilion Citizen In the experimental work which we are doing from day to day with an endeavor to more fully perfect the gasoline motors which we are manufacturing, together with the several devices tributory thereto it, becomes necessary for us to use our demonstration carriage on the streets of the village under conditions most severe. We would respectfully ask the citizens to be particular to tie their horses when leaving them standing, as in the practical operation of our automobile, we find that animals are tempted to become frightened and we desire as far as possible, to avoid any accident through the necessity of frequent road tests of our horseless carriage.
  • April 17, 1901 – Horseless Age The Remington Automobile and Motor Company expect to locate at Utica, New York.
  • May 1, 1901 – Horseless Age The Remington Automobile and Motor Company announce that soon after their removal to Utica,N. Y., they will add a marine motor and launch department. Louis Graham has been elected treasurer

In May 1901, the company left Ilion and moved its
entire operation to 43-45 First Street, Utica, New York.
Philo Remington sought and received financial support
from Weston Mott and from Willoughby & Owen,
carriage makers who wanted to invest in the future of ground
transportation. The Utica manufactured horseless-carriage
weighed about 900 lbs., and seated either two or four passengers.
The quality of the Utica-built car may be shown by a
contemporary newspaper item:


Page 35 4th Quarter 2011

“The Weston-Mott people of Utica brought out a Remington
automobile a month ago – four horse power, it had no trouble
climbing College Hill in Clinton,
New York, a suburb of Utica.”

Although the Utica Historical
Society claims Charles Stewart
Mott was the producer of the
Remington automobile, Mott’s
biography, Foundation for Living:
The Story of Charles Stewart Mott
and Flint indicates that other
than possibly owning a few shares
of its stock, Mott had no controlling
interest in the firm; rather he
simply purchased a Remington
Automobile in September 1901.
The original invoice states on
letterhead of the Remington
Automobile and Motor Company
of Utica:


Utica, N.Y.
On September 10, 1901,
Remington Automobile &
Motor Company, sold to Mr. C. S. Mott, Weston Mott Co.,
Utica, N.Y. one Remington motor complete with dynamo,
batteries, carburretter, muffler, etc $175.00; One Style “C”
body complete $75.00; One water and gasoline tank $9.50;
Tools, pump, oil-can, bell
$3.25; One pair “Baby Square”
lamps, No charge; One
transmission gear, special
price $50.00; One set foot
levers, rods, etc. complete
$6.50; One radiator complete
with attachments $10.00;
Ironing body for motor and to
gear $10.00; Labor on complete
job, at cost $25.00;
(Other parts furnished by C. S.
Total $364.25 paid, September
26, 1901
Remington Automobile &
Motor Co.
L. Malcolm Graham – Treasurer

Mott drove his
Remington in a “Horseless
Carriage Run” in 1902. He was a charter member and first
president of the Automobile Club of Utica, and he was one of
the founders of the American Automobile Association in
Chicago. On September 4, 1902, Mott traded in his first
Remington, being credited not only with the full amount of the
original purchase price, but also receiving an additional
allowance of $135 for “running gear, steering levers, wheels,
tires, and compensating gear” which he had furnished for that
first car. The net difference he paid for his new “special 1903
Remington” on September 4, 1902,
was $140.75.

It should be remembered
that this was an era before
mufflers, and the sound generated
by the gasoline engines must
have scared man and beast alike.
Nearly fifteen years later it would
be arms inventor Hiram Maxim
who would take his rifle silencer
and adapt it to automobile exhaust

Contemporary magazine
articles about the Remington
automobile continued:
carriage about June 1st.


    • May 29, 1901 – Horseless Age
    The Remington Automobile and
    Motor Company, Utica, N. Y.,
    expects to turn out its first

  • July 1901 – Rudder Remington Standard – A Good Motor with a Good Name. Positioned for either automobiles or launches, Remington Automobile and Motor Co. Utica, NY.
  • July 3, 1901 – Horseless Age We have received a catalogue from the Remington Automobile and Motor Company, of Utica, N.Y., illustrating and describing the Remington automobiles,launches and motors.
  • Sept 1901 – Auto Review The Remington Automobile and Motor Co., of Utica, N. Y., have brought out a four cycle, two cylinder gasoline motor specially designed for marine work.They have recently equipped a twenty foot boat named the “Remington” with one of these motors, and the operation has proved satisfactory. It is 4 horse power, and the company intends to manufacture these motors in large quantities in several different sizes and equip yachts and launches of all kinds.

Page 36 4th Quarter 2011

  • September 1901 – The Auto Way The Remington Automobile Motor Co., manufacturers of the Remington Standard automobiles, launches and motors, are Page 37 4th Quarter 2011 now settled in their new factory at Utica, N. Y. They have just issued a very attractive little catalogue telling all about their products, and it is well worth sending for, as it contains a fund of valuable and interesting information. The same class of fine workmanship is put into Remington automobiles that has made the name a world wide synonym for mechanical excellence in rifles, typewriters and other products of the factory.
  • September 18, 1901 – Horseless Age At the annual meeting of the stockholders of the Remington Automobile and Motor Company held at Orange. N. J., recently the following directors were elected: Philo E. Remington, of Ilion; George I. Dana, Correl Humphrey, G. A. Spaulding. L. M. Graham and J. S. Holmes, Jr., of Utica, and Charles B. Storrs, of Orange, New Jersey.
  • November 27, 1901 – Horseless Age The Remington Automobile and Motor Manufacturing Company of Utica, N. Y., are getting out a 12 horse power tonneau for C. S. Mott, of the Weston-Mott Company, same place.
  • July 1, 1902 – Motor Way Philo E. Remington, president of the Remington Automobile & Motor Co., of Utica, N. Y., states that he left Albany in a 26-foot Remington launch, equipped with a Remington four cycle motor, for the purpose of making a record trip from Albany to New York.The time of leaving Albany it is said was 3:30 a. m., which time is certified to; and the time of arrival at 152nd Street, North River, New York, was 6:30 p. m. the same day, which arrival is likewise certified to. Mr. Remington reports that the motor never stopped once during its entire trip, thus having run continuously for fifteen hours during the entire distance of one hundred and fifty miles. It is stated that the company have recently made a gasoline consumption test of that same boat with the results that twenty gallons of gasoline were used in traveling three hundred and twenty-five miles.
  • November 26, 1902 – Horseless Age Proceedings in involuntary bankruptcy have been taken against
    the Remington Automobile and Motor Co., Utica. N.Y.

It proved impossible to raise sufficient funds to keep this Utica
operation going, and the company failed in late 1902. [RemFacts note:
This Remington automobile was made years before Henry Ford
organized the Ford Motor Company.]

Remington Motor Vehicle Company

Early in 1903, the assets of the fledgling Remington
Automobile and Motor Company were purchased by
John B. Weld, William Owen, Oscar S. Foster and other
investors. The company was re-named the Remington
Motor Vehicle Company, Unlike the carriage-like
appearance of
its predecessor,
newly designed
automobile had a
hood up front and
a steering wheel.
The car featured a
two stroke, two
cylinder engine
developing 10
horsepower, a
radiator, and
chain drive to
the rear axle.


Unfortunately, by 1904 this new venture was out of business, and
the Utica factory was sold to the Black Diamond Company of Geneva,
New York. There, the new company fabricated Buckmobile autos. It is
not known why there appears a classified advertisement in the Utica
Directory for 1905 for a Remington automobile dealer, but possibly
they only serviced previously
purchased automobiles.

Page 38 4th Quarter 2011

The Remington Standard Motor Company
was incorporated in June 1910, in
Charleston, West Virginia, with an office in
New York City at 1597 Broadway.
Owners had purchased the
entire plant of the Baldwin
Steel Company of Charleston,
to manufacture its
own brand of commercial
heavy trucks. Contemporary
newspapers stated
that “in January 1912, the
patentee, L.P. Remington,
will make large trucks of
a simple design. He is
connected with the family
who made Remington
arms and the Remington
typewriter famous.” Did
the newspaper correspondent
mean to say “Philo E. Remington?”
The company was to produce a carriage-like truck powered by a four cylinder,
38 horsepower gasoline engine (made by others) and with a hydraulic transmission.
The engine was mounted under the floorboards with the driver’s seat on top. The
company advertised these Remington trucks in three sizes: 5 ton
capacity, 7 ton capacity, and 10 ten capacity, and that smaller size
trucks could be made to order. The 7 ton capacity truck weighs 9,000
pounds and was to be
sold for $5,500.


On May 3, 1912, the
first Remington prototype
truck with its hydraulic
controls was displayed
on Main Street,
Farmingdale, Long Island.
In October 1912, ground
was broken for the new
factory site in
Farmingdale. Officers
present were President
W.H. Langford, and Vice President Philo E. Remington. The company was reorganized
in December 1912, as the Hollister Motor Company. In January 1913, the
inventor of the hydraulic transmission filed a lien against the company and the
entire venture failed with having produced only one prototype vehicle.

Page 38 4th Quarter 2011

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The cars were advertised as selling F.O.B. Detroit, Michigan,
obviously being the place where they were made. A
contemporary brochure stated:

The car is made possible through Philo E. Remington,
grandson of the founder of the Remington Arms Company,
and is the design of C.P. Hollister, the chief engineer of the
company, which will erect a large plant at Rahway, New
Jersey. Delivery is expected by November 1st 1914.


The Remington automobile features 40 miles to the
gallon of fuel, and from 4 to 50 miles an hour on the high
speed. The motor is a four-cylinder, four-cycle, watercooled
unit. It features an electric motor starter operated
by a pedal, and the headlights are fitted with a dimming

In late 1915 Remington moved the factory to Kingston,
New York, where the venture failed in 1916.

The American Sleeve-Valve Motor Company

Philo E. Remington’s final automotive enterprise was the American Sleeve-Valve Motor Co., whose organization was announced in the May 15, 1917 issue of Horseless Age:

To Make New Sleeve-Valve Motor
A corporation known as the American Sleeve-Valve Motor Company, with executive offices at Philadelphia, Pa., is preparing to manufacture a new sleeve-valve motor. E. Remington, of arms and typewriter fame, is chairman of the board; Philo E. Remington, of the same family is president, and Wilfrid Hartley, formerly treasurer and factory manager of the Remington Arms Co., is vice-president. Among the other officers and directors are E. R. Hollander, former president of the American Fiat Sales Co.; T. M. Fenner, of the Wisconsin Motor Mfg. Co. and C. P. Hollister, formerly with the Stanley Electric Company.

No further information on the firm is known, and it is believed that the company never built any engines of any type.

Philo E. Remington become enamored with the phonograph record, and his next firm, the Remington Phonograph Company, organized in July 1920, actually produced a handful of operatic titles under the Reminola and Olympic labels from its factory and recording studio in Long Island City, New York. He failed to take into account the overwhelming competition and the firm was bankrupt within the year and subsequently reorganized as the Remington Radio Corporation in June of 1922. This firm failed after Philo E. Remington and his officers and directors were indicted for conspiracy to use the mails to defraud in relation to sale of Remington Phonograph Company stock. After almost two years of litigation, the case abruptly ended on June 14, 1924, when a Federal judge ruled that the indictment against the men was faulty.

Page 41 4th Quarter 2011

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