"Boston capitalists" propose automobile manufacturing plant for Seattle on January 8, 1900.

  • By Greg Lange
  • Posted 8/31/1999
  • HistoryLink.org Essay 1653

On January 8, 1900, six months before the first auto arrives in Seattle, The Seattle Times announces the plan "of some Boston capitalists" to build an automobile manufacturing plant in the city ("To Build Automobiles"). George O. Dumphy, who says he and his brother own an auto factory in Boston, is in Seattle to explore the possibility of establishing a plant there. Nothing will come of the proposal.

Dream of the Steam-Powered Auto

Dumphy said that the Seattle factory would build carriages powered by steam, which he called (not entirely accurately, given the ongoing development of gasoline engines) "the most modern method" ("To Build Automobiles"). He announced plans to start with a modest plant, costing about $15,000, which would produce 25 vehicles per month and employ 30 people. Automobiles produced in the Seattle plant were to be distributed across the country "west of St. Paul and as far south as the Mexican border" ("To Build Automobiles").

Nothing ever came of this proposal. The first auto to arrive in Seattle was an electric-powered vehicle.


"To Build Automobiles: Eastern Men Will Have a Factory in Seattle," The Seattle Times, January 8, 1900, p. 8.
Note: This entry was revised on August 3, 2018.

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