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

  • By Greg Lange
  • Posted 8/31/1999
  • Essay 1653

On January 8, 1900, six months before the first auto arrives in Seattle, The Seattle Times announces a plan to build an automobile manufacturing plant in Seattle. Capitalists George O. Dumphy and his brother, who own an auto factory in Boston, came to Seattle to explore the possibility of establishing a Western plant in Seattle.

The Dream of the Steam-Powered Auto

The Dumphy brothers were building  carriages in Boston powered by steam,  the most modern method of propulsion. They intended 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 throughout the Western United States west of St. Paul and as far south as the Mexican border. 

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


The Seattle Times, January 8, 1900, p. 8.

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