First Black Autos
The Charles Richard “C.R.” Patterson & Sons Company / African American Automobile Manufacturer of Patterson-Greenfield Motor Cars, Buses and Trucks
First Black Autos examines the life of Charles Richard “C.R.” Patterson, a slave who escaped from a West Virginia plantation and traveled to the “free state” of Ohio in search of freedom and opportunity.
C.R.’s blacksmithing skills brought him financial success and he eventually launched his own company, C.R. Patterson & Sons, manufacturing carriages and horse-drawn vehicles.
His son Frederick Douglas Patterson led the company
into a new era after C.R.’s death with the design and manufacturing of a "horseless carriage" the first
Patterson-Greenfield sports coupe in 1915.
Author Henry May describes the Patterson family’s efforts to operate a racially diverse business during segregation, and the difficulties they endured from evolving national automotive standards and by competition from automaker Henry Ford. Mr. May takes existing documentation and facts regarding that era and creates a cohesive picture for the reader.
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First Black Autos: The Charles Richard “C.R.” Patterson & Sons Company / African American Automobile Manufacturer of Patterson-Greenfield Motor Cars, Buses and Trucks
AUTHOR: Henry A. May
PUBLICATION MONTH: Dec. 2006
SPECS: 72 pages, paperback, 6” x 9”