1926 DODGE BROTHERS ¾ TON EXPRESS TRUCK
This 1926 Dodge Brothers Series 4 Commercial Car was donated to the museum by the Boothbay Register in the mid-1980s – it had never been used as a “working truck’ but was part of parades and special events. The local newspaper also funded the restoration of this vehicle in the Boothbay Railway Village Shops in 1989.
This vehicle with its overhead wood canopy was considered an express truck and was used for deliveries by merchants to deliver food and other products to their customers.
The story behind this “Dodge Brothers” truck is an interesting one.
Dodge Brothers never made a truck while the Dodge brothers were alive!
Dodge trucks actually began with three Graham brothers who sold their successful glass factory – it became Libby-Owens. And, in 1916, seeing the need for a good dependable truck, they decided to enter the truck business. By 1919 they had produced the “truck builder” which today would be considered a glider, a basic platform from which a customer could spec a truck according their needs. The “truck builder” consisted of a frame, cab, body, and a Torbenson internal gear drive. Customers could build their own trucks often using engines, transmissions and other components from passenger cars.
As their reputation grew, the Graham Brothers decided to produce their own truck, complete with drive train. The were so successful that the President of Dodge Brothers, saw the opportunity to get Dodge into the expanding market of the 1920s for heavy duty trucks, without disrupting the production of Dodge automobiles. The brothers were receptive and in April 1921 signed an agreement to build trucks with Dodge engines and drive trains, to be sold through the Dodge dealer network – Graham bodies and Dodge parts. Whatever the size, all trucks were powered by a four-cylinder engine.
Dodge Brothers bought a controlling interest (51%) in Graham Brothers in 1925, picking up the rest in late 1926. Graham Brothers had plants in Evanston, IN and Stockton, CA. The brothers became officers of Dodge Brothers but they preferred being entrepreneurs and their stint lasted only two years. They went on to produce the Graham-Paige automobile.