Vintage Automobile Club of Ocean County Historical & Classic Cars

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Baker Electric

The logo for our club is the Baker Electric and, from what I have been able to determine, it is a 1913 Brougham, which could carry 5 passengers and had an 88-inch wheelbase. The Baker was produced from 1899 to 1916 in Cleveland Ohio. The unusual suspension of this car consisted of attaching the wheel shafts directly to the frame, on top of which was mounted a body on springs. A lever next to the driving seat controlled its speed. The Baker Electric was introduced at the National Automobile Show in 1900 and had two speeds - 6 and 12 mph. In 1902 Walter Baker built two special submarine-shaped racecars to demonstrate how fast an electric car could go. The first reached nearly 77 mph at a speedway in Staten Island and then crashed into the crowd killing two spectators. Baker tried again with the “Torpedo” which attained 104 mph at Ormond Beach, FL. At the time, it was fastest speed yet attained by man. Employing Edison batteries, a stock Baker Electric set a then world record by traveling 244˝ miles on a single charge. Thomas Edison’s first car was a 1902 Baker and other notables who owned one are “Diamond Jim” Brady and the King of Siam. “The Aristocrat of Motordom” is how Walter Baker referred to his Electric. The advertisement on the left shows a 1913 Baker Electric Victoria. When World War I broke out, auto production ceased and Baker went on to design and produce the world’s first industrial truck (fork lift), which was, naturally, electric powered and started a whole new industry. The company still exists today as the Linde Lift Truck Corporation.