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The Benton Harbor Motocycle & The Benton Harbor Motor Carriage Co.

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Benton Harbor Motocycle
The Benton Harbor Motor Carriage Co.
Benton Harbor, MI

In 1894 the Baushke Bros., a small horse drawn carriage manufacturing Company in Benton Harbor, MI established the Benton Harbor Motor Carriage Company. The purpose of this 1894 company was to build an American Automobile called the Benton Harbor.

The Benton Harbor was built by the Baushke Bros. and the drive train was designed and built by William O. Worth.

The Benton Harbor was a high wheeled Surrey with 48 inch x 2 1/2 inch wheels in the rear and 44 inch x 2 inch wheels in the front. One lever steered the Benton Harbor and changed the speed. It was first powered by a William Worth designed steam engine. However, the steam engine was to heavy for the Surrey.

1894 Benton Harbor Motocycle
1894 Benton Harbor Motocycle

Worth then designed a 2 cylinder opposed water cooled engine that developed 7 1/2 horsepower and claimed speeds of up to 23 mph. It was reported in a local newspaper that the Benton Harbor could only run a few hundred yards and stop. Poor engine design and lack of capital doomed the builders.

1896 Benton Harbor
1896 Benton Harbor

By 1896 The Benton Harbor Motor Carriage Co. and the Baushke Bros. abandoned both William Worth and the Benton Harbor automobile. The Baushles returned to building horse-drawn carriages. The Benton Harbor was Michigan's first entry into the still developing American auto industry. However, mechanical problems with Worth's design led to the disbanding of the company. William O. Worth went to Chicago where he was involved in several other auto manufacturing ventures, none of which enjoyed any real success. Including the Worth Automobile he built in and Kankakee, Illinois (1909-1910)

Restored 1894 Benton Harbor
Restored 1895 Benton Harbor

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