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The Veracity Automobile & The Smith Truss Company

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The Smith Truss Company
Topeka, Kansas

The Smith Automobile Co.
Topeka, Kansas

Terry Stafford, who owned a bicycle shop along with Clement and Lucius Smith of the The Smith Truss Company built the Veracity, Smith, Great Smith and the Stafford in the early 1900s in Topeka, Kansas.

An Early Terry Stafford Built Automobile
An Early Terry Stafford Built Automobile

Stafford built a 2 cylinder motor carriage shown above in his bicycle shop during 1899 and 1900. The owners of The Smith Truss Company, Dr. Clement and Anton Smith, were impressed by Terry Stafford's hand built automobile. In 1902 they signed Terry Stafford up as general manager of the soon to be built Veracity and later the Smith and Great Smith Automobiles.

The first American Automobiles built by the Smith Truss Company were 10 commercial Runabout style cars built for the Parkhurst-Davis Mercantile Co. of Topeka, Kansas and shown below. These namesless automobiles were for the use of the Parkhurst-Davis Mercantile Co. traveling Salesmen. They were produced as an extension of The Smith Truss Company manufacturing business which had been devoted mainly to artificial limbs, bows and arrows and concert grand harps. Clement Smith was as mechanically skilled as Terry Stafford, the brother Anton Smith was business minded.

The 1902 built Parkhurst-Davis automobiles were equipped with four cycle 8 horsepower engines with two opposed cylinders and chain drive. Features included 78 wheelbase, differential and exhaust brakes, 34 inch wood spoke wheels, 3 inch Dunlop pneumatic tires, right side tiller steering and weighted 1,400 pounds.

1903 Veracity Runabout
1902 Parkhurst-Davis Automobiles (left) - 1903 Veracity Runabout (right)

In 1903 Terry Stafford and Clement Smith filed for five patents and steadily improved the two cylinder Parkhurst-Davis Runabout. These new American Automobiles were called the Veracity and were built in a new factory. Prior to that time all work was carried on in The Smith Truss Company factory. A new engine developed 10 horsepower and had a top speed of 30 miles per hour.

In 1904 a $1,500.00 companion to the smaller $1,250.00 Veracity Runabout was introduced by the Smith Brothers. This new car was called the Veracity Observation Touring Car. The Veracity had a removable tonneau and seated five passengers. With a two person front jump seat the Observation car could carry seven passengers. New features of the 1904 Veracity included an 18 horsepower engine, 2 speed planetary transmission, right side steering, foot pedal throttle, kerosene lamps, fenders, tools and oil cans. Brown-Lipe spur differential, Kingston carburetor, Timken bearings and Splitdorf ignition were non-Smith parts.

Restored 1902 Smith Stafford Runabout
Restored 1902 Smith Stafford Runabout

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