June 09, 2021


Black Manufacturing Co. (1908-1910)

Chicago, Illinois

This is an original Black body side decal (1909)    nam

The Black Manufacturing Company initially offered their product under two names. The first Black was an 18 hp two-cylinder air-cooled, high wheeler buggy with chain-drive and solid rubber tires, available as a surrey or a delivery wagon. A more basic 14 hp two-cylinder, high wheeler buggy was also available under the name of Chicago Motor Buggy.

The Black was first shown at the Iowa State Fair in the summer of 1908 and a significant number of orders for the Black were made. This encouraged the Black Manufacturing Company in 1909 to offer its customers a wider choice of vehicle by joining up with the newly formed Crow Motor Car Company to produce the four-cylinder Black Crow. The Black Crow was built entirely at the Crow plant at Elkhart and marketed by Crow, which turned out to be bad for the Black, because in 1910 Crow cancelled the contract with Black and continued to market the new car as the Crow (see Crow). 

The result was the end of the Black Manufacturing Company and the Black in 1910.


The Black displayed a named decal on the side of the body under the driver's seat, see example shown above at the top of this post. This body side decal was small and could not be seen from any distance, so was clearly not used for general publicity, see example photos below of a surviving but original Black buggy from 1908:

This is a Black buggy showing the small body side decal (1908)     hcg

Close up showing the body side decal (1908)    hcg

The following Black maker's nameplate was used for the earliest Black buggies and was attached to the dash or under the driver's seat. This Black nameplate is very rare.

This is a Black maker's nameplate (c1908)    mjs
Size: 103mm wide 52mm high

I do not know, if there was a different maker's nameplate for the buggies sold under the name Chicago Motor Buggy. If you have details of such a nameplate, please let me know, in order to update this post.

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