Friday, January 17, 2014

Reynolds-Alberta Museum – Part II

Continuing with our tour of the Reynolds-Alberta Museum in Wetaskiwin Alberta… As you will see, this is a very eclectic collection!

This is a 1918 Winton Six Victoria Phaeton.  The Winton Company, founded by a Scotsman, was based in Cleveland Ohio and the company sold its first automobile in 1898.  In 1899, the company became the largest producer of gasoline powered autos in the world.  By 1906 Winton had become well known as the manufacturer of large expensive 6-cylinder cars.  With its Victoria top, this was a very stylish auto…but it wasn’t too practical on the cold Canadian prairies!

  • In 1898 the Winton Motor Carriage Company sold twenty-one vehicles, including one to James Ward Packard, whom later founded the Packard Automobile Company after Winton challenged a very dissatisfied James Packard to do better!
  • Winton’s success led to the opening of the first ever automobile dealership by Mr. H.W. Koler in Reading, Pennsylvania. In 1899, in order to deliver the vehicles, Winton built the first auto hauler in America.
  • In 1903, using a Winton automobile, Dr. Horatio Nelson Jackson made the first successful automobile drive across the United States.  The trip took 64 days! 

This is a 2-cylinder 1912 International Commercial Car.  International Harvester ventured into the ‘high wheeler” market beginning in 1907 and built different versions until 1916.  The Commercial ‘Car’ was intended for hauling product and equipment on farms but rear seats were available by special order.  In effect, this was a half-ton pick-up truck!

International Harvester built light trucks from 1907 to 1975.  This version was also referred to as a Model A Auto Wagon or Auto Buggy.  Did you notice that it is a right hand drive model?  It was popular in rural areas for high ground clearance on the poor roads typical of the era. It featured a rear seat convertible to a carrier bed.  For more about International Harvester, go to

This is a 1919 4-cylinder 19.6 horsepower Gray-Dort 1 1D “Ace” 5-Passenger Touring Car.  The company was based in Chatham Ontario.  W. Gray and Sons, a major wagon builder, had acquired the rights from the Dort Motor Car Company of Flint Michigan to build Dort automobiles for the Canadian market.

The “Ace” designation was given to this car in honor of Canadian flying aces from WWI.  This automobile had a ‘fat man’ adjustable steering wheel and retractable cigarette lighter.  The original cost was $1,350 (C).  This is one of only 3 known surviving Gray-Dort automobiles. 

As a side note, the Dort Motor Car Company traced its history back to its founding as the Flint Road Cart Company in 1884 by William Crapo Durant and Josiah Dallas Dort.  They originally sold wagons built by local suppliers for $8.00 each.  In 1900, the company, which by now was making 50,000 wagons, carts, and carriages per year, changed its name to Durant-Dort Carriage Company.  By 1915, Dort and Durant cut their business ties.  Dort was out of business by 1924 and Durant went on to help found General Motors…

This is a 1920 Indian “Scout” Motorcycle.  It was built by the Hardee Manufacturing Company in Springfield Massachusetts.  This motorcycle had a 37 cubic inch engine which developed 11 horsepower.  It cost $295. The Scout was an instant success because it was reliable.  It was very popular with companies that needed economical vehicles for in-town deliveries.  This particular motorcycle sports a Great Northern Railway decal.  It’s likely that it was used to deliver telegraph messages. 

The Hardee Manufacturing Company was renamed the Indian Motorcycle Manufacturing Company in 1928.  The company closed in 1953.  The brand is now owned by Polaris Industries. To learn more about Indian Motorcycles, you can go to

FYI…The Great Northern Railroad operated from Duluth Minnesota to Washington State.  It has an interesting history and the company experienced the deadliest avalanche in US history.

OK…time for a little diversity!  This is a 1915 Model-T Ford Runabout mounted on a 1929 Snow Flyer Conversion Kit.  The kit was manufactured by the Snow Flyer Corporation in New Holstein Wisconsin.  As you can see, the kit contained a pair of skis, an axle and 2 all-steel traction belts or treads.
Back when roads were less well built and even less well maintained, several manufacturers made these kits that were designed to turn automobiles into vehicles that were better suited for winter travel.  Mankind can be quite ingenious! 

This is a 1935 Maple Leaf 2-ton Truck.  This line of trucks was built by General Motors Canada and the name continued until after WWII.  This model has a 6-cylinder 26.3 horsepower motor.  The Maple Leaf quickly established itself as a major threat to its Canadian arch-rival Ford.

Hooray!  Here’s an automobile that was built in my hometown!  This is a 1912 Jackson Touring Car (Model 32).  This 4-cylinder car was built by the Jackson Automobile Company in Jackson Michigan.  The torpedo type body was so-named for the streamlined sloping cowl that transitions the design between the engine hood and the passenger compartment.

The company also built the Jaxon Steam Car back in 1903.  The company’s slogan was “No Hill Too Steep, No Sand Too Deep”.  The Jackson Automobile Company was in business from 1903 until 1923.  To learn more, go to 

This is the dashboard of the Jackson Touring Car.  It’s so simple that it is the perfect dashboard for someone who is technically challenged like me!  Note the steering wheel on the right side.  When I got into this car, (it was one that visitors could climb into), that steering wheel and my body-type came into conflict!

Actually, Jackson Michigan was an early hotspot in the manufacturing of automobiles.  There is a long list of cars and car companies that operated in the city.  One of my favorite cars, the Kaiser Darrin, was built in Jackson.  Since the auto business faded in town, it’s been an uphill recovery process.  For a list of cars and auto manufacturers from Jackson, just go to

Enough with cars and trucks for now… This is a 1911 Reeves Canadian Special Steam Traction Engine.  It was built by the Emerson-Brantingham Implement Company of Columbus Indiana.  This 13-ton behemoth had a 2 cylinder 90 brake horsepower steam engine and it could pull 12 fourteen inch plow bottoms.  Power steering and a winch were available options…

With its compound steam engine, heavy-duty rear wheels and axle, this tractor was designed for plowing the western prairies with their thick sod.  Reeves and Co. built farm tractors for 30 years.  It built some of the largest steam traction engines used in North America.  Marshal Reeves was the driving force behind this venture having first invented in a tongueless corn plow in 1869.   Reeves and Company was sold to Emerson-Brantingham.  In turn, after making several acquisitions itself, Emerson-Brantingham was purchased by the J.I. Case Company, now the Case Corporation.

I had to include this photo from Wikipedia… At the same time as Marshall Reeves started building steam tractors, his brother Milton began making automobiles.  This is the 1911 Reeves Octo-Auto.  Time Magazine named this car as one of the most ugly ever produced!  The Octo-Auto was notable or notorious enough for Hemmings to feature it in 2011 as an April Fools' Day article on its website titled “World celebrates the centennial of the Octo-Auto”.  

Do I need to mention that Milton wasn’t anywhere as successful as his brother was…?!

Back to the basics… Featured in this photo (sorry for it not being in focus) is the 1946 Farmall Model M Tractor.  It was built by International Harvester in Chicago Illinois.  This 2 ½ ton 4-cylinder model became one of the world’s best known tractors.  It came with a standard package that included an electric starter, lights and, perhaps most importantly, a hydraulic shock absorbing seat for the farmer!  By the time that production of this tractor ceased in 1952, over 280,000 units had been built.

This is a 1917 Waterloo Thresher.  It was built by the Waterloo Manufacturing Company, Ltd. in Waterloo Ontario.  Jacob Bricker was born in 1818 in Waterloo, Ontario, and learned the trade of blacksmith. He went into the farm machinery business in 1850 and for a while the Company he created built and sold threshing machines.  It cost $1,365 (US) back in the day…

The ad campaign for Waterloo Threshers trumpeted “A triumph of modern engineering.  Ask the man who has one.”  Waterloo Manufacturing continues today, selling and servicing industrial boilers.

That’s about it for Part II of our visit to the Reynolds-Alberta Museum.  Just click on any of the photo to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by and joining us for part of our tour!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave


  1. Really like the Model T snowmobile

  2. Dear Dave, These cars have so much character and just look fun!
    Blessings, Catherine

  3. My husband would have a ball looking at all of these beautiful automobiles and trucks. I especially like the elegant touring cars. When you mentioned right hand drive, for some reason it registered somewhere in the back of my brain that the model T my mother learned to drive may have had right hand drive.

  4. This must be a great museum to visit. My favorite cars are the one in your first picture and the third one, the green one – so elegant! I was just watching Downton Abbey on TV and they had great cars too, looked like those on your post.

  5. Really nice museum, of incredible wealth.