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Russell Motor Car Company

CCM experimented with gas-powered tricycles and quadricycles, the steam Locomobile and the electric Ivanhoe automobiles. The Locomobile had a short range of only 20 miles and froze up in winter. It was discontinued in 1902. The two-seat Ivanhoe had a range of 40 miles and could reach 14 miles per hour! It was designed by H.P.Maxim, son of Hiram Maxim, inventor of the famous Maxim self-powered machine gun and other things like the mouse trap! CCM formed the Russell Motor Car Company and expanded the CCM plant on Weston Road for auto production. It was named after Thomas Alexander Russell (1877-1940) CCM's general manager and later its president. In 1905 it produced the Russell model A, a two-cylinder gas engine automobile, sturdy and powerful with pneumatic tires and a three speed transmission it was an instant success even at a price of $1,300 ($500 more than the Ford Model C) which was a lot of money a century ago when workers were paid 25 cents and hour, ten hours a day, six days a week. The model A was followed by the Model B as well as police cars, fire engines and delivery trucks.

The Canadian Magazine April 1906

Russell obtained exclusive Canadian rights to the Knight gasolene engine, a quality engine noted for its quietness and used in the famed Daimler. One prominent owner was John C. Eaton who drove around (or, was driven around!) in one bearing license plate number 1! Russell automobiles were provided for the 1911 Royal Tour of the Duke and Duchess of Connaught, thereafter earning them the right to use the highly sought-after By Royal Appointment statement.

It didn't last long, in 1915 Russell was bought out by Willys-Overland Motor Company of Cleveland, Ohio, which saw no need for a Canadian-only automobile.

First public display of the Russell Model A at Toronto City Hall, 1905.
Toronto Reference Library 966-1-6


Links to more resources

http://legionmagazine.com/en/2002/01/rolling-out-the-russell/

http://www.lib.uwo.ca/business/cr-russell.htm

http://www.mbautomuseum.com/Tour/Russell-Knight.htm

http://www.mbautomuseum.com/Tour/Overland.htm

http://www.legionmagazine.com/features/canadianreflections/02-01.asp

 



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