Studebaker Corporation, or simply Studebaker, was a U.S. manufacturer of wagons and automobiles, headquartered in the city of South Bend in the state of Indiana. The company was founded in 1852. It was originally a manufacturer of wagons for transporting agricultural and mining products. It worked for the military and also built hearses. Studebaker entered the automotive business in 1902 with electric vehicles and in 1904 with gasoline vehicles, sold under the name “Studebaker Automobile Company”. Until 1911 he worked in association with other manufacturers. The first gasoline cars fully manufactured by Studebaker were marketed in August 1912.1 Over the next 50 years, the company gained an enviable reputation for the quality and reliability of its vehicles. The South Bend plant ceased production on December 20, 1963, and the last Studebaker car left the Hamilton plant in Ontario, Canada, on March 16, 1966.

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    German forebears

    The German ancestors of the Studebaker family first arrived in the United States at the port of Philadelphia on September 1, 1736, on the ship Harle, from Rotterdam, Holland. They included Peter Studebaker and his wife Anna Margetha Studebaker, Clement Studebaker (Peter’s brother) and his wife, Anna Catherina Studebaker and Heinrich Studebaker (Peter’s cousin). Albert Russel Erskine’s History of the Studebaker Corporation, recorded that a Peter Studebaker and his father (also named Peter) were taxed in 1798–1799 as wagon-makers.

    John Studebaker, father of the five brothers who began Studebaker Corporation, was the son of Peter Studebaker Jr.

    18th-century colonial family business
    In 1740, Peter Studebaker built his home on a property known as “Bakers Lookout”. On Bakers Lookout, Peter, master of the German Cutler Guild, built the first Studebaker home, and the first Studebaker wagon factory, where he began forging and tempering steel and seasoning wood. Peter Studebaker also built a wagon road, Broadfording Wagon Road, to run through the property, and a bridge over the creek in 1747. In this factory, Peter manufactured many products, including some he had made in Solingen, Germany, and naturally, wagons. Bakers Lookout, the 100-acre land patent near Hagerstown, Maryland, was the first of many land patents to be acquired by Peter Studebaker, who purchased about 1500 acres in what is now Maryland. The home still stands as of 2018 and is proof of the advanced skills of Peter Studebaker.

    Although Peter Studebaker’s life in the colonies was short, less than 18 years, the family business flourished through his descendants and apprentices who expanded the Studebaker family’s vast land holdings and wagon-making business. Peter’s trade secrets were passed from father to son, generation to generation. The Studebaker family business plan, purchasing, again and again, vast amounts of land, on which they built industrious farms with mills and wagon-making facilities and wagon-selling facilities, each identical to the Bakers Lookout situation, industrious farms, lots of acres, on which one finds the necessary resources, lumber, iron ore, oil shale, and land selected with stream, spring, or river to hydropower factories, mills, and equipment. Peter’s technology resulted in famous wagon designs, including the Conestoga wagon and prairie schooner.[citation needed] Peter’s trade was the stepping-stone that expanded the industrial revolution and the transportation industry. Thomas E. Bonsall wrote: “Much more than the story of a family business; it is also, in microcosm, the story of the industrial development of America.”[citation needed] Peter Studebaker died in the mid-1750s.
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