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Badger Motor Car Co.
In 1909, founder E.W. Arbogast was the
son-in-law of a wealthy grain merchant
from Watertown, who was swept away in
the automobile production craze.
The company was created with his partner
Herman Wertheimer, (who also was the
Mayor of Watertown), A.M. Bellack (a local clothier)
as president, Charles E. Fowler (a local grocer)
as vice-president, and J.R. Wheeler
(a local banker) as treasurer.
The factory was completed in November 1909.
According to the
Columbus Historic Landmarks
and Preservation Commission, local
residents invested $100,000 to incorporate
The 1910 - 1911 models had 4 cylinder,
engines and 3-speed manual transmissions.
Though the cars received good reviews
and were hand-crafted, the Badger Motor
Car Company ceased operations
after only three years in late 1911.
From 1909 - 1911, only 237 Badgers were
made during their brief run.
The Petrel Motor Car Co.
1909 - 1912
the Petrel Motor Car Company
was created in Kenosha, by engine builder
Samuel Watkins of the Beaver Manufacturing
Company, and John and Harry Waite.
They chose the name 'Petrel' after a tube
nosed seabird who had the "ability to make
good speed over very rough roads."
In 1909, the Petrel Company moved to
Milwaukee to a plant owned by the furniture
manufacturer W.S. Seaman Company.
This was the start of their coach-building
career that would lead to a long relationship
with the Thomas B. Jeffery Company and
its successor, Nash Motors.
In 1910, the
Petrel Company entered
bankruptcy proceedings, and by January 1911,
Samuel Watkins had sold the business to
other Milwaukee industrialists.
In 1912, the company transformed into the
F.S. automobile, which shortly ended after.
During the production lifespan of both the
Petrel and F.S. companies, about a 1,000
cars were built combined.