1915

In The News

In the Headlines

  • Germany announces a submarine blockade of the British Isles
  • Britain begins a blockade of German ports
  • Italy signs a secret treaty with Britain, France, and Russia agreeing to enter the war on their side in return for territorial gains.
  • Germany wins most of the eastern front
  • Germany introduces poison gas
  • Germans torpedo the 'Lusitania'
  • Military conscription is introduced in Britain
  • Albert Einstein proposes a new theory on gravity

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1915 Mile Posts

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In the United States

  • Materials shortage begin as a result of World War I, even though the US is not yet an active participant
  • Industry volume leaps to 895,930 cars and 74,000 trucks
  • The usefulness of trucks in the European war boosts their sales at home
  • Red Cross chose Buick for its ambulances
  • General Tire Incorporated
  • Shell operates a shell shaped station at the Exposition.
  • U.S. auto industry agrees to cross-license patents
  • Daily traffic at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 34th Street-25,580 vehicles & 142,230 pedestrians
  • Emily Post motors coast to coast in a widely publicized stunt. Her son drives every kilometer of the way
  • Detroit blacksmith August Fruehaf builds the first tractor trailer
  • U.S. Post Office threatens to deny rural free delivery to communities with poor roads
  • Demountable tires and prism headlights are introduced
  • Electric Welding Co. becomes America's leading producer of engine values
  • General Motors declares its first dividend, $50 per share
  • Queens, New York City, suburban developers are widening the traditional house lot to allow room to park autos
  • C.D. Noonan of Paris Illinois advertises a kit to add overhead valves to Fords for street racing
  • Gas prices rise to 25 cents per gallon
  • Taxi industry begins when automobile owners discover that people will pay for a short automobile ride. Fare is a 'jitney' (a nickel), and cars are soon called jitneys. Drivers are known as 'hackers' or 'hackies' in east, 'cabbies' in the mid-west

US Auto Manufacturers

  • On December 10, Ford produces one millionth car
  • The Ford Model T is restyled with curved rear fenders and electric headlights; a Couplet and Center-Door Sedan are added
  • Cadillac offers tilt beam headlamps. It's new engine ranks as the first successful V-8 built in America, Initially developing 60 horsepower from a 314 cubic inches, it lasts until 1927
  • Horace and John Dodge launch their company with an all-steel body car
  • Frank Duryea liquidates his car firm, goes into retirement at age of 38.
  • Chevrolet introduces the popular 490 model, which sells 100,000 units within two years
  • Packard announces a V-12, appropriately called 'Twin Six' in May, as a 1916 model
  • Standard size Scripps-Booth cars appear, designed by William B. Stout. The company had formerly built the 'Rocket' cyclecar
  • Dodge go on sale, with a 35-bhp four and cone clutch -it's the first mass-produced car with all steel body
  • Packard, Winton, Kissel, and Kline autos offer an aisle between the front seats, so passengers can move between front and rear
  • The Gadabout cyclecar roadster features a wicker body on a wood frame
  • Oldsmobiles are fitted with a standard top and windshield-still extra cost items on most cars
  • The Detroit-built Saxxon, priced at $395, is one of the light cars that is gaining in popularity

And From the World

  • First military tests of tanks |(developed as land ships by the British Royal Navy)

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New Makes: 1915

Alter, Biddle, Crane-Simplex, DeKalb, Dort, Farmac,
 Harvard, Herff-Brooks, Hollier, Madison, Mecca (cyclecar),
 Menominee Electric, Meteor, Milburn Electric (debut late 1914),
 Ogren, Owen Magnetic, Pilgrim,  Pilliod, Richard, Ross,
Scripps-Booth, and Yellow Cab.

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1915 Production figures 

  1. Ford..................................................................501,462

  2. Willys-Overland...................................................91,904

  3. Dodge................................................................45,000

  4. Maxwell..............................................................44,000

  5. Buick..................................................................43,946

  6. Studebaker..........................................................41,243

  7. Cadillac..............................................................20,404

  8. Saxon.................................................................19,000

Some figures are estimates

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By the Numbers

  • US Population..............................................100,546,000

  • Avg. Income.................................................$1,076/year

  • DOW Avg. ...............................................................99

  • New Births.................................................... 2,965,000

  • New Home (Median Price)....................................$ 3,200

  • New Car (Avg. Cost)..............................................$ 642

  • Milk (Qt)..................................................................9

  • Bread (Loaf).............................................................6

  • Eggs................................................................34/doz.

  • Steak (lb)................................................................24

  • Stamp......................................................................2

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New in 1915

  • gas masks
  • chlorine gas
  • Aspirin in tablet form (introduced by Bayer)
  • Pyrex (heat & shock-resistant borosilicate glass)
  • Kraft processed cheese
  • D W Griffith's film 'Birth of a Nation'
  • telephone
  • General Tire
  • Raggedy Ann

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