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Columbia History

The Electric Vehicle Company of Hartford, Conn was formed from the Electric Carriage and Wagon Company and the Pope Motor Carriage Co., part of the Pope Manufacturing Co., a successful bicycle manufacturer. The Pope Manufacturing Company was formed late in the 1800's as a manufacturer of bicycles.

The Electric Vehicle Company was produces of electric automobiles, many of their designs were similar to carriages and buggies.

An advertisement for the Columbia automobile read 'Columbia automobiles are wholly made in our own works, insuring that uniformity of excellence in design, materials and workmanship which has built up the Columbia name and reputation. The Columbia line for 1905 includes 35-40 HP, 4-cylinder gasoline cars with Side Entrance Tonneau, Royal-Victoria, Landaulet, or Limousine bodies, $4,000 to $5,500; 18 HP, 2-cylinder Gasoline Side Entrance Tonneau, $1750; 12-14 HP 2-cylinder Gasoline Tonneau $1500; Electric Victoria-phaeton with hood and 'deluxe' features throughout, the handomest and most efficient light electric carriage ever offered to the public, $1,350; ligh Electric Runabout, $900; Electric Town Carriages of the coach class and Commercial Vehciles.

We issue three catalogues describing respectively Columbia Gasoline Cars, Columbia Electric Carriages, and Columbia Electric Delivery Wagons and Trucks. Both in print and in illustration these are the most artistic automobile books ever distributed. In writing please state which Catalogue is desired.'

The use of electricity to power the automobile was one of the more popular options, especially for women, children, and doctors to. They were clean, quiet and easy to operate. The gas-powered automobiles required the engine be hand-cranked to start. This was messy and dangerous. They were unreliable, used a flammable fuel source and were noisy. The downside of the electric automobile was their limited distance of travel before requiring a recharge.

Another popular option at the time was the use of steam. Its quiet operation and relatively unlimited fuel source, water, were attractive perks. However, they were difficult to start and had a tendency to explode.

The Electric Vehicle Company folded in the middle 1910's and by 1912 the Columbia brand of automobiles had disappeared.


Vehicle information, history, and specifications from concept to production.
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