Description

  • Formerly owned by movie and TV star Andy Griffith.
  • Electric auto suitable for in-town use as recharging was needed every 50 miles.
  • Popular with women due to ease of starting and driving.

Story

Story

In 1898, Walter C. Baker established the Baker Motor Vehicle Company in Cleveland, Ohio, to manufacture electric automobiles.  He built one of the most refined and desired American electrics.  It was popular, particularly with women, for its silence and ease of starting and driving.  Baker electrics were introduced in 1900 at the first National Automobile Show held at Madison Square Garden in New York City.  At the show, the Baker electric attracted a great deal of attention for its appearance and lightweight construction.

The Baker electric was best suited for use in and around town rather than for rural touring, because the batteries required recharging about every 50 miles.  High-speed driving or hill climbing required recharging sooner.

The price of an electric car was higher than the price of a steam or gasoline automobile.  Where a steam car was priced from $650 to $1,500 and a gasoline car from $1,000 to $2,000, an electric car ranged from $1,250 to $3,500.  Since a long journey could not be guaranteed, even at a higher price, the Baker Motor Vehicle Company discontinued production in 1916.

Andy Griffith, movie and television star, donated this Baker to the Museum.

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