Brockville Atlas History

From 1911 to 1915, the Brockville Atlas Automobile Company of Canada produced Models D, E, F and G, ranging in price from $1800 to $2400 F.O.B. Brockville. For example, the Model D was a five or seven passenger car with 40 horsepower, right-hand drive, dual magneto, optional electric starter, headlights, sidelights, tail light, speedometer, license holder, mohair top with side curtains, electric horn, black with nickel trim and fine stripe, multiple disk clutch and leather upholstery stuffed with horsehair. By 1915, about 300 cars had been built, but supply shortages and economic problems created by World War I became unbearable for the young company.

The short-lived Atlas Automobile Company, like so many others, faced tough competition from the more reliable and lower priced Model T as well as Robert ‘Sam’ McLaughlin’s cars. In 1915 after only a few years of production, Atlas joined forces with Benjamin Briscoe, a car manufacturer based in Michigan, and re-organized as the Canadian Briscoe Motor Co., operating as a division of the Canadian Carriage Works building the Brockville Brisoce. In 1921 the Canadian Briscoe Motor Co. went bankrupt and the newly-appointed president, Clarence Earl of Willys-Overland, renamed the car the Earl and the company the Brockville Motor Car Company. Production continued in the United States for two more years, with the Brockville plant suppling parts for the Earl. Eventually, the Atlas Automobile Company, followed by both the Canadian Briscoe Motor Co. and the Brockville Motor Car Company, vanished into obscurity.

The Canadian Brockville Atlas Motor Car

The Canada Carriage Company, established in Brockville in 1892, employed more than 400 people. With a payroll of $3500 a week, the firm was a major contributor to the economic prosperity of the town. Canada Carriage originally made sleighs, phaetons and wagons, and by 1911 the company secured the Canadian rights to build the American Everitt car, the very same Everitt of E.M.F fame. The Canada Carriage Company assembled approximately 80 Brockville “30” cars, which were really Everitt “30”s, from parts shipped from Tudhope’s plant in Orillia, Ontario.

The Brockville Atlas Automobile Company was formed in 1911 with $200,000 capital and W.H. Comstock, C.W. MacLean and T.J. Storey as directors. A new car was designed for 1912, the Brockville Atlas Model A, priced at $2000. Bodies were built by the Canada Carriage Company. The Atlas chassis was fitted with an engine from the Atlas Engine Works, Indianapolis, Indiana from which the car’s name was derived. The transmissions were supplied by Warner Gear Co., of Muncie Indiana.

This picture, originally printed in the Brockville Times, Saturday July 26th, 1913, shows a fleet of Brockville Atlas automobiles at Garage of Taxicabs Limited, Jarvis St., Toronto. Photo from Toronto Sunday World.

This is the story of a very rare car indeed. In fact, we know of only two surving specimins of the Brockville Atlas, one of the three marques of motorcars made in Brockville early in the twentieth century. Further details of the Atlas automotive line-up are available at the Canadian Automotive Museum of Pre-war Automobiles. The picture below shows Max Mainwairing in the white hat, headmaster of the St. Alban’s School for Boys in a Brockville AtlasBrockville Atlas is a 1912 touring Model ‘G’. The photo is taken in front of the Mainwairing property, in Brockville Ontario.