North Omaha: Manufacturing History

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In the early years of the automotive industry, North Omaha became a bit of an automotive hub. By 1913, the city saw its first produced vehicle and, for a little while, looked like it could hold up in the automotive industry.

1913 Omaha Car Company Opens in North Omaha

1913 saw the development of North Omaha’s first motor vehicle. Aptly named “The Omaha 30”, the car was “moderately” priced at $1250 (which equates to $32,279.32 in today’s cash). Understandably, for the time, this was prior to Ford’s Model-T which would revolutionize the automotive industry by providing everyone with an affordable vehicle. In 1913, cars were developed for the wealthier class, boasting large numerical prices. Unfortunately, Omaha wasn’t a huge fan of the vehicle. By the time the company closed, which was due to many lawsuits filed for bounced checks, they had produced 6 cars. Due to negative ongoings within the company, the plant only lasted a year before being sold off.

Douglas Motor Company

Starting in 1917 and for two years after that, Douglas Motor company-owned shop in Downtown Omaha. After failing to meet the required needs to operate in the area, they packed up and moved to North Omaha. They had developed the “Douglas Eight”, which, for the time had a relatively powerful engine. The company did well considering most motor car manufacturers for the time didn’t last more than a year. Producing well into the ’40s, the Douglas Motor Company worked to produce plane engines. These engines would benefit the war effort during World War 2.

Omaha Developed Better Than Most Places

In the grand scheme of things, Omaha produced longer-lasting motor vehicles than other areas at the time. In the pre-Ford era of motor cars, the industry wasn’t full of engineers, but of tinkerers and innovators. This helped to develop industry where the industry was not available.

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