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George N. Pierce   1846-1910

By Irving Robbin

The man, who gave us the elegant, classic, massive, Pierce-Arrow, George N. Pierce, originally made delicate, gilded bird cages. In 1896 Pierce added bicycles to his product line and in 1901 his company produced its first two cars. They looked very much like the curved-dash Oldsmobile except that the dash curved inward. They were first known as Pierce Great-Arrows and had one of the largest engines ever used: six cylinders, but with a capacity of 13 liters--almost enough to run a train. A Pierce-Arrow won the first Glidden Tour in 1905 and most of the runs in following years. In 1910 George M. Pierce died, but Manufacturing of Pierce-Arrow automobiles continued until 1938. Although ranked with the finest cars in the world in luxury, performance and dependability, the Great Depression took its toll and the Pierce-Arrow Motorcar Company went out of business.

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