We came across this great biography over on RedLetterDodge.com of John and Horace Dodge. The two brothers were born in the Civil War era, and both died early deaths in 1920 due to complications of various forms of the flu. During their short lives though they founded the Automotive Firm Dodge Brothers, Inc, which was the birth of what’s know today simply as “Dodge.”
They were born in Niles, Michigan and both had an incredible mechanical aptitude at an early age. They later moved to Windsor, Ontario (Canada) and began making bicycles. Ironically, just as it did for the Wright Brothers, making bicycles help to hone skills that would lead them to something larger. They eventually transitioned to making high detail parts for the automotive industry of the early 1900s, opening a shop back in Detroit in the process. Their reputation for high quality caught the attention of a big name in the auto industry, Henry Ford.
He asked the Dodge Brothers to supply him a number of parts for his line of cars, including Model T including engines! However, entrepreneurs are entrepreneurs, and the Dodge Brothers decided that if they were good enough to supply parts to a car company then they were good enough to have their own car company, period. On July 17, 1914, the automotive firm of the Dodge Brothers, Inc. was formed, and the rest was history.