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Mercer

Trenton, NJ
Filed under:  Companies
 
Comment(s): 0
 
 

Mercer was an American automobile manufacturer before World War II.


mercer

Mercer logo.

There was considerable talent & backing for the Mercer Automobile Company; Ferdinand Roebling, son of John A Roebling, was the president, and his nephew Washington Roebling was the general manager. The Roeblings had extensive success with wire rope manufacturing and suspension bridge design; engineering was not a recent concept for them. The secretary-treasurer was John L. Kuser, who, with his brothers Frederick and Anthony, had amassed a fortune from banking, bottling and brewing.

Washington Roebling was friends with William Walter, who had been making a small number of high-quality automobiles in New York City. The Kusers owned a vacant brewery in Hamilton, New Jersey, and brought Walter and his car factory there in 1906. However, Walter found himself deeply in debt by 1909, so the Roeblings and Kusers bought him out in a foreclosure sale. They changed the company name to Mercer, named after Mercer County, New Jersey. Talented designers and race drivers contributed to the new effort, and the focus became proving their product in competition.

In October, 1919, after the last involved Roebling brother died (Washington Roebling perished in the 1912 Titanic disaster), the company was obtained by a Wall Street firm that placed ex-Packard vice-president Emlem Hare in charge, organizing Mercer under the Hare's Motors corporate banner. Hare looked to expand, increasing Mercer's models and production, and also purchasing the Locomobile & Crane-Simplex marques. Within a few years, the cost of these acquisitions and the economic recession took a financial toll on Hare's Motors. Locomobile was liquidated and purchased by Durant Motors in 1922, and Mercer produced its last vehicles in 1925, after some 5000 had been built.

An independent effort to revive the marque in 1931 resulted in only 3 vehicles being constructed and displayed.

(text source: Wikipedia)


meter

Mercer meter.

hubcap

Mercer hubcap.

mercer runabout 16

1916 Mercer Runabout.

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