Paige was a Detroit, United States based automobile company, selling high-end luxury cars between 1908 and 1927.
The first car in 1908 was called a Paige-Detroit and was a two seat model powered by a 2.2 liter three cylinder, two stroke engine. In 1910 four stroke, four cylinder models took over and in 1911 the name was changed to Paige. A six cylinder model was added to the range in 1914.
Four cylinder models were dropped in 1916 leaving a choice of 3.7 or 4.9 liter sixes.
Probably the most famous Paige was the 1922 to 1926 Daytona, a sporting 3 seat roadster with a 6 liter engine. The third seat pulled out from the side of the car over the near side running board. A straight eight engine was added to the sixes in 1927.
Paige advertised as being "The most beautiful car in America". Paige also made a cheaper range of cars between 1923 and 1926 and sold as Jewetts named after H M Jewett the company president. In 1928 the cars became known as Graham-Paige.
A Brief History of the Paige-Detroit Motor Car Company by Bill Roberts.
"Among the unsung cars of the Twenties," writes Tim Howley, "is the Paige, whose advertising claimed immodestly, though with some justification, that here was The Most Beautiful Car in America."
The Paige, he continues, is one of many a fine but forgotten car that rolled down the narrow, two lane highways of the Twenties to an undeserved end. The motor cemeteries of the decade are covered with such time tarnished epitaphs as Apperson, Lexington, Daniels, Elcar, Gardner, Moon, Haynes, H.C.S., Kenworthy, Rickenbacker, Roamer, Stearns, Velie, and maybe a dozen more that deserved to survive... A Paige is a rare sight today. Paige built many cars, and had a strong dealer organization in many parts of the country. Despite this, very few examples of the car have survived. Nobody ever thought of saving them.
The Paige-Detroit Motor Car Company built the Paige between 1909 and 1927 to the highest standards of production engineering for its day. Paige-Detroit also manufactured Paige trucks, 1918-1923, and the Jewett light six, 1922-1926. Sales topped 30,000 for most years. Peak production of 43,500 vehicles occurred in 1923. Cumulative 1910-1927 production was perhaps 400,000.
The Paige story begins with two men, Fred Paige and Harry Jewett.
Frederick Osgood Paige, 1863-1935, grew up in Detroit where his family settled when he was a child. He began work at age sixteen and helped establish a successful paper business in his twenties. In 1892 he joined his father-in-law in the insurance business. In 1904 he helped organize the Reliance Motor Car Company. At first Reliance made pleasure cars, but it soon switched exclusively to trucks. General Motors got into the truck business when it bought Reliance. In writing later of this period Paige declared: "I was then out of active business but I busied myself by designing and building a small passenger car, which attracted considerable attention."
Harry Mulford Jewett, 1870-1933, was a native of Elmira, New York, who went to the University of Notre Dame to study engineering. While an undergraduate in 1888 he made the first touchdown in a Notre Dame intercollegiate football game. He was a champion athlete both in college and later as a Detroit Athletic Club member. After he earned a civil engineering degree from Notre Dame in 1890, he began his career working on projects in Chicago and in Detroit. He was a member of the Michigan Naval Reserve and in the war with Spain served on the USS Yosemite. Later he went into the coal industry with a Chicago company, and in 1903 he started his own coal business in Detroit.
About 1909 Jewett decided to get into automobiles. That summer he found Fred Paige and his car, a roadster with a unique two-stroke, three-cylinder 25 HP engine. Between the two of them they gathered a small group of Detroit businessmen, who agreed to pool their combined talent and resources to produce the car.
Paige-Detroit Company Organized.
The Paige-Detroit Motor Car Company has been organized in Detroit, Mich., with a capital stock of $100,000, and the following officers: Frederick O. Paige, president and general manager; Willis Buhl, vice president; Wm. B. Cady, secretary, and Gilbert W. Lee, treasurer. The company have taken a lease of the old Stearns laboratory building on Twenty-first street, and have placed orders for the necessary machinery. The first product of the company will consist of a three cylinder, two cycle runabout, to sell at $800, and it is expected to begin the delivery of cars by December 1. The Horseless Age, October 6, 1909.
(source: Bill Roberts)
Late in 1911 Harry Jewett decided to change the name of the car. Towards the end of 1911 the company advertised its 1912 line of Paige-Detroit autos as usual, but an ad in the January 4, 1912 of The Automobile identified the car simply as a Paige and no longer as a Paige-Detroit. (source: Bill Roberts)
Jewett radiator grille badge.
1923 Jewett Special Touring. (source: Bill Roberts)
1926 Paige 5-passenger Sedan. (source: Bill Roberts)
1925 Paige Seven passenger sedan. (source: Bill Roberts)
1923 Paige Daytona. (source: Bill Roberts)