F.B. Stearns Company

Cleveland, Ohio, USA. 1898 until 1929.
Filed under:  Companies
Comment(s): 1

The F.B. Stearns Company produced automobiles in Cleveland from 1898 until Dec. 1929. Frank B. Stearns and 2 partners, Ralph R. and Raymond M. Owen, established F. B. Stearns & Co. in a shop behind the Stearns family home at Euclid and Republic (E. 101st) Street in 1898.

stearns by r gust smith

Stearns emblem (source: R Gust Smith)

The company made about 50 2-cylinder, 4-passenger automobiles between 1898-1900. After the Owenses left the firm in 1900, Stearns rented a shop at the corner of Euclid Ave. and Lakeview Rd. and incorporated the firm in 1902 as the F. B. Stearns Co. The firm produced 80 new cars in 1903, all painted red, and by 1906 it had increased production to 300 cars a year. Proud of the cars' performance, Stearns entered stripped-down stock cars in races, endurance runs, and hill climbs, winning several times.

By 1910 production had increased to 1,000 units a year and Stearns introduced its first truck. The company also introduced its first automobile with a special British Knight engine in 1911; from 1912-29 the company's cars were known as Stearn-Knights. In 1912 F.B. Stearns had branches and dealers in 125 cities. During World War I, the firm produced Rolls Royce airplane engines as well as its own automobiles.

Although automobile production reached 3,850 in 1920, the company was almost bankrupt in Dec. 1925 when Willys-Overland Co. of Toledo bought controlling interest in it. F.B. Stearns never recovered its financial health, and the company was dissolved on December 30th, 1929.

(source: John Carroll University)

stearns logo 1

Stearns logo.

stearns logo 3

Stearns logo.

stearns logo

Stearns logo.

stearns showroom 11.jpeg

1911 Stearns cars and chassis on display in showroom. (source: National Automotive History Collection, Detroit Public Library.)

stearns ny show 09.jpeg

Stearns cars and chassis on exhibit during the 1909 New York Auto Show held at Madison Square Garden. (source: National Automotive History Collection, Detroit Public Library.)


Stearns car.

fb stearns ad 07

1907 Stearns car ad.

Advertise on Cartype
Instagram Vimeo Youtube Twitter Facebook
THE "1900's" BOOK.
Each decade seems to have its own stylistic language, and this issue showcases logos, ads, cars, companies and products (and their typographical sensibilities) from the early 1900s.

Jrop Roadside
Car Shipping Companies
Auto Transport Quotes
Vehicle Transportation


Much of the material on this website is copyrighted. Original articles appearing herein are subject to copyright. Please don't copy stuff from the site without asking; it may belong to someone! Any trademarks appearing on this site are the sole property of the registered owners. No endorsement by trademark owners is to be construed. The products, brand names, characters, related slogans and indicia are or may by claimed as trademarks of their respective owners. Every effort has been made whenever possible to credit the sources. The use of such material falls under the Fair Use provisions of intellectual property laws.