The Grout Brothers made their first motor
vehicle in 1896, a heavy motor wagon weighing 3,000 pounds, seating two people,
and powered by a 2-cycle, water-cooled gasoline engine consisting of two opposed
cylinders 6 x 7½ inches. "The drive was belts first and V-grooved friction wheels afterwards. The motor was abundantly powerful, but the transmission was
poor and their great weight of the cars was against them." They sold about a dozen of these vehicles in 1897, 1898, and 1899.
In 1899, the Grout Brothers "began on
steam cars and sold their first steam car in 1900." Grout Brothers sold their steamers through 1906, but were continuing to develop a gasoline engine car.
In 1904 Grout Brothers decided to abandon
steam cars and move to gasoline engines only. They apparently offered gasoline
and steam cars in 1905 and 1906 before going completely to gasoline cars in 1907.
The Grout company began manufacture with a typical light steam buggy with a 2-cylinder 4 hp engine and single chain drive. An unusual model was the New Home Coupe, a completely enclosed coupe on a very short wheel base, which looked like a mobile sentry box. From about 1903 the steamers began to look more like ordinary cars, although the hood was circular and had a single headlight mounted in the center, locomotive style. One model continued the locomotive appearance with an enormous cow catcher to ask as a bumper.
The last steamer, a 12 hp 2-cylinder model, appeared in 1905, and a year earlier the company had introduced a
gasoline-engined car with a 30 hp 4-cylinder engine and shaft drive. Few of these were made as the company was often in financial difficulties from 1905 onwards.
The cut shows the latest production of Grout Brothers Automobile Company, Orange, Mass. The straight lines and curves appearing in this style are combined to make a most pleasing and well-proportioned carriage. Handsome top, mud-fenders, and attractive side lamps show that it is well equipped, with wide body and seat and standard wide tread.
Most important, however, are the motive parts; the yoke inclosed [sic] compensating gear is drop-forged; the engine is of heavier construction than usual. The eccentrics and sprockets are drop-forged in one piece, thereby replacing the thirteen separate parts heretofore required. All tanks are seamless, the brake double-acting. The gasoline tank has capacity of 7 ½ gallons; the 36-gallon water tank is fitted with an indicator. A steam ram fills the water tank in five minutes, taking water at 40 degrees F., the operation raising it to 140 deg. the water passing then through [a] heater is very nearly 212 deg. when finally it reaches [the] boiler; thus it will be seen that the Grout vehicle is also economical in operation.
This small Grout Brothers advertisement appeared in theScientific American of May 17, 1902, Vol. LXXXVI, No. 20, page 358.
This small Grout Brothers advertisement appeared in theMotor World on September 11, 1902, page 719.
This small advertisement appeared in the Scientific American of December 6, 1902. John A. Conde Collection.
This small advertisement appeared in The Automobile, on January 24, 1903. It references a Grout Steam Car being exhibited in a restaurant at the New York Auto Show. John A. Conde Collection.
The Grout Brothers placed this small add on page 62 of The Automobile on December 5, 1903. John A. Conde Collection.
Floyd Clymer reproduced advertisement from an unknown source promoting the 1903 Drop Front Grout. Clymer, p. 61.
This 1903 Grout Steam Car is the Model J, Drop Front Touring Car, originally priced at $1,200. It was shown on July 28, 1968 at the Connecticut Valley Regional meeting of the New England Car Club at Quabog, CT. The man standing just behind the seat on the left-hand photo is John Harty, who found the car in Wolfeboro, NH in the 1960 and purchased it for a collector, Frank ______.5 This car is currently in a private collection.
Floyd Clymer reproduced this page from a 1903 issue of Cycle and Automobile Trade Journal that featured several steam cars, but particularly the Grout. Clymer, p. 56.
A Grout Brothers advertising cover, postmarked February 14, 1903.
IN March 1903, Charles Walker of Chester, VT became a Grout Agent. His contract, confirming letter, and envelope survive. Walker agreed not to sell any other steam automobiles and expected to sell between six and ten cars by January 1, 1904.
This Grout Brothers trade catalogues reverences the car's performance in the September 27, 1901 New York to Buffalo Endurance Trial, thus dating it to late 1901 or early 1902. The Wheeler Public Library in Orange, MA has a copy.
Floyd Clymer's Steam Car Scrapbook included this description of a 1903 Grout Steam Car and its "Cow Catcher." Photocopy. John A. Conde Collection.
In June 1983, the Connecticut Valley Region of VMCCA and AACA issued this dash plaque to attendees. It featured a 1903 Grout Steam Car.
Hemmings Motor News featured this 1903 Grout Steam Car, Model J, in its June 1910 issue. The car was offered for sale at Hershey.
Grout Brothers Automobile Company: 1903 - 1908
The January 23, 1904 issue of The Automobile carried this full page advertisement on page 101. The new corporate name appeared at the bottom. Grout Brothers Automobile Company. Photocopy. John A. Conde Collection.
This 1903 Grout Bros. trade catalogue is housed in the Wheeler Public Library in Orange, MA. Courtesy: The Wheeler Public Library.
On February 17, 1904, this Grout Brothers Automobile Company advertisement appeared in The Automobile. On the reverse is an advertisement for the Manhattan Storage Company that was remaindering Toledo Steam Carriages. John A. Conde Collection.
This Grout was offered for sale in the Spring of 2009.
On February 20, 1904, the Grout Brothers Automobile Company promoted its "Steam Touring Car" in The Autombile, page 76. Photocopy. John A. Conde Collection.
Floyd Clymer reproduced this full page advertisement from The Automobile promoting the 1905 Steam Touring Car. Clymer, p. 63.
The Grout Brothers Automobile Company placed this advertisement in the Scientific American on April 24, 1904. John A. Conde Collection.
The Grout Brothers promoted its Steam Car in The June 15, 1904 issue of Horseless Age. John A. Conde Collection.
The June 18, 1904 issue of The Automobile carried this Grout Brothers advertisement for its steam cars. John A. Conde Collection.
The Grout Brothers Automobile Company certainly had something to do with this image comparing a Baldwin Locomotive with its steam car at the World's Fair. The Automobile September 17, 1904, Front Cover. John A. Conde Collection.
The Grout Brothers Automobile Company placed this advertisement in the September 1904 issue of Recreation Magazine.
The Grout Brothers 1904 steam car could be purchased with a fancy "Canopy Top," as shown in The Automobile on November 19, 1904. John A. Conde Collection.
In January 1905, the Grout Brothers showed their steam cars at a major auto show, alongside the Prescott, White, and United Motor and Vehicle Company. Horseless Age Jnauary 1905, page 61, photocopy. John A. Conde Collection.
In January 1905, the Grout Brothers advertised its 1905 model in Motor Magazine, p. 108.
Floyd Clymer reproduced this full page advertisement from tThe Automobile promoting the 1905 Steam Touring Car. Clymer, p. 63.
The Horseless Age, Vol. 15, No. 2, January 11, 1905, carried this Grout Brothers steam car advertisement on page XLVI.
In January 1905, the Grout Brothers Automobile Company announced its production of a gasoline car. The Company continued to produce steam cars. Horseless Age, January 12, 1905, Vol. 16, No. 2, P. 94. John A. Conde Collection.
The Scientific American carried this small Grout Brothers advertisement on January 28, 1905, page 81. John A. Conde Collection.
This 1905 advertiisement dates after the Pecowsic Hill CLimb in Springfield, Ma, which was held on April 26, 1905.
This Grout Steam Touring Car advertisement occupied half a page in the National Magazine for May and June 1905.
Floyd Clymer reproduced this page from the June 1, 1905 The Automobile. It is identified as a steam car, and was entered in the Free For All event. In this event, the Grout beat a Stanley driven by Fred Marriott by 4.8 seconds.
In August 1905, Grout was promoting its 28-30 hp Gasoline TOur Car on the same page that the White Sewing Machine Company was promoting its 1906 Model F.
John A. Conde Collection.
The Grout Brothers Automobile Company produced this trade catalogue for the 1905 season. John A. Conde Collection. There is a second copy in the collection.
Grout Brothers Automobile Company's full page advertisement for its gasoline cars in The Automobile, March 13, 1906, p. 93.
This December 13, 1906 Grout Brothers Automobile Company advertisement in The Automobile, page 103, promoted the company's gasoline car.
The Grout Bros Automobile Factory. This postcard is postmarked Orange, Mass, December 17, 1906. The car is Grout's gasoline version.
The Grout Bros Automobile Factory. This card is unmarked on the reverse and lacks the finish of a postcard, but it was printed from the same negative as the postcard above.
This used car advertisement exists as two separate
sheets, a photograph of the car and a data sheet. It may have been
an advertisement designed to be mailed.
The Cycle and Automobile Trade Journal featured The Grout Brothers Automobile Company in its January 1, 1907, p. 110. The article contains as short corporate history that has been copied by later historians.
The January 1907 issue of the Cycle and Automobile Trade Journal carried this three page spread on the Grout gasoline car.
John A. Conde Collection.
On October 16, 1907, the Horseless Age reported that receivers had advertised the Grout Automobile Comany factory for sale. John A. Conde Collection.
The Grout Bros Automobile Factory. This postcard has a divided back, dating it 1907 or later. The car is Grout's gasoline version.
Company: 1908 - 1912
Motor Age reported the corporate change at Grout in its July 22, 1909 issue, p. 48. The Grout Automobile Company took over the Grout Brothers Automobile Company. John A. Conde Collection.
The Grout Automobile Company, selling only gasoline powered cars, advertised for agents in Motor Magazine in October 1910. John A. Conde Collection.
The grout 25 hp gasoline car found a place in Cosmopolitan Magazine's 1906 Motor Car Directory. John A. Conde Collection.
Not a word about steam cars on page 203 of the March 1907 edition of Cycle and Automobile Trade Journal, but two images of the Grout Gasolene Pleasure Car.
John A. Conde Collection.
William L. Grout died on April 15, 1908 at Greenfield, MA. Cycle and Automobile Trade Journal, May 1, 1908, p. 19.
John A. Conde Collection.
Motor magazine carried this full page Grout Gasoline Car advertisement in November 1906, p. 26. John A. Conde Collection.
Grout's half page advertisement for its 1909 models appeared on p. 212 of the Cycle and Automobile Trade Journal on August 1, 1908. John A. Conde Collection.
Cycle and Automobile Trade Journal advertisement, January 1, 1909. This tiny advertisement at the bottom of page 424 suggests the decline of the Grout Automobile Company.
John A. Conde Collection.
On July 13, 1912, creditors forced the Grout Automobile Company into receivership. Motor Age, July 18, 1912, p. 21. John A. Conde Collection.
This small advertisement in The Automobile of January 6, 1910 suggests the shrinking Grouth Automobile Company's advertising budget. John A. Conde Collection.
The Grout Gasoline Pleasure Car found space in the Cycle and Automobile Trade Journal's listing of automobiles in March 1910, p. 203. John A. Conde Collection.
The Imperial Motor Works, Grout's New York Agents, placed this advertisement in The Automobile on June 30, 1910. John A. Conde Collection.
In its August 1912 issue, the Automobile Trade Journal carried a short notice that the Grout Automobile Company was in the hands of a receiver. John A. Conde Collection.
September 11, 1913 brought the end of the Grout automobile enterprise when its factory was sold at auction. Motor Age, Spetember 11, 1913, p. 16. John A. Conde Collection.
The Automobile carried the news of the Grout factory auction in its September 11, 1913 edition. John A. Conde Collection.
John Conde's File Folder. John A. Conde Collection.
An undated photocopy of the Grout Brothers Factory.