In 1902, the brothers John Francis Dodge and Horace Elgin Dodge moved to Detroit and founded a machine shop – the foundation on which the eventual Dodge company would stand. The entrepreneur Ransom Eli Olds, creator of the Oldsmobile and the first auto manufacturer to make use of assembly lines, found himself attracted to the Dodge brother’s reputation for skill and expertise in their field.
Olds asked the brothers to assist him in creating something new – the world's first-ever gasoline engine. The era of steam-powered technology was drawing to a close, and the new money was in the rising use of gasoline as a power source. The Dodge brothers agreed, and after they created a working gas engine, they went on to make thousands of engines and transmissions for the Oldsmobile. While they worked for Olds, the brothers continued selling parts to other manufacturers, which gained them a solid network in the automobile industry.
Henry Ford, at this time, had filed for bankruptcy twice, and upon seeing the Dodge brothers' success he approached them with a deal – help him reinvigorate the failing Ford Motor Company, and gain a stake in the company's assets. The brothers did exactly that, completely redesigned the brand from the ground up, and gaining a ten-percent stake in Ford's assets. They stayed with Ford until 1914, when the brothers took a leap into the realm of car design and produced the first-ever Dodge.
The Dodge brothers unfortunately fell ill and passed away in the same year, five years after Dodge's founding and continuous growth and success. Following their deaths, the company passed through several new owners and struggled to maintain its footing in the automobile industry until the Chrysler Corporation acquired it in 1928 for $170 million. Since then, Dodge has regained its success in the industry, becoming one of the most widely recognized brands and paving the way in innovation, luxury, and performance.
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