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General Overview

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Comment by Martin-Parry web master:  It is believed that the information below goes with the above drawing, but not sure.  If anyone can verify, please let me know.


The Parry Mfg. Co. (formerly the C. Spring Cart Co. of Rushville Indiana) was founded in Indianapolis, Indiana in 1886. Shortly thereafter it took over the Woodbum-Sarven Wheel Works Property. The Parry Mfg. Co. was initially developed on some 26 acres located primarily on W. South St. between S. Illinois and S. Capital St. adjacent to White River. Plant production grew to some 1,000 carts daily and by 1890 daily production consisted of some 3SO four-wheeled buggies and carriages. The Parry Mfg. Co. was advertised as the largest carriage manufacturer in the world.


During the period 1909-1919 the Parry Mfg. Co. did business as the Parry Automobile Co., the Parry Motor Car Co., the Motor Car Mfg. Co., the Pathfinder Co. and the Overland Automobile Co. These companies manufactured autos such as the Model 12 Runabout, Model 39 Suburban, Model 3S Coupe, Model 40 Torpedo, Pathfinder, and under the heading of New Parry Cars the Tonneau, Speed Roadster, and the Four-Door Touring Car. Final assembly on the New Parry Cars and the Pathfinder automobiles probably took place in buildings (not shown) on nearby Division Street.


By 1917 production had changed to sheet metal body parts for commercial trucks. In 1919 that portion of the Parry Mfg. Co.'s real estate that had been used to make buggies was sold to a group of New York bank investors who owned a like company - Martin Body Co. of York, PA. Their Indianapolis plant then became known as the Martin-Parry Corp. where truck, limousine, and bus bodies for Ford and others were made. In 1930 the Martin-Parry Corp. sold their Indianapolis property for $900,000 to the Chevrolet Commercial Body Co. a division of General Motors.


In 1906, the building in the foreground, which belonged to the Parry Mfg. Co., was dba as the Overland Automobile Co., where the Overland automobile was manufactured. In 1908 the Overland Automobile Co. was sold to John D. Willys for $250,000 and was moved to Toledo, Ohio. During the period 1909-1911, while their new plant was being constructed, the Cote Automobile Co. rented the building. The building was dismantled in 1922. GM purchased the site in 1940 and in 1946 it was made into a GM parking lot.


Starting in late 1935 and through 1936 General Motors started tearing down the original Parry Mfg. Co. building to make room for a new modern Chevrolet truck body plant. The last of the Parry Mfg. Co. buildings, which housed Chevrolet's Offices, was torn down in 1947. One building (not shown) on Division Street still stands today and is being used by the Indianapolis Power and Light Utility for storage purposes.

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