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M. C. (Max) Smith in his 1903 Rambler, Smith Lane, ca 1903

Media Type:
Item Type:
J.C. "Apple Jack" Smith is standing behind the chain-link fence. His son Max Smith, wearing the white hat, is not at the steering "wheel", despite the inscription on the reverse. The un-named Englishman on the left (perhaps David Dick) has his hand on the steering tiller.
In the background can be seen part of J. C. Smith's farmhouse, "Apple Villa", on the northeast corner of Smith Avenue, now 2021 Lakeshore Road.
This Model E Rambler, owned by M. C. "Max" Smith, was the first car in Halton County.
The Rambler was made by Thomas Jeffrey, a former manufacturer of Rambler bicycles located in Chicago, who had started a car factory in 1900 in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
The Rambler car of 1902 had the engine under the seat, but was well built, and reasonably priced. Jeffrey was an innovator, the first to move the engine to the front of the car (by 1904), and to make the steering tiller into a steering wheel, easing driving into a near unconscious effort.
One of Jeffrey's first dealers was John North Willys, who was born in 1873 in a small central-western New York village called Canandaigua.The name Canandaigua was derived from the five-nation council of native Americans that comprised the Haudenosaunee (the people of the Long Houses) tribes of the Seneca, Onondaga, Cayuga, Oneida, and Mohawks.
Smith's Rambler dealer is not yet known, but the first-nations link with Burlington is suggestive.

Please see the "Comments" for more on this Rambler.

BHS also has a photographic print measuring 16.7 by 11.7 cm.
Written in ink on the reverse: "Taken in Smiths lane - his father's home -- his father at the gate -- Max Smith at the wheel and an Englishman. A Rambler, 1st car in Halton Co."

Date of Original:
ca 1903
Image Dimensions:
Image Width: 9.5cm
Image Height: 6cm
Local identifier:
img 785785
Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 43.3285961389761 Longitude: -79.7885513305664
Copyright Statement:
Copyright status unknown. Responsibility for determining the copyright status and any use rests exclusively with the user.
Burlington Historical Society
WWW address:
Agency street/mail address:
1450 Headon Road
P.O. Box 93164
Burlington, ON L7M 4A3
M. C. (Max) Smith in his 1903 Rambler, Smith Lane, ca 1903
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