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Did You Know That Port Jefferson Had Its Own Automobile Factory?

At the dawn of the 20th century Port Jefferson produced a huge one cylinder automobile.

Did You Know between 1909 and 1915  there were two automobiles produced in Port Jefferson?

  • The “Only Motor Car Company,”  Port Jefferson, NY 1909-1915
  • The “Metropol,” Port Jefferson, NY 1913-1914

Francis M. Richard came to Port Jefferson in 1909 to produce an American Automobile simply called the “Only”. The “Only” had a one cylinder engine and it is reported that Richard’s automobile was name for the promotional phrase “Only One Cylinder”. F. M. Richard, a Frenchman and engineer was awarded a gold medal in Paris in 1900 for the first two cycle engine ever built and in 1904 for his patented carburetor.As mentioned above the “Only” was equipped with a large single cylinder engine with a displacement of 206 cubic inches that developed 12 horsepower. It was built with a ball bearing mounted crankshaft and flywheel at each end. The 12 horsepower engine that could reach speeds of 60 MPH.  The “Only” was built as a two passenger race type roadster and four passenger versions were made in 1911. After 1912 a five passenger touring car was built with a four cylinder engine. Advertised at $700.00 very few of Richard’s “Only” automobiles were built. Richard later built a four cylinder Metropol, which proved too costly to produce in his small factory.  Metropols were also produced in Port Jefferson,New York between 1913-1914. Metropols were produced in two body types. A two seater roadster and a four passenger touring car.

The Metropol was equipped with a 4 cylinder engine with 448 cubic inches and developed 90 horsepower. The 2 seater roadster and 4 passenger touring car were sold for $1350. Francis Richard’s “Metropol” and “Only” automobiles were not very popular and sales were poor on both. Richard sold the factory to Karl Peters who produced the Maxim Tricar which was a 3 wheel delivery car steered by tiller.

In 1910 Francis Maurice Richard organized a hill climb on East Broadway in Port Jefferson, NY. The hill climb was attended by several big name automobile manufacturers including Henry Ford who finished 16th. The heavy and slow one cylinder “Only” had no chance against competitors with four and six cylinder engines but did finish the race.  This hill climb is a classic car event we still do till this day.

This story brought to you by Port Jeff's own Johnny B aka Carlisle Johnny www.carlislejohnny.com

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Jack Smith September 19, 2012 at 01:58 PM
The automobile factory was actually located in Port Jefferson Station on the south side of the L.I.R.R. tracks and west of the station. The factory later became the Wilson Lace Mill and today contains a variety of businesses including Fun For All. A third car that was manufactured at the factory was the Porter, built by Finley Robertson Porter in 1915. This was a magnificent touring car of which only one is known to exist. It is on display at the Seal Cove Auto Museum in Seal Cove, Maine, near Bar Harbor. Porter's goal was to build the finest automobile possible. He achieved his goal. In 1925, the Porter was named the finest car in the country after winning the Port Jefferson Hill Climb and defeating the Pikes Peak Hill Climb champion in 3 straight heats. The Porter was put on display in the old Waldorf Astoria Hotel's ballroom in New York City. Jack Smith President Cumsewogue Historical Society
pbug56 September 19, 2012 at 05:15 PM
Of the first 2, are any still in existence - and for all, where are they?
Carlisle Johnny September 19, 2012 at 07:35 PM
Thanks for the info. I always thought the "Only" factory was on the harbor front. I have heard of the Porter. Been to 100's of car shows across the country. I have never seen a Porter, Only or Metropol. Thanks again
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