Thomas Automotive – From the Begining
At the beginning of the 1900′s, CJ Thomas was a blacksmith in Carrolltown, PA engaged primarily in forging horseshoes and shaping and fitting metal bands for wagon wheels. Early in the decade, horseless carriages started appearing and CJ sensed that his livelihood was about to be challenged.
In 1909, his blacksmith shop on Main St. began selling the Model T, a real breakthrough by Ford that made the horseless carriage affordable to many. These cars were a result of mass standardization and as the saying goes,
“you could get any color, as long as it was black.” CJ’s younger son, Kenneth, my grandfather told it to me this way, “you had two options, either you wanted it or you didn’t.”
The Thomas family sold Fords up until World War I was in full swing and the production of automobiles ceased in favor of implements of war. Henry Ford expected his dealers to sell phosphate fertilizers, a byproduct of his smelting operations to the farmers instead of Model T’s. CJ refused his first train car load of fertilizer and ended his representation of Fords.
As the war came to a close, he signed a contract to sell Chevrolets in 1919, and 95 years later, we are still selling this iconic American brand.