Moon Bros. Carriage Co. - Joseph W. Moon Buggy Co. - 1882-1929 - St. Louis, Missouri

    Joseph was one of five brothers of an Ohio farming family each of whom at age twenty-one was given the same stake- a horse, a saddle, and a bridle to make their own way into the world. He came to St. Louis and set up a buggy business. While at a carragemakers' convention in 1902, he first became aware of the potential of the automobile industry. It took him approximate. 3 years to decide to make his first car. Unlike most buggy makers of the time which just motorized their buggies to start with. He came out with his first car in 1905, which was designed by Louis P. Mooers, formerly of Peerless. The first car was a five-passenger touring with 30/35 hp Rutenber engine, three-speed sliding gear transmission and shaft drive. This "The Ideal American Car" as the Moon was called, was introduced as a $3000.00 automobile. Louis P. Mooers was only Moon's Chief Engineer for about 3 years. Production of the 1906 model had been 45 cars. In 1908 the Moon Company also sold their four-cylinder 25 hp Moon to Hol-Tan of New York. These cars were shipped to New York and then were, cloaked with a new standard coachwork or special bodies by Locke, Quinby and Demarest. These Hol-Tan cars sold for $3,000.00, but these Hol-Tan cars were produced for only one year. By the year 1910 the price of a new moon was reduced to $1500.00 and $2000.00. In 1913 they produced some 1540 units and this was the first year for the six-cylinder engine to arrive. In 1916 all Moons were six-cylinder cars, this continued for more than a decade. Most Moon powerplants were L-head Continentals, although for the exported model (6-42) the ohv Falls engine was used. In 1919 Joseph W. Moon died, so his son-in-law Stewart Macdonald took over the presidency. The Moon was a fine, well-built car boasting such refinements by the Twenties as demountable rims on detachable wheels, balloon tires (introduced in 1923), Lockhead hydraulic brakes (which followed in 1924). The company's peek production year was in 1925, of approximately 13,000 cars built. Also, the Diana was introduced in this year and was part of the total production. When the Diana was phased out in 1928 the Moon Aerotype 8-80 model took her place. Along with the production of the Aerotype 6-72 production only reached just 3,000 cars. Clearly the Moon Company was in trouble. Also, in the year 1928 a new president C. W. Burst was appointed which replaced Steward MacDonald. The Moon Company decided to drop the Moon name and in January 1929 a brand new straight-eight named Windsor was produced. By April that name was given to all cars produced by the company. The firm was also producing a cottonpicker built under contract from the American Cottonpicker Corporation. The firm decided to build another car called the Ruxton. Archie Andrews was a canny promoter behind the Ruxton. He inveigled and insinuated himself into control of the firm. The Moon old guard barricaded themselves in the factory, but the regime broke in and took over. That was the end of the Moon Company. The Ruxton and Windsor did not survive 1930. It took 2 decades to untangle the affairs of the Moon Company. Meanwhile the Moon factory, which was appraised at $1,250,000, was sold during the early thirties for only $72,000 cash to the Cupples Company for the production of matches. 


Moon Bros. established their business in the year 1882 and are doing a large duplicate business.

John C. Moon & Joseph W. Moon father - Alva Moon

1905 - Moon Motor Company begins manufacturing automobiles for the 1906 model year.  The company is owned by carriage-maker Joseph W. Moon


The Moon Model A was a -tonner with a four-cylinder engine, capable of 35 mph. This used a three-speed gearbox, shaft drive and had wheelbase of 8 feet, 6 inches. The Model B was a 1 -tonner with chain drive, however. With an enclosed van body, the Model B was priced at $1900 and four other body types were available. For 1915 and 1916, only the Model B was built and among others, this was available with a bus body. These models of trucks did not use passenger car chassis built under this same name.


Joseph W. Moon was born in 1850 in Ohio. In 1871, Moon left the homestead becoming a traveling photographer. In 1875 he became a salesman for a large eastern buggy manufacturer and by 1882 had moved to St. Louis Missouri determined to open a carriage factory. With his younger brother John Corydon Moon, he opened the Moon Brothers Buggy (Carriage) Company. By 1888, the firm was manufacturing over 5,000 wagons and carriages per year.

In 1893, Joseph sold his half of the firm to his brother and opened up his own firm, the Joseph W. Moon Buggy Company. In 1902 While at a Detroit carriagemakers' convention, he decided to proceed with the manufacture of an automobile. By 1905 he had devoted a potion of his factory to the new vehicle's development.

Originally called the Hercules, it had a Roi de Belges body, and was debuted at the January 1906 NY Auto Show, renamed as the Moon Model A.

Moon continued to build carriages alongside the new Moon automobile through 1916, incorporating the Moon Motor Car Company in 1907. 

Moon was an early adopter (1907)of the aluminum composite body and pioneered an aluminum-coated steel automobile body from 1908-1909, stating that the aluminum coacting insures permanent retention of the paint and finishing varnish. However by 1910, they turned to the cheaper steel composite body construction.

As business grew, Moon was forced to order bodies from poutside sources such as the Convertible Automobile body Corp., Murray and Pullman.

They pioneered the dual-cowl touring (or phaeton) in 1916 and were one of the few firms who offered fabric covered body made using the Childs System in the mid-1920s.

Moon died in 1919 and control of the firm passed to his son-in-law, Stewart McDonald even though his two sons, Earl Joseph and Stanley Alva were active in the firm.


    For more information please read:

Curt McConnell - Great Cars Of The Great Plains

G.N. Georgano & G. Marshall Naul - The Complete Encyclopedia of Commercial Vehicles

Albert Mroz - Illustrated Encyclopedia of American Trucks & Commercial Vehicles

Denis Miller - The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Trucks and Buses

Tad Burness - American Truck Spotter's Guide, 1920-1970

Tad Burness - American Truck & Bus Spotter's Guide, 1920-1985

Robert M Roll - American trucking: A seventy-five year odyssey

David Jacobs - American Trucks: A photographic essay of American Trucks and Trucking

David Jacobs - American Trucks: More Colour Photographs of Truck & Trucking

John Gunnell - American Work Trucks: A Pictorial History of Commercial Trucks 1900-1994

George W. Green - Special-Use Vehicles: An Illustrated History of Unconventional Cars and Trucks

Daniel D. Hutchins - Wheels Across America: Carriage Art & Craftsmanship

Ronald G. Adams - 100 Years of Semi Trucks

Stan Holtzman - Big Rigs: The Complete History of the American Semi Truck

Stan Holtzman & Jeremy Harris Lipschultz - Classic American Semi Trucks

Stan Holtzman - Semi Truck Color History

Donald F. Wood - American Beer Trucks

Donald F. Wood - Beverage Trucks: Photo Archive

Donald F. Wood - Commercial Trucks

Donald F. Wood - Delivery Trucks

Donald F. Wood - Dump Trucks

Donald F. Wood - Gas & Oil Trucks

Donald F. Wood - Logging Trucks 1915 Through 1970: Photo Archive

Donald F. Wood - New Car Carriers 1910-1998 Photo Album

Donald F. Wood - RVs & Campers 1900-2000: An Illustrated History

Donald F. Wood - Wreckers and Tow Trucks

Gini Rice - Relics of the Road

Gini Rice - Relics of the Road - Impressive International Trucks 1907-1947

Gini Rice - Relics of the Road - Keen Kenworth Trucks - 1915-1955

Richard J. Copello - American Car Haulers

Niels Jansen - Pictorial History of American Trucks

John B. Montville - Refuse Trucks: Photo Archive

Bill Rhodes - Circus and Carnival Trucks 1941-2000: Photo Archive

Howard L. Applegate - Coca-Cola: Its Vehicles in Photographs 1930 Through 1969: Photo Archive

James T. Lenzke & Karen E. O'Brien - Standard Catalog of American Light-Duty Trucks: 1896-2000

James K. Wagner - Ford Trucks since 1905

Don Bunn - Dodge Trucks

Fred Crismon - International Trucks

Don Bunn - Encyclopedia of Chevrolet Trucks

Ed Strauss & Karen Strauss - The Bus World Encyclopedia of Buses

Donald F. Wood - American Buses

Susan Meikle Mandell - A Historical Survey of Transit Buses in the United States

David Jacobs - American Buses, Greyhound, Trailways and Urban Transportation

William A. Luke & Linda L. Metler - Highway Buses of the 20th Century: A Photo Gallery 

William A. Luke & Brian Grams - Buses of Motorcoach Industries 1932-2000 Photo Archive

William A. Luke - Greyhound Buses 1914-2000 Photo Archive

William A. Luke - Prevost Buses 1924-2002 Photo Archive

William A. Luke - Flxible Intercity Buses 1924-1970 Photo Archive

William A. Luke - Buses of ACF Photo Archive (including ACF-Brill & CCF-Brill)

William A. Luke - Trailways Buses 1936-2001 Photo Archive

William A. Luke - Fageol & Twin Coach Buses 1922-1956 Photo Archive

William A. Luke - Yellow Coach Buses 1923 Through 1943: Photo Archive

William A. Luke - Trolley Buses: 1913 Through 2001 Photo Archive

Harvey Eckart - Mack Buses: 1900 Through 1960 Photo Archive

Brian Grams & Andrew Gold - GM Intercity Coaches 1944-1980 Photo Archive

Robert R. Ebert  - Flxible: A History of the Bus and the Company

John McKane - Flxible Transit Buses: 1953 Through 1995 Photo Archive

Bill Vossler - Cars, Trucks and Buses Made by Tractor Companies

Lyndon W Rowe - Municipal buses of the 1960s

Edward S. Kaminsky - American Car & Foundry Company 1899-1999

Dylan Frautschi - Greyhound in Postcards: Buses, Depots and Post Houses


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