February is Black History month, and RK Collision Repair Center is bringing awareness to the first African-American car manufacturer!
Charles Richard Patterson, an African-American who was born into slavery in 1833, escaped from slavery in 1861 and headed to Ohio. After settling in Ohio, Patterson worked as a blacksmith for a carriage-building business and gained his experience, both in skill and in business.
In 1873, Patterson went into partnership with J.P. Lowe, another carriage manufacturer. In partnership over the next twenty years, they developed a highly-successful carriage-building business.
In 1893, Patterson bought out Lowe’s share of the business and reorganized it as C.R. Patterson & Sons Company, building 28 different types of horse-drawn vehicles. While the company managed to successfully market its horse-powered carriages and buggies, the dawn of the automobile was rapidly approaching.
When Charles Patterson died in 1910, the business was left to his son, Frederick, who converted the company from a carriage-building business into an automobile manufacturer. Frederick began advertising and producing “horseless carriages,” an early name for automobiles.
Under the direction of Frederick, C.R. Patterson & Sons Company manufactured its first car in 1915, with a list price of $850. After building 150 cars, the company switched to manufacturing specialized buses and trucks.
No automobiles are known to have survived to the present, but some C.R. Patterson & Sons carriages and buggies are still in existence. RK Collision Repair Center proudly acknowledges the significant impact of the Patterson family on contributing to the revolution of transportation.
RK Collision Repair Center continually looks for opportunities to support the entire community, and to bring families together—across all faiths and cultures—to promote understanding and ensure that our clients feel valued.
Rick has been in the collision repair business for 40 plus years. Has worked in all aspects of the industry from an Insurance Claims Manager to Body Shop Manger for a large Kansas City dealership.