Reed Brothers Dodge a Designated “Peerless Place”

Along with St. Mary’s Church (1813), King Farm (1925), Red Brick Courthouse (1891), and the B&O Railroad Station (1873), Reed Brothers Dodge (1915) has been designated as a “Peerless Place” by Rockville’s Historic Preservation organization.

Today, the former location of Reed Brothers Dodge is occupied by the Bainbridge Shady Grove Metro Apartments, and they, like Peerless, remain committed to preserving a part of the city’s automotive heritage by paying homage to a century of history at the new residential complex.

Bainbridge Shady Grove Metro

Bainbridge Shady Grove Metro Apartments now stands on the former site of the Reed Brothers Dodge dealership at 15955 Frederick Road. But a sculpture now installed on the property pays tribute to the oldest Dodge dealership in Maryland history. More than 20 feet high, and over 6 feet wide, the public art is inspired by 1939 Dodge headlamps, and the fender of a 1957 Dodge pickup truck.

Peerless Rockville Historic Preservation, Ltd. is an award-winning nonprofit, community-based organization founded in 1974 to preserve buildings, objects, and information important to Rockville’s heritage.  Peerless Rockville advances its goals through education, example, advocacy, and community involvement.

Peerless Places have become Rockville’s special places.  They provide us all with a flavor and scale that is at once historic, personal, comforting, and viable.

May 14, 2009 Timeline: How Chrysler Crashed

On May 14, 2009, Chrysler left 789 dealerships, about a quarter of its dealer base, out in the cold by rejecting their franchise agreements and giving them about a month to sell all their remaining new cars, factory parts and service equipment. After almost 95 years selling Dodges, Reed Brothers was one of the 15 dealerships in Maryland and 789 dealerships nationwide notified by Chrysler that their franchise agreement would not be renewed.

Here is a timeline on how Chrysler crashed:

Walter P Chrysler purchased the Dodge company and swiftly built a portfolio of auto brands including Plymouth and Chrysler. Within five years he was competing with Ford and General Motors.

After the 1973 energy crisis Chrysler’s range of big gas-guzzling cars and a couple of recalls left it with big problems. The legendary Lee Iacocca was hired in 1978. With the help of government loans, the former Ford executive rescued the firm and rebuilt it during the 1980s, buying Jeep along the way.

Iaccoca retired in 1992. In 1998 Chrysler merges with Daimler-Benz in a $37bn deal to become DaimlerChrysler, based in Germany. It was supposed to be a merger of equals, but Daimler was in the driving seat and Chrysler swiftly fell into losses.

February 13,000 job cuts announced. Daimler says its open to offers for Chrysler.
April Activist investor Kirk Kerkorian tables a bid for Chrysler.
May Daimler sells 80% of Chrysler to private equity group Cerberus for $7.4B. The German group retains a 20% stake.

October General Motors reported to be in merger talks with Chrysler. Nissan considers bidding for 20% of Chrysler to add to its alliance with Renault. Chrysler announces 5,000 job losses. Daimler says its 20% stake is worthless.
November Chrysler boss Bob Nardelli says the firm needs merger or bailout to survive. Sales down 35% in a year. GM asks US treasury department for $10bn so that it and Chrysler can merge. Cerberus demands $7B from Daimler to cover post-acquisition losses. German group says claims are baseless.
December The Senate refuses the bail-out. Chrysler says it is short of cash and likely to file for bankruptcy. All plants to close for a month. President George Bush finally approves a $13B rescue loan for the big three US carmakers.

January US government provides $4B cash. Chrysler reported to be in talks to sell assets, maybe the Jeep brand, to Renault. Fiat proposes taking 35% stake in return for access to technology and overseas distribution networks
March Nardelli backs Fiat plan to save jobs and asks government for another $5B. Obama gives Chrysler 30 days to do a deal with Fiat – or go bankrupt.
April Chrysler’s banks talk to US government about debt for equity swap

MD Dealers shut down

Maryland Dealers shut down

Via: theguardian

Road Tripping in a 1935 Dodge Touring Sedan

1935 Dodge Touring Sedan

Lewis Reed’s 1935 Dodge Touring Sedan. Photo by Lewis Reed

This photograph  was taken by Lewis Reed on one of his many cross country road trips. The car is a 1935 Dodge Touring Sedan with Maryland Dealer license plates. Note the rear-hinged “Suicide Door” in the photo below. Cars of this era did not have seat belts, so there was nothing to hold a passenger in the car. The term “suicide doors” was therefore placed on vehicles with the rear-hinged door configuration, the theory being that the forward motion of the car could cause the door to fly open, possibly causing the unlucky person sitting next to the door to be pulled out of the car, or the door itself could be ripped from its hinges.

1935 Dodge Touring Sedan

I have no idea what prompted my grandfather to take a photo at this location, but perhaps it was the amazing view in the background. Photo by Lewis Reed

4 Years, 135 Posts & Thank You

4 Year Anniversary

Today marks the 4-year anniversary of this blog. It’s been an honor to share the history of Reed Brothers Dodge – whether you’ve read our blog, followed us on Twitter, or “liked” us on Facebook. I would like to thank those mentioned below, and many others, for their kind words and the visibility they have provided.

To help review the past year I thought I’d search around on the Internet and see what others have been saying about us.

Included among the posts on our Facebook page:

I’m the curator of the Dodge Brothers exhibit at Meadow Brook Hall outside of Detroit…. I’ve been following the great history on your Facebook page and blog for a while”

“Want more information. Please post more!”

Online and in print:

  • Three of Reed Brothers Dodge photographs were featured in the month of May 2015 Norris-Banonis Automotive Wall Calendar which features a 1952 Dodge Coronet. The main part of the calendar features a photograph of Lewis Reed and a small snippet of history.

1915: Lewis Reed opened a Dodge Dealership in Rockville, Maryland. When his brother Edgar returns home from WWI, he gives him 1/3 interest. Eventually, the Reed Brothers will carry Hudson, Oldsmobile, Goodyear Tires, and General Electric Appliances. They will also open the first Gulf brand gasoline station in the area.

At the bottom of the calendar, there is a photo of the 1936 Reed Brothers Dodge canopied Gulf Gas Station and Lewis Reed’s original 1915 Rockville Garage.

Reed Brothers Dodge MAY 1952 Dodge Calendar

  • Peerless Rockville: As a part of Peerless Rockville’s “On the Go: Rockville Pike and Car Culture” lecture series, Peerless Rockville Historian, Dr Teresa Lachin offered a glimpse into the history of Reed Brothers Dodge as one of the City’s oldest and longest lasting automobile businesses.

On the Go: Rockville Pike and Car Culture

  • SR/A Interior Architecture + Design and La Collection: With their reputation for the use of historically referenced materials and detailing, SR/A Interior Architecture and Design of Bethesda embarked on a challenge to pay tribute to a century of history at the Bainbridge Shady Grove Metro Apartments.

SR/A Interior Design Bainbridge

SR/A Interior Design Bainbridge

Sculpture commemorates Rockville's legendary Reed Brothers Dodge

Blog Post Snippet

On National Television!

  • History Channel’s American Pickers Hit Reed Brothers Dodge Blog! The television show that’s watched by about 2.7 million people on the History Channel each week found a 1927 photo of Reed Brothers Dodge on our blog and asked permission to use it in one of their episodes. The image was used in Season 7, Episode 34: “Can’t Catch a Break” when Mike and Frank find an old Dodge Brothers sign. Mike explains a bit of the history of the company and he used the photograph during his explanation.

Reed Brothers Dodge on American Pickers

Last, but certainly not least, I would like to thank YOU for stopping by. I appreciate your patronage, whether it be via our blog, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or other social media.

Thank You Note


April 6, 1936 Gainesville GA Tornado: Through the Lens of Lewis Reed

One of the deadliest tornadoes in American history hit Gainesville, Georgia on April 6, 1936. And Lewis Reed was there to capture the aftermath. On the 80th anniversary of this epic tornado, I have posted seven original snippets of history that Lewis Reed captured through the lens of his camera that day.

In 1936, two F4 tornadoes tore through the heart of town destroying much of the business district and the county courthouse, trapping hundreds in debris, before moving on to surrounding neighborhoods. The funnel fueled fires all over the area, including the Cooper Pants manufacturing company, where 60 employees were killed. The storm left more than 200 dead, 1,600 injured, 2,000 homeless and millions of dollars in damage. President Franklin Roosevelt toured the city three days later, and returned in 1938 to rededicate the courthouse and city hall after a massive citywide rebuilding effort.

Take a look at some of the sobering aftermath photos of the deadliest tornado to ever hit Georgia … through the lens of Lewis Reed. (click on images for slide show)

Source: Wikipedia – 1936 Tupelo–Gainesville tornado outbreak



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 53 other followers

%d bloggers like this: