Rauch & Lang JX-6 Dual Control Electric Coach

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Rauch & Lang


JX-6 Dual Control Electric Coach





The Rauch & Lang Carriage Company was an American electric automobile manufactured in Cleveland, Ohio, from 1905 to 1920 and Chicopee Falls, Massachusetts, from 1920-1932.

Wagon builders Charles Rauch and Charles E.J. Lang began producing electrically powered automobiles in 1905 with a stanhope style vehicle. By 1908 they were producing 500 automobiles a year. In 1916, another Cleveland luxury automobile makerBaker Electric merged with Rauch and Lang. After 1919, the automobiles were known as Raulangs.

In 1894 Rauch & Lang posted a profit of $40,000, and introduced a new line of light delivery vehicles that proved to be very popular. In 1903, their Cleveland wareroom became a dealership for the new Buffalo Electric automobile, and within two years, they were manufacturing their own electric vehicles which had been road tested by Joseph Rothgery, who had just celebrated his 50th anniversary with the firm. Initially only a Stanhope was available, but by the end of 1905, a number of coupes and depot wagons had been manufactured, 50 vehicles in all.

By 1908, they were producing 500 vehicles annually, and had back-orders for 300 more. Consequently, a mechanical engineer was brought in to see what could be done to increase capacity. A year later, the firm was recapitalized to the tune of $1,000,000 and Charles L.F. Wieber was given the title of general manager and a salary of $10,000. A new 340,000 sq. ft. factory was built, and the firm bought an interest in the Motz Clincher Tire and Rubber Co. to insure an adequate supply of tires.

In 1911, the Rauch and Lang Electric was voted the most popular car in San Francisco and Minneapolis and a year later, worm drive was introduced.

Later that year they were sued by their cross-town rivals, the Baker Electric Vehicle Co., for infringing upon Baker's patented drivetrain.

The October 23, 1913, issue of the Automobile announced that Rauch and Lang had introduced a radically new drive principle, the bevel gear transmission. They also introduced the dual control coach, a five-passenger, $3200 electric sedan that could be driven from either the front seat, the rear seat, or both, a safety switch deactivated the forward controls if the revolving front seat was in any position other than forward.

The introduction of Charles Kettering's self-starter in 1912 marked the beginning of the end for the electric automobile and by 1915 their share of the burgeoning automobile marketplace had fallen dramatically. Despite their earlier lawsuit, Cleveland's two electric vehicle manufacturers decided to merge, hoping that by streamlining their engineering and manufacturing operations, they might survive.

As early as 1902, Walter C. Baker and Justus B. Entz were independently searching for methods to simplify the operation of the motor vehicle. Baker concentrated his efforts on the electric vehicle, Entz on the electromagnetic transmission, a device that used a magnetic field to drive a propeller or driveshaft. By varying the intensity of the field, a vehicle could go faster or slower without using a clutch. Baker purchased the rights to the Entz patents in 1912, and licensed them to R.M. Owen & Company, the producer of the Owen Magnetic, a gasoline-engined car that utilized an Entz transmission.

The Owen Magnetic proved popular and was available in nine versions, four on a 29 hp 125-inch wheelbase and five on a 34 hp 136-inch wheelbase – all powered by a six-cylinder gasoline motor. Rauch & Lang's coachwork was amongst the finest available, and the attractive cars featured styling similar to that of the finest European chassis. The cars were priced from $3100 to $5700 and were owned by many celebrities including: Enrico Caruso, John McCormack, Arthur Brisbane and Anthony Joseph Drexel Biddle.

Baker, Rauch & Lang built most of the Owen-Magnetic's coachwork, however in 1916-1917 a small series of open sports tourers were built by Holbrook that featured distinctive flat-topped and angled front and rear fenders.

Unfortunately the impending war forced Baker, Rauch & Lang to abandon full production of the vehicle and much of their workforce geared up to manufacture electric tractors, trucks and bomb-handling equipment for the US Armed Forces. Baker had experimented with electric industrial trucks prior to the merger and following the Armistice, Baker, Rauch & Lang's industrial trucks and tractors were placed on the market and eventually became the firm's most popular product.

Between 1929 and 1930, Raymond M. Owen’ Rauch & Lang Inc. produced a couple of experimental automobiles with electronic automatic transmissions with backing from a disabled millionaire named Colonel Edward H.R. Green.

A 1929 Stearns-Knight Model M-6-80 cabriolet-roadster served as the basis for the first prototype. The car had a 60 hp Knight sleeve-valve engine and with lots of assistance from General Electric engineers, Owen easily converted the car over to electric drive.

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