Jewett Six History

Harry Mulford Jewett (1870–1933) was a Civil Engineer who had made a fortune in mining around the turn of the twentieth century. He became interested in the infant automobile industry and acquired a car designed by Andrew Bachle, which was being promoted by Fred O. Paige. In 1909 he and a small group of Detroit businessmen formed the Paige-Detroit Motor Car Company and hired Paige as President. He became displeased with Paige’s product and in 1910 relieved him of his position. After assuming the presidency of the company himself, he hired a new engineering department, which redesigned and dramatically improved the mechanical aspects of the Paige, which quickly grew in popularity. The first six-cylinder Paige appeared in 1915. The Paige truck line was also operational from 1918 and into 1923.


In December 1921, Jewett Motors, Inc. was formed and became a subsidiary of the Paige-Detroit Motor Car Company. This new company developed a six-cylinder companion car to the Paige, which was advertised as totally new and thrifty in price. They named it Jewett, after Harry Jewett, and in January 1922 it was marketed as the Jewett Six that also became known as the “Baby Paige”. Studebaker also adopted this lower priced companion-line concept with the Erskine, Hudson with the Essex, Chandler with the Cleveland, and later Cadillac with the LaSalle. The Paige truck factory was closed in early 1923 in order to make room for the production of the Jewett Six, which had been selling very well. In 1924 a new factory was built to produce the Jewett Six.


Jewett Motors advertising and marketing programs were aggressive, and the cars they were producing found favor with the public both in price and quality. They experienced brisk sales in 1922, which set the stage for 1923, which became their best year. 1924 was almost as good, but sales declined in 1925 and really dropped in 1926. This decline was due in part to extreme competition from other car manufacturers who offered 261 new models in 1926. As that year progressed the company showed a 2-1/2 million dollar loss, an obvious decline in prosperity.


The U.S. was coming out of a small economic depression in 1921 and the years following were prosperous; but in late 1926, on the eve of the Great Depression, industry began to feel its upcoming effects. To remain competitive Mr. Jewett and his company had to outsource many of their parts. That left them at the mercy of their suppliers who largely controlled the cost of the cars and gave them much less control over the quality of the product and the ability to price them competitively.


Consequently, on January 1, 1927 the Jewett name was discontinued and Harry Jewett sold his controlling interest in Jewett Motors, Inc. and it’s parent company, Paige-Detroit Motor Car Company, to the Graham Brothers, Joseph B., Robert C., and Ray A. The brothers had recently sold their truck business to Dodge and wanted to get back into the automobile business. On June 27, 1927, after staying on to facilitate the winding-up of business, Harry Jewett and his management group retired leaving the Graham Brothers to reorganized the companies as the Graham-Paige Motors Corporation.


History Changes: History is an ongoing process and if any new facts surface, which can be substantiated, concerning the Jewett Six, these additions or corrections will be made to this site.