SPACERSPACERSPAC

1912 Rauch & Lang Electric Brougham


Owner: John M. Daly


1912 Rauch & Lang Front pic 1912 Rauch & Lang Rear pic
1912 Rauch & Lang Electric car showing front view.
Click on the picture to see the full size photo.
1912 Rauch & Lang Electric rear/side view.
Click on the picture to see the full size photo.

The car featured here is a 1912 Rauch & Lang Electric Brougham owned by the John M. Daly family. The Daly's acquired the car in 2005 from a man in the Cleveland, Ohio area who had owned it since the early 1970's.

The Daly's had been looking for an electric car for several years, just waiting for the right one to turn up. John always liked the Detroit Electric. "I remember riding in Lester Beck's 1916 Detroit Electric when I was young," said John. "His had duplex drive, meaning you could drive from the front or rear seat. I was hoping to find an electric with duplex drive." Amy, on the other hand, liked the Rauch & Langs. "I fell in love with the Miner's 1916 Rauch & Lang and just liked the look of it, said Amy.

Over the years, they had looked into four or five electric cars including a Detroit, Baker and Ohio. But in the end, it was a Rauch & Lang that ended up being the right car at the right time.

The Daly's found out about the car from an antique automobile website where the car was advertised for sale as a 1912 Baker Electric. Being interested in any early electric car, John inquired about the vintage automobile. Further email conversations and picture exchanges with the nephew of the owner revealed that the car was not a Baker, but rather a Rauch & Lang.

Being priced above what the Daly's felt they could afford, they thanked the owner for their time and counted it as another electric car they had looked at. But negotiations continued (including a Saturday trip by John and son Michael to Ohio and back to view the car in person) and eventually a price was agreed upon. Arrangements were made to travel to Ohio to pick up the car.

A Brief History of the Rauch & Lang.

Rauch & Lang add from 1912
An original Rauch & Lang Advertisement showing a depiction of the same car owned by the Daly's, including the optional Motz tires.
Click on the picture to see the full size photo.

The Rauch & Lang Carriage Company was incorporated in Cleveland Ohio in 1883 as German Immigrant Jacob Rauch and Cleveland real estate magnate Charles E. J. Lang joined forces. Rauch and Lang Carriages were among the best known and most expensive in the area.

The company cautiously entered the automobile arena in 1903 by taking on the Cleveland branch of the Buffalo Electric car, and in 1905, started building an electric of its own, with 18 of these being completed by June of 1905. Motors and controllers for the early cars were manufactured by the Hertner Electric Company, which Rauch & Lang bought out in 1907, and thereafter, the company made all parts of its cars under one roof. In 1908, the 500 built by the company were not enough to satisfy demand.

In 1911, the Rauch & Lang Company endured being sued by the Baker Motor Vehicle Company for patent infringements relating to the mounting of rear springs. But by 1915, any lingering animosity had dissipated when, in the face of declining electric car sales, the two firms elected to merge to become the Baker R & L Company.

The Owen Magnetic was built in the Baker R & L plants from 1916 to 1919. In the latter year, 700 Rauch and Lang electrics were produced and the company entered the coachbuilding business as the Raulang Body Division of the Baker R & L Company.

In 1920, Ray S. Deering, the president of the Stevens-Duryea announced that he had bought out the electric passenger car business, which he reorganized as Rauch & Lang Inc. The company struggled through the 1920s. In 1928, half of the Rauch & Lang factory was leased to the Moth Aircraft Corporation, and passenger car production ended later that year.

About the Rauch & Lang Electric

This 1912 Rauch & Lang originally had 40 two-volt cells wired in series to provide 80 volts to the motor. A controller provides 5 different speeds with a 6th "passing speed. The 5 speeds are controlled by a lever to the left of the driver with the 6th being controlled by a button on the floor. The driver controls the vehicle from the left rear seat while the front seat passenger sit facing the rear seat. Steering is accomplished by means of a tiller bar that turns the wheels left when pushed away from the driver and right when pulled toward. The tiller bar is hinged to allow access to the drivers seat. A single peddle on the floor operate the expanding brakes in the rear wheel hubs, but additional breaking is accomplished by the motor. When the speed controller is pulled back from the neutral position, the motor is changed into a generator, thus charging the batteries while slowing the vehicle. When the lever is pulled back even further, a band brake is applied to a drum on the output shaft of the motor.

The History of the Daly's Rauch & Lang

Little is know of the history of the Daly's 1912 Rauch & Lang. From the original set of 1920 Michigan license plate still affixed to the car, it can be assumed that the car spent part of it's life in Michigan. The people who owned the car before the Daly's bought it from the Cleveland Ohio historical society in the 1970's, were it has been told that they drove it around the streets of Cleveland. From the mechanical condition of the car, it can be assumed that it did not get much use, since there is no sign of mechanical wear yet found on the car by the Daly's. Even the original rubber running board mats with the Rauch & Lang Logo show no wear.

What is the deal with the white tires?

Original add for Motz tires
An original add for Motz cusion rubber tires.
Click on the picture to see the full size photo.
One of the interesting things about the car are the original Motz Cushion rubber tires. Not only is the rubber for these tires is still soft after 90+ years, but the tires show little, if any, wear.

The Motz Tire Company specifically advertised its tires for electric cars. Tires were a big problem on automobiles in 1912. It was not uncommon to have a flat tire on any excursion made with an automobile. An issue that added to this tire problem with electric cars was the weight of the car on the tires. Electric cars weighed much more than a conventional internal combustion car, or even a steam powered car due to the amount of batteries that were needed to power it, and each of these batteries contained lead. The cushion rubber tires offered by the Motz company alleviated this problem with a ride softer than that had with hard rubber tires.

The Rauch & Lang Company offered these tires as an option on its electric cars in 1912 (see Rauch & Lang add above). In order to ensure that it would have enough tires for its cars, Rauch & Lang entered into a partnership with the Motz Company.

Though in great condition for their age, there are still several "chunks" missing from a couple of the tires where is appears the car was run up against a curb. Regardless, these rare tires will remain on the Daly's Rauch & Lang for to foreseeable future.

What is in the future for this car?

When asked what the future holds, John said, "I would like to get the car back into running condition and then drive it around as is. I will continue to look for the few parts that the car is still missing, like the speedometer and taillight. Eventually, it will get a complete restoration, but I anticipate enjoying it as is for a while."

If you can help the Daly's with more information about any of the parts they are missing, or if you have a part you would be willing to sell, please contact them using the email link at the bottom of any page on this site. The following parts are needed:

Needed Item Notes
Speedometer We are not sure what type of speedometer was used on this car. We have the original cable and sprockets that attach to the left front wheel. We have included some pictures below. If anyone recognizes this speedometer setup, and can tell us the brand and/or model of speedometer head to look for, it would be greatly appreciated.

UPDATE 12/29/2008 - We now know that this car did not have a speedometer, only an odometer made by the Veeder Company. See the link below to an advertisement of the type of odometer we are looking for. If you have one you would be willing to parts with please let me know. I would be interested in one for our car.

UDPATE 10/02/2011 - I located the correct Veeder odometer at the Chickasha swap meet in 2010. It mounted right into the car with no problems. Still need an and to the cable which goes down to the wheel.

Taillight Have you ever seen the back of a Rauch & Lang? Neither have we! We have no idea what the taillight should look like. I believe it is a round, or more of a ball/globe shaped light. If anyone can provide a picture or a description of what we should be looking for, it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

CLICK HERE to return to the Auto-Biographies page

How to contact me...

Address: John M. Daly
P.O. Box 244
Millington, IL 60537
Phone: 815-695-9451
Email SIACC : emf-owner@sbcglobal.net

Thanks for visiting the SIACC web site. Please come back anytime.

Copyright © 2006 John M. Daly - All rights reserved.