The Formative Years 1874-1902


CJ Smith 18741874: Charles Jeremiah Smith establishes Charles J. Smith-Machinist in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, beginning as a machine shop making metal parts for baby carriages and other hardware specialties. He was later joined by two of his sons and changed the name to C. J. Smith and Sons.
Wheel and Rim Production 1891

1889: Company enters the bicycle industry by introducing the concept of forming steel tubing from sheet metal, this innovation was later employed in making bicycle frames.

Wheel and Rim Production 1895 Thumbnail1895: C. J. Smith and Sons is the largest U.S. bicycle parts manufacturer, eventually becoming the largest in the world. 
Auto Frame Assembly 1899 1899: Arthur O. Smith, a son of the founder, develops the world’s first pressed steel automobile frame; a lighter, more cost-effective alternative to existing frames.  
Cadillac 1902  1902: C. J. Smith and Sons received its first order of auto frames from Peerless Car Company. Orders soon followed from Cadillac, Packard, and Oldsmobile.