Mitchell-Lewis Motor Co.



Mitchell-Lewis Motor Co.

  In 1900, the wagon maker, Mitchell & Lewis Company Ltd., organized another entity as Mitchell-Lewis Motor Co., and began producing motorcycles. 

In 1903, the Motor Company began manufacturing automobiles.

Both companies were operated simultaneously, then combined into Mitchell-Lewis Motor Co. in 1910.

In 1924, Nash Motor Company bought Mitchell-Lewis.

This is an advertisement from 1904 for the Mitchell Motor Bicycle that mentions the maker as "Wisconsin Wheel Works", also of Racine, WI.  This would suggest either that Mitchell made the bikes under a different brand after 1903, or that they were produced by an outside contractor.

Some information on the early days of Mitchell-Lewis
(Local history from Racine, Wisconsin, USA)

The Society for Industrial Archaeology

The SIA 34rd Annual Conference for 2005 was held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin from Thursday, June 2, 2005 to Sunday, June 5, 2005

The following has to do with a paper submitted at the Society for Industrial Archaeology's 34th Annual Conference for 2005-

The Mitchell-Lewis Motor Company and Early Automobile Manufacture in Wisconsin 

Emily Pettis 

Mead & Hunt, Inc. 

This paper is based on information obtained from research collected when completing the Determination of Eligibility and HABS-level archival documentation for the Mitchell-Lewis Motor Company property in Racine, Wisconsin.  The complex has since been demolished. 

Racine, Wisconsin, emerged as a manufacturing center following the Civil War.  Between 1880 and 1900, wagon making was the second-largest industry in Racine.  In the early twentieth century dozens of automobile companies were established across Wisconsin.  Because Racine was one of the foremost wagon-manufacturing cities in the country, it was natural for the early automobile industry to take root.  Machinists and skilled laborers at already established industries tinkered with new technology and created some of Wisconsin's earliest automobiles.  

One of the first automobile manufactures established in Wisconsin, the Mitchell-Lewis Motor Company, evolved from H. Mitchell Wagons.  Founded by Henry Mitchell in 1855, it was the only wagon-making company in Racine to survive the automobile revolution.  Other automobile companies operating in Racine included the Pierce Engine Company and Nash Motors. 

The Mitchell-Lewis Motor Company complex included the corporate headquarters building, constructed in 1909, and several interconnected industrial buildings constructed between 1900 and circa 1930 that accommodated the manufacture of automobile components and the assembly of automobiles.  The buildings were typical of those used by early auto manufacturers and represent a property type that is becoming increasingly rare in Wisconsin.


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