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Early Automobile Companies Ephemera Collection, 1910-1932

Identifier: TL027

  • Staff Only
  • No requestable containers

Scope and Contents

The Early Automobile Companies Ephemera Collection consists of brochures, advertisements for automobile parts and service products, maps and travel guides published between 1910 and 1932.

The Brochures series, boxes 1-4, contains three sub-series: Automobile Manufacturers, Trucks, Motorcycles and Bicycles, and Automobile Parts and Supplies. Collected materials include brochures for automobile, truck, motorcycles and bicycle companies, automobile models, engine parts, and additional components.

The Publications series, box 4, includes the journals Motor News and Roots Motor Digest, various safety guides and rules of the road booklets, programs from the Chicago Automobile Show, How to Buy a Car, A Bit of Early Automobile History, and the Elgin Road Races.

The Maps and Travel Guides series, boxes 5-7, contains four sub-series, Pocket Maps, Road Maps, Travel Guides, and Travel Brochures. The majority of the maps are of the Midwestern States, mostly Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota. Other maps include the National Parks located in the Western States and a map of the Southern States.

Large-Format Brochures, found in box 8, contains oversized materials primarily from the Brochures series.

Oversize materials include maps and other large fold-out items. These materials are stored in flat files.


  • 1910-1933

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on use of the materials in the department for research; all patrons must comply with federal copyright regulations.


7 Boxes


The Early Automobile Companies Ephemera Collection contains materials dating between 1910 and 1932, and consists of published advertising and marketing brochures, maps, guides and general information about automobiles. As a whole, the collection gives a view of the many automobile companies that thrived at the beginning of the 20th century, as well as a burgeoning travel industry. Primarily centering upon the Midwest and Great Lakes regions, the collection also includes maps and travel guides to the Western and Southern states.


The collection is arranged by format and then alphebetically.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was purchased by the Transportation Library and received December 1, 2015.

Guide to the Early Automobile Companies Ephemera Collection
In Progress
Mimi Head
May 2017
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Library Details

Part of the Northwestern University Transportation Library Repository

Main Library, 5th Floor, North Tower
1970 Campus Drive
Evanston IL 60208-2300 US