Did You Know? – In 1910, Frederick D. Patterson was the first African American vehicle manufacturer…

…and he’s been the only one since.


Here are some more facts about Frederick D. Patterson.


In the early 1900s Patterson’s father started a successful horse & buggy company in Greenfield, Ohio.

After his father passed, Frederick took over the business. He was a visionary and saw Americans were shifting from horse and buggy to motorized transportation. So in 1915, the company created the Patterson-Greenfield Automobile.



The Patterson-Greenfield Automobile was compared to Ford's Model T. To some it was overall a better vehicle. Ford of course was larger, had more resources, and perfected the assembly line. Patterson recognized they couldn’t compete, and after 3 years (1915-1918) and 150 vehicle sold, the company shifted to making school buses.

The company never became a big household name, but they found a niche and were successful. It grew by providing a quality product & forming great relationships with local school districts in Ohio, Kentucky, & West Virginia.