In the late 19th century, the quest to revolutionize transportation gained momentum in both Europe and America, as inventors created ingenious new solutions to power a horseless carriage. The Edwardian era encompasses the years between 1896 -1904, referencing the reign of King Edward VII of Great Britain, while the Brass era is the American term coined for the manufacturing period between 1905 -1915.
Across the 20-year span, the period saw development of inventive propulsion systems and experimental body designs which would rapidly evolve and eventually shape of the present day automobile. The era is characterized by the widespread use of brass in the vehicle’s fixtures- from light fixtures, radiators, door handles, and frames all constructed of brass. French manufacturer Panhard et Levassor’s Système Panhard specified an internal combustion front engine, rear wheel drive layout with a sliding gear transmission- a layout which would become widely adopted and standardized by other manufacturers. The high-wheel motor buggy design which resembled horse drawn carriages prior to 1900 was gradually abandoned, replaced by runabouts, tonneaus, and touring body styles. Advancement of technology was rapid throughout the period- from the development of the electric ignition system to independent suspension and four-wheel brakes, manufacturers fought for the attention of the world.Click ahead for 8 examples of motor cars from the Edwardian and Brass Eras, expertly curated by the late Mr. Fred Guyton.