In 1871 Joseph Moon took his horse to St, Louis, Missouri and set up a business building buggies. In 1902,31 years later, he saw the potential in the budding automobile industry, so he began building cars. Within four years, he introduced his first car,the Hercules,but he changed its name to Moon, and in january, 1906 he shipped the first cars under that name to the National Automobile Show in New York City. By 1908, Moon was selling his cars to the Hol- Tan company, located in New York, Boston, and Philadelphia. (The Hol- Tan company was owned by E.R. Hollander, and G.P. and H.C. Tangeman. Their combined names formed the name of their company, Hol – Tan.) Hol – Tan had previously been importing and selling Fiats and Lancias from Italy, but either Hol- Tan, or Fiat/ Lancia discontinued dealing with each other. Their relationship with Moon continue. Joseph Moon died in 1919. His son-in-law, Stewart McDonald succeeded him,and remained president of the company until 1928 when he became the chairman of the comany’s board. Carl W. Burst replaced him as president. The Moon company contiued to build cars throughout the transitions,and in 1924, it came out with its first cars with low-pressure tires, and hydraulic brakes.Moon wasn’t the first car to have hydraulic brakes. they were invented in 1918 by Malcolm Lougheed (later changed to Lockheed), and the fist car to come out with four-wheel hydraulic brakes was the Model A Dusenberg, in 1921. The new feature in the Moon’s hydraulic brakes was that the shoes were on the outside of the drum!External drum brakes were not new, Ransom E. Olds invented and tested them in 1902, but the Moon cars,in 1924, were one of the first external hydraulic brakes.(THere’s more information about this in the GREAT CARS OF THE GREAT PLAINS,figure 5-7.)Sometime in 1920s, Moon introduced the Diana, and in the 1940s, I was lucky enough to see one! My neigbor in Southern California owned a 1927 Diana by Moon! It had wire wheels and an eight cylinder Continental engine, and although I’m not positive, I believe the body was one of Leon Rubay’s designs. Rubay designed and built bodies for cars like White ( also of sewing machine fame),H.A.L, Dusenberg, Pierce Arrow, Marman,and later, Locomobile, Cadillac, Packard, and Owen-magnetic. Leon Rubay also built a car , in 1921-1922. One, unrestored model survives, a 1921 prototype, exhibited in a Clevland museum. Unfortunately, my neighbor’s Diana didn’t survive! In the early 1950s, its starter generator stopped working and in spite of the fact that the body was still solid, and the mohair upholstery was in amazing condition, the neighbors sold it to a junk dealer! This Diana had been in service as a family car for over 25 years.It hauled kids to and from school and play activities, it hauled eggs to market, and it towed a trailer loaded with hay throughout all those years, perfoming beatifully until about 1953. And, oh, yes – it was my first experience with a recreational vehicle. The neighbor’s boys and I spent many a night racing around the dirt roads and hills, playing car tag!
coachbuilt.com with information about the Rubay Company
Great cars of the Great Plains, Curt McConnell
coachbuilt.com /Joseph Moon carriage company
The Horseless Carriage-Automobile Trade Magazine
Classic Car,Issue 41, February 2008
History of Automotive Disign, 1915-1921
Please Give me your comments or any infomation on 1900 to 1935 cars and trucks.