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The First Motor Pumping Engine Built in New England

Updated: Jul 21


The first motor pumping engine built in New England was built in 1909 by the Blue Ribbon Auto and Carriage Company and is seen on this real photo postcard.


In the summer of 1907, Albert Webb completed the third motor pumping engine built in America in his automobile garage in Joplin, Missouri. Webb exhibited his motor pumping engine in many cities and towns. In 1909 he took one of his pioneering motor pumping engines on a tour from New York City to Los Angeles. The success of Webb’s machine inspired several other firms to try building a motor pumping engine. Some of these closely resembled Webb’s design. Among these was the single motor pumping engine built by the Blue Ribbon Auto and Carriage Company in mid-1909. This was the first motor pumping engine built in New England.

The Blue Ribbon Auto and Carriage Company of Bridgeport, Connecticut, had its roots in building horse-drawn carriages and selling horse related supplies. The firm was founded by Edward Godfrey (1863-1947). He apprenticed at a number of carriage builders. In 1900 he formed his own firm, the Blue Ribbon Horse and Carriage Company. As the automotive age progressed, Blue Ribbon expanded its product line to include automobile bodies, hearses and ambulances. The firm sold horse supplies until about 1907. Then in October 1908, the company dropped the word “Horse” from its name and added “Auto” in its place to reflect its evolving product line.