Sunday, October 4, 2015

Pierce-Arrow - Grace (1917)

I thought that I'd featured the Pierce-Arrow in my occasional automotive ad series, but a quick look at my list of tags says no. That proved fortunate, since I just stumbled upon this great Grace ad for the Pierce Arrow.

Pierce was based out of Buffalo New York and operated between 1901 and 1938 when the Grim Reaper of the Great Depression shut the plant's doors for good. Oddly enough, the forerunners for Pierce were better known for manufacturing household goods and birdcages than complex machines or bicycles as was common of early automotive companies. Pierce produced luxury cars for the Jazz Age, big machines that were known for reliability. In fact, the 1907, 100 mile race from NY to Bretton Woods, NH was won by a Pierce Great Arrow and in 1909 William Taft ordered two Pierce-Arrows for use on state occasions.

Pierce's Indiana connection comes in 1928, when Studebaker gained a controlling interest in the company, but that's about all that can be said about the two company's association. They operated separately, sharing dealerships until 1933 when they went separate ways.

The ad shown here is, in a way, typical of Pierce's advertising. It's artistic and, in this case, doesn't even show the car it's promoting. The style resembles Myron Perley's work, but the signature doesn't seem to be a match for Myron's other work. If you have any idea of who inked this lovely piece, please let me know.

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