The One-Eyed Briscoe of Elkhorn

There was a rift in the auto industry in the early 1900s that led to some unusual motor cars emerging, like the 1914 Briscoe now on display at the Manitoba Antique Automobile Museum in Elkhorn.

Back in 1910, Benjamin Briscoe was a partner in the Maxwell-Briscoe firm in New York. After several amalgamations, US Motors was formed and attempted to oust General Motors (GM) from its commanding position in the market. Maxwell-Briscoe entered production in 1914 under the name of the Briscoe Motor Car Company.

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This company only lasted until 1922 so examples of the brand are very rare. The Auto Museum has one of the first examples built and the only one of its kind known in Canada.

The car has a four-cylinder engine and a unique front end – the single headlight is mounted above the radiator, which led to its nickname of the “One-Eyed Briscoe”.

The Splitdorf-Apelco electrical system features a 6/12-volt battery hookup and a combination starting motor and generator using a common field and armature assembly; the functioning of the assembly is governed by the manner in which an automatic switch connects power.

The original owner was Walter Seaward of Beulah, Manitoba. Later it was owned by William Williams of Miniota and eventually was donated to the museum by car collector Ike Clarkson.

Submitted by Lillian Jackson for the Manitoba Antique Automobile Museum, Elkhorn. 


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