1894 Black Prototype
Charles H. Black, the proprietor of a carriage works and blacksmith shop in Indianapolis, got the urge to construct a horseless carriage after driving a neighbor’s Benz in 1891. He completed his bar between 1891 and 1894. Most sources indicate that his car was finished in 1893, in which case it predates Elwood Haynes’s work by one year. Not surprisingly, his car is designed very much along Benz lines. It uses a buggy for its coachwork. Its final drive is via two different size belts which provide a low and high gear. From 1897 to 1900, Black built a somewhat refined version of his gasoline buggy. Most carried his name; a few were called Indianapolis. In 1900 Black sold his patents to a group of investors for $20,000. They produced the Black as the Indiana in 1901. This car was given to the Indianapolis Children’s Museum in 1927 by Mr. Black’s daughter. Black drove this car in Indianapolis for more than 20 years.
Wheels and tires