Pierce-Arrow, starting in 1865 making household products like birdcages and refrigerators. In 1890, the George N. Pierce Company made their first bicycles to take advantage of the fad. Starting in 1898, they added their Cushion Frame line of bicycles that included a shock absorber just behind the seat to provide cyclists relief from rough roads. Two years later, they began selling the same bicycles powered by a crankshaft instead of a chain drive. The crankshaft was supposed to be easier to maintain, and it eliminated the risk of clothes getting caught in the moving chain.
Pierce began making motorettes in 1903. These small, 2-passenger, motorized vehicles were the company’s first foray into automobiles. It was so successful that the automobile business separated from the rest of the company in 1906 to become the Pierce-Arrow Motor Car Company.