Dodge, John (Francis)automobile manufacturers; born in Niles, Mich. They began as bicycle manufacturers in Ontario, Canada, then moved to Detroit (1901) to open a machine shop for the manufacture of automobile parts. In 1914 they expanded to make their own automobiles. Their innovations included the use of conveyor belts in manufacturing, and the technique for baking enamel on steel bodies. They produced the first car with an all-steel body. During World War I they made their factory available to the war effort and designed the machinery to build the French recoil gun. This technology was later used for making car cylinders. The brothers were very close, and while both contributed to mechanical innovation, John was more the businessman, and Horace more mechanically inclined.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.