Moon - St. Louis Missouri (1905-1929)
Founder Joseph W. Moon
Joseph was one of five brothers of an Ohio farming family each of whom at age twenty-one was given the same stake- a horse, a saddle, and a bridle to make their own way into the world. He came to St. Louis and set up a buggy business. While at a carragemakers' convention in 1902, he first became aware of the potential of the automobile industry. It took him approximate. 3 years to decide to make his first car. Unlike most buggy makers of the time which just motorized their buggies to start with. He came out with his first car in 1905, which was designed by Louis P. Mooers, formerly of Peerless. The first car was a five-passenger touring with 30/35 hp Rutenber engine, three-speed sliding gear transmission and shaft drive. This "The Ideal American Car" as the Moon was called, was introduced as a $3000.00 automobile. Louis P. Mooers was only Moon's Chief Engineer for about 3 years. Production of the 1906 model had been 45 cars. In 1908 the Moon Company also sold their four-cylinder 25 hp Moon to Hol-Tan of New York. These cars were shipped to New York and then were, cloaked with a new standard coachwork or special bodies by Locke, Quinby and Demarest. These Hol-Tan cars sold for $3,000.00, but these Hol-Tan cars were produced for only one year. By the year 1910 the price of a new moon was reduced to $1500.00 and $2000.00. In 1913 they produced some 1540 units and this was the first year for the six-cylinder engine to arrive. In 1916 all Moons were six-cylinder cars, this continued for more than a decade. Most Moon powerplants were L-head Continentals, although for the exported model (6-42) the ohv Falls engine was used. In 1919 Joseph W. Moon died, so his son-in-law Stewart Macdonald took over the presidency. The Moon was a fine, well-built car boasting such refinements by the Twenties as demountable rims on detachable wheels, balloon tires (introduced in 1923), Lockhead hydraulic brakes (which followed in 1924). The company's peek production year was in 1925, of approximately 13,000 cars built. Also, the Diana was introduced in this year and was part of the total production. When the Diana was phased out in 1928 the Moon Aerotype 8-80 model took her place. Along with the production of the Aerotype 6-72 production only reached just 3,000 cars. Clearly the Moon Company was in trouble. Also, in the year 1928 a new president C. W. Burst was appointed which replaced Steward MacDonald. The Moon Company decided to drop the Moon name and in January 1929 a brand new straight-eight named Windsor was produced. By April that name was given to all cars produced by the company. The firm was also producing a cottonpicker built under contract from the American Cottonpicker Corporation. The firm decided to build another car called the Ruxton. Archie Andrews was a canny promoter behind the Ruxton. He inveigled and insinuated himself into control of the firm. The Moon old guard barricaded themselves in the factory, but the regime broke in and took over. That was the end of the Moon Company. The Ruxton and Windsor did not survive 1930. It took 2 decades to untangle the affairs of the Moon Company. Meanwhile the Moon factory, which was appraised at $1,250,000, was sold during the early thirties for only $72,000 cash to the Cupples Company for the production of matches.