The Velie Carriage Company
The Velie Carriage Company plant situated in Moline, Illinois, was established in 1902 by gentlemen of widely known reputations in the middle west and who had been affiliated with manufacturing industries in that city for many years. Foreseeing a future scarcity of land for desirable factory sites, a tract of six and a half acres in extent was purchased, from which a strip four hundred and fifty feet long and one hundred and twenty feet wide was set aside for building purposes. A factory building was erected and completed in the Fall of 1902, consisting of three floors and basement, four hundred feet long and eighty feet wide, equipped with the most improved and highest grade machinery, all of which is operated by electrical power. Special consideration was given by the management in the arrangement of departments, so as to facilitate the manufacture of vehicles, each department complete in itself and with operations systematized to be continuous and progressive and material economically handled. Employment of the most skilled workmen, directed by men of established reputations, insured the manufacture of vehicles that are practical, durable and reliable. The building is heated by steam throughout, thoroughly well lighted, thus enabling the men to work to the best advantage. In manufacturing, no expense is spared to increase facilities and adopt the best methods for the improvement of the product. The most liberal patronage of 1903-1904 taxed the capacity of the plant to its utmost, so that an increase was found necessary and a second building was constructed in the Fall of 1904, one half the capacity of the first, two hundred and eight feet long and eighty feet wide, three stories and basement, which with minor extensions to the original plant, increased the capacity from forty to seventy-five finished vehicles a day. The very largely increased business of the following years, has necessitated the occupation of more factory space and the third building, abutting the second and proportioned to counterpart the original building bas been built, thereby making two factory buildings four hundred feet long and eighty feet wide, with unusually favorable shipping facilities, being located on the trunk lines of three different railroads. Their limited floor space in 1903 of 128,000 square feet was increased to 199,000 square feet in 1904, and lately increased, in 1906, to 261,000 square feet and the output of 7,200 jobs shipped. the first year has increased to an annual output of 20,000 vehicles, with a factory capacity of one hundred finished vehicles a day. Proportionate with this increase of business, the employment of men has grown from one hundred the first year to three hundred and fifty, the greater proportion being heads of families, located permanently in Moline and Rock Island, and the owners of homesteads and as they are employed steadily ten hours a day throughout the entire year, the services of the most skilled workmen are assured.
Source: Historic Rock Island County, pub. Kramer & Company, Rock Island, Illinois, 1908