Pierce-Arrow was an American automobile manufacturer based in Buffalo, New York, which was active between 1901 and 1938. Best known for its expensive luxury cars, Pierce-Arrow also manufactured commercial trucks, fire trucks, camp trailers, motorcycles, and bicycles.
In 1903 Pierce decided to concentrate on making a larger, more luxurious auto for the upscale market, and the Pierce-Arrow automobile was born. In 1908 Pierce Motor Company was renamed The Pierce-Arrow Motor Car Company.
In 1909, U.S. President William Howard Taft ordered two Pierce-Arrows to be used for state occasions, the first official automobiles of the White House. An open-bodied Pierce-Arrow carried Woodrow Wilson and Warren G. Harding to Harding’s 1921 inauguration.
In 1914, Pierce-Arrow adopted its most enduring styling hallmark when the headlights of the vehicle were moved from the traditional placement on either side of the radiator into flared housings molded into the front fenders of the car.
The Pierce-Arrow was a status symbol, owned by many Hollywood stars, corporate tycoons and royalty of many foreign nations had at least one Pierce-Arrow in their collections. In American luxury cars it was rivaled only by Peerless and Packard.
Pierce-Arrow advertisements were artistic and understated. The Pierce-Arrow was typically depicted in elegant and fashionable settings. Some advertisements featured the car in places an automobile would not normally go, such as the West and other rural settings, a testament to car's ruggedness and quality. (These advertisements are from the collection of John Donovan).