Long before the Prius and the Volt, Indianapolis’ Waverley Company offered a line of “silent electric” cars. This ad, likely from around 1913, features the Waverley Limousine Five, which sold for $3,500.
At the time of this ad, the company had been around, in various iterations, for about fifteen years. First called the Indiana Bicycle Company, it was acquired by the Albert Augustus Pope, an electric automobile magnate of sorts from Massachusetts, in 1903. The company was then called the Pope-Waverley Company. Five years later, the company was returned to Indianapolis-based ownership and renamed the Waverley Company. Unfortunately, the early electric automobiles were not as efficient as other gas-powered vehicles of the day, and the Waverley Company stopped production of electric vehicles in 1916.
The Waverley Company has been twice featured in HI articles – A Day with a Silent Waverley and the more recent Indianapolis Then and Now: The Waverley Company, 139 S. East Street.