Patterson Book Update – Times Gazette

Christopher Nelson, a native of Sabina and former resident of Greenfield, has released a new edition of his award-winning book, “The CR Patterson and Sons Company: Black Pioneers in the Vehicle Building Industry, 1865-1939.” The book is about the Greenfield family, believed to be the only black automobile manufacturers in US history.

The non-fiction book, first published in 2010, offers an adventure through some of the most underrated and unexplored parts of American history.

Nelson, who now resides in Nashville, Tennessee, brings years of research to the book as it documents the story of C.R. Patterson & Sons and brings recognition not only to the Patterson Company, but to the Patterson family and their long-standing contributions to American society as well.

Along with the leaps the Patterson family made in the early American auto industry, Nelson said, the family’s story is powerful evidence of overcoming obstacles, breaking color barriers and realizing the American Dream in the areas of education, sports, business and politics.

Madisun Leigh of Scenario Entertainment and Pergola Pictures said, “Christopher Nelson takes you on a meandering journey through the past with elements that remain completely relevant to the present.” “The book is a must-read for posterity as these pioneers are finally given a well-deserved place in the annals of history.”

The book is inspired by Nelson’s master’s thesis and has been successfully redeveloped and expanded for a 2022 second edition this year. Nelson’s background shines in archeology and history, areas in which he worked for nearly two decades, along with his interest in transportation history and the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

His work on the book has been well received. The book was selected as the winner in the “History: General” category of the 2022 American Writing Awards and placed as a top finalist in the “Best New (Debut) Non-Fiction,” “History: US,” and “Biography” categories. In addition, in the 2022 Best Book Awards competition, the book was named a finalist in the “History: United States” and “History: General” categories.

The book touches on transportation history, black history, and the general history of the United States.

The new edition of the book contains much new information and many never-before-seen images, many of which were provided directly by first-grade Patterson grandchildren, with whom I was working on this endeavor and who have been very supportive of my work on a finer novel. A possible story in both print and the big screen,” Nelson said. “The book is almost twice as many pages as the 2010 edition.”

In a summary of the book, Nelson said, “CR Patterson & Sons did business in Greenfield from 1865-1939. It was founded by Charles Richard (CR) Patterson, a free person of color who was born in the 1830s and moved north in the 1840s.” This company has gone through three generations of the Patterson family.Over its history, the company has moved from construction vans, cars, trucks, and then buses, all in order to keep up with the rapidly changing demands and technology of the transportation industry during that time.

When C.R.’s son Frederick began producing automobiles in 1915, it became the first black manufacturer known to have built automobiles. This company spearheaded many pioneering efforts in providing vehicles suitable for both horse-drawn and stagecoach transport, and was also a pioneer in the field of wagon design. winter buggy.The company nearly saturated the Ohio and neighboring states markets with its school buses during the 1920s.The Pattersons have always tried to find their niche in the transportation industry where they can stay competitive and achieve continued success.

The family was also involved in other areas as well, including Freemasonry, politics, helping Booker T. Washington found the National Negro Business Association and serving in senior positions within that organization during the first decade of the association’s existence. They broke down color barriers in education, sports, and politics and witnessed a great number of Other successes at the local, regional and even national levels.This is the story of a family and company who overcame the obstacles that stood in their way and made the most of every opportunity earned – never given.

This company and family have a unique history, and this book documents their story of overcoming adversity and surviving 74 years in the white-dominated business world. This book provides as much detail as possible about the Patterson family from their arrival in Greenfield during the early 1840s to 1939 when a series of multiple factors, including the Great Depression, caused the family to finally close the factory doors and close their unique chapter in history.”

Nelson said plans are underway to bring Patterson’s story to the big screen with the help of Nelson’s experience as an executive producer and co-producer on several films.

To learn more, visit

Information for this story was provided by Christopher Nelson.

This is the cover of the new edition of former Greenfield resident Christopher Nelson’s book, “C.R. Patterson & Sons: Black Pioneers in the Coachbuilding Industry, 1865-1939.”

The author says he plans to bring the story of the Greenfield car manufacturers to the big screen

Leave a Comment