Wednesday 6th April 1898
Thirteen days after selling its first car, the Winton Motor Carriage Company became an international marque, selling a car to John Moodie of Hamilton, Ontario. The international sale was a testament to Alexander Winton’s pioneering enthusiasm for car advertising. The Scotch-born Winton had undertaken the industry’s first “publicity stunt” a year earlier when he and one of his mechanics had driven a 2-cylinder Winton Motor Carriage 800 miles from Cleveland, Ohio to New York City. Winton managed to gain enough attention for a small article in Horseless Age, the leading motor-car journal of the day. Over the next few years, Winton launched an advertising campaign that included regular print ads in Scientific American and the Saturday Evening Post. In 1899, Winton undertook his second publicity-oriented motorized trek to New York City, this time achieving his goal of reaching a broad audience of potential car buyers. In addition to the estimated 1,000,000 people who saw Winton drive into the city, the Cleveland Plain Dealer ran a series of articles covering the journey. In an early history of the automobile industry, J.R. Doolittle described the event as “the first real effort at intelligent publicity with which the new industry has been favored.” Winton’s efforts were reflected in his sales. Where most of the early car companies sold to local rich folk, Winton’s sales were not centered in Cleveland.