The White Sewing Machine Company was founded in Massachusetts in 1858, but moved by the founder, Thomas H. White to Cleveland, Ohio in 1866. The company began making steam powered automobiles in 1900. Cleveland, Ohio was a center of early American automobile production. Other manufacturers in the city included the Winton Motor Car Company, The Cleveland Motor Car Company, and the Peerless Motor Car Company. The White Sewing Machine Company produced a lot more than sewing machines and cars: in early 1900s they also manufactured, among other things, bicycles, roller skates, phonographs, screw machines, and kerosene lamps.
Thomas’s sons Rollin, Windsor, and Walter, were all auto enthusiasts, and helped get the company into the automobile industry and motorsport. White brothers and their steam-powered cars were frequently seen in American AAA-sanctioned races since 1901. In 1904 Rollin White and Webb Jay were entered for the I W.K. Vanderbilt Cup, but did not appear. Next year Walter White drove the 40 hp steamer in the American Elimination race for the Vanderbilt Cup. He retired after lap one due to broken differential. Five best finishers had to be selected for Vanderbilt Cup race, but Race Commission decided two days later to substitute three last finishers with three retired drivers including White. So Walter started the Vanderbilt Cup race, being only non-gasoline powered car to ever compete in the Vanderbilt Cup Races. White completed four out of ten race laps and retired with mechanical failure.
|Walter White||19||R.H. White|
|1:43||Dust & Glory|