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Brewster & Co. was one of America’s earliest carriage builders. Established by James Brewster at New Haven, Connecticut, in 1810, it quickly became the most respected coachworks, known for quality as well as quantity. Under James’ son Henry, the firm won international acclaim at the Paris carriage exhibition in 1878. In 1905, the company, now owned by third generation carriage builder William Brewster, built its first body for the burgeoning automobile industry; by 1911 it had abandoned carriages entirely and moved the workshops from Manhattan to Long Island City, New York. Brewster also maintained franchises for several European marques, including Delaunay Belleville and Lanchester. In 1914, in what would become a long association, Brewster took a Rolls-Royce franchise. From 1915 to 1925, Brewster also built complete automobiles, Knight-engined town cars selling at premium prices. In addition to Delaunay Belleville, other early chassis to be bodied by Brewster included Renault, Panhard et Levassor and Mercedes.
The company also produced coachwork for Rolls-Royce and became part of the Rolls-Royce of America operation in 1926. When Rolls closed its American plant in 1934, Brewster continued making cars for two more years. The new cars used chassis from other car manufacturers building attractive but more affordable automobiles.
The Brewster assets were acquired by Inskip Coachbuilder after Rolls-Royce closed down the Brewster operations.