The C.R. Patterson and Sons Company:

Black Pioneers in the Vehicle Building Industry, 1865-1939

A History of the First Black Auto Manufacturers

2022 Second Edition major update to the 2010 edition

Written by Christopher Nelson

“A masterful and compelling deep dive into indelible chapters of untouched and never explored American history, stunning your sensibilities of what you thought you knew.

In over a decade of filmmaking, I’ve never seen more replete research for a Hollywood project!

Christopher Nelson takes you on a winding journey through the past with elements still entirely relatable to the present. A must-read for generations to come as these pioneers are finally given a well-deserved place in the annals of history.”

~ Madisun Leigh - Scenario Entertainment & Pergola Pictures

"The Story Black History Missed! This definitive work on Patterson's company and the Patterson family deserves far more recognition by Black historians than what has been given."

~ Larry Chapman - Greenfield, Ohio History Teacher (Retired)

The C. R. Patterson and Sons Company: Black Pioneers in the Vehicle Building Industry, 1865-1939: Nelson, Christopher: 9798848332070: Books


The first edition of the book was featured on the CBS show S.W.A.T. during the November 27, 2019 episode "Sea Legs"

On July 22, 2021, C.R. Patterson and Frederick Douglass Patterson, the first two generations of family to run the Patterson Company, were inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame in Detroit. This honor was bestowed on them for their contributions to the transportation industry and for Frederick being the first Black manufacturer of automobiles. This demonstrated that the Patterson contribution to history mattered and, while generally fallen by the wayside for 80 years after they closed the factory, a long-overdue recognition of their efforts has finally come to light and their story will live on.

American Writing Awards 2022

WINNER in History - General category

FINALIST in Best New (Debut) Nonfiction, History - United States, and Biography categories

Best Book Awards 2022

Sponsored by American Book Fest

FINALIST in History - United States and History - General categories

Website Design by Benjamin Nelson 2022