Gooden Family, Mount Vernon Motor Co. Collection - PP131

Collection finding aids of Photograph Collections in the Prints and Photographs Division of the Maryland Historical Society Library


Prints and Photographs Division, Maryland Historical Society
201 W. Monument St.
Baltimore, MD 21201

Finding aid created by Katherine Cowan with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, October 1999


The Mount Vernon Motor Company was one of several automotive businesses owned and operated by Benjamin Franklin Gooden (d. 1944) in Baltimore ca. 1907-1935. In 1907, the Mount Vernon Motor Company was located at 1118 Cathedral St., with Gooden's Permanent Air Tight Patch business down the street at 1016 Cathedral St. Later the Mount Vernon Motor Co. moved to 629-631 N. Howard St. (ca. 1930). Another Gooden family business in the 1920s and 1930s was a retail tire store and repair shop, Central Tire Service on N. Howard St. between Centre and Monument Sts. Here tube patching were done using a repair cement developed by Gooden, which was sold nationally and in Europe. The Central Tire Service fell victim to the 1929 Stock Market Crash and the Great Depression, closing in ca. 1935 after prices dropped so fast that tires and accessories had to be sold at a loss.

Benjamin and his wife Elizabeth Gooden (d. 1963) had four children: C. Freeman (b. 1905), Elizabeth (b. 1907), Lillian (b. 1908), and Benjamin, Jr. The family lived at 2102 Allendale Rd. in West Baltimore. Lola Gooden was the sister of Benjamin, and Enos P. Gooden was his brother, originally a partner in the Mt. Vernon Motor Company. The Gooden family would travel in summer to Kitts Hummock, a beach facing the Delaware Bay east of Dover, De. The family in their fully packed car made quite a spectacle along the way: two parents in front, four children in back, along with suitcases and the family's cat who wore a duster bonnet with two holes in the top for his ears.

Collection Origin

Gift of Elizabeth Gooden Owen, 1986 (001478).

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of 1 box with 7 folders containing 13 photoprints made during 1907-1930. The subjects are automobiles connected with the Mount Vernon Motor Company, which are identified as to make and characteristics. Some of the vehicles were involved in a 50 mile State Championship auto race at Electric Park in 1907. There is an interior view of the Central Tire Service store. There are also pictures of the Gooden family driving automobiles.

Note: The collection includes 1 folder of printed ephemera, including a label for "Gooden's Permanent Patch", and a Christmas card for the Mt. Vernon Motor Card.


The photographs are arranged according to PP catalog numbers.

Container List

1 Box

Box 1: 7 Folders

Box 1, Folder 1
PP131.1 - B. Gooden attempting to sell car to the police department in 1100 block Cathedral St., 1907-1908.

PP131.2 - Kissel Kar on Mt. Royal Ave. (Lyric Theater in background), 1913. The Kissel had a 6 cylinder, 48 horsepower Wisconsin Engine by K.E. Electric Co., and was the first car with modern electric starter.

Box 1, Folder 2
PP131.3 - Benjamin and Enos Gooden, and 2 children, ca. 1910. Cars carried tool boxes on the running board, which were used as stools to step into the car.

PP131.4 - Auto Car with Benjamin F. Gooden, 1907-1908.

Box 1, Folder 3
PP131.5 - Gooden family after tire change on road trip to the beach (Kissel Kar), 1919.

PP131.6 - Benjamin F. Gooden and wife Elizabeth with son Freeman and daughter Elizabeth, 1907.

Box 1, Folder 4
PP131.7 - Benjamin Gooden and others in and around motor vehicle, 1907 (apparently different view of subject in PP131.8). Dup/copy neg Z24.1788.

PP131.8 - Mt. Vernon Motor Co. with Benjamin Gooden and others in and around motor vehicle, 1907 (caption says: September 12, 1907. Was winner of five mile State Championship / Second in Fifty-Mile.) Dup/copy neg Z24.2361.

Box 1, Folder 5
PP131.9 - Horseless Carriage in the snow, ca. 1907. Vehicle was steered by a lever on the right side.

PP131.10 - 4 men seated in 2 race cars (connected with Electric Park Race, in which E.H. Freas was driver #12 car).

Box 1, Folder 6
PP131.11 - Central Tire Service, interior, ca. 1930. Includes Benjamin F. Gooden at right, son Freeman in middle; man at left is bookkeeper.

PP131.12 - Identical to PP131.11.

Box 1, Folder 7
PP131.13 - 2 men and 2 women in automobile, ca. 1910. Includes Hugh R. Gwynn and Lola Gooden (in driver's seat). © 2001 Maryland Historical Society - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
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