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Four Traction Auto Co. Mankato, MN. Drawings, 1908 - 1913

 Collection — Folder: 01
Identifier: SMHC Collection 0161


This collection is made up of thirteen photocopies of engineering drawings of cars and trucks designed by Mr. Ernest Rosenberger of the Four Traction Auto Company. The drawings contain views of both entire vehicles and parts of the chassis and drive gear, but are not to scale. Included in these drawings are depictions of a twelve-passenger automobile, a 1 1/2 ton truck, two fire engines, and car and light truck chassis and axles. The original drawings are in the collections of the Minnesota Historical Society.

Originally these cars were designed with four-wheel drive chassis to prevent wheel spin on Mankato's steep hills.


  • 1908-1913

Biographical / Historical

Mr. Ernest Rosenberger, a Mankato candy maker, designed and patented a four-wheel drive chassis to overcome wheel spin on Mankato's steep hills. In 1908, he and his associates organized the Four Traction Auto Company with the goal of manufacturing Kato cars based on Rosenberger's designs. The first five Kato cars of this design were manufactured in 1908. In 1909, the company first offered a one and one-half ton truck, priced at $2,250. Between 1910 and 1913 the crew of about twenty men manufactured twenty-five to thirty trucks and nearly a dozen cars. In 1913 the assets of the Four Traction Auto Company and Rosenberger's patent were sold to the Nevada Manufacturing Company of Nevada, Iowa.

Information obtained from the Mankato Free Press, 15 February 1946, and Minnesota History, Fall 1972.


1.00 folders

Language of Materials


Four Traction Auto Co. Mankato, MN. Drawings, 1908 - 1913
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Revision Statements

  • 2000-09: Finding aid revised by Robert Russell

Repository Details

Part of the Southern Minnesota Historical Center Repository

Minnesota State University, Mankato
Memorial Library
PO Box 8419
Mankato MN 56002-8419 US