Aircraft / Aviation Vehicles & Artillery Infantry Arms Warships & Submarines US Military Pay (2022) Global Military Ranks


Land Systems / Battlefield

Davidson Automobile Battery

4x2 Armored Car [ 1901 ]

Royal Page Davidson and the Northwestern Military and Naval Academy together completed two of the Davidson Automobile Battery armored cars in 1901.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 05/14/2019 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

By 1900, the automobile was a new-fangled technology that was here to stay. Its evolution as a military vehicle was not truly to be experienced until World War 1 (1914-1918) which helped to further all manner of technologies that changed the world thereafter. Prior to the war and before the turn of the century, thought was already being given to mechanized warfare taking the place of cavalry units - this in the form of armored cars.

Once such development was the 1898 "Davidson-Duryea Gun Carriage", a rather simplistic-looking three- or four-wheeled design by today's standards that incorporated seating for up to four, mounted an M1895 Colt-Browning machine gun behind a large metal shield and was powered by a gasoline engine. While not adopted by the U.S. Army, the car did go on to influence future use of mechanized vehicles marking its developer, Royal Page Davidson (1870-1943), as a pioneer of this type in American military history.

The general design of the Davidson car was then evolved in the follow-up 1900 work that produced the "Davidson Automobile Battery". This vehicle ditched the gasoline engine of the original, due to poor power output, and installed a steam-based boiler arrangement in its place. A 4x2 wheeled configuration was standardized and the vehicle retained its seating for four. The machine gun was still fitted ahead of the front passenger with the optional armor shield. The passengers in the rear seats faced rearwards and could serve as shock troops or scouts by disembarking the vehicle when needed. In their place, cargo could also be carried. Construction of the new vehicle was headed by both Page military cadets based at the Northwestern Military and Naval Academy of Highland Park, Illinois. Two vehicles were completed for 1901 and were known simply as "Number 1" and "Number 2".

In military service, the car would be have been suitable as a reconnaissance vehicle capable of ferrying its observers to and from the frontlines. Protection would be through the inherent armor scheme as well as the 0.30 caliber machine gun which gave its operator a 180-degree angle of fire to either side over the front. Despite their revolutionary nature, the Davidson Automobile Battery armored car was - too - never adopted, armies continuing support of their cavalry units for the interim.

In 1915 - prior to American involvement in World War 1 - Page and his cadets put together the Davidson-Cadillac Armored Car. The design marked the first dedicated armored car vehicle in the United States.


Service Year

United States national flag graphic
United States


Royal Page Davidson / Northwestern Military and Naval Academy - USA
(View other Vehicle-Related Manufacturers)
National flag of the United States United States
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Armored Car
Design, of typically lightweight nature, providing onroad/offroad capabilities for the scouting or general security roles.

1 x M1895 Colt-Brownning machine gun in forward traversable mounting.

Supported Types

Graphical image of a tank medium machine gun

(Not all weapon types may be represented in the showcase above)
Not Available.

Davidson Automobile Battery - Base Series Designation; two examples completed as No.1 and No. 2.

Military lapel ribbon for the American Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of the Bulge
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Kursk
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Ukranian-Russian War
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur War
Military lapel ribbon for experimental military vehicles

Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns / operations.

Images Gallery

1 / 2
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
2 / 2


Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cookies

2022 US Military Pay Army Ranks Navy Ranks Marine Ranks Air Force Ranks USCG Ranks Compare Ranks (NEW!) DoD Dictionary Military Ribbons Identification Military Alphabet Code Military Map Symbols American War Deaths French Military Victories Vietnam War Casualties

The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com.

Part of a network of sites that includes GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world, WDMMA.org (World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft), WDMMW.org (World Directory of Modern Military Warships), and SR71blackbird.org, detailing the history of the world's most iconic spyplane.

www.MilitaryFactory.com • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2003-