Cotta Automobile Company
In 1901, Charles Cotta built the Cottamobile In Lanark, Illinois. He used a simple and thoroughly practical device using chains by which the power of the motor was applied equally and individually to each of the four wheels, making each wheel a traction wheel. It was to be a thoroughly reliable vehicle in all seasons and conditions of weather, a feature not possessed of by any other vehicle on the market. The motive power of the machine was steam, thus doing away with all the objectionable noise that was so characteristic with the gasoline and electric vehicles. Although Cotta began building the car in 1901, it wasn't completed until 1904.
The Cotta Steamer also had four-wheel steering and a special type of transmission with non-clashing gears. Cotta advertised the cars through 1902 in magazines such as the Cycle and Automobile Trade Journal, from which the ad below was taken.
In 1903, Cotta sold the designs and patents to the Milwaukee Four-Wheel Drive Wagon Company, which built small numbers of 4x4 cars and trucks until 1907.
Cotta went on to established the Cotta Transmission Company where he designed and manufactured truck transmissions for many years. In the 1940's, Cotta began a shift to industrial products, off-highway and construction vehicle markets. In the mid 1960's, Cotta added a line of high-speed transmissions. Over the years, Cotta diversified into various products including hydraulic pumps and coal augers. Today – Cotta (with production facilities in Beloit, Wisconsin) is a trusted, leading manufacturer of top-quality, precision-engineered transmissions for a wide range of specialized mobile and stationary applications: vocational trucks, defense, off-highway, aerospace, heavy industry, well-drilling, mining, marine and more.