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In 1893, Charles Herman Metz organized the Waltham Manufacturing Co. for the production of Orient bicycles. In 1899, the first car to carry the Orient name was produced. It was a four-wheeled carriage powered by a GE electric motor. It was built at the request of Charles A. Coffin, at the time president of General Electric. It was never put into production, and all subsequent automobiles were gasoline-powered.
In 1899, Metz contracted with De Dion-Bouton et Cie. in France to sell their line of tricycles and quadricycles in the U.S.A. He also began importing the French 3 hp Aster and De Dion 5 hp and by 1900 was offering his own Trikes and Quads with either engine as the Autogo.
in 1902 Waltham building their own engine, a single-cylinder producing 8 hp. Also in that year, the first proper Orient auto was built, a runabout selling for $875. Approximately 400 were sold.
In 1903, Metz left and Leonard B. Gaylor was hired from the Tribune Bicycle Co. in Pennsylvania. Gaylor design the famous Orient Buckboard billed as “The Cheapest Automobile in the World”. The sale price was $375. The car had a 4 hp single cylinder motor, weighed 400 pounds, and provided speeds from 4 to 30 mph. The car was built on a wooden platform, had no springs, and was steered with a tiller. Buckboards were built from 1903 through 1907.
In 1905, four-cylinder models were added. These were sold either as Waltham or Orient interchangeably. After 1908, all cars were built as Waltham. In 1908-09 as Waltham drifted into disarray, Metz returned, reincorporated as the Metz Company and built Metz cars through 1921. When the Metz Co. foundered, he made one more attempt to sell under the Orient name. Six cars were produced in 1922, and then the doors were closed.