Edward S. Jordan

Inducted 2010

Edward “Ned” Jordan was an American entrepreneur, automotive industrialist and pioneer in evocative advertising copy, which he wrote and used to advertise the automobiles produced by his Jordan Motor Car Company of Cleveland, Ohio. Jordan’s June 1923 advertisement, “Somewhere West of Laramie”, is considered a breakthrough in the art of writing advertising copy. Jordan decided the vehicles built by his company would be an “assembled” car – meaning Jordan would build the cars but not the parts from scratch. While this raised the cost of each, Jordan’s target market was not one where price mattered. Jordan bet that in the upper-class car markets, especially with women, would be drawn to richly-detailed interiors, body types and colors, but it was Jordan’s flair for creating catchphrases that raised interest in his cars. Automotive writer Beverly Kimes wrote “there had to be a Jordon automobile if for no other reason than to allow Ned Jordan the unfettered license in the prose he chose to extol it. And how that man could write, lyrically, romantically, emotionally.” At times, his advertising got a little too much attention. In January 1927, his ad called “In the Middle of the Night” caught the attention of the secretary of the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice. He wrote the Jordan advertising department requesting they refrain from corrupting American youth. Jordan automobile production continued through 1931, but losses began to mount in 1927 from the ill-conceived Jordan Little Custom, the first “compact” luxury automobile. At the start of the 1930s, the company produced the magnificent Speedway Ace model, which is today considered a full classic car.

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Class of 2010

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