6-volt and 12 volt electrical systems

The early Dodges had 12 volt electrical systems as did a few other cars. Why did Dodge in 1926 switch from the 12 volt electrical system to the 6 volt. What were the drawbacks associated with using the early 12 volt system?
Why was it 1953(?) before the 12 volt system was reintroduced on some GM cars? What were the problems with it from 1953 to 1955? The old '55 Chevys had the 12 volt system and it worked fine. Why did GM wait 2 years before putting it on the Chevy?

Mistake going from 12 volts to 6 volt.
Hopefully someohere will knowhy.

Better would be 24-volt system. Then all conductors could be thinner = less expensive copper and less weight.

My 1961 Volvo 544 was 6-volt I believe.

The advantages of a 12 volt system are that thinner wire can be used and there is less current drop which makes for easier starting. If a 6 volt system is maintained well, however, it worked very well. Dodge may have switched from 12 volts to 6 volts when the Dodge brothers sold out to Chrysler and Dodge became a division of Chrysler.
U.S. cars from the 1930s through 1952 were six volt. General Motors at some point in the 1930s went from positive ground to negative ground. However Ford, Chrysler and I think most of the independents were positive ground.
In 1953, GM introduced the 12 volt negative ground system on the Cadilllac, Oldsmobile, and the Buick Roadmaster and Super models. All the rest of the the GM cars including the Buick Special stayed with the 6 volt system. At the same time the GM cars that used the 12 volts system also introduced air conditioning. In 1954, the Buick Special adopted the 12 volt system. In 1955, all the GM cars switched over to a 12 volt system. The rest of the U.S. manufacturers all switched over to 12 volt negative ground in 1956.
European cars were different. I think that VW didn’t introduce 12 volt system until 1967 (I am not sure about this). I do remember that the Morris Minor line that I saw in1958 had a 12 volt battery. I have no idea about other imports.

I might add that most farm tractors had 6 volt systems back in the 1940s and 1950s. There were 8 volt batteries available and one could change the voltage regulator to charge the 8 volt battery. This made for easier starting although it did shorten bulb life.
Looking back, electric start was an improvement over the hand cranked magneto ignition Farmall F-12. However, at the time I regarded as a wimp a farmer who had electric start on his tractor. On some of the old John Deere tractors, one spun a big flywheel to start the engine. My neighbor had one of these John Deere tractors and it also had two tanks–one for gasoline and one for kerosene. The tractor was started on gasoline and then could be switched over to run on kerosene.

I think the answer has to do with the batteries. Batteries were a lot less efficient back then, so they were a lot bigger. Copper was cheap in those days and there wasn’t a lot of wiring in a car, they were pretty simple. The engines were smaller and had lower compression so the starters didn’t have to be as powerful either.

As battery technology improved, engines got bigger and compression higher and car wiring got more complicated with various accessories, 12v system begin to make since.