The first car in Detroit-Photo

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2016: The first car in Detroit-Photo
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Herb Iffrig on Saturday, May 28, 2016 - 07:35 am:



I wonder if he and Henry knew one another?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By G.R.Cheshire on Saturday, May 28, 2016 - 07:41 am:

Well if it didn't work he could always take the tiller back off and re-install the team hitch :-) I wonder how long it took him to realize that the "stage coach" brake wasn't effective?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Marty Bufalini - Grosse Pointe, MI on Saturday, May 28, 2016 - 08:11 am:

Herb, they did and, if I remember correctly, (no, I was not there!), Henry was there when King first drove his car.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Heyen - Eastern Nebraska on Saturday, May 28, 2016 - 08:50 am:

According to the Reminiscence's of Oliver Barthel, an early Detroit engineer, Black's car seen on the streets of Detroit was actually his second motor car, and the first to be driven in Detroit. Link to the digital version:

http://cdm15889.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15889coll2/id/1781

According to Barthel, Henry Ford and Charles Black were acquainted and shared information. The description of Black's first car seems quite advanced, with four cylinder engine, steering column and wheel (not the car pictured, but Black's first car), and drive shaft to beveled gear differential, with axles running on Hyatt gears:

Attachments courtesy of THF, all rights apply


Barthel goes on to say Henry Ford used valves from a King engine for his motor:


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Heyen - Eastern Nebraska on Saturday, May 28, 2016 - 09:19 am:

Herb, thank you for posting. A little clearer photo, from the Detroit Public Library site:

http://digitalcollections.detroitpubliclibrary.org/islandora/object/islandora%3A170557



The caption identifies the passenger as Oliver Barthel.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Perry Goble on Saturday, May 28, 2016 - 11:23 am:

A little information from the book Young Henry Ford . Henry needed valves they were expensive and hard to come by. He went to the Lauer shop to try and fine some. There He ran into Oliver Barthel,who had studied machine-shop practice under Ford at the YMCA and introduced him to Charles King.King generously gave Ford four valves. The picture in the post befor is of King (right) and his mechanic Oliver Barthel. Henry's first car in the Bagley Avenue shed was reconstructed in Greenfild Village from Charles King's drawings and Ford's memory. King and Ford remained friends throughout their lives, as a noted it was King who discovered the (lost) house of 58 Bagley in 1929. Henry acknowledged the claim that King was the first man to drive a motor wagon over the streets of Detroit and that he ( Henry ) had followed King's first trial ride on his own bicycle. There is much more about Kind and Ford in the book if you want learn more. I had a friend that is gone now that had one of King's cars , it relay was a interesting looking car .


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Wayne Sheldon, Grass Valley, CA on Saturday, May 28, 2016 - 04:01 pm:

Rob, Are you referring to Charles King? Or Charles Black? Both built their first cars before Henry's quadracycle was first driven, both claim 1893.
I believe (know that I have read a few times) that Charles King was the one who rode a bicycle shining a flashlight for Henry on his first drive in the dark of night. I have also read that Henry helped Charles King with his first drive, but don't claim to know that as fact. I also recall that Henry was acquainted with Charles Black. I believe they corresponded (if I recall correctly)
Charles King Built his first car about 1893 (some sources say 1894), and sold it a little later. When the great Chicago race was announced, he entered it. But his replacement car was not finished in time. He went anyway, to watch the contest. The German driver for the Benz car entered had partied a bit too much and became sick. So as one of the few people in attendance that had driven a car before, Charles King was hired at the last minute to be the replacement driver of the Benz. As I recall, he came in second to the Duryea brothers in the race, some time later.
This I read in an 1895 issue of "Horseless Age" Magazine.

The Duryea engine was a solid little four cylinder engine, and its design was intertwined with King's (I do not know how, or just how much). They built several more themselves, and licensed manufacture to someone else as well. Light weight and speedy, their design was sold in both two and four cylinder versions for a few years for use in automobiles.
A few years ago, when I was researching my gasoline carriage, I read the Kimes & Clark "Standard Catalog of American Cars" from cover to cover. I noticed several cars from the 1890s listed as using King or Duryea four cylinder motors. Unfortunately, now, that detail was not important to what I was then researching, so I did not take notes of all those. During the 1890s one cylinder motors were the exception, not the rule in pre-1900 gasoline powered automobiles. Even Henry's quadracycle was a two cylinder.

There is a lot of misinformation in books out there concerning both Charles King and Charles Black. Both of them deserve better treatment by historians.
A few years ago, I read some excerpts published by a few historians that concluded that it was indeed Charles Black that had built and driven the first successful American built gasoline powered automobile. It has been argued for more than a century, and there is evidence to support, that he beat the Duryea brothers by about two months.
It really is fascinating stuff!
Thank you Rob, Herb, and all!
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Heyen - Eastern Nebraska on Saturday, May 28, 2016 - 04:26 pm:

Wayne, your right, I typed "Black" when I meant "King." Not sure why I subbed Black in for Charles King's name......


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Wayne Sheldon, Grass Valley, CA on Saturday, May 28, 2016 - 05:34 pm:

No biggie, Rob. Just trying to straighten history out a bit. A rather large task as you well know.
Interesting that three of the biggest names in earliest American built gasoline automobiles were named "Charles". Black, King, and one of the Duryea brothers. Of course, Charles was a very common name at that time.
Did you know that more than 400 different people built one or more automobiles in the USA before 1900? Most of those were built after 1896. Just an odd coincidence that the three Charles all claimed the 1893. Haynes and Apperson also tried to claim the first gasoline car crown.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2


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