Early morning Waffle House Thread
I picked up a 1915 Stanley Mountain Car in Clearwater, FL yesterday - part of the OffBrothers Collection that was shown at the 2018 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance last month - it got me thinking ....
What if Henry stopped with the earlier letter cars & never started production on the Model T ?
Would someone else have furthered the production line of the internal combustion engine automobile ?
Or would steam and/or electric powered production line automobiles prevailed ?
I was privileged to view the Palmetto Collection where the Mountain Car was being stored - it held early cars ( Locomobile - Cadillac - Stearns - Peerless - Stanley & others ).
I asked the owner his opinion - “ What manufacturer had the highest quality of the early period up to 1910 ? “.
Without hesitation - his reply was “ Ford “ .
My take away from on the discussions I have had over the years has evolved to this :
Early manufacturers found electric & steam less daunting to work with - they generally did not favor internal combustion engines for a variety of reasons.
So - if Henry had not gone forward with an internal combustion powered assembly line car - who would have perhaps taken his place that might have succeeded ?
Would they have necessarily chosen an internal combustion engine ?
Your thoughts ......
My grandfather was always a big proponent of steam power. As part of the electricians that wired Pikes Peak early in the 1900's he noticed that while gas trucks struggled to make it up the mountain as altitude increased, the steam trucks seems to gain power with altitude. Of course, the simple answer is that water boils at a lower temp the higher you go. Even recognizing that, he was still impressed with the raw power of steam. He even bought a Stanley touring car in the 30's with the intention of restoring it. As a kid he dragged me to every steam thresheree and steam train ride in northern ILL and I loved it. The years never did dampen his enthusiasm for steam and he always wondered the same thing: what if??? I guess we will never know.
There would be water tax,wood and fuel tax.Emissions would be debated and regulated by now,those things would be the same.
There would be no need for mufflers as Stanley's and such don't make alot of noise at all.
No gas stations but there would be water towers and wood piles every so often.Unless the newer steam cars used a oil based or natural gas fuel.
Your observations are duly noted ....
Consumers pretty much dictate what is produced by what they buy. Price, appearance, marketing and even the way the name sounds often sell more cars than the quality or design. Having to charge batteries and wait for steam to develop were inconvenient and doomed those cars.
It would be interesting to know who would have dominated the market if not for Ford. Or what Henry might have come up with had he chosen Steam as a power source.
Those Mountain Wagons are truly magnificent. I was fortunate to ride in a couple of them.
Pat Farrell's is a 1916 but similar.
(Message edited by rich eagle on April 29, 2018)
I think you give Ford way too much credit for advancing the internal combustion engine as the choice of power for the automotive industry. Ford Motor Company had stiff competition in the early days. REO, Buick, Maxwell, Oldsmobile, and others were all building similar quality cars during the 1900-1910 time frame. The die was already cast for the internal combustion engine before Ford became the industry leader.
I'll maintain that Ford began to climb ahead of the competition through a superior dealer network, supplying parts and service. That is, of course, right up until the Model T came along. The Model T had it all. It was cheap, reliable and offered performance comparable to much more expensive cars.
It was the Model T, by combining the best attributes of popular cars, and delivering them at an affordable price, put the world on wheels. If Ford hadn't made the Model T, Buick, REO, Franklin, Maxwell, Oldsmobile, or some other brand would have eventually delivered a car to meet the growing hunger for Americans to take to the road.
Other than a handful of coal- or wood-fired cars built in the 1800s, steam cars used petroleum fuels - gasoline or kerosene.
White built much more sophisticated steam cars than Stanley. They recycled their water through condensers as early as 1904; Stanley, not until 1915. The first cars in the presidential fleet were White steamers. Whites took about 5 minutes to start from cold; Stanleys, over half an hour. Yet, in just two years, from 1910 to 1911, White switched totally from steam to internal combustion, and their gas cars were every bit as good as their steamers. Clearly, White saw the writing on the wall.
I don't believe anyone has come up with anything better than H2O to conduct heat from fuel to pressure in a cylinder. When steam was in its heyday, there was very little driving in severe winter weather. In my younger days, I would drive to Vermont for a weekend of skiing. My car would sit outside the ski lodge all night, and the temperature might drop to 30 below. The idea of doing that with a steam car filled with plain water gives me goose bumps.
I'm fascinated by my steam car, but it gives a whole new meaning to pain in the a$$. I tell people that, to play with early gas cars, you have to be pleasantly dotty. To play with steam, you have to be certifiably insane. Most of my acquaintances agree that I qualify.
I agree with much of what Eric has said and i think the most important thing Ford did was take on the Seldon Patent Group? With 2,000 + or - makes someone would have eventually got it right,but by beating Seldon Ford cleared the way.Bud in Wheeler,Mi.
From the day Mr. Watt made his steam engine work to the advent of the automobile, steam power was in evidence everywhere. J. I. Case pre-dated Mr. Ford's marketing strategy making steam traction engines affordable and readily available to a wide market of owners. I'd guess the drawbacks and lack of flexibility of steam were common knowledge, making the "gas buggy" obviously more appealing to a public who wanted less bother than harnessing a horse, not more. Maybe the perception of massive applications like locomotives and farm traction engines gave prospective owners an impression that steam was "just too much" ?
I know little to nothing about steam, the legend runs that the Doble had overcome most if not all of the drawbacks of steam autos, but it came late in the game. The direction had already been set at least a decade before.
The problem with steam is that most of the energy developed goes up the stack or is otherwise dissipated in non-power producing ways. The same is true with the internal combustion engine, but not anyways near to the same extent. The gasoline engine is more then twice as efficient as the steam unit. Also, Steam engines require a major boiler inspection and test on a regular basis; perhaps this was not required in 1915, but a major boiler inspection and test at regular intervals is a requirement now. The reason that virtually all railroads made the switch from steam to either Diesel or electric is not because steam was better. I still love steam railroading though..
The few times I've been lucky enough to be around steam, I've found it absolutely fascinating !!
So - a steam powered vehicle would not or could not have evolved successfully into a cost efficient passenger car manufactured on an assembly line if resources were allocated at the time ?
Can see improvements in steam over the past 100 years (fuel types/start up times ect.) but not with electrics. Speeds have improved in the past 20 years or so BUT nobody talks about times to fully recharge the battery. Tesla boasts about getting an 80% charge in an hour or so but fully charging times are NEVER mentioned. Their pulling a fast one and it'll only come out as they become more numerous on the road. As to HF possibly never producing the T? Sorry but that's supposed to be his "Big Idea" for business. A T by any other name is still a T. He'd have just called it something else but not producing a universal car? It was never going to happen.
Oh Brother Where Art Thou ?
My friend RB owns a Model T - a Tesla - and is building a scale steam engine now which is part of a larger scale steamcar .....
I am beaming the Bat Signal out now .....
(Message edited by enclosed_ford_transport on April 29, 2018)
Cause for speculation - how did the price of a Stanley in 1909 compare with the introductory price of the Model T at about $ 850 ? Henry finally trimmed it to $265 near the end, by the evolution of a minimalist efficiency in the design of the parts, and applying an incredible economy of scale in procuring materials and in production. Some think he created the demand - I doubt that, as the history of the Ford Plant expansion shows it followed increasing demand for the product. All else being equal, would steam cars have been as appealing to the public as the Model T was ?
Most Drivers Today want a plug and play type car, They don't want to fiddle with the car to get going,
That's why I think at some point in the future most all cars will be electric, induction charging they wont even haft to plug car into a charger,There will still be charging stations for long haul driving, but there will be a lot less of them because of long range batteries, and most charging will be done automatically when the vehicle is parked, and the self driving cars are here, many people may decide not to own a car at all if they can simply say Alexa I need a car at 1:00 pm to go to Dr Jones Office and back, and home grocery delivery is growing by leaps and bounds,at some point in time the burning of fossil
fuel in vehicles will probably be outlawed, just like burning leaves in Your back yard like My Dad did, "Beam Me up Scotty,there's no intelligent life here"
Some day, the power grid and the internet will crash and our civilization will come to a standstill. Those who survive will be those who are able to do things the old way such as the Amish. The time will come, when people will wonder how we made those carriages run and how we managed to get to the top of the skyscrapers. Maybe how we got water in the desolate places etc. But because all our history and knowledge will have been stored on computers, they won't be able to understand. They won't even know how to read the older records which might still remain because they weren't taught cursive writing. They won't be able to do math because there will be no computers.
If steam vehicles prevailed there would be a lot more hot air.
The Amish will be in trouble right along with the rest of us.The Amish use a lot of power but they run gen sets and the propane refrigerator will warm up soon with no propane.Yes,you can cook on a woodstove and you can salt cure or smoke meat but they will have a hard time also. Most Amish stores have credit/debt card machines,and cell phones! Bud.
I love steam too, never owned a car, but have had many engines,and boilers,and have built two 1,1/2 locos,interesting tid bit about steam, one oz water evaporated by 2 oz coal swells to two hundred sixteen gallons of steam,with mechanical force to rise a weight of 37 tons a foot high in less than a blink of your eye.Locomotives do not have a transmission they start there tonage under load.some had 3 cylinders most had two,the big boy had 4 sets,each used steam at both ends of there cylinders making the average engine a 4 cylinder.
Jim, I'll comment in a bit... have to take my youngest to Flag Football practice... (be back around 7:30 eastern time.
Man, I can't wait till 'real' (as in pads/helmet) middle school football practice starts...
Okay I'm back... Man, have I taken a liking to steam... I never really paid attention to steam cars till around 6 years ago... as a 20 year old I was always into older cars (mostly Land Rovers) and drove and played with them quite a bit... still own a 60 and 63 Land Rover.
So around 15 years ago the Model T bug hit. Don't get me wrong, before that I was always fascinated with the T and how that car put the world on wheels and it wasn't till many years later that the right T came along and now is parked proudly in its A/C'd garage enjoying a comfortable retirement to just Sunday drives to move the old bones around.
I also had this itch for electrics. But that is with more modern cars. I was curious with the early Baker and Detroit, etc. electrics but never really got serious about finding one to own. But then Steam chugged into my life and really peeked my interest... not quite sure what flipped the switch for Steam but ever since it turned on I have become steam 'crazy' for lack of a better word. To the point where I am building a 1900 Locomobile (replica from Steam traction World) why? Because I have a fascination with the early 1899-1902 Steam car models... (I also love the Model G, but thats another story) But I am still looking to purchase an original Locomobile to run along side my replica. You see I wanted to build the replica so in the future I knew all the ins and outs of these cars so when the time came to purchase an original one I would know what to do when it came to running it and fixing it so I can save another one for the next generations to come (luckily my youngest, 10 years old, loves mechanics and has taken a liking to helping dad build a steam car!) So if you know of one drop me a PM... always good to know where there could be one for the future collection
Anyway, back to the question at hand... I believe, as others do, that steam died (well, better said, the finally nail in the coffin for steam) was because of electricity... not the electric car, but the electric starter.
Up till then it took a properly running Stanley around 20 min to start from cold... but you could leave the pilot light on all night and run which gave you a Steam car ready to roll in the morning after topping off with water but you ran the possibility of burning down the garage/barn/house. (also winter was an issue if not kept warm... a little thing called ice)
But that was Stanley, the White Steam cars where much better at starting, I believe if they would have kept steam going (no pun intended) they would have figured out a way to cut that time down to under 5 min.
But the genius who solved the starting problem was Doble (Doble Steam car) he figured out to make a steam car go from the turn of a key... unfortunately he was a better engineer than a business man and kept changing the design making his car unreachable to the average joe which lead to burning through all his cash and the rest is history.
We must also note that apart from the electric starter, Ford and his dramatic price reduction made his cars affordable to the masses and left Steam cars to the wealthy and or enthusiasts.
Lastly, range. Stanley started condensing their cars after 1915 (I believe) which doubled the miles to 100 or so, but the T and many others had that beat. So why spend thousands on a car that travels a bit over 100 miles when for 300 bucks you could double that range at a tenth of the cost...
As for steam cars now-a-days there are some successful inventors that have figured things out, but a bit late and frankly in my experience after owning an electric car for 4 years, I can say that I will not go back to gas or a Steam car derivative (as a daily driver) when I have the ease and basic no worries of an electric... and they are fun to drive!
But that said gas will always be around. Its what I use to race on the track and in my boat and on the planes I fly, and lets not forget that even though the Steam Car runs on steam... it also needs to burn fuel to heat the water to make the car run!
But maybe, just maybe i see an electric steam variant which would work nicely. Using electricity to superheat water at the step of the accelerator. One thing is for sure... as long as I am around I will be steaming into peoples lives teaching them about how things used to be and maybe peek someone else to get into the Steam hobby. Hey I have been doing that with the T, so many people want to know about it and when I see the glimmer in ones eyes I take them on a ride. I can and will do the same with my steam Locomobile.
Well, that's my opinion and I'm not an expert, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn last night...
Thanks for contributing.
Having ridden in your Tesla and in JK’s 1917 Milburn Light Electric - 100 years of technology advancement is evident.
But - if electric cars had been mass produced 100 years ago - perhaps the battery storage might be vastly improved.
Interesting thread, and thank you Robert B for your insights into steam, and as well electrics.
In my OPINION, I do believe that had steam power not lost its place when it did, leaving only the die-hard Stanley twins and a few fanatic experimenters, steam powered automobiles may well have found a long time market share through effective development of a mass produced midsize car. Certainly, by the mid '20s, most of the slow start, and water recycling issues had been solved. Condensing also started the steaming process from a warmer water temperature, which should result in a slight improvement in fuel economy. Economies of scale and manufacturing could have brought prices down even below that of a standard Ford by the early '30s (steam engines are much cheaper to cast, machine, and build than gasoline engines). Safety issues had already been pretty well handled, and certainly could have been improved upon even more so.
Whenever the safety of steam power is considered, or discussed, the primary fear is that of a boiler explosion. It should be remembered that early in the steam automobile era, the Stanley twins, along with their driver Fred Marriott, set a world land speed record of 127 mph (in I think 1906). Without looking up all the details, and trying to remember from articles I read a few decades ago, as I recall, a few days earlier they had attempted a world record speed run, and missed the two miles a minute mark by only a small amount. They decided to break that record by pushing the car as far into its limits as they could. This included heating the boiler to pressures beyond its intended range, and pushing every part of the car as hard as they could. The speed of a hair over 127 mph was officially reached moments before control of the car was lost, and it figuratively (not literally) exploded throwing Fred Marriott into the shallow surf alongside the beach and scattering the car for nearly two miles. Fred, amazingly, survived, as did the boiler from the car. It was found nearly two miles down the beach. I have seen photos of the boiler in as found condition, sitting on the edge of the water and sand. Photos of the wreckage of the car are amazing to look at.
There was an excellent article published in one of the club magazines back in I think the late '60s (it may have been "Antique Automobile", or could have been either HCCA "Gazette" or VMCCA "Bulb Horn"). I haven't looked at it in years, but could maybe find it if I spent a bit of time looking. Several of the photos were published with that article, although I have seen them in other places as well.
Electric cars? I don't know. I have deliberately avoided learning anything about the Tesla series of cars. Much of that is because I earned a living for about thirty years in cutting edge technologies, and frankly, I got sick and tired of the lies and broken promises by marketing masquerading as engineers. I got tired of being blamed by customers for the broken promises made by others, promises that if I had been asked, I would have said could not be kept. Many of those promises made twenty to thirty years ago, still have not been realized to this day, and as far forward as we can now see.
What I know about modern electric cars. Battery technologies have changed a lot. Many newer types of batteries are available for many uses. Most of them impractical for powering an automobile. Some new ways of constructing batteries (like gel cells) do offer some advantages. But not where it is needed for an all electric powered car. Modern materials and construction methods can reduce the size and weight of batteries by about half what it was several decades ago, to power an electric car. Other modern materials and construction techniques, along with aerodynamics, can further improve electric car performance and range.
The silly thing about all that???? Is that most of those developments were made to improve gasoline car efficiency. All that, and a good modern electric car has only about three times the range and speed of a good electric car in 1920. And the gasoline car has also benefited from the same improvements.
Probably the biggest real stumbling block to mostly electric cars are the realities of charging the batteries. Our electrical infrastructure in most parts of the world are being pushed to their limits already. Nobody wants rivers dammed or coal power plants in their state. At seasonal peak demands, our systems already cannot keep up. How can we possibly add a hundred million electric cars that need charging almost every night!? Consider also that electrical generation also pollutes the environment (it ain't free). And, then there is the disposal and recycling of millions upon millions more dead batteries EVERY year that would be an absolute certainty.
It was said by engineers, REAL engineers, more than fifty years ago. Ideally, an all electric car should be the ultimate goal. But until the problems of battery weight, and charging issues, can be fully resolved? Electric cars will not be practical for a very large part of society's transportation needs. Those problems and issues probably will not be fully resolved until some form of direct conversion fuel cell technology can be developed (Mr Fusion??). Until then, I believe we should improve hybrid technology along with several other improvements that have been promised for decades. And, many people could use electric cars for much of their daily transportation (a good friend of mine loves his). But until they can manufacture them to be affordable? Even that will not be practical.
That is my experience, my take, and my opinion.
If the ford hadn't been made, Someone else would have made one like it. Rolls Royce made some good cars didn't they? But I'm not sure they would have made an affordable car.
It'd be interesting to see what steam and electric would have done. Pretty sure that batteries would be much as they are today though.
Recently, GM looked back into steam for locomotives and cars, but couldn't get around the one main problem! Water freezes!
Thank you for contributing that.
Our kids would be putting around on these.
Now that's cool! I would have loved to been that kid. Is that a real production unit or a miniature? I've seen some steam tractors but they were all big suckers.
"The price of the seven passenger open car is $2,750 f. o. b., Newton, Mass. The prices of the five passenger phaeton and the two passenger roadster are likewise $2,750. The five passenger sedan is $3,585, and the seven passenger sedan is $3,985."
"Character cars always seem relatively high-priced; but when a character car goes into quantity production, though its cost may seem lower, it invariably loses much of its refinement and advantage. Sales overtop everything, and prompt and adequate service becomes more and more difficult. Comfort in transportation, the demand for which creates character cars, means not only physical comfort, but also comfort of mind -- the knowledge that your good judgment as a motorist will be recognized -- that service can be directed wherever ordinary intelligence is available, that the manufacturers will continue in business. The Stanley gives the additional comfort that this satisfaction is purchased at a reasonable price; that there will be no severe competition at second-hand sale; that its power plant is fundamentally correct so that no radical model next year will render this year's car out of date; that no self-destructive effort will make continued ownership prohibitive in cost or inadvisable in comfort; that the car can burn next year's fuel as well as this year's. By virtue of its inherent characteristics, it retains its youth and worth."
They spun a good ad line. I don't see a date but the picture shows a condensing model.
Great link - thank you.
Estimated range of 150 to 250 miles per “ fill “ is impressive.
Interesting that Stanley estimate kerosene fuel use @ a gallon per 12 miles - essentially 12 mpg fuel rating.
My 1996 F350 PSD 7.3 gets 10 mpg with a 4:10 rear differential.
It is the water consumption that kills you. They are thirsty little beggars and bad things happen when you run out.
I was reminded yesterday that Stan Lucas had 2 of the 4 operating Dobles in Sun Valley for a 1985 Steam Car Tour. It was an event having 4 of them together.
There is not much opportunity to be around these cars these days. Joy and I helped out on some of the tours in Idaho. We hauled luggage and took photos and videos in exchange for some nice rides in Whites and Stanleys. Joy got to ride in the yellow Doble for half a day.
Steam power is a fascinating thing and the folks that have them are great people. I envy those who can be around it or manage to have one of these machines.
For the guys on two wheels...1914 Haleson Steam Motorcycle
Here it is in action...
Wonderful, I never knew there was such an animal !!
There you go. That is great. Perhaps the internet is passing some of this magic to those who appreciate it.
The maroon Doble roadster at the right side of your picture was Barney Becker's car. Linda & I have the privilege of riding in it with Barney. Wonderful car! The first time I saw it was back around 1971, my friend Duane and I had a stall at the Harrah's swap meet--at that time held at a High School. I was sorting some parts in our stall when I heard a pretty loud, "CRUNCH CRUNCH" of the gravel behind me. Turned around and there was Barney driving by. He'd just come in from the Bay Area, so the burner was off and all you heard was the crunching of the tires in the gravel. It was years later through the Steam Power Club that I met Barney and whole lot of other steam guys.
Yes, Doble probably could have done great, but he kept tinkering with his cars and didn't just "make a bunch of 'em". It was said that an engineer asked him "how many bolts to hold the fuel gauge on the tank?" "How many does Rolls Royce use?" "Eight" "Then we'll use twelve!"
David, I'm glad you knew the car. Allan Brasel had it on the tour. I was mistaken but it was actually in July of 1988. The car is a 1923 E-14 Roadster.
Does that look familiar. We had rides in both of the 40 HP Whites behind it.
Here is a look under the hood. Don't get me started on Steam. I need to get the wheels back on the Coupe. 8oD
OH boy, does that bring back memories. Was it Allen Blazik that had it? I used to know who had it a few years ago, but I forget now. . .
Haven't done much with steam for some time, miss it; maybe when life slows down???? (Like that's going to happen)I still have a 1916 Stanley 20hp engine in the barn. . . .
If you want to own a rare steamer - this 1903 Grout might be just the ticket - it is available for sale at Mark Herman’s shop in Danbury, CT.
You can reach Mark @ 203-733-7549
Mark oversaw the two year restoration of the 1915 Stanley Mountain Wagon owned by The Off Brothers that I dropped off this afternoon .....
It won Best In Class last month at it’s debut - Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance 2018.
My gosh! don't tell me there are still engines out there.
The Blazick's were there with a 1912 Stanley 30 HP Mountain Wagon and another Stanley Touring car. Some folks named Richter were with him. Allen did some fishing.
Here is his Mountain wagon to take us back to where Jim started this thread.
The Brasel's from San Mateo had the Maroon E-14 Doble.
Once again - another great thread because folks contributed.
Thanks To Everyone Who Posted ....
Yes, a wonderful thread indeed. Thank you all.
Hi Richard, ah, so someone with a similar name, I didn't think Allen ever had Barney's car, but one never knows what goes on out there! A few years ago I rode around the Patrick Ranch in Dick Vennerbeck's Mountain Wagon. They are wonderful examples of non-condensing steam cars. I used to have a home-built steamer that had a repro curved dash olds chassis, a locomobile engine, white throttle and home-built boiler & burner. Sometimes I wish I still had it, but that's a decision made long ago. It was licensed as an '02 Locomobile--no I have no idea how that licensing was done, that's how I got it.
Here is a fun little bluegrass tune about a steam powered airplane .
Bill Bessler did have a steam powered airplane! I've seen a movie of it flying--very quiet too!
One of Jay Leno's Garage segments is about his Doble steam car. It would go from cold to ready to drive in a minute. It is also a great performer. Jay was about to install modern brakes in it, as the car's performance was way above what the brakes could do. He made a comment that The end of an old technology is sometimes better then the new technology that replaced it." (Quote is perhaps a word or two off, but is content-correct). This was also true of the ALCO Niagara (4-8-4) steam locomotives built for the New York Central. It was the only steam locomotive ever to operate for less money then the Diesel horsepower that replaced it. With a bit of digging, the numbers can be found online.
I have a book that is a reprint of things for young people to build from the turn of the last century. There are several steam powered model airplanes in it.
Mark G. could you say the name and author of that book, please? Sounds interesting. Dave in Bellingham,WA
Your chance to view a 1915 Stanley 820 Mountain Wagon this Sunday - December 12th.
This is the last steam car the legendary Alan Kelso
of McConnellsburg Pennsylvania has restored.
I picked it up awhile back & have been carefully navigating my way west ....
I will be at The Lemay Collections at Marymount in Tacoma, WA from around 12 noon to 3 pm visiting with Mike.
Museum Facebook Page Here @
325 152nd St E
Tacoma, Washington 98445
This is the second 1915 Stanley 12 Passenger Steam Wagon I have asked to transport this year.
This also marks the longest mileage vehicle haul I have ever done - a little over 5000 miles.
Out of 246 manufactured between 1909 and 1916 only around (24) vehicles remain.
Out of those - (12) are in private collections & (12) are in museums.
Out of those - just a few have been restored to this level.
The 30 HP twin cylinder engine sits above the rear axle - 275 HP at just 1 RPM is made possible by 1.5 million BTU of heat
produced by the kerosene burner sitting under the boiler up front under the hood.
An amazing machine ....
Hey Jim, Quite a rig that is. Thanks for photos.
I have been educating myself over the many days on the road.
Acetylene starter on the Stanley was preferred by women - a fair amount of Stanley drivers were women.
It was a steam car or an electric car for most gals.
" 1908 - A few months before he sold the first model T, Henry Ford bought Clara her first Detroit Electric.
It had a special child seat for Edsel.
The Ford family bought a new Detroit Electric every other year thru 1914. "
Source @ http://edisontechcenter.org/ElectricCars.html
Stanley was a leading auto manufacturer for sales in the states from 1899 to around 1906.
Years ago there was one running all over at the OCF.Bud.
I was on the eastern steam car tour this year and wrote it up for the HCCA website. Unfortunately, that website crashed. I was able to dig up a copy of the article, and the webmaster had saved the pictures, but the captions are gone with the cyberwind. This link will take you to the article; the pictures are in random order at the end, rather than being imbedded in the article as is my habit. Still, it may be of interest to those of you who might like to get flavor of steam touring.
Back in 2013 I did a thread on Mr. DuPont here on the forum:
That is when I met Louie & I fell in love with Last Chance Garage ....
If you didn’t stop there - you need to pay him a visit.
Mr. DuPont was in middle management - worked hard his whole life.
A wonderful man by all accounts.
I read your HCCA link - images are there still .....
Thanks for posting !
Thank you FJ!
the Stanley Burner has often been refereed to as "Dante's Inferno." When working properly, it really puts out the heat. When not just right, it will howl like a Banshee. One of the bigger problems nowadays is finding pure enough fuel for them, so they don't carbon up in the vaporizer tubes. Some folks use a combination of Diesel and Non-Leaded hi-octane gasoline--at least they did some years back.
Most Stanleys these days are tuned to run on kerosene. There are exceptions; John Linderman runs his on ordinary unleaded pump gas, but he gives his car a steam enema after pretty nearly every day's run, so it doesn't carbon up. Yes, varying percentages of diesel and unleaded pump gas work in cars tuned for kerosene, but the environment folk change the content of pump gas according to the season, and those additives don't all take kindly to being preheated in a steam car's vaporizer. In a lot of the country, you can get kerosene from a pump at a gas station, but not anywhere near where I live. I take 5-gallon cans to a friendly local airport and fill them with Jet A. It's highly refined and multiply filtered kerosene, and it works dependably at 40,000 feet, so it should be OK for my primitive little steam engine. It's fun to tell people I have a 107-year-old car that runs on jet fuel, but it doesn't make it go any faster or climb any higher!
Steam would have become much easier to use as time went on. Electrics have the same limitations then as they have now. Batteries. Wait until the public becomes aware of the slow charging and reduced range the battery cars have in winter. Think internal combustion is dead? Think again.
The proliferation of electric cars is a pipe dream. Most Americans (especially the young) don't realize that or country's entire economic system and infrastructure relies on fossil fuels.
I read recently on a tech blog that with current technology it would require a solar array 2 miles wide and a 100 miles long to power lower Manhattan...
I have no dog in the electric car race. But Tim's comment reminds me of something I read in the history of Baldwin Locomotive Works. When electric locos started being introduced, Baldwin's President(Samuel Vulclain (sp?)I think)essentially said Baldwin was not terribly interested in manufacturing electric locos in large part b/c diesel did not fit the railroads' national infrastructure that was set up for coal and in use for over a century. Baldwin did dabble with electric to a small degree. GMC-EMD didn't care about railroads' previous infrastructure and they went full bore on the diesel electrics. It wasn't too many years later Baldwin downsized Eddystone plant and eventually let go some 3,000+ steam locomotive builders. Eddystone was producing 50 big steam locos a week when Vulclain made his statement about infrastructure.
Part of me hopes Tim is correct, I'm not ready to embrace the changes, but I'm certain my kids and grandkids will embrace them without batting one eyelash. We shall see, jb
It's all about money! I don't know which industry is more corrupt,....petroleum or pharmaceuticals! The petroleum industry will do all they can to continue as always, which nets them billions, and they could not care less about what we're doing to our atmosphere (....and that's one reason why there is not more progress being made with electric power), just as the phamaceutical industry is doing all they can to stifle as much progress as they can in the medical field so they can keep on making billions, selling pills and in the meantime, not caring that people are prematurely dying needlessly!
My apology for contributing to extreme "thread drift" here, and I realize that I probably just sound like a cynical old man, but frankly,.....I guess that's probably just what I am! (:^)
I really like the English steam lorries. These are heavy steam powered trucks that belch black coal smoke and have lines of angry motorists behind them as they plow down the road at 10 or 15 mph.
Here is another picture. There are lots of neat videos on YouTube.
Thanks for sharing FJ !!
Neil - As George said,...."thanks for sharing"!
I've enjoyed watching some of those English "steam lorries" youtubes too! I've always thought it odd that they were such a big thing in the U.K. around the turn of the last century, while here in the U.S.A., such steam "road engines" were practically unheard of! I suppose it makes sense though, as everything is so much more "compact", and distances are much shorter in the U.K. and 10 or 15 mph makes more sense there than here in the U.S. with our thousands of miles! I guess we thought railroads made more sense! Thanks again Neil (....and "FJ").....harold
Got to take the ferry from Anacortes, WA with my truck & trailer to deliver the Stanley Mountain Wagon ....
Grant has the only commercial enterprise utilizing the Stanley Steam Mountain Wagon in the states - probably the world:
Thanks Jim. That will do me for a while.
The reason steam lorries as they are called in the UK held on for so long in the UK was twofold :
First, coal was dirt cheap, oil had to be imported.
Second, By Law a car had to weigh a certain amount for every ton of load it could transport, and vehicles were not taxed by weight but on cylinder displacement, so the relatively heavy steam lorries with their one or two cylinder engines had a definite cost benefit over gas powered trucks.
Grant flew down to Portland, OR & met me at the DMV to get a vehicle inspection and a title ....
After I got off the ferry - I drove up to Orcas Airport where he was waiting with some help to unload ....
The 1915 Stanley Steam 12 Passenger Mountain Wagon that I delivered is now being readied to replace the 1913 Stanley Steam 12 Passenger Mountain Wagon
Grant has been giving Summer Tours in for the past few years .....
A tourist ran a stop sign last summer forcing a quick stop which unfortunately damaged the rear axle - repairs were made but Grant decided to use the opportunity
to upgrade to this 1915 Stanley he bought over (3) years ago because it has a steel frame & is easier to operate .....
Here is the 1913 Stanley Steam Mountain Wagon ready to have the engine put back in ......
It will be put up for sale very soon
Grant also has a complete 1912 Stanley 820 Mountain Wagon that needs assembly a few minor touches.
It is the first one he bought .....
This one will also be up for sale very soon
Well, Freighter Jim...
I guess I owe you a bottle or cup of your favorite flavor. I went up to Orcas Island to see Grant and bought the 1913.
I owe you one.
You owe me a ride .....
Here is the Happy Ending ....
Dan bought the 1913 Model 810 Stanley Steamer
Mountain Wagon from Grant who lives on Orcas Island.
I was honored to haul it .....
That freed up funds for Grant to purchase Pat’s 1916 Model 826 Stanley Steamer Mountain Wagon:
I was honored to haul it :
Now there are two Stanley Steamer Mountain Wagons on the West Coast that will be used in commercial tour operations.