High Wheeler

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Rich Bingham
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High Wheeler

Post by Rich Bingham » Wed Jan 13, 2021 9:19 pm

I never thought of these as actual automobiles and because of that I pretty much overlooked them as I "studied" old cars. Can anyone identify this little cutie ?? No wonder they terrified horses !
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"Get a horse !"


Erik Johnson
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Re: High Wheeler

Post by Erik Johnson » Wed Jan 13, 2021 11:38 pm

That is literally a piano box horse buggy with a motor added after-the-fact.


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Re: High Wheeler

Post by Wayne Sheldon » Thu Jan 14, 2021 6:31 am

I suspect Erik J is correct. There were a lot of companies that manufactured and sold high wheel type automobiles, and a few actually looked very similar to that one. However, it didn't take very long for the early experimenters to discover that a full swinging front axle didn't work very well without being connected to a horse. As I recall, even the Duryea brothers had to find that out the hard way with their first car in 1893. Their second car (1895) had a fixed axle. When I was researching my early gasoline carriage, I read about three or four other cars of the late 1890s that had to learn that the hard way.
I know at least one manufactured high wheel car did try that in the early 1900s. I think they failed quickly, and don't offhand remember who that was.

Also, when researching my car, I made a list of over four hundred different early experimenters that built from one to a handful of cars, before 1900. Most of them only built one, and only a few built more than two. That list did not include any of the generally known people that got into the automobile manufacturing business in a significant way. Only a few names would be recognized by even most automotive historians. It is interesting that there is a Packard named, but not the one that later manufactured automobiles, and the Wright brothers built a car, but these brothers never built an airplane. No Winton, no Ford, no Apperson, or Stanley twins. That is a lot of one-off cars built. Many were at least moderately successful and driven. Some, maybe never even ran. And these are only cars that were recorded! One can only wonder how many people did not notify "Horseless Age" or the local newspaper.

Maybe in the next few days I can look through some of the pictures I have or know about. It would be nice to identify this one.
Where did this photo come from?


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Rich Bingham
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Re: High Wheeler

Post by Rich Bingham » Thu Jan 14, 2021 11:37 am

Erik, I'm sure you are right. Being a high-wheeler novice I was ignorant of the pertinent facts of the mass of early individual experimenters vs. actual commercial attempts. Wayne's post cleared that right up !

Wayne, the photo came from an Idaho history forum. No date nor any pertinent information, the poster noted only who the children were.

I'm frustrated by the hidden features of this contraption. It appears the rather sophisticated vertical steering column and wheel operate a link to the left front wheel. Pretty advanced, as most swing axles were operated by a tiller, inviting disasters as Wayne noted. Perhaps someone can identify the motor ? The drive mechanism is entirely out of sight leading me to speculate on how I would rig that if I had been the builder! The kids in the photo seem to indicate the vehicle was thought of mostly as a toy, rather than serious transportation !

One final note, being quite familiar with light horse drawn vehicles, it amazes me how tinkerers could think such vehicles would be a workable platform for heavy engines and the gearing required to make them "horseless" ? They were designed to be as light as duty would allow to ease the horses' burden of draft. I'm pretty sure the vibration of "one lung" power plants shook them to pieces in fairly short order !! :lol:
"Get a horse !"


Herb Iffrig
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Re: High Wheeler

Post by Herb Iffrig » Thu Jan 14, 2021 12:10 pm

They had not yet heard of the Ackermann principle.
Perhaps we should discuss that in the KD thread?

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Rich Eagle
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Re: High Wheeler

Post by Rich Eagle » Thu Jan 14, 2021 12:36 pm

KD dated an Ackermann his subaltern year.
Rich, you might recall the 1902 Holsman that appeared in the Pocatello 4th of July parade in 1964. I too thought them odd and not as interesting as cars lower to the ground. Also (at right) was an Anderson highwheeler in The Dudley garage at Virginia City, MT. I didn't even photograph the wheels.
HWx01.jpg
Another Anderson participated in the HHCA 1&2 cyl Tour in St. George, Utah in the '80s. It did very well but broke down on the day I rode in Red Ladner's Brush. Being the slowest two cars and well behind the trouble truck Red towed the Anderson 8 or 10 miles back to St. George.
HWx02.jpg
The brush was exceedingly slow but had power. We didn't even feel the highwheeler behind us. I think we develop an appreciation for certain cars the more we are around them.
The car you posted reminded me of the Anderson, especially the buggy dash.
When did I do that?


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Rich Bingham
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Re: High Wheeler

Post by Rich Bingham » Thu Jan 14, 2021 1:51 pm

Herb Iffrig wrote:
Thu Jan 14, 2021 12:10 pm
They had not yet heard of the Ackermann principle.
Perhaps we should discuss that in the KD thread?
:lol: Thanks Herb ! One of the things I find most gratifying about this forum is the opportunity to learn so many new things. I had never before heard of the Ackerman Principle, so thanks to you, now I'm a little better informed !

Actually, the transition from steering via swing axle to solid axle is pretty fascinating ! One of the things I'm sure the early inventors quickly became aware of is that the range of motion of a swing axle results in a rather large turning radius, likely enough not tight enough to be handy even for such a small vehicle ! Not a problem when the buggy is led by 6-7 feet of tongue and horses, especially when too tight a turn can easily upset the gig ! Near as I can reckon, Ackerman didn't concern himself with the swing axle, seems to me the swing axle doesn't present the geometric steering problem he solved.

Rich, I do recall the 1902 Holsman, I wonder what became of it ? Occasionally I mourn the fact that we didn't "save" the intact and well-preserved buggy we found in that log shed out toward Mud Lake . . . do you recall that ? At the time, all I could see was Model Ts ! Great adventure you had with the Brush rescuing the Anderson. Wonderful experiences.
"Get a horse !"

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perry kete
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Re: High Wheeler

Post by perry kete » Thu Jan 14, 2021 4:52 pm

When I went to high school in the late 60's everyone who drove a car was a "High Wheeler"
1922 Coupe & 1927 Touring


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Re: High Wheeler

Post by Wayne Sheldon » Thu Jan 14, 2021 5:24 pm

The Ackerman Principle goes way back to the early 1800s. I have sometimes wondered what sort of vehicles it was originally developed for. I do know it has been used on horse drawn wagons with complicated steering tongues. But I don't think it was ever very common that way.
The "Horseless Age" magazine began publication late in 1895, in part to report and publicize the Chicago Times race which was won by the Duryeas. Not long after that (I would guess by memory 1897 but it could be one year either way of that?), they published a good article on the Ackerman Principle. I did find that issue online a few years back, and read it.
My gasoline carriage is quite interesting (at least to me!). You mention the vibration shaking lightweight carriages apart in a short time. Another thing several early experimenters had to figure out, and often the hard way. My gasoline carriage I am sure was originally built to be an automobile. With a sixty inch wheelbase, it uses solid steel light wagon axles, and light wagon wheels. The original angle iron frame is heavier than buggy framework usually is. I am fairly certain the reason for all this is that it was built to survive the vibration and weight issues of the engine.
Another interesting thing about it, is the axles. They are common manufactured steel wagon axles, and they match each other. For the front, they cut off the outer spindles and forge formed and welded hand-made "C" shaped pieces to make the steering spindles! Whether it had a steering wheel or a tiller, I do not know. Those pieces were missing when I got it. I figured on making a simple tiller arrangement using period methods in keeping with the rest of the original parts.

It is a restoration project I have wanted to get to for too long now. I really should try to find a new caretaker for it. One with the interest to preserve and restore it properly, back to the early experimental car that I am sure that it was. And one that has the resources (time and money) to do it justice.



The engine shown in Rich B's photo is quite interesting. I don't recognize it. By 1898, there were about a dozen companies advertising gasoline engines for experimenters to use in their cars. It appears to be air cooled, which quite a lot were. It looks a bit too big to be a motorcycle motor. And does not look like any De Dion or Crest engine I have seen. I too was wondering last night how the motor was connected to the wheels? It may have a shaft and clutch under the body and a chain that drives the other side wheel. That sort of thing was done fairly often in those days. Just a couple days ago, I was reading about an early car that was driven on only one rear wheel. I am not sure where I read it, but it may have been on theoldmotor website, and a bit later (1910s?) car.


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Re: High Wheeler

Post by R Rathert » Fri Jan 15, 2021 6:43 am

Les Scuchardt from Spearfish S.D. bought the Anderson high wheeler from Virginia City it later sold at his auction don't know who got it then. I bought the Holsman that was there I believe one of the last ones to be built didn't have good luck I got hit by a tornado on the way home it lifted the back of my pickup to where the front bumper almost rubbed on the road didn't hurt the truck any but after it came down I looked around to see just what happened and could not find the Holsman that was in the box! When I did see it it was about 30 feet above me spinning like a top. It came down behind me fairly good it was still spinning then the wind caught it and rolled about 3 times into the ditch there was a lot of parts to pickup I almost drove away and left it. Insurance would not cover anything said being a car it has to have it own ins. I got a new ins. company the next day. The car (mess) sat in the corner of my shop for 6 or 7 years before I started to work on it. It was such a mess that I quit a couple of more time but now it is finally ready for upholstery. I guess I have to learn how to post pictures.Rudy


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Rich Bingham
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Re: High Wheeler

Post by Rich Bingham » Fri Jan 15, 2021 12:55 pm

Rudy, thanks for your post. You deserve a medal for sticking with the Holsman after the tornado tried to take it to Oz !
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Re: High Wheeler

Post by Erik Johnson » Sat Jan 16, 2021 12:57 am

I believe I have solved the mystery.

The car in question is a Success Auto Buggy.

https://www.american-automobiles.com/Success.html

Surviving examples - you'll also see how power is delivered to the left rear wheel (one wheel drive).

https://www.barrett-jackson.com/Events/ ... GGY-137908

https://rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/aw07 ... out/197127

https://www.conceptcarz.com/profile/270 ... del-b.aspx

Scroll down once page opens:
http://oxfordhillsdailyphoto.blogspot.com/2008/07/

In the 1950s, Henry Austin Clark had one on display in his Long Island Automotive Museum.

Scroll down to see a photo of the Austin Clark car:
https://www.vanderbiltcupraces.com/blog ... _henry_aus

Trading card mentions Austin Clark car:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/1954-55-World- ... 3307926934

If you Google "Success Auto Buggy" you can learn more about the history of the company and also see later surviving models that had the engine under the body instead of being outboard on the right side of the body.

https://www.google.com/search?biw=1259& ... IDQ&uact=5

https://www.google.com/search?q=%22succ ... 59&bih=702


Herb Iffrig
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Re: High Wheeler

Post by Herb Iffrig » Sat Jan 16, 2021 1:08 am

Would that be a DeDion engine?


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Re: High Wheeler

Post by Wayne Sheldon » Sat Jan 16, 2021 3:04 am

Looks like Erik Johnson nailed it!

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Mark Gregush
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Re: High Wheeler

Post by Mark Gregush » Sat Jan 16, 2021 2:06 pm

I know of one Holsman in Oregon and have ridden in it, but do not know the history on it.
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I know the voices aren't real but damn they have some good ideas! :shock:

1925 Cut down pickup
1920 Dodge touring
1948 Ford F2 pickup

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Re: High Wheeler

Post by Rich Eagle » Sat Jan 16, 2021 2:40 pm

Excellent work Erik. That is it.
Great pictures Mark. It looks like the one from Pocatello right down to the same lamps. It could be the same one.
Rich
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Re: High Wheeler

Post by Mark Gregush » Wed Jan 20, 2021 12:48 am

It is owned by a Becker family member.
I know the voices aren't real but damn they have some good ideas! :shock:

1925 Cut down pickup
1920 Dodge touring
1948 Ford F2 pickup


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Re: High Wheeler

Post by Wayne Sheldon » Wed Jan 20, 2021 3:35 am

I was wondering if that was Becker's Holsman?


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Re: High Wheeler

Post by Dropacent » Wed Jan 20, 2021 3:57 pm

One of my best old auto memories ever was driving a highwheeler. Norwalk Auto-Bug.
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Re: High Wheeler

Post by Mark Gregush » Thu Jan 21, 2021 12:18 am

Wayne Sheldon wrote:
Wed Jan 20, 2021 3:35 am
I was wondering if that was Becker's Holsman?
Yes it is.
I know the voices aren't real but damn they have some good ideas! :shock:

1925 Cut down pickup
1920 Dodge touring
1948 Ford F2 pickup


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Re: High Wheeler

Post by Wayne Sheldon » Thu Jan 21, 2021 4:21 pm

I thought so. Thank you Mark G!
W2

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Re: High Wheeler

Post by ChrisB » Fri Jan 22, 2021 1:09 pm

We own a 1911 Sears high wheeler. Have not driven it much it is very hard to start, although the previous owner fitted a NH carb.
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