1900 Locomobile Style 2

£15.00

Early Motor Cars Veteran 1894-1904

Availability: In stock

The Locomobile Company was an American manufacturer founded in 1899. One of Locomobile’s co-founders, John Walker, persuaded the Stanley brothers (of steam fame) to sell him their steam car business, comprising a single completed car and 199 orders, for $250,000. Walker then sold 50% in the business for an equal amount to an asphalt millionaire. Locomobile took over Stanley’s production line at Watertown, Massachusetts, renaming the little steamers “Locomobile”. The partners fell out within weeks. Barber retained the Locomobile name and Watertown plant. In 1900 he transferred to Bridgeport, Conn. until the company’s demise in 1929. The company manufactured affordable, small steam cars until 1903. The Locomobiles were unreliable, finicky to operate, prone to kerosene fires, had small water tanks (getting only 20 mi {32 km) per tank, and took time to raise steam. Rudyard Kipling described one as a “nickel-plated fraud”. Initially they were offered with a single body style only, an inexpensive runabout at US$600. Nevertheless, they were a curiosity and middle-class Americans clamoured for the latest technology. Salesmen, doctors, and people needing quick mobility found them useful. More than 4000 were built between 1899 and 1902. Steam car No 2218 is in the possession of the National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh.

Weight 0.022 kg
Dimensions 47.5 × 34.5 cm