Locomobile “Steam Runabout”, 1900
The first “self-propelled” coach of the history was the Carriage of Cugnot built in 1769; it was fitted with a 50,000 cc twin-cylinder steam engine and weighted about 4-5 tons.
The steam engine had a large diffusion at the car industry dawn and in 1900 in America the 40% of the cars built were steam engined, the 38% had electrical engines and only the 22% had internal-combustion engines; nevertheless within a few years the car industries decided to use the internalcombustion engine instead of the steam engine, while the electrical engine enjoyed great favour for some years more, especially in America.
Locomobile, founded in 1899 by John Walker and Amzi Barber after acquiring the Stanley steam car industry, in 1903 converted to internal-combustion engine, in 1904 ceasing definitely the steam car production.
The car in the Museum is a Steam model with runabout (roadster) body; behind the two-seat bench you can note a wicker trunk, a typical “after-market” accessory of the time. The car overall lightness is highlighted by the nearly cycle wire wheels, and it is stili fitted with the steering bar.