Development of a steam powered street waggon
A remarkable specimen of mechanical ingenuity has recently been shown by a machinist of Baltimore. It is in the form of a unique wagon, which is propelled by means of a Van Dusen ten horse power gasoline engine. The proposed wagon, which is completed and has had one trip, and is now undergoing some alterations in the axle bearings, is about 16 feet in length, weighs about 6,000 pounds, and is quite long enough to seat twenty persons comfortably.
The engine, as designed and applied, is small and compact, resting beneath the floor and between the axles, and concealed by steps mounting to the body of the vehicle. One side of the engine is furnished with a metallic flywheel of forty-eight inches diameter, at right angles to which revolves a friction wheel, the circumference of which is leather. The smaller wheel is turned by the revolution of the flywheel. Upon the same axle is another small wheel, which causes to revolve a metal disk, and to the latter is attached a link chain, which likewise surrounds the rear hub. The power is thus transmitted from the flywheel to the friction wheel and thence to the hub. The speed can be increased or diminished by widening or lessening the distance of the friction wheel from the center of the flywheel, the former being ten inches in circumference, the latter forty-eight inches. A speed of from three to twenty miles is guaranteed at a cost of one cent per hour for the engine power and ten cents per gallon for the gasoline.
A tank of thirty gallons capacity will be placed in the wagon, but ten gallons per day will probably be an ample allowance. The levers necessary for the propagating, lessening and increasing the motion will be a brake, a speed lever and a steering apparatus, and the driver or steerer will be placed in the front part of the wagon, conveniently near all these. Should the wagon fulfill the predictions of the inventor, horse power as a means of street locomotion may be in a great measure done away with.