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What’s under your hood? Is it steam?
 

Between the 1890s and 1920s, manufacturers and entrepreneurs experimented with steam, electric, and internal-combustion engines competed. Each engine type had its strengths and weaknesses and appealed to a certain interest group. Why do you think the gasoline powered internal combustion engine became the standard?

Each of the following companies experimented with steam automobiles.

Locomobile radiator emblem
Olds Motor Works radiator emblem
Lozier radiator emblem

Strengths of Steam:

Fast and powerful with no gear changing — steam appealed to enthusiasts and racers.

Fred Marriott at the wheel of his Stanley Steam racing car
Fred Marriott at the wheel of his Stanley Steam racing car
The “Woggle Bug”
The “Woggle Bug”
Roper steam velocipede
Roper steam velocipede
Sylvester Roper's steam carriage
Sylvester Roper's steam carriage

Weaknesses:

It could take up to 45 minutes on cold mornings to heat the boiler before starting out on a trip. Steam powered autos also had a smaller range than electric cars.

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