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Orcas Island 1912 Stanley Steamer

Posted by SSsssteamer 
Orcas Island 1912 Stanley Steamer
May 24, 2018 10:31AM
Mt. Wagon owner, Grant Schumacker contacted me that a new Mountain Wagon video has just been posted to YouTube. It is titled "Orcas Island 1912 Stanley Steamer". Find it at: [www.youtube.com] Good over all information about the Stanley Mt. Wagon. Like all history, not perfect, but very informative.
Re: Orcas Island 1912 Stanley Steamer
May 24, 2018 12:08PM
Beautiful car, I think we all misquote history as it is very difficult to decipher the fast paced developments of that era, not to mention the sales huckstering that was going on as well.

One thing I've discovered in my researching the early Locomobile and have came to the conclusion they never were a Stanley carriage. George Whitney owned the patent on the early steam carriage (1897) which the Stanley brothers copied and were sued by Whitney and lost (twice actually). Whitney is the one that sold the rights for $250,000 to build his steamer which was then the Locomobile when Barber, Walker and John T Davis (Barber's son in law) got involved. Walker immediately left and started Mobile steam car, Whitney went on to work for Locomobile as chief design engineer in Bridgeport until they switched over to internal explosion engines. It was handwritten testimony from George Whitney that clearly lays all of this out and makes much more sense than the Stanley's version of events which fail to mention the two lawsuits and little to no mention of George Whitney. (who owned the patent on the original design)

Locomobile did wind up purchasing some patents from the Stanleys later on, but it was for the wirewound boiler and some other minor aspects, but not the whole car design.

This well circulated pic attached of the Stanley brothers sitting on a steam carriage is a Whitney Steam carriage.

Whitney who formed the Whitney Motor Wagon company could not build cars here after he sold the rights, but did license some makers in Europe and why that today some Whitney examples survive there and not here.

Incidentally the second lawsuit was around 1902, the same year that most of the steam carriage companies that were building on the Whitney patent without permission here in the US closed shop, the logical explanation was they did not want to get sued also and probably received a cease and desist order.

Newspaper lawsuit clippings are from a 1902 publication. Obit is from the early 1960's


Re: Orcas Island 1912 Stanley Steamer
July 22, 2021 05:44PM
Just wanted to point out that the attachments to the previous post actually contradict the post's narrative.

1. "Whitney ... sold the rights ... to ... Locomobile..." "Locomobile did wind up purchasing some patents from the Stanleys later on ..."
-------- VS. in the "LEGAL NEWS" item -
" ... patents of the Stanleys ... are owned by the Locomobile Co., who discovered after this purchase [italics mine], that Whitney ... owned important patents which it was decided thereupon to secure."

2. "This well circulated pic attached of the Stanley brothers sitting on a steam carriage is a Whitney Steam carriage."
-------- VS.
Compare the Stanley brothers' car to the Whitney diagram posted next to it. These cars are dramatically different both in appearance and construction. Mechanically the Stanley / Locomobile had almost nothing in common with the Whitney design - period engineering descriptions of both cars make this clear. Whitney's cars were larger and heavier, and the steam plants were more sophisticated in some ways. (When both cars appeared together at the Charles River event on Nov. 9, 1898, Whitney's car weighed almost 3 times as much as the Stanleys'.)

For one specific example of mechanical differences, consider the tillers in the two posted images. (A larger version of the Stanley brothers image is attached for easier study.) The Stanleys' tiller is so low and simple that it is completely covered by the lap robe. Throughout the tiller-steer Locomobile era it was the same, a plain curved tube that pivoted near the floor. The tiller in the Whitney diagram is shaped much differently, and has the sophistication of including other control features into the handle. Later Whitney cars used a rotatable shovel handle for this extra functionality.

It's interesting to observe period reporting on the foundation of Locomobile, and the fact that the earliest Locomobile corporate advertising referred to their product as a "Stanley." See attachments for June 1899 reporting, and corporate ads from June and September 1899.

Just one final note - the Whitney design was eventually produced and sold by a Boston man named Stanley. Frank F. Stanley, in fact. This similarity of names has created considerable confusion over the years. See this post for further clarification -


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