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Doble book by Jim Crank

Posted by Terry Williams 
Re: Doble book by Jim Crank
November 21, 2009 01:25PM

From the information I've seen on Serpollet cars the first ones were single acting V-4 or horizontally opposed 4 and 6 cylinder engines. Strangely Serpollet switched back to a Double acting 2 cylinder in later cars. All Serpollet engines that I've seen information incorporated poppet valves.
Re: Doble book by Jim Crank
November 21, 2009 05:48PM

You are right. Single acting V-4, flat 4 and flat 6. Then at the end a two cylinder double acting. All with poppet valves and counterflow.

I am most pleased to tell everyone that a sponsor has come forward to allow us to finish and print the Doble book. Much later.
As the screen at our local theater used to say: "Don't miss the next thrilling chapter of this serial next week at this theater."

Re: Doble book by Jim Crank
November 22, 2009 06:40AM

Back on the subject of Serpollet, here is a picture of a flat four uniflow engine stored in a museum and labelled as a Serpollet 5hp. Only mention I have seen of Serpollet and uniflow is for the flat twin used in very early cars and mentioned in patent GB189823898.
Is the engine in the photo a Serpollet?


Re: Doble book by Jim Crank
November 22, 2009 11:50AM
November 22, 2009 Brian, The Serpollet engine that I saw a few years ago at John Walton's collection at Kirk Michael was more open and cruder looking than the one in your photo. It has poppet valves and a sliding cam. The V-4 is well illustrated on page 22 of Benson and Rayman's "Experimental Flash Steam". That design is exactly the same as Keen used in the Steamliner II. There is some logic to having the camshaft in the valley of the V and it being a 90 degree V then the same cam can drive to cam followers and so only half as many cams are needed as, for example, in the Williams straight 4. Tom Kimmel
Re: Doble book by Jim Crank
November 22, 2009 02:58PM
Hello Tom

Chances are that John Walton engine is similar to the photo below or an older version. As Jim mentioned there were plenty crossflow designs but I'm curious about the uniflow, two cylinder drawing attached. Okay flat fours are not well ballanced and flat six would have end to end imballance like a three cylinder.
The V4 is a tempting design, as mentioned before, a Subaru or VW Beetle crankshaft could be the starting point for a design.

Re: Doble book by Jim Crank
November 22, 2009 04:31PM

Serpollet did not make unaflow engines and this flat four is not one either. Both valves are on top for each cylinder.

Re: Doble book by Jim Crank
November 22, 2009 05:36PM
Thankyou Jim, just trying to confirm what I suspected. No sign of his name on the engine either. Alternative possibilty this is a Simpson engine circa 1901

Re: Doble book by Jim Crank
November 22, 2009 06:41PM
Hmmmmm,,,A steam engine w/ ALL valves on top,,,not likely,,,do we have here a display view of the bottom w/ cover removed,,,Item #2,,I believe Serpollet used a donkey engine to run the auxilleries, on some models,,,these pics need reference as to size,,Just thinking out loud,,and please ignore the lever to keep the safety valve CLOSED,,forced closed by drivers heel,,to prevent dumping the ""tube"" ,,,and if someone needs,,I have one,,,haha,,, It is said that some of these engines ran at dull red at night,,Of course,,,,,,,its French,,[ That comment in humor and a ref to Panhard sleeve engine,,and water cooled brakes an' a jake brake in 1906,]],,Ben
Re: Doble book by Jim Crank
November 23, 2009 02:31AM

"A steam engine w/ ALL valves on top"
Afraid so, attached photo from Jeff Theoblald's site with top view of a type D Serpollet. Engine valves can be seen middle right, same pattern as engraving above. Also the Serpollet Dararacq DA engine had all poppet valves up top and manually operated cylinder drains below.
The line drawing is from a Serpollet patent and describes a 2 cylinder uniflow. David Burgess Wise also describes in 'Old Motor' magazine an 1899 twin horizontally opposed engine "it used mushroom headed poppet inlet valves and ports in the cylinder wall uncovered at the bottom of the stroke for exhaust."
Thomas Hindle articles on Serpollet in Light Steam Power 1950, list Serpollet as building DA engines with side valves, Inline SA crossflow with poppets, opposed uniflow, opposed cross flow, V4 cross flow then back to opposed cross flow and finally DA twin for the Darracqs. Certainly from 1900, as Jim says, everthing cross flow with poppet valves. The Darracq to me seems a step backwads, double acting with large passageways from valve to cylinder.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/23/2009 07:06AM by Brian McMorran.

Re: Doble book by Jim Crank
February 08, 2010 07:29PM

I am most pleased to tell everyone that a sponsor has come forward to allow us to finish and print the Doble book. Much later.

I wanted to bump this back to the top from Jim's post in November. Is there any more recent news?
I will be one of the first in line to purchase a copy when it hits the street.
Re: Doble book by Jim Crank
February 09, 2010 10:33AM
Bob et al,

Thank you for the inquiry.
The original patron and publisher failed to produce. The second had business reversals and also vanished.
The present would be sponsor has verbally said he is going to see the book published. However, no check has arrived now for three months to cover the editors and my additional work to finish the chapters. Then the actual publisher's costs have not been settled at all, although we have a good written estimate for the printing, binding and boxing ready for mailing. Final cost depends on the number of books to be printed, 500, 1,000,1500 or 2,000. Accurate estimates were provided for each.

The Doble book will probably be two volumes of about 250- 300 pages each in a box, plus an Appendix with supporting catalogs and data. Boxed ready for mailing.
All three people involved, the editor, the publisher and myself have submitted written cost and time estimates as requested three times since last November. Nothing has happened. I am simply fed up with this. I am used to making a considered decision then acting without delay, that is the way I have always operated.

Both my editor and I have other projects that are going to consume all our time and energies, so if the book is to be published by our sponsor, we must get going before the end of February or forget the project. One can only stand around waiting for just so long.

So, the Doble book and all the background material is now up for sale, including the rights to the potential profits.
The price is high as it contains over twenty years of research and much information and photographs that cannot begin to be duplicated. A mass of CDs are included that contain Doble photographs that have never been seen before, plus much technical information and original factory data.

The first thirteen chapters are completed with photograph placement done. Some minor additional editing corrections need to be done and these chapters have been printed out full scale and red lined ready for this final edit. Then substitute the high resolution photos for the placement versions.
The final six or eight chapters are the easy ones to do. My editor and I estimate two to three months would see the book completed and the final CDs produced and ready for printing. Totally completed. The editor should be retained to provide continuity of style and I would provide assistance to insure that the book is technically correct.

If someone with deep pockets or a group want to see this book completed, they can e-mail me privately and we will discuss the matter.


Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 02/09/2010 11:51AM by Jim Crank.
Re: Doble book by Jim Crank
February 10, 2010 07:14AM
Thanks for the update.
While I am sure my comprehension of the dedication, efforts, frustration, negotiations, let alone money wouldn't even scratch the surface. Be assured that in the background I'm hoping that somehow, someway, this will make it's way to fruition. I'm sitting on the edge of my seat waiting to hear that it at the publisher!
Re: Doble book by Jim Crank
February 12, 2010 05:17AM
Hi Jim,

Perhaps my psychic sense is somehow "off", but I think that an eagerly-awaited book about the legendary Doble steam car, researched and written by the world's foremost Doble expert, _will_ be very successfully published, and will become THE definitive history of the Doble steam car. I don't know how or when, but it will be. If Walton's book about Doble, and "Steamy Dreamer", the book about the Baker steam car, can be published ...

Re: Doble book by Jim Crank
February 22, 2010 05:44PM
Hi Jim

I don't knoe if you are going to have color photos or illistrations. But pages are printed in sigmitures. For example, a year book sig was 16 pages. If one page has color you get charged for the sig being color as it had to be run on a color printer. Pages per sig depend on the press size and page size. Might be something to think about to keep cost down.

I'm not an expert on printing, But there are some that work with Walsworth and do small runs very reasionably. I saw several small runs that were done for small groups, Like the local Lions club cook books. And of course school year books usually less thenn 5000 books.

It's a lot less if you have in print ready PDF format.

Re: Doble book by Jim Crank
February 22, 2010 08:28PM
I agree with Andy here,

Jim, from your previous reply, you intend to "finish" the writing style. If this cannot be done, archive as much digital data thats paid for already, as you can. I dont want to criticize, but you would be very suprised, at the amount of people that are willing to devote there time to creating a "masterpiece".

Heres an example, I work with freelance web-developer's and Java Script writers all the time, just as there are ways to get these things done for me, Im certain there is a way to get your vision recorded in your books, hell, you could even have technical digressions, where ever you would like. Alot of these guys need some work experience, the goal could be met from 2 directions...

So, maybe you will have to settle for paperback on the first printing. These guys im talking about, transfer full copyrights to the actual auther, the work for hire is generally donated to the cause, in most cases. If you would like to explore starting over, using what you have already accumulated, email me at info(at)flashsteam.com, the process may take a couple of years, but it wont cost you anything to finalize the draft, then you would have to copyright the draft (in your name for 500bucks) before the stuff is sent to the publisher for the paperback first run, its a flat rate deal for them, and you hold exlusive rights, 90 years, then 70 years for who you leave the copyrights too. Once you have the draft, and its exlusively copyrighted in your name, its an easy process to raise the money for the printing. Besides, at that stage, everything is locked in, and you can have as much time as you like to get the printing done.

Like I said, I could get you the free help, without getting scammed, it may take 2 years thou, because things have to be started over. Look people, (all of you's forum people) if it wasnt for the help I got from other folks, along the way, theres no way, I could have even got as far as I have. And its not a question of throwing money at the problem either...


Re: Doble book by Jim Crank
February 23, 2010 10:14AM

A paperback is simply out of the question. There have been enough cheesy Doble publications and wild stories printed already, I will not add to this. My book will be done correctly and contain only factual data that I have as hard copies on file and can verify, plus good supporting photographs, or it will not come out at all.
The whole intent when this book idea was started over twenty years ago, was and is to honestly tell the Doble steam car story right from the beginning when the brothers were still in high school and what went on in the factory and who was involved and when. Starting with their grandfather and father and the Abner Doble Corporation and the water powered generators they made in San Francisco.
Even to the point of hiring a paralegal to investigate and straighten out the real facts about what went on during those stock fraud trials. A messy legal action against the Dobles. That alone took over a year and several thousand dollars to get straight.

I knew the people and have spent decades collecting data and often buying offered documents and collections, verifying it all with hard facts and writing the history of the cars, the engineering behind them, the design features and did my very best to tell the whole Doble story as truthfully as possible. This includes the part that Bill Besler played in continuing steam car development in general with his cars, boats, railcars and that airplane powerplant.

During my lifetime, I have worked on eight of the cars, and know the engineering involved backwards and forwards and also where things went wrong and why. I will not cheapen this effort with some paperback thing. I would rather just scrap the whole project literally and forget it, then see it reduced to some comic book work. That has already been done.

This is two large volumes plus an appendix that contains the relevant catalogs and other material that should be in the book for reference purposes; but probably not in the main text. All the needed photos are there and scanned already. That collection is well over about 350 photos alone.

The book is essentially finished as far as the data is concerned and the remaining text and photos are outlined for the last remaining chapters.
The first twelve chapters are done, except for some editorial errors that are corrected in red ink on the printed sheets and ready to hand over to the editor.

When the sponsor deigns to communicate, then I will know the timetable. Until then, the Doble book is simply in storage along with boxes of CDs with hundreds of Doble photographs and factory documents and blueprints. My editor and I know what is needed to complete the book and we have a publisher ready to go.

I will keep you informed.

Re: Doble book by Jim Crank
February 23, 2010 12:03PM

I think thats a very respectable position. Reading your reply, im getting a better feel of the aim of the Doble Book. I see now why you want things done just so.

It reminds me of another book called Thomas Edison The Chemist. It was a biography written by one of Edisons workers. It gave en excellent prespective on Edison, it was a hardcover book.

I guess theres a part of me that would like to see a book out there, that would be attractive to the novice, to learn about Stean Car Design. It would be a huge task to condense all the information scattered out there on steam cars.

Its kind of funny, since when I started to study steam, I never ran across any nomenclature related to the steam cars. Mostly I had to get the information from stuff related to Steam Locomotives and Steam Ships. As I write this reply today, I know theres a myrid of data on steam cars to be found.


Re: Doble book by Jim Crank
March 06, 2010 10:53AM
I'm new to this forum, however I would like to get a copy of this book when it is published. All you get is bit and pieces on the internet of the Doble Steam Car story. My question to you Jim, is in all your research, did you find any photos or documentation on the E series cars 1 through 8? I could not find any information on those first 8 cars in the E series.
I also cannot find any photo of the Doble Built for India royalty as a hunting car. Rolls Royce custom built that body.

Do you feel that there might be one or two Dobles hidden in private car collections that are not documented today? Do you have a better idea of how many were actuall built in the D,E, and F series? You read so much as many as 42, and other information points at less than 30 were actually built.

Thank-you, Joe
Re: Doble book by Jim Crank
March 07, 2010 10:51AM

Unless the would be backer shows up and we get going, there will not be any Doble book.
The book and the rights are presently for sale, except no one seems to be interested. If that does not happen, then I am going to burn all the book files.

You are another victim of the constant nonsense written about the Doble cars. Much came from England. Where they don't really know the history, so they make it up.
J. N. Walton did the best that he could with his book with the information he had then. The book by Lord Montagu and Anthony Bird "The Steam Car 1770-1970" is a funny book. They have no idea what they are talking about with the Doble or the White steam cars.

Yes I have the data on the first Series E cars and photos of all of them except for E-6, which was quickly scrapped at the factory, a 5 passenger sedan.
The first E was a new version of the Model D car, mainly a change from a two cylinder compound engine to a double four cylinder compound. Chassis number 5 built in San Francisco was the first E chassis.

No body was built by Rolls-Royce. R-R did not build bodies until the Silver Clouds after WW-2. The Series D and E bodies were all built by the Walter Murphy Company in Pasadena, California. Only one was not, chassis E-16, the hunting car for the Maharaja of Bharatpur. Built by Windovers in England. Scrapped.
The Series F cars were mostly Model 60 Buick sedans, two LaSalles, a sedan and convertible cabriolet and one Cadillac V-16 All Weather Phaeton.

There are no hidden or undiscovered Dobles, I have the records and photographs of all Series A, B, Doble-Detroit, D, Simplex, E and F cars. Only the chassis sold to the Russian Government has not been located or accounted for. An overhaul and update of Rubin Hills car by Besler in 1937. Chassis E-21. Probably destroyed in WW-II.

Number of Doble cars constructed and data verified with factory documents and photographs.

Buckboard, when the boys were in high school. One.
Model A. Conversion of an American Underslung chassis, no body. One.
Model B. Five
Doble Detroit. Eleven according to Warren Doble.
Doble Series D. Four.
Simplex. One.
Series E. Twenty.
Series F. Seven.


Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/07/2010 04:03PM by Jim Crank.
Re: Doble book by Jim Crank
March 07, 2010 02:19PM
This Doble information is why it is so important to have the book published. I had no idea that counting the buckboard that the Dobles built, there were 61 vehicles in all that they had constructed. Amazing. smiling smiley
Re: Doble book by Jim Crank
March 07, 2010 02:39PM
Hi,,Unlikely as it might seem,,is there any chance that Doble Engineering in Watertown , on 85 Walnut St,,617-926-4900,,[ less than 2 mi from the old Stanley factory ] would be interested in this project,,Stanley's dealer plate was 49 i think,,,,,The archives there show Warren and Abner on records,,in the back of the old file cases,,A friend of mine was a mech' engineer there 20 odd years ago,,Cheers Ben
Re: Doble book by Jim Crank
March 07, 2010 03:01PM
What was a car build for Maharaja at Harrah's collection National Automobile Museum? Might have been a Bugati or Duesy. Now that was a collection in its day. Not sure how it is these days. How accurate is the wiki_doble article Jim? Hope you don't burn your collections and hard work. Can't un-burn it. Still are creative funding opps even in this lousy economy.
Re: Doble book by Jim Crank
March 07, 2010 03:23PM
I think that Indian car was a Silver Ghost,,formerly of Maharajh of Mysore,,Ben
Re: Doble book by Jim Crank
March 07, 2010 04:21PM
I really goofed. There were only eleven Doble-Detroit cars made, according to Warren. Not twenty two. Sorry about that.
The Series F cars were really Beslers doing anyhow. Abner was in high disgrace then after the two stock fraud trials and Bill told him to get out of the plant. Warren was OK, and did a lot of designing along with Stan Whitlock on the F car. Abner had gone to New Zealand to Prices to work on their bus project by then.

Have no idea about this Doble company. It had nothing to do with the steam car company here.
The only Doble to actually go to India was E-16. My ex car, E-23, was ordered by the Maharaja of Alwar; but he cancelled the order before the car was shipped and Besler bought it off the factory floor in late 1925 for $16,500.00, full price.
The Maharaja of B. also had several Silver Ghost R-R cars. I have one photo of E-16 with the Maharaja driving and the Viceroy in the front seat and a nice Windovers bodied S. G. behind it in front of the palace.

Doble shipping list attached to this.

open | download - Doble Shipping List (52.5 KB)
Re: Doble book by Jim Crank
March 07, 2010 05:09PM
Hi Jim,

I was successfully able to save the download attachment and open it, using MS Word, on my computer.


Re: Doble book by Jim Crank
March 07, 2010 08:19PM
Dear Jim, Just how much interest is in your Doble book? I was amazed when I noticed that there already has been over 2,000 views to this Doble book thread. That is worth pointing out to any potential investor. smileys with beer SSsssteamer
Re: Doble book by Jim Crank
March 08, 2010 05:41AM

There may be over 2,000 views on this book mess; but no offers to finish it and print it.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/08/2010 07:50AM by Jim Crank.
Re: Doble book by Jim Crank
March 09, 2010 09:19PM
I would say its a little more than a mess smileys with beer

Jim whats actually needed is a fundraising expert.

That Solarvolt guy did really well for the Barrett Steam Car. Here's a link to explain to the reader what im talking about-

I see from the dialog that we have had on this thread(w/over 2000 hits) That the Doble Book is a chronology of the Doble Steam Car more than anything else. I " feel " that, that has an historical value... Myself, I would prefer to turn out as something other than, an Electrolux Vacuum Cleaner salesman, when its all said and done... Like I said, these would be interesting " footnotes " in history.

Either way, don't burn the CD's that you have,(ive gotten to this point myself before, trust me I always regretted it later) instead, post them(the data files) here on the forum, attach the files here on this thread in a reply after your deadline has past.. In this way, someone may further your work. Also, im sure you could interact with them here on this thread, in order to clarify things the way you would like written. Its a better alternative than destroying the original files you've made insofar, and something is better than nothing...


Re: Doble book by Jim Crank
March 10, 2010 09:50AM

The Doble book is one hell of a lot more than just a chronology of the cars. It is a complete history of the Doble family in California from 1847 with grandfather Abner up to the end of the Besler era.
It is a complete technical history of each model, and each development and why, the family involvement, the water turbine business, the stock fraud trials, Abner and Warren's work in New Zealand, England and Germany with Price, Sentinel, Henschel and Borsig. All accompanied by well over 350 photos, plus government reports, translated German papers and such.
Then the Doble bus projects in Emeryville.
Then the stock fraud mess and why and how Bill Besler gained ownership and control of the Doble assets. That alone took over a year with a hired paralegal to straighten out.
The Besler development of the Series F cars.
The Stanley, Nordberg, Cleaver-Brooks and Greyhound bus powerplants. On through the McCulloch car and the Blakeborough and Alec Moulton car ideas.
Then the story of Bill Besler and the license to use the Doble control patents in 1925, on through his airplane, boat and car projects.

This is why it takes two 300 + page volumes with an appendix and lots of factory drawings and data.
I would say it is a lot more than just describing the cars. And no, I am not going to post them on any internet site.

I have a real heartburn with these internet sites. I sent someone, who shall remain nameless, a VHS video of the Besler airplane film years ago. Now it is all over the internet. And the internet video is REALLY awful. No one respects copyrights at all, just plasters it all over the place.
The negative that I have is sharp and clear as a bell, so is the one really good print I have. That rubbish on the internet is so bad you can't see any detail.
Well, Jeremy, I won't allow that to happen to the book material. Not after spending twenty years with the book project itself and a lifetime studying the Doble technology and spending some $47 K to buy Doble artifacts, engineering notebooks, files and blueprints from all over the world. All of which went into the book.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/11/2010 01:15PM by Jim Crank.
Re: Doble book by Jim Crank
March 13, 2010 09:53AM
We here in SACA have discussed Jim's book. A year ago I talked at some length with Don Hoke, then of the Stanley Museum, about a joint venture with the book. Then we brought it up at the September SACA Board meeting, briefly. Our club is not in a position to do anything substantive. The reason is because we are not a 501 c 3 educational foundation, we do not have a permanent office or staff, we do not do fund raising, and most of all, we are not set up to be in business. What we can do is encourage someone to take the risk and fund the Doble book. It contains information of importance and available nowhere else. Tom Kimmel
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All files from this thread

File Name File Size   Posted by Date  
two cyl compound.jpg 274.1 KB open | download Rolly 10/29/2009 Read message
Serpollet5hp.jpeg 35.2 KB open | download Brian McMorran 11/22/2009 Read message
Serpollet-engine.jpg 133.5 KB open | download Brian McMorran 11/22/2009 Read message
2cyl uniflow.jpg 31.2 KB open | download Brian McMorran 11/22/2009 Read message
russian-serpollet-3.jpg 41.3 KB open | download Brian McMorran 11/23/2009 Read message
Doble Shipping List 52.5 KB open | download Jim Crank 03/07/2010 Read message