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1957 Kent Meet (entire article)

Posted by: Kelly

As mentioned in the previous post... And this one does have a roster of cars, although not the names of all 218 (!) attendees.

Kelly Williams
Mount Joy, PA

The Bulb Horn, Vol. 18 No. 4, October 1957
Veteran Motor Car Club of America

Steam Lore

by Stanley W. Ellis

The Meet held in Kent, Ohio, August 17 and 18, 1957 was one of the largest and most enthusiastic ever. Some 218 people appeared from all over. Arizona, California, Washington, West Virginia, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Minnesota, Canada, - all were represented. We were lodged at Kent State University, and accommodations and meals left nothing to be desired. Great credit goes to Bob Lyons [sp] and those who helped for a wonderfully smooth schedule.

This gathering was notable for the large number interested in 'modern' steam. The antiques were thoroughly represented, but never before was there evidence of such interest and desire for a modern steam powered car. These two groups have no clear dividing line. One can still own and love a 1900 Loco, say, and also yearn for a super duper modern steamer.

On Friday evening after dinner this aspect was represented by two talks before the assemblage. E.O. Hermann of Momence, Illinois, a Doble owner of long standing, gave a most comprehensive lecture on modern developments covering a steam truck which he now has on the road, and plans for a fleet of steam taxis in which a Chicago firm is interested. Charles Keen of Madison, Wisconsin, told of his "steamliner" and hinted at some of the developments of nuclear power which will involve steam application. Messrs. Detrick and Gaeke described the evolution of the Detrick test car.

On Saturday there was a display of the cars present and owners were most generous in giving rides to the townspeople of Kent, who turned out in large numbers.

One of the most picturesque cars, surely, was a 1910 White owned by A.G. Vair of nearby Ravenna, Ohio. He bought this car in 1912 and has been driving it ever since. Period.

Ken Maxwell pulled his lovely Locomobile all the way from Arizona on a trailer. Earle Eckel was represented by his famous 1914 Stanley and the jewel-like 1903. A 1925 SV Model represented the last of the Stanley models. The Marshall 1918 has a conventional Stanley engine converted to piston valves with heightened superheat and efficiency. Details on this conversion may be had from the Marshall J. Donald Gibson. [previous sentence is verbatim]

One little 10 hp Stanley boasted a miniature atomizing burner and water tube boiler for modern convenience but Warren Weiant, Jr. scorns such concessions and fires his pilot light with original drip cup. His 1907 White 20 hp is a gem in appearance and performance as those who rode in it can testify. A very fine 1913 20 hp Stanley of R.F. Stenholm was beautiful in appearance and sprightly on the road. Space prevents the mention of other individual cars. They all ran well and were a credit to their owners.

No less than three modern steamers appeared. The test car of Forrest Detrick drew many questions and comments and many had an opportunity to ride and drive it. Harry Peterson has a fine car with Stanley engine but his own boiler and burner. It is a splendid performer. Most tantalizing of all on Sunday morning, just as many were preparing to leave, there appeared a Steam Ford of about 1950 vintage owned by the Williams brothers of Pennsylvania who drove it non-stop some 400 miles in 9 hours. This has a modern four cylinder uniflow engine under the hood with shaft drive, and the monotube boiler nestles neatly with atomising burner in the trunk. A most attractive and neat installation representing great ingenuity.

On Saturday a trip was made to Thompson Products Museum in Cleveland with a sumptuous lunch provided by Ruth Franklin. Steam is well represented in the collection with several Whites, a magnificent Stanley Model F and an unrestored 1898 Serpollet Coach of extraordinary appearance and design.

Saturday evening, Reverend Stanley Ellis moderated a Panel of Experts. Charles Briar, famous Doble owner of San Diego, was most generous in answering questions and showed a film of his Doble-Simplex. Mr. Detrick and his engineer, Lee Gaeke, plus Charles Keen, also represented modern steam. Burt Johnson and Earle Eckel were able to help with the Stanleys and older cars, and a profitable discussion was held.

Sunday morning was all too early a time to adjourn - some to light pilots and steam away, others merely to turn a switch and hum off to atomising fire, and others of the weaker sort to take airplanes and trains.

Cars present-

Cal Williams, 1950 Ford Conversion
Forrest Detrick, Detrick 1957
Harry Peterson, Stanley-Peterson
F.W. Bunting, 1925 Stanley
A.L. Devilbiss, 1917 Stanley
M.P. Frost, 1910 Stanley
T. Gardner King, 1908 Stanley
T.C. Marshall, 1918 Stanley (pistol [sic] valves)
K.L. Maxwell, 1899 Locomobile
Art Mix, 1897 Stanley
F.W. Phillips, Mobile
F.D. Saylor, Jr., 1911 Stanley
R.F. Stenholm, 1913 Stanley 20 hp
H.W. Weber, 1909 Stanley
C.S. Walton, 1923 Stanley
W.S. Weiant, Jr., Locomobile,
1907 White 20 hp
A.G. Vair, 1910 White 20 hp

1899 Locomobile

Earle Eckel and 1914 Stanley

1907 white 70 20 HP

1918 Stanley