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1906 Brush infomation

Guest 24 Lightsix

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Guest 24 Lightsix

Sorry I couldn't find the post about the request for early Brush suspension but I did find that the early Brush automobiles had lever action TRUFFAULT-HARTFORD shocks with coil springs on their wooden axles. I have pasted the story below and there is more information under the heading Truffault on the internet with pictures of advertising etc. Frank

On a summer day in 1904 a young man by the name of William Brush helped bring about the modern automobile suspension system. Driving his brother Alanson's Crestmobile, Brush was rolling along too fast for the unpaved roads of the day and went into a curve at <ACRONYM title="50 km/h">30 mph</ACRONYM>. The car's right front wheel skittered onto the dirt shoulder and whammed into a deep rut. Almost at once, the wheel started to shimmy violently. The undulations of the jarred right front elliptic leaf spring had sent shock waves across the solid I-beam axle to the left side of the vehicle. This set the entire front of the car to vibrating furiously. Brush was caught unawares and lost control. The car crashed through a barbed-wire fence, hit a ditch and overturned in a cow pasture.

Several hours later young William 'fessed up to Alanson, whose demeanor switched from stern to thoughtful, since he was trying to design a better car. That car, dubbed the Brush Two-Seat Runabout, finally appeared in 1906. It featured a revolutionary suspension system that incorporated two innovations never before assembled together: front coil springs and devices at each wheel that dampened spring bounce -- shock absorbers -- mounted on a flexible hickory axle.

Some European car makers had tried coil springs, with Gottlieb Daimler in Germany being the leading exponent. However, most manufacturers stood fast with leaf springs. They were less costly, and by simply adding leaves or changing the shape from full elliptic to three-quarter or half elliptic, the spring could be made to support varying weights.

Leaf springs in one form or another have been used since the Romans suspended a two-wheeled vehicle called a Pilentum on elastic wooden poles. The first steel spring put on a vehicle was a single flat plate installed on carriages by the French in the 18th century.

The venerable leaf spring, which some manufacturers still use in rear suspensions today, was invented by Obadiah Elliot of London in 1804. He simply piled one steel plate on top of another, pinned them together and shackled each end to a carriage.

The coil spring is not a spring chicken, either. The first patent for such a spring (British patent No. 792) was issued to R. Tredwell in 1763. The main advantage of coil springs was that they did not have to be spread apart and lubricated periodically to keep them from squeaking, as leaf springs did.

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Guest Siegfried

Every once in awhile an education is received from someone in our hobby. Thank you for the education. I encountered my first Brush automobile at the AACA Museum a few years back when a beautiful orange painted Brush was donated by the owner named Brush. I found the front suspension to be amazing. Until viewing a Brush an inspecting the front suspension I had never known of wood being used for automobile suspensions, but then again I had never really looked closely at earlier automobiles. Amazed to say the least. Hickory was a superb choice. By the way, the Brush is still on display at the museum.

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The Brush that is in the Museum was donated by GVACS Region member Don Brush. Don is about 90 years old, but I don't think he gets on the internet.

I know who Don is, but don't know him very well.

I can check with my region president to see if he'd be willing to answer any questions if needed.

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