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Exide Storage Battery Co Electric Trucks.

Guest Silverghost

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Guest Silverghost

In Philadelphia where I grew up in the 1950s the Exide Electric Storage Battery Co. was only 8 blocks away.

They were still using large ancient electric battery powered delivery trucks within the city itself. Possibly pre 1920s vintage.

My 91 1/2 y/o father remembered these trucks from when he was a kid ! He was born in 1918 !

There was a fleet of six or so.

Only used within the city itself.

The trucks had heavy solid rubber tires on very heavy wheels and had wooden open cabs .

There were roll-down side curtains for foul weather driver protection.

Large Exide sigs were painted on each side.

Very silent running !

They were always heavily loaded-down with auto, truck, forklift, and industrial, railroad,telephone/telegraph & marine batterys !

When the Philadelhia Exide plant finally closed in the late 60s a few of these trucks were donated to antique car museums.

CARDONE the auto parts re-builder took over part of the old Exide Electric Storage Battery Co. plant on Rising Sun Ave. in Philadephia.

It's still there !

Has anyone ever seen an old electric Exide Electric Storage Battery Co electric truck in any museum ?

Are there any photos of them around ?

Do any of these electric trucks still exist today ?

They surely must have set some sort of record as the oldest running & still used early electric trucks !

Edited by Silverghost (see edit history)
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I don't know about those trucks but I do know that chain drive Macks were still being used when Interstate 83 from Baltimore to Harrisburg was built in 1957-58. Snyder Truck Sales had the job of changing the slow speed sprockets to high speed sprockets for the trucks' return run to the Allentown area where the precast concrete bridge trusses were being fabricated. At that end the sprockets would be changed again for the haul back to the York area. A local collector had a huge "Commercial Electric" truck that was supposedly used by Curtis Publishing in Philadelphia to haul heavy rolls of paper. An old Walter Snow Fighter was still in use in our small town well into the 1960's.

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Guest palosfv3

My Dad worked for Exide here in Chicago in the 50's and 60's. As a kid I remember him talking about the experimental work they were doing with batteries and vehicles during the early 60's. Sadly Dad passed away in 65 when I was 13.

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Exide knows how to make a good battery, If they want to.

An old stationary engine was replaced by the City of West Springfield a few years back (1990) and the original battery that was about 60 years old was still in service!

It must have been a Nicad battery similar to the ones used in the old Delco Light Plants. I have heard that if taken care of properly, these would last 100 years. Dandy Dave!

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Guest Silverghost

A fellow I know bought a 1921 Rolls~Royce Silver Ghost

That had been sitting for 30 years at the Henry Ford Museum Complex.

He took it home on a flatbed.

The battery box on the running board contained a heavy wooden box with three glass battery cells

inside. They were Edison Nickel Iron (Ni Fe ) battery cells. This was an alkaline wet-cell battery . He used a modern 6 Volt battery to get the old Ghost up and running properly.

Just for fun he took the three ancient Ni Fe cells apart and flushed the plates clean. He then added new electrolyte and charged the old NiFe alkaline battery cells.

Long story short...

The NiFe Edison battery is now back on the old Ghost's running board and being used to start & run the auto today !

This battery also uses special Edison Battery Oil that Edison sold in small glass bottles .

The "Battery Oil" floats on top of the battery cell electrolyte to prevent cell gassing & boiling-off of the electrolyte !

The Railroads used to use these edison batterys for signal boxes by the track side.

The early Telephone & Telegraph companys used these batterys for their power supply !

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