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garygreen187

1911 Photo of Mystery Car

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This is a picture of my grandparents in 1911 driving a mysterious car. They owned a Stanley Steamer at one point but I couldn't find a match using Google Images. He was an insurance salesman in northern New England. Can you imagine heading out on rough dirt roads over the mountains in the winter? Any ideas?

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Looks to be about a 1909 Stanley Steamer with some sort of windshield made of fabric or vinyl.

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It appears they made a cover over the glass windshield (they weren't waterproof by any stretch of the imagination), then added a short set of gypsy curtains to the sides.

Now if only the could do something about that pesky open area above and behind them.....

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Thanks, I appreciate your comments.. I compared the mystery car with photos of a restored 1909 Stanley Steamer Model R at the Frick Car and Carriage Museum ( 1909 Stanley Steamer Model R Images. Photo: 09_Stanley_Steamer_Model_R_DV_05_Frick_06.jpg) and although similar, there are differences other than the wind cowl. On the mystery car, the headlamp wire conduit goes sideways instead of fore and aft, the driver's side running board gizmo is different and the headlamps are not the same. Interestingly, although the horn bulb is smaller, the sound end appears to be identical. Of course, I may be comparing different models.

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Stanleys were more or less made to order and differed one from the other more than a mass produced car like a Model T. They even differed in the way the plumbing was installed to the power plant depending on which mechanic installed it.

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All of those details are unimportant in the context of 1911... except perhaps in the case of something like Model T's and even then that level of detail is sometimes exaggerated. Lots of cars didn't even come with lights... the owner was expected to buy his own or get them through the dealer. The same for things like horns - they were all made by accessory manufacturers and there was no guarantee that two cars - even the same make and model would come with exactly the same equipment. Its probably a mistake to apply a 1950s and later concept of "factory" to brass cars...

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