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Anyone restoring a Doble?


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Sure looks like the back end of a later series Doble to me.............but it’s been twenty years since I laid a hand on one. And....with two cylinders pushing from both directions it is a “four” but with two pistons. 

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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The only person I have heard about who has a Doble is Jay Leno.  Word on the street is he buys anything and everything old car related.   Of course, they said the same thing about Bill Harrah.  

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The guy that would know, Jim Crank is no longer with us sadly.

 

I'd guess, if it's Doble it's a a very early one. Most of his surviving cars have White style flash boilers.

 

The transaxle looks Doble-ish. However he was really into compound engines (like White) and that looks like a double simple like the Stanley's used.

 

There were several onesy twosey companies that tried to build full size steam touring cars, so who knows?

 

This looks more like a Brooks maybe.

 

Another guy that is familiar with them is Ken H. Go to the SACA forum and make contact, he helped write the newly released Doble books by Jim Crank.

 

Ron

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3 hours ago, edinmass said:

Sure looks like the back end of a later series Doble to me.............but it’s been twenty years since I laid a hand on one. And....with two cylinders pushing from bot directions it is a “four” but with two pistons. 

All of the Dobles I've seen have two compounds in pairs on the rear axle, essentially two high pressure cylinders and two low pressure cylinders. So essentially 8 torque pulses per rotation equal to a V16 ICE.

 

Ron

 

 

Edited by Locomobile (see edit history)
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Its not Brooks and I am on the fence as to if the engine is Doble. The boiler is not Doble. 

 

Note what appears to be a PTO type rig on the back of the housing. Also Contracting rather than expanding brakes. I am almost inclined to say its steam lorry related. Its certainly has some Doble similarities maybe Henschel Steam Lorry or bus? 

 

Edited by Terry Harper (see edit history)
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A Doble E or F engine is 4 cylinders, 2 high pressure and 2 low pressure.  I think the simplex engine was vertical.

 

Maybe Doble Detroit? I need to dig out Jim Cranks book.

 
Boiler looks like basic fire tube - not Doble flash mono tube.

Edited by alsancle (see edit history)
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20 minutes ago, alsancle said:

A Doble E or F engine is 4 cylinders, 2 high pressure and 2 low pressure.  I think the simplex engine was vertical.

 

Maybe Doble Detroit? I need to dig out Jim Cranks book.

 
Boiler looks like basic water tube - not Doble flash mono tube.

I am leaning towards Doble-Detroit. I know the generator was driven by spur gears off the back of the differential but I cannot find a good factory photo of a complete Doble-Detroit assembly. From the photos of the remains it looks like a two cylinder double acting which matches the Doble-Detroit. The Doble Simplex was a "V" configuration.

 

I believe in the photos we are looking at the bottom of the engine. If its Doble-Detroit the top cover for the crankcase would have a pronounced raised dome like area to clear the link blocks for the valve gear.

Edited by Terry Harper (see edit history)
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1 hour ago, Terry Harper said:

am almost inclined to say its steam lorry related

the English steam lorries fired from the top, like foden, etc. The passenger was the fireman 😀

 

1 hour ago, Terry Harper said:

Contracting rather than expanding brakes.

 

Yeah, that seems odd that they'd use band brakes on the rear, and that's what makes me think it's earlier than and not heavy vehicle related. The big Dobles weighed about 6000 pounds.

Edited by Locomobile (see edit history)
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The story that I am getting is that the car was a Doble and the owner couldn't afford to do repairs so he pulled the boiler/engine and installed a conventional ICE...I am trying to get more info but it is coming through four different people.

Cheers,Pat

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Here is a decent cut-away of a Doble-Detroit. Its in French but has some good detail. Note the boiler which was a series of vertical water tubes in a sheet metal box. Again, note the raised section on the top of the crankcase to clear the links and the spur gears to drive the generator.

 

A few years ago there was a group building a replica of a Doble-Detroit. Not sure if they are still at it.

 

Either way, its a interesting find and worthy of saving. If it is Doble-Detroit it may just be the only surviving engine of the make. Very cool!

 

 

Citroens-Doble-Steam-Car-scaled.thumb.jpg.0a4f3e03b40d5ee1080f9809fa72ad6e.jpg

 

Edited by Terry Harper (see edit history)
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OK I am totally changing my tune.... Its a Brooks. It took me a bit to find a photo. This would also explain the fire tube boiler.

 

Note filler cap for the crankcase. The casing is missing from the cylinders. The exhaust manifold is identical as well as other details. On the far side of the engine you can see the eccentric rod that operates the pump. In the photos of the remains you can see crank that drove the eccentric rod.

 

I had so hoped it was a Doble-Detroit!

 

Neat find though!

 

Brooks.thumb.jpg.b1901e58798664e335a27fae2e202812.jpg

Edited by Terry Harper (see edit history)
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12 minutes ago, AURktman said:

Isn't the Brooks pretty rare too?  

 

There are a few of them around.  Think 1925 Stanley/SVC but with a Zapron body that disintegrates in short order.    Like the late Stanley that are underpowered.

 

If it was Doble-Detroit it would be akin to finding a Duesenberg Model J engine but in the Steam world.    I can't think of a good analogy for finding a Brooks, but it is still a neat find.

Edited by alsancle (see edit history)
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Btw,  as  a point of comparison:

 

1.  The 1924 Stanley was rated at 20HP

2.  The 1925 Brooks was rated at 19.5  HP

3.   The 1916  Doble Detroit was rated at 75 HP

4.   The Model E/F  Doble was more,  although I forget how much.

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A Doble-Detroit would have been an amazing find! It lacked the amazing engineering and refinement of Doble's later designs so I guess maybe a Duesenberg model "A" might be more accurate. (LOL) By some accounts The uniflow engine design was sluggish and rough and the water tube boiler design was simple and robust though it was claimed it was difficult to control the water level. Sadly none have survived.

 

Brooks..... lacks the name cache of the Stanley and by all accounts the performance though the last Stanleys were no road rockets either. 

 

I hope the remains find a good home! Wonderful piece of history!

 

And to go along with the Doble-Detroit in the garage we have...................................

1132996758_Doble-DetroitBurner.thumb.jpg.f268e56fe354186d7472cc7758c7b851.jpg

 

Edited by Terry Harper (see edit history)
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It's difficult to make absolute statements about these later model steam touring cars. Regarding the Doble, Abner was continually changing aspects of the few builds, I think it was 47 in total? Of which about 15 survive? Henry Ford museum still has theirs, which I'm shocked, considering the way they've been parting that place out for more ''educational'' exhibit$.

 

Fun factoid, Abner's rarely mentioned brother, Warren Doble who worked with Abner extensively invented and patented the rubber water pump impeller like outboard motors use.

 

The real steam genius of that era was Bill Besler.

 

Ron

 

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/88/Steam_plane_0.jpg

Edited by Locomobile (see edit history)
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7 minutes ago, Eldovert said:

I can't believe the guy did 90 MPH...the tires don't look "speed rated" for one thing....nuts!

The Stanley's with Fred Marriot driving set a land speed record of 127 mph in 1906 in the ''wogglebug'' with tiller steering!

 

Stanley

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48 minutes ago, Locomobile said:

The Stanley's with Fred Marriot driving set a land speed record of 127 mph in 1906 in the ''wogglebug'' with tiller steering!

 

Stanley

There always seems to be a bit of confusion in regards to Marriot's record breaking Stanley of 1906 which is often erroneously referred to as the "Wogglebug". The actual "wogglebug" was an earlier home built machine constructed around Stanley components by Louis Ross in 1904. Ross used two Stanley engines and a 24" Stanley boiler.  He competed in a number of circle track events and took it to Ormond Beach in 1905 where it broke a number of records.

 

Ross at Ormond Beach in 1905 at speed in the "Wogglebug"

6bb27950aa1e1462b087337ec8e12272.jpg.5797a8f41566d89e84e1ba75e8e9139f.jpg

 

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13 minutes ago, Terry Harper said:

The actual "wogglebug" was an earlier home built machine constructed around Stanley components by Louis Ross in 1904.

Louis C Ross, yep. It is my understanding that the Stanleys called their car the wogglebug, not that it matters. Hate to tarnish any images, but the Stanley's were rather unscrupulous as the several copyright lawsuits would indicate. They had no trouble usurping another rivals thunder and borrowing other peoples ideas without permission. They had owned Eastman Kodak and were very familiar with taking pictures when no one was looking.

 

Just for reference, you can find that same picture around labelled ''fred marriot''

 

Ron

 

 

Edited by Locomobile (see edit history)
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23 minutes ago, Locomobile said:

Louis C Ross, yep. It is my understanding that the Stanleys called their car the wogglebug, not that it matters. Hate to tarnish any images, but the Stanley's were rather unscrupulous as the several copyright lawsuits would indicate. They had no trouble usurping another rivals thunder and borrowing other peoples ideas without permission. They had owned Eastman Kodak and were very familiar with taking pictures when no one was looking.

 

Just for reference, you can find that same picture around labelled ''fred marriot''

 

Ron

 

 

Hello Ron,

 

Two excellent works on the Stanley's if you don't already have them are  "The Stanley Steamer, America's Legendary Steam Car" by Kit Foster and "Bravo Stanley by James Merrick.

 

Just an aside the Stanley twins didn't own Eastman Kodak - they had developed and patented in 1886 an efficient process for coating glass plate negatives with emulsion and produced and sold these plates quite successfully under the Stanley Dry Plate Company name. Kodak bought them out in 1904 along with the rights to their patented process. 

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It matters which book is read and which period newspaper articles, obituaries, motor review articles etc are used for study. I put stock in what was written in that period.

 

I've learned one thing for sure in the many hours of research, there are many discrepancies in contemporary works on the subject of early steam cars, based on available period information.

 

I'm not going to debate the subject again, I surrender, have a nice evening.

 

It's a Brooks (maybe)😀

 

Ron

 

 

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2 hours ago, Terry Harper said:

Just an aside the Stanley twins didn't own Eastman Kodak - they had developed and patented in 1886 an efficient process for coating glass plate negatives with emulsion and produced and sold these plates quite successfully under the Stanley Dry Plate Company name. Kodak bought them out in 1904 along with the rights to their patented process. 

 

30 years ago I frequented a used book store in Providence, RI. Since I invariably stopped in at least twice a week, I eventually became friends with the owner who told me that around 1890 his grandfather, who was fairly well-to-do, sold a building lot in Rochester, NY for $5,000. Not having anything he immediately needed the money for, he invested it in a new company started by his neighbor, George Eastman. My friend inherited a small part of his grandfather's fortune and that was still considerable.

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9 hours ago, Locomobile said:

I'm not going to debate the subject again, I surrender, have a nice evening.

 

No need to surrender Ron. We have just come to different conclusions. As you alluded to - unfortunately history is rife with "facts" based on tradition - i.e. folklore or stories accepted as fact by being repeated time and time again with no support by primary source material - i.e. eye witness first person accounts, public or corporate records, period photos etc. It can be maddening indeed. As an example - on an unrelated research project I traced the source of a number of traditions accepted as fact to a low circulation newsletter published in 1958. Everything written on the subject after that was simply a succession of writers (books, newspapers, periodicals and websites) repeating and in some cases embellishing the previous authors works - some with citations, many without. Even with a binder of primary source material at my disposal showing otherwise, correcting those "traditions" has proven impossible. Its to the point were I really question why I should even bother publishing my work.

 

In this case I was working with a somewhat obscure piece of regional history - with the Stanley's your dealing with a very popular and oft repeated story which by its very nature cannot avoid being ingrained with many such facts based on tradition - such as the amusing "if you hold the throttle wide open..." 

 

Its all good fun and presents an interesting challenge.

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20 hours ago, Locomobile said:

Just for reference, you can find that same picture around labelled ''fred marriot''

 

20 hours ago, Terry Harper said:

 

Ross at Ormond Beach in 1905 at speed in the "Wogglebug"

6bb27950aa1e1462b087337ec8e12272.jpg.5797a8f41566d89e84e1ba75e8e9139f.jpg

 

I have seen that picture labeled as Fred Marriot and the speed record car. I had also seen enough pictures of the real Fred Marriot in the speed record car to know this was not that.

 

Thank you both for this discussion!  This is how we can and need to chip away at some of the so very much misinformation that has plagued this hobby for more than half a century. We all owe a debt of gratitude to the many authors that wrote the books we started on as kids for getting information and pictures out there to be seen and read, sparking interests and further quests for more information.

In 1907, Sears and Roebuck commissioned two prototype automobiles to be built for possible inclusion in their sales catalog. About 1950, Floyd Clymer published one of his many books with a Sears Autobuggy picture and labeled it 1907. The pictured car was actually a 1909 or 1910 model as it had taken more than a year to move from prototype to production and sales. Because of that error, there are a dozen or more Sears Autobuggys to this day that the owners are completely convinced their car is in fact a 1907 model, even though it is obviously and clearly impossible.

I love Floyd Clymer's books! I treasure several of them that I have had for more than fifty years. However, they do have numerous errors that need to be discussed and corrected in our records.

That is just one of my several history bugaboos. Just last night I posted in the 'What is it' section the common error that model TT trucks could be as early as 1917. Again, that is an error of the prototypes were actually built in 1917, and Ford teased the press and public about the upcoming new product. However production did not begin until the 1918 model year. Records indicate that none of the prototypes were sold or used by the public, and no indication they survived for any significant time. Is it possible for a photo or surviving truck to have been built in 1917? Yes, but it would almost certainly be a 1918 model. And at that, it would be about one in a hundred thousand.

A good internet friend for about ten years has been correcting the historic record of the six cylinder model K Fords of 1906 through 1908. Legend has it that the cars were utter failures, the likes of which not eclipsed until the Edsel. He has documented hundreds of pages of reports and data showing that the cars were not only excellent cars in their day, but one of the greatest marketing successes of a six cylinder car in the world up to that time!

 

So keep discussing this history! Get people to understand that not everything they read in a book or on the internet is gospel truth. I never get upset if someone corrects me, as long as they are not clearly wrong. I am still trying to learn as much as I can! 

 

Thanks to all contributing to this thread! It is a wonderful piece of automotive history and should be preserved and seen.

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14 hours ago, wayne sheldon said:

 

We all owe a debt of gratitude to the many authors that wrote the books we started on as kids for getting information and pictures out there to be seen and read, sparking interests and further quests for more information.

 

So very correct Wayne,

My first Stanley book was "Smogless Days" by Stanley Ellis. It was in our school library and I think I was the one responsible for maxing out the the date card the librarian stamped in the back of the book. Today I have a much cherished copy. Next on the list was George Woodbury's "Story's of a Stanley Steamer" George's beloved sawmill still stands today but its now part of a massive Whole Grocery complex. I too have a number of Clymer's books which still get thumbed through now and again. All have served in inspire to one degree or another and more importantly to provoke thought.

 

I think the most helpful task any historian or researcher can do is provide proper citations in their work. Whether they draw on someone's previous work or use primary source material  - please, please provide citations. A reference is not just to nail down something as fact but to provide a base to work from or compare too. For instance if during research you find a conflict you can use references to go back and look at the source material - sometimes examining the source material provides a different conclusion than the authors. Yet when combined with material the author may not have accessed,  a clearer picture can result that may support or oppose the author's view.

 

 

 

 

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Wow, you guys are really adamant about continuing this. I'm not. I have information "citations" collected to share but I'm not spending all day posting screeenshots and typing it all out, only to debate every nuance. It's a waste of time, you won't be convinced of anything that challenges your understanding, and I don't want to cast aspersions on anyone's literary work or family name, for no other reason than to prove I'm right. Who cares? The information is available on the web if you wish to seek it out.

 

Why I wrote ''I surrender'' it isn't worth arguing about, suffice to write, the Stanley's weren't as important to the early development of the steam car as the modern day hoopla and books would suggest. History is written by the victors.

 

Have a nice day..

 

 

 

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image.thumb.jpeg.77c83e2fcfd8faf01ab4a9e79c1c05fc.jpeg

 

 

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Ron,

I am so sorry you feel that way. Its not about disproving or convincing anyone of anything. Its about sharing information for consideration and not falling prey to the Panama Syndrome. Whether you chose to take part or if its worthy of your time, is up to you alone to decide. However, the discussion will continue or stop as it will regardless. However, I hope you continue to take part and contribute as you see fit.

 

Moving on, Victor, Lane, Reading, Grout, Whitney, Toledo, Lombard, White, and others all played a part. Unfortunately much of their histories has not been written and tragically probably never will be.

 

In regards to the obituary above and Whitney's involvement in the founding of Locomobile is interesting. I refer to the clippings below for comparison. The relationship between Whitney, Walker and Barber and the Stanleys is always an interesting jumble of confusion.

 

Lewiston Evening Journal June 16, 1899

Stanley.jpg.576816135ac0042fd0e282a97e6032ec.jpg

 

Boston Evening Transcript June 13, 1899

757630095_BostonEveningTranscriptJune131899.jpg.9c3f9faef78c767de3f332be740787cb.jpg

 

The Harford Weekly Times, June 6, 1899

1913366071_TheHartfordWeeklyTimesJune61899.jpg.e2316baf580df78c6f0d41db7dcccf3f.jpg

 

What's interesting too is the number of Whitney patents that were assigned to Stanley. My assumption is that these were assigned to the Stanley's when they purchased their patents, rights etc. back from Barber in 1904(?) (Barber & Walker having purchased Whitney patents) Below is an excerpt from an example. Its was filed in 1902, renewed in 1906 and granted in 1907.

 

All interesting stuff!

859159.jpg.2c32fb1f9cbc96e23d33068d22244778.jpg

 

Edited by Terry Harper (see edit history)
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That's good that you're receptive to a different understanding of the subject. Typically this discussion ends with me getting beat over the head with someone's book. Why I bowed out immediately when you mentioned it.

 

There is a book called ''American steam car pioneers' by John Bacon. In it, there are three? chapters, one is devoted to Whitney. In that chapter there is a long handwritten letter from Whitney to the author for his book. Most people that read it probably don't take the time to decipher Whitney's handwriting. In it is a mostly detailed account of the events that transpired. It is most likely the most accurate accounting. He even compliments the new Stanley B car regarding moving the engine to the rear axle, and goes on to write that someone else designed that for them to get around the Whitney patent. I can't make out the name, it looks like Riker, but I doubt that's who it is as he was working for Locomobile at that time, as I understand it.

 

You mention these other carriage builders, there were about 70 different steam carriage makers at that time. To my knowledge Lombard never built steam carriages. they built the Lombard log hauler and also industrial appliances like Mason regulator. Locomobile after successfully suing the Stanley's went after any others building in interference of the Whitney patent, Milwaukee, Mobile etc. And why I think so many steam carriage makers folded up around 1902.

 

There was only a few Whitney motorettes built here, after selling the rights to Walker and Barber, he couldn't build them, he did however license a company named "Browns" in England to build them.

 

The Stanleys were not the only ones trying to cash in on Whitneys ideas, there was another man and an actually comical story, "Charles DP Gibson". While Whitney was building his first motorette, Gibson showed up one day at Whitney's Cruikshank machine shop with all sorts of crazy ideas about building his own steam car but needed a place to build it.

Whitney accomodated him and he let him use a corner of his shop. Gibson curtained off the corner and didn't want anyone in there "stealing his ideas". After a month er so he came out from behind the curtain and said I don't think my car is going to run, and wanted to buy the Whitney Motorette. Whitney shot him a price of 25,000 and to his shock, Gibson bought it. Whitney helped him get the car home which was pretty far away. As soon as he got it there Gibson immediately disassembled it and started making drawings and applying for a patent. That wound up in a lawsuit that Whitney won as well.

 

That very car was in the Melton collection and is now in England for sale for $350,000. Seeing as that car was the prototype for America's first true production vehicle the Locomobile of which they built 5000 beginning in 1899. I think it has very high importance in American Automobile history.

 

Whitney worked for Amzio Barber for many years afterwards designing asphalt paving equipment.

 

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Gents,

If you go back earlier, Whitney probably stole the inventions from Sylvester Roper,  whom I consider the first American steam carriage builder. Roper should also also be credited for being the first American motorcycle builder.

Carry on, history is rewritten every day....

 

Tom

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30 minutes ago, tom_in_nh said:

Whitney probably stole the inventions from Sylvester Roper

Not really, the Roper and Whitney carriages are nothing alike. Although, Roper may have worked with Whitney on the motorette, but I have never found anything to indicate that. Roper died the same year the motorette was completed, and comparing aspects of it to the Roper velocipede there are no similarities really between the two, so it's doubtful. The design of the velocipede is no where near as refined as the motorette. Not to take anything away from Roper, he was a genius in his own right. Whitney was a Boston tech (MIT) grad and designed steam plants for steam pleasure craft, he also designed the Mason engines, he was definitely capable of the motorette design and build work. He was also a direct descendant of Eli Whitney (cotton gin) and nephew of Amos Whitney of Pratt and Whitney. One day testing one of his boats he ran into Sylvester Roper and the two became friends. Whitney went to work for Roper after that. His recounting of that was comical, he said that Roper wouldn't pay him for weeks at a time and he had so much respect for him, he didn't dare bring it up, but he said he always paid me what he owed me eventually. He described Roper as a small man about 120 pounds, and much lighter than his own average weight of 160.

 

Ron

Edited by Locomobile (see edit history)
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