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2 hours ago, Locomobile said:

Lombard never built steam carriages

 

Hello Ron,

 

I threw that one in there to see who was awake. (LOL) Lombard actually did build at least one steam carriage and was talking about going into production then apparently got side tracked in 1900 by the development of his log hauler.  Other than a report of a tour of Northern Maine (Lewiston Sun Journal, Sept. 28th 1899) Along with another tour lasting three weeks in 1900 (Bangor Daily News, Sept 1, 1900) I have found no details describing his steam carriage or any patents associated with it. A further report stated that he was building a plant to manufacture his design with an initial run of 8 machines appeared in the Bangor Daily News, on Sept. 20th, 1900. However, by Nov. of 1900 he was testing his first steam log hauler and any further work on a steam automobile simply ceased or is lost.

 

Somewhere I have a very grainy photo of one of his steam carriages setup with skis for winter use which at that early date would have been quite novel.

 

 

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I have had the honor of maintaining and frequently operating one of his steam log haulers  - its an interesting experience to say the least!

 

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Edited by Terry Harper (see edit history)
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Terry, In 2015 we made a trip up the Champlain canal with the steam powered tug. One of the locks has an antique hydro-electric power station in preservation. They let us in to look around and one of the devices was a hydraulic water turbine control patented by Lombard. I remember being surprised as it seemed so out of place and far removed from his log haulers.

 

Ron

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13 hours ago, Locomobile said:

That's interesting. There were a lot of people trying to build steam carriages. When Ransom Olds showed up he sorta killed the whole thing.

 

They built one, they never built carriages.  LOL

 

Ron

 

Ron, very true for many!

 

Quote

one of the devices was a hydraulic water turbine control patented by Lombard

 

Yup! That's how Lombard made his fortune. He is credited with developing (along with his brother Nathaniel) one of the first successful turbine and water wheel governors just at the dawn of electrification. In fact towards the end of his life he declared that of all his inventions and contributions the one he was most proud of was the water wheel governor and how it brought reliable power, industry and wealth to millions of people. Like the Stanleys, he was pretty much retired in comfort when he developed his log hauler and dabbled with steam automobiles.

 

 

Here is a very bad image of Lombard's first steam carriage. circa 1897. An interesting detail is that Lombard piped steam to the skis in the hope that heating them would reduce friction when traveling in "grainy" snow.

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Another poor quality image showing Lombard's first steam carriage (middle) and his second steam carriage (on left)

Apparently, he related to a reporter in 1913 that his earliest attempt dated to 1892 when he built a steam powered tricycle while working in Massachusetts with his brothers while the developing his water wheel governor. Apparently at one point he ran it into Boston a local paper reporting that "A horseless carriage was in the city yesterday. No one knows where it came from, no one knows where it went."  

 

 

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In regards to connection with the Stanleys: in the Lawrence Sturtevant Manuscript (unpublished, 1988) Sturtevant relates a conversation with Louis Lombard, Alvin's Lombard's nephew. (in the photo above Louis Lombard is sitting on the steps, Alvin Lombard is seated in the machine on the left) According to Louis, the Stanleys asked Alvin if they could use his system of mounting his engine which he consented too  - the design being "used in their later models." My assumption is that Lombard had his engine suspended longitudinally beneath the machine but whether the final drive was chain or direct gearing or a cranked axle I have no idea.

 

I have no clue as to whether there was any Lombard connection with Whitney. Though given the small geographical area and Lombard's frequent visits to the greater Boston area to work with his brothers its possible they were in contact but that would only be wild speculation on my part.

 

Today, all that remains of Lombards steam carriages is a set of wheels which were donated to a local museum.

 

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Edited by Terry Harper (see edit history)
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Then Lombard is maybe who Whitney was talking about in his handwritten letters. I thought it looked like ''Riker?'' or similar but the best I can make out it looks like ''Lobel'' or ''Trobel'' or ''Gobel'', he underscored the name like he possibly couldn't remember or didn't know how to spell it.

 

On another note, he goes on to say that the Roper carriage had a top speed of 15mph and a water range of about ten miles

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It was inferred that Lombard was a major concern in the steam carriage industry, that's simply not true. The first picture dated ''early 1900's'', I'm about 99% sure that's a Conrad body. Conrad sold complete cars or parts for DIY builders. I've seen in several instances where failed start ups in the small town historical societies were assuredly comprised of Conrad chassis and body parts.

 

In that first picture, if you look closely at the arm on the steering knuckle left side, it is clearly shown, two protrusions, one is the tie rod which can be seen and tie rod end, the other is a ball for the draglink joint. The draglink on the 1901 conrad went from one side of the car, the tiller side over to that steering knuckle, it's very unusual and the only car that did it that I'm aware of, they changed it in 1902. If you'll notice there is nothing on that ball, because he opted to use center tiller steering which omitted the draglink.

 

Ron

 

The arrow on the right is pointing at that ball joint. Compare the bodies.

 

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This an 02 Conrad, they moved the draglink to the right side with an arm connected to the kingpin.

 

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Extra points if you can figure out how that ball joint is made. 😁

 

Edited by Locomobile (see edit history)
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Hello Ron,

 

That is interesting! Thank you for bringing it to light!

 

True, Lombard was certainly not a "major player" by any stretch of the imagination and I don't believe I have ever claimed that and I hope I have not left that impression. He was simply one of many that dabbled around the edges.

 

The Conrad "kit car" certainly would explain why he didn't go into production yet a contemporary newspaper report stated that that was the plan. (More confusion)

 

Looking at the scant information I found during a very quick search it looks like Conrad was active from 1900 to 1903? Could the machine with the skis (claimed to be circa 1897) be a case of miss dating? It appeared in a period newspaper but the clipping did not include the date or the name of the publication. (urrrgh!) I am trying to track it down to confirm. Though its a poor image and the body is cobbled-up could that be Conrad as well?

 

Below is another photo from about the same angle as the Conrad image. Looking at the two it sure looks like a Conrad!

 

Ron, thank you so much! I am inclined to agree with you - the similarities are striking indeed! However, the dates don't seem to align. Lombard's first tour of Northern Maine was reported by the Lewiston Sun Journal, Sept. 28th 1899. His second tour was reported in the Bangor Daily News, Sept 1, 1900. Could the 1900 date for Conrad entering the business be wrong? What are your thoughts?

 

I hate to belabor Lombard but its a history that is very dear to my heart. Also at some point we would love to bring the Sturtevant material to publication but..... as with this we need to trust but verify and correct as required so I greatly appreciate your time, patience and knowledge.

 

[Edit] Ron I just found your thread on the Conrad restoration - amazing work! Wonderful!

 

Once again, thank you for your help! 

 

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[Edit] I also found this which muddies the waters a bit (Lewiston Saturday Journal, Sept 23, 1899) is it possible he was using his own mechanicals or at least modified? This may cast at least some faint light on Louis Lombards statement regarding the Stanleys and the claimed use of one of Lombard's ideas as presented in a previous post.

 

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Edited by Terry Harper (see edit history)
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That clipping sounds very conclusive regarding a link between Lombard and Stanleys as possibly claimed by Whitney. Not sure about his uphill downhill water control system. Nor the three cylinder engine, unless the cylinders were single acting. With two dual acting cylinders and the crank throws set at 90 degrees there are no deadspots. That may be the reporter misunderstanding also.

 

 

 

With his snowmobile, it's really hard to say anything definitive about it. Nothing about it looks familiar that I can associate with anything else. I'd say that's completely homebuilt, more so to prove out which is common, like Henry's quadracycle.

 

I hate to sound like a broken record, but I run into a lot old pictures of mystery cars that are virtually identical to Conrad Model 60's. After having retubed, brazed and hand filed out the chassis of one, I don't soon forget every radius and flat. The Locomobile steamer is the same way, I can spot parts and absence thereof very quickly. I think the "early 1900's" car is parts thereof Conrad. Not all of it.

 

Yes 1900-1903 for Conrad.

 

My Locomobile steering knuckle.

 

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With the lady on the porch picture, I'm pretty sure that's a Locomobile Style 2. The Conrad that I am aware of never used a spindle seat, and the quadrant for the forward reverse lever is different. Conrad did this weird thing where they moved the throttle and shifter controls back which made everything backward to most other builders and unless they swapped the valve links on the engine (like I had to), moving the handle forward was reverse and moving it back was forward.

 

Thank you for your compliment on the Conrad restoration, it's been a very difficult one. I do have the body on it now and this afternoon I've been covering the body with upholstery batting covering that with cardboard and plastic strapping to secure it all, to protect it while I finish the rest of the restoration. The sides of this look like black glass, very planar flat and high gloss, and I'd really hate to scratch it with a piece of pipe etc. It's the only model 65 known to exist.

 

 

 

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Quote

With the lady on the porch picture, I'm pretty sure that's a Locomobile Style 2.

 

Thanks Ron!

Sadly in a approx. 500 page manuscript only about 3 paragraphs deal with the steam carriages. 

 

Appreciate your input and identifying the Locomobile. I am slowly formulating a thesis here is what I have at the moment:

 

Presented as fact:

  • The machine in the photo with Lombard at the tiller is indeed a Conrad.
  • The 1897 machine with skis was designed by Lombard and built for him by the Waterville Iron works. (per Louis Lombard statement)
  • By Sept 1899 Lombard's 1897 machine had been "improved" as described in the Sept 1899 article and per Louis Lombard statement
  • Since the tours predate Conrad the assumption is he used the modified 1897 machine.
  • The machine in the "woman on porch" photo is a Locomobile (spindle seat)

 

For consideration and verification:

  • The photo of the machine identified as a Conrad (Lombard at the tiller) is in error in regards to the date and was taken post 1900 
  • Over time the actual origins and identity of the Conrad were over shadowed and it was thus accepted  as "built" by Lombard (tradition and fading memories becoming accepted as fact)
  • Lombard's arrangement and placement of the engine and link with Stanleys (per Louis Lombard's statement and 1899 article)
  • Whitney was aware of Lombards efforts per Whitney's notes?

A single acting triple makes sense. Unfortunately so many reporters back in the day had very limited technical knowledge that what they are describing is almost impossible to figure out!

 

Now that ball joint..... my first thought is its a forging but.... I am probably wrong! (LOL) I am always amazed at the engineering and fabrication of yesterday that confounds us today!

 

In regards to reversed controls: At the museum our two gas powered Lombards have controls that are exact opposites. Increase throttle is forward on one, back on the other. Shift pattern on the 10 ton machine is total opposite though reverse on the 8 ton dump truck is a separate lever by the drivers left leg. In other words you just don't jump from one to the other (LOL)

 

Ron, not sure how far away you are but when you get the Conrad done you should make a trip up to Bradley, Maine to the Maine Forest & Logging Museum. We will be glad to swap time at the throttle of the Steam Lombard for a chance to oggle the Conrad. 

 

Best regards,

 

Terry

 

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9 hours ago, Locomobile said:

Then Lombard is maybe who Whitney was talking about in his handwritten letters. I thought it looked like ''Riker?'' or similar but the best I can make out it looks like ''Lobel'' or ''Trobel'' or ''Gobel'', he underscored the name like he possibly couldn't remember or didn't know how to spell it.

 

Lobel was the name of a workman at Columbia in Hartford that worked closely with Hiram Percy Maxim on his early gas and electric cars. He's mentioned several times in Maxim's Horseless Carriage Days, one of the best memoirs of the pre-1900 experiments.

 

Maxim's book is dedicated to Hayden Eames who maxim first met when he was the Naval officer assigned to the Bridgeport Projectile Company as an inspector. I ran across his name in a book I edited on US Navy small arms as the inspector of Navy revolvers at Colt. After he left the Navy, Eames went to Columbia and he brought Maxim in to develop a horseless carriage. He later went to Studebaker where he was instrumental in the acquisition of EMF.

Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
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37 minutes ago, JV Puleo said:

Lobel was the name of a workman at Columbia in Hartford that worked closely with Hiram Percy Maxim on his early gas and electric cars. He's mentioned several times in Maxim's Horseless Carriage Days, one of the best memoirs of the pre-1900 experiments

Ahh, thanks for that, maybe thats who Whitney was talking about.

 

Terry, I'm sure you're pretty much spot on with your assertions. that's one of the nice things in dealing with very obscure history, who is going to contest it? :)

 

(i had to remove that video, I forgot it was private and didn't belong to me. )

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36 minutes ago, Locomobile said:

Ahh, thanks for that, maybe thats who Whitney was talking about.

 

Terry, I'm sure you're pretty much spot on with your assertions. that's one of the nice things in dealing with very obscure history, who is going to contest it? :)

 

(i had to remove that video, I forgot it was private and didn't belong to me. )

 

Thanks Ron,

 

Joe's info about Lobel certainly seems more plausible than Whitney having any interest in Lombard. 

 

Ha! unfortunately I am cursed with an A++++++ personality! Just the slightest hint it might not be incorrect drives me nuts (LOL) I did get to see the video of your friends road locomotive - very cool!

 

Please keep us posted on the Conrad restoration - can't wait to see it finished and under steam!

 

Again thank you for all your help!

 

Best regards,

Terry

 

 

 

 

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Here are a few pics of the Conrad from a few days ago. The seat is complete and upholstered. There are a new set of patent leather fenders/mud guards for it also. New Iron framed framed patent leather dash too. Dropping some parts off at the plater this week, so she should be hissing by summer.

There is a Victoria top for it as well.

Thanks for the compliments.

Sorry, crummy cell phone pics.

 

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Ron

 

 

Edited by Locomobile (see edit history)
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They're never too far gone, just a question of how much time one is willing to put in.

Had this not been done, this particular vehicle would have been lost with no surviving examples. This will be on public display eventually.

 

 

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14 hours ago, Locomobile said:

that's one of the nice things in dealing with very obscure history, who is going to contest it?

 

It's when the obscure history references are an arm's length that makes people wonder.

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On the Doble cars in general, I doubt very few people reading the periodicals in the early 1960's missed the details of the Doble convertible that was practically a fixture in the car magazines. And a few of the American early coffee table books as well. I can still picture it featured in The Classic Corner.

I have worked with stationary steam engines all my life, recips and turbines. There was a resurgence of interest in the late 1970's and a few were converting 2-cycle Mercury boat engines to steam. I remember one job that showed up at a meet south of Buffalo around 1981. It was a long low sport model, a bit slab sided, but similar to the big Ferrari America as I remember it. Just creeping silently forward across the grass is still stuck in my head. That car and an electric powered Cobra are two I would like to see again.

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37 minutes ago, 60FlatTop said:

It's when the obscure history references are an arm's length that makes people wonder.

 

I don't think any definitive link was established between the Stanley's and this ''Lobel'' person mentioned in that book as referenced virtually non legibly by Whitney. Could simply be coincidence. It's like the confusion between the McKay steam carriage built by the Stanley Manufacturing company and the Stanley steamer.

 

Ron

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My point was that in a conversation referencing "obscure" material how many can reach to the shelf over the computer monitor and pull down a copy of Maxim's book or the like. And one without a layer of dust across the top to boot.

 

I looked at the first picture and saw that neglected fire-tube boiler. My first thought was another book with a section on operating with muddy feedwater.

 

To really get obscure I think this "Loebel" is a corruption of a 19th century engineer's name. that was the brand name of a green energy company Bernie Sanders was involved in a few years ago.

In the end history of all types is limited to those things acceptable at the time it was reported. Nice old boiler.

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Hi I have a brooks here in victoria I could really use these parts . Can someone one PLEASE put me in contact with ths person. BEFORE This goes goes to scrap.  Please contact mark  250 727 1142

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I am happy to report that Mark has recovered the Brooks engine..I know Mark but I had no idea he owned a Brooks!

Mark and a friend opened the engine up to check for damage ...everything looked good so they lubricated it and buttoned back up and had it running on compressed air!

Thanks for all the interesting discussion on steam powered vehicles..

Cheers,Pat

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Pictures of my brooks  Car is 11th car built going by serial number. It is a 1924  milage is thought to be 470 original miles.     Mark

2018-07-12 19.23.08.jpg

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Wow, that is fortunate to find a Brooks so complete and in such good order. It is my understanding they didn't make very many. Just looked, 180. Glad you were hooked up with some good used parts.

 

Ron

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48 minutes ago, MDL said:

Pictures of my brooks  Car is 11th car built going by serial number. It is a 1924  milage is thought to be 470 original miles.     Mark

2018-07-12 19.23.08.jpg

 

 

Awesome!  Thank you.

 

Could you give us a driving comparison with the late condenser Stanley?   

 

 

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