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Great Grandfather’s Brass Era Automobile - What is it please?


Jeffery Y
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This photo is my great grandfather along with other family members who are sitting in his brass era automobile with gas lamps, circa 1910 (?).  Note the large flywheel underneath the driver. Can anyone identify the make, model, and year?

 

Thank you!

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Posted (edited)

A 1907 REO! How cool! Now I have something to read up on. The history is interesting since the offspring, Oldsmobile, was a favorite marque of my father’s. Thank you!!

 

A couple of 1907 REO models I reviewed on line don’t show a large flywheel underneath, nor a top mounted radiator cap, like my great grandfather’s car. It appears his car may be a 1910 REO Model S?
 

Always fun to tell the story in the photo. Vehicles in particular are fascinating since they help date an old photo. I inherited a 5X7 glass plate that my great grandfather took with his professional Press Graflex camera that I also inherited and am restoring to shoot glass plates again. It has a 1907/1908 Walker motorcycle. 
 

Thank you for your timely response! 🙏

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Edited by Jeffery Y (see edit history)
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Jeff, this is a picture I found that looks like your great grandfather's car.   I'll leave it to the REO experts to identify the specific model.  The 1910 REO Model S you mention above was a four cylinder with the engine up front under the hood rather than the engine under the front seat.

 

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Modela28, I think you nailed it as a 1907 REO Touring! The 1910 Model S is a left hand drive vs the 1907 right hand drive.  
 

The following link shows a 1907 touring with a wraparound brass band that appears to be riveted just like my great grandfather’s.  The only thing that is different is there is no radiator cap  https://www.autoworldmuseum.com/1907-reo-touring.html

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The picture of your great grandfather's car is really neat!  It is great to have family photographs that help us to see how they lived years ago.  I'm not sure when REO added the radiator fill/cap or if it was only on certain models in 1907.  I was hoping someone with some knowledge / expertise on REOs would chime in here.

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On 8/2/2022 at 1:03 PM, nickelroadster said:

There is a different motorcycle behind.  Someone should ID it.  Photography with a glass plate camera should be a lot of fun.   Some of them took very good pictures.

Neither bike is particularly clear unfortunately. An early bike expert might be able to pick it from the 200 or so makes around at the time. Both pics can be enlarged when downloaded - 

 

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9F05298E-4F66-4B37-B13D-F52111114731.jpeg.7094e3f3de643e69afd7c50b99cce603 (3).jpeg

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Thank you for your comments, nzcarnerd.  As you pointed out, the file that I shared has excellent resolution. The original 5X7 glass plate negative that I have exhibits incredible details. 
 

The two motorcycles are the following:

 

Foreground: 442cc 3.5hp 1908/1909 belt-driven “Wagner” Standard Tourist. Note forward loop frame is also the exhaust manifold that exits into a muffler aft the crankcase. Wagners were made in St. Paul, MN from 1901 - 1914. 
 

Background: A 475cc 4hp 1909 (est.) New Era. (Note fuel tank on back fender) The New Era was built in Dayton, OH from 1909 - 1913. 
 

Does anyone have any information on the 1907 REO Touring radiator cap placement? I am suspect that these may have been relocated forward during the later part of the 1907 model year’s production. The 1908 models have them in the same place. 
 

Thanks

 

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The REO appears to be a 08 in my opinion. What appears to be a radiator cap is actually a small container for holding matches to light the headlights. You filled the water by opening the door on top of the hood and filling the water tank. In 09 the sidelights had glass on the sides of the light. 

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Thank you, slightmiss! That apparent radiator cap being a repository for matches solves part of the puzzle. …I wonder if it was an option?

 

The few photos I have viewed of the 1908 reveals that it lacks the riveted brass front side surround that the 1907 has. The brass horn tubing is also horizontal vs the vertical on the 1908. 
 

This link is the closet example to what I have discovered so far on the 1907: https://www.autoworldmuseum.com/1907-reo-touring.html

 

Here is a link to an example of a 1908: https://www.mecum.com/lots/HA0415-208169/1908-reo-model-a-touring/

 

(Note the horn and lack of brass hood surround.)

 

I appreciate your kind response. 

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5 hours ago, slightmiss said:

The REO appears to be a 08 in my opinion. What appears to be a radiator cap is actually a small container for holding matches to light the headlights. You filled the water by opening the door on top of the hood and filling the water tank. In 09 the sidelights had glass on the sides of the light. 

Would love to see your reference on the radiator-cap match holder.  In all my years of collecting automobilia (including over 150 accessory catalogs) I've never seen a false radiator cap designed to hold matches to light the gas headlamps.  It would be odd to have matches sticking up out front like that where damp and weather could render them useless.  Matches would have been carried in a much more protected manner I believe.  I could be educated of course so your documentation would be welcome. 

Terry.

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On 8/1/2022 at 3:22 PM, Jeffery Y said:

...The history is interesting since the offspring, Oldsmobile, was a favorite marque of my father’s...

The Oldsmobile came first. REO was RE's response to being ousted from his own company by its majority stockholders. He wanted to build one type of car; the Smiths wanted to build something else.

 

History attached to the car is phenomenal though.

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