"One of the first steam autos"

This image is from a scrapbook that was compiled in 1904 (Accession 2010.08). The scrapbook contains many clippings from Montreal and Toronto papers relating to sporting events and teams. This cutting shows a reproduction of a painting of “one of the first steam autos”. The text reads:

The vehicle was built by Mr. Rickett, of the Castle Foundry, Buckingham, and was shown to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in the early part of 1860. It had a 10-h.p. two-cylinder engine. The weight was 30 cwt., and with a full load-water 12 cwt., coal 3 cwt., and passengers 5 cwt. – the gross weight was 2 tons. On good roads sixteen miles per hour was attained. The tank held ninety gallons of water, enough for a ten miles’ run. The consumption of coal was 8 to 10 lbs. per mile. Of the two hind wheels one was engaged by a clutch, so that, when disengaged, they permitted the vehicle to turn in its own length without stopping. It is curious to contrast this vehicle with the touring cars of to-day.

The “cars of today”, when this article was written in 1904, being vehicles like this Ford Model A with a top speed of 28 mph (45 kph).

Ford Model A

Image from LaertesCTB on Flickr.