Stanley Steamer
Steam Car - Similar to an 8-cylinder internal combustion engine
Stanley Motor Carriage Co.
Stanley steam cars utilized an external combustion engine where the fuel source is consumed external to the engine. A steam boiler generates great quantities of power for later use, unlike an internal combustion engine that must develop the needed power on demand. Kerosene was used to light the pilot and main burner of the external engine as it provided more heat energy than gasoline. Kerosene was also less expensive and safer. It would take at least 20 minutes to start a Stanley Steamer. Fuel consumption was approximately one gallon of water per 10 to 12 miles.
Stanley Steamer was an alternate fuel vehicle in 1923. At the turn of the 19th century steam-powered automobiles were more prevalent than those with internal combustion engines. A steam boiler with a diameter 23" produced the steam that powered the vehicle. The boiler's nominal operating steam pressure is 600 pounds. They ran on any combustible material and water, produced large amounts of torque, were quiet and light, had few parts and did not require gears. Identical twin brothers Freelan and Francis Stanley used the money they made from developing the airbrush and selling their dry photographic plate process to Eastman Kodak to create the Stanley Motor Carriage Company. Over 11,000 Stanleys were built from 1900 to 1934 when the production was closed. The Stanley Steamer on display at TNMOT is a 740B touring car. It was built in Newton, MA and the price when new was $2,750. It was donated to the museum by Richard, Bob, and Bill Abbott.