1909 Cleveland White Steam Car Shows Off 1900s Tech

Jan 15, 2022 2 min read
1909 Cleveland White Steam Car Shows Off 1900s Tech

This classic car is a huge part of automotive history with a ton of engineering innovation and technological design.

The steam engine was one of the most pivotal moments in human history. It brought forth a reliable, low-cost way to transport oneself and payloads without immense physical energy expulsion or risk of bodily harm. Life before 1698(invention of the engine) sucked due to the dangerous and resource-draining forms of transportations that existed, such as walking, running, and running faster. Sure, horses lived, but that's beyond the point. This was such an innovative advancement that it would inspire the creation of the steam engine train. However, this also spawned a lesser-known vehicle, the steam car.

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This particular car is one of the most incredible vehicles of that type as it was the most potent steam car you could buy from the Cleveland automobile manufacturer. Cars like this essentially did what the steam engine did but on an individual scale allowing for small-scale transportation between blocks, towns, and even states. Under the hood of this vehicle is a 40 horsepower Cleveland steam engine which utilizes a steam generator instead of a water heater to produce steam quicker. This is a lot better than something like a Stanley Steamer, which used a big water tank and a water heater to make steam in increments of about 20 minutes.

It was evident from the get-go that this car would be a significant contributor to innovation within the automotive community as the white house began to utilize these machines as the official car of Washington. Top speed is recommended at around 60 mph as anything more than this would have probably been difficult for the less than capable 1900s engineering to handle. The engine idles at about 25 rpm, which is a very low idle by today's standards. Only about 127 of these cars still exist, as most were melted down and used for the military in WW1. It is incredibly cool that this vehicle is still around today, and we hope to see this little car chug on for centuries to come.

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