About old Steam cars

   Messrs. Georges Bouton and Charles Trepardoux had a small business in Paris making ingenious toy steam-engines when
   Count Albert de Dion -later Marquis – saw one of the toys and was guided by his
   innate technical ability to form a partnership with them in 1881 for the manufacture of steam passenger – carriages.

   De Dion had in mind to make steam passenger – carriages much smaller than ususal, by bringing into their construction
   some of methods used on cycles which at that time had wire – spoked wheels,solid rubber tyers and light metal frames.

   Apparently no existing boiler was suitable, so in 1883 a patent was taken out for small boiler of the water - tube type
   which had groupes of detachabel tubes of faciliate repair. Briefly, the boiler consisted of an annular cyndrical casing that
   held water an steam. The two water and steam chambers were interconnected by many steel radial tubes. Solid fuel
   was burned on a grate at the bottom of the boiler and heated the annular chamber, the central chamber and the
   interconnecting tubes. The steam collected the top of the inner chamber, and became superheated by the heat in the upper tubes.

   In 1883, a light open four wheeled vehicle was constructed. The vertical boiler was fixed at front axle, and there
   was a transverse seat over the rear axle to carry two persons. The oscilliating steam engines stroke in the center
   of the vehicle beneath the feet of the passengers,drove seperatly the two front wheels through belts. The rear wheels
   were mounted on pivoted axles in order to steer the vehicle. The wheels had rubber tyres. The supporting frame
   was a light construction. The vehicle could reach a speed of 25 miles per hour and weighs only 9.25 cwt.
   Although it was experimental machine, it was welcomed in the press.

     Lit: H.O Duncan World on Wheels 1937

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