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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 57.djvu/429

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419
EVOLUTION OF THE AUTOMOBILE.

the vertical double cylinder type, and motion is transmitted to the hind axle by means of sprocket wheels and a chain; but here the similarity ends; the minor details, which it is not necessary to refer to in this connection, are with few exceptions very different.

A careful examination of Figs. 11, 14 and 17 will show that from an artistic point of view these examples of steam carriages are satisfactory. In regard to their operation it can be said that they have sufficient power to run up the steepest grades encountered on ordinary roads at a fair rate of speed, while on level ground their velocity is more than enough to satisfy the average rider. The danger of explosion is so remote that it need not be considered. The Serpollet

PSM V57 D429 Undercarriage of steam vehicle.png
Fig. 18.

boiler is practically inexplosive, while those used in the American vehicles are so constructed that they can withstand a pressure far greater than any they can be subjected to in practice. It might be expected that the motion of the machinery would produce an unpleasant vibration, but on account of the lightness of the moving parts and careful balancing, this effect is much reduced. The use of gasoline as fuel, in connection with automatic burners, eliminates the smoke and ashes incident to the use of coal, and in addition reduces the labor of handling the vehicle, as no attention need be given to the mechanism other than to see that the water in the boiler is maintained at the proper level. In the case of the Serpollet carriages, not even this point need be looked after, as the feed of the boiler is perfectly automatic.