100 Year-Old Alternative ‘Fuel Vehicle’ Powers into Iola

Iola, WI —  Alternative fueled vehicles are all the rage in today’s automotive world. They continue to be hot topics in today’s headlines, new cars powered by electricity, hydrogen or ethanol are constantly grabbing headlines everywhere.  In keeping with that alternative fuel theme, local auto collector Bob Brown has agreed to dispaly his 1900 Locomobile steam-powered car in this year’s Iola Old Car Show which runs July 12th – 15th.

    When the automobile industry was in its infancy, many entrepreneurs staked their fortunes on steam (and electric) powered vehicles. The Locomobile Company built steam powered autos for several years at the turn of the 20th century. These cars featured a kerosene- fueled steam power plant built with a license from the Stanley Brothers who also produced steam cars.

    Steam cars proved to be fast and quiet but gasoline powered cars were easier to operate and that, along with cheap gasoline prices and safety concerns associated the safe operation of steam boilers ultimately doomed the steam car.

    Long forgotten by the masses, many still exist in museums and private collections and those that remain are highly prized collector items. Brown’s Locomobile will be on featured in the show’s “Blue Ribbon” display.

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