Monday, September 2, 2013

1913 Wagenhals electric

Steve (most astounding researcher I've ever had the delightful priveledge to meet) was writing up about a call for bids for a contract to supply the Post Office with delivery vehicles, and one of the companies that respoonded was Wagenhals of Detroit, which made this electric, and a gas powered version. 

The Post Office also ordered 21 Wagenhals Motor Car Company three-wheeled vehicles that had 800 pounds capacity. Powered by a 20 hp water-cooled four-cylinder engine, they cost $625 each (visually similar to the less expensive electric version below). Located in Detroit, the Wagenhals Motor Car Company would reorganize just a month later as simply the Wagenhals Motor Company. Both the Whites and the Wagenhals had to be delivered to Cleveland, Ohio within sixty days.

A year later the Post Office was advertising for bids for spare parts for these vehicles, which included: "Transmission and cup grease, horn bulbs, cylinder and heavy oil, blow out and tube patches, pressure gauges, cushion and pneumatic tires, inner tubes, tire tape, valve parts and tools, vulcanizing rubber, etc."

The winner of the bid had to supply each individual post office named in the contract, and the parts just couldn't be dumped in front—the bid proposal stipulated that "All the supplies must be delivered at and within the doors of the post offices."

The bid proposal noted that the Wagenhals had been dispersed as follows:

Columbia, S. C, 1 Wagenhals; Columbus, O., 2 Wagenhals; Detroit, 2 Wagenhals; Memphis, 3 Wagenhals; Nashville, 3 Wagenhals; Norfolk, Va., 2 Wagenhals; Richmond, Va., 2 Wagenhals.

More examples of Steve's incredible detective work are on his blog

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