I just wanted to give a quick update about the vehicles we received in Fairbanks today! Three vehicles and a host of Museum items arrived in one 40' connex. Included were a 1934 American Austin, 1898 Hay & Hotchkiss, 1904 Stevens-Duryea and several bicycles (including a bone shaker!)
Sorry the photo quality is so lousy but here's the 1898 Hay & Hotchkiss. Aside from it's stunning combination of deep burgany paint and polished copper, this vehicle is truly one of a kind, and a remarkable addition to the Museum. The engine was referred to as the "Hay frictionless gasolene (sic) Motor." It is an 8 cycle, horizontally opposed 4 cylinder that produces 5 hp. It was also touted as not requiring oil or water to run. It is the oldest know surviving 4 cylinder American made vehicle.
This car is just too cute. Started in 1929, the American Austin company produced these miniscule vehicles in hopes that due to the Depression Americans might buy small cars. And these vehicles are SMALL - 16 inches narrower and 28 inches shorter than any other car in American at the time. It has a 45 cubic inch 4 cyl. engine and guaranteed 40 mpg. Unfortunately the vehicles were simply not taken seriously, and were considered just a novelty.
Well ok, the packing crate is all we get see today. This vehicle was purchased from it's original owner in 1932 by Charles Duryea, the brother of Frank Duryea, and donated to the Museum of Science and Industry. It is complete and in all original condition. This is a true time warp vehicle and we look forward to opening it up in the next few days. Due to it's 105 year old, original, paint and wood bodywork this vehicle was crated and 'foamed in place' for it's trip to Alaska. We also shipped it up in stages and will allow it to warm up to 'room' temperature slowly before we open it. I anticipate a long, messy, unpaking process but the results should be well worth it.
We wish to thank Horizon Lines and Weaver Brothers for accommodating our special transport needs on this shipment!