Long steam tricycle

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Long steam tricycle
Patent drawing dated July 10, 1883
ManufacturerGeorge A. Long
Productionc. 1880
ClassSteam tricycle
EngineGasoline-fired steam, 2-cylinder, 90-degree, V-twin engine
Bore / strokeUnk.×1 5/8"
TransmissionTwo speed, rear-wheel drive via quasi friction drive
Frame typeSteel tubular
SuspensionSolid; full-elliptic springs suspending independent, height adjustable seats
BrakesSpoon brake (front)
TiresFront: 2×36 in (910 mm)
Rear: 60 in (1,500 mm)
Solid tires on spoked wheels
Weight350 lb (160 kg) (wet)

The Long steam tricycle appears to be one of the earliest preserved examples of a steam tricycle, built by George A. Long around 1880 and patented in 1883.[1][2][3] One example was built, which after some years of use was dismantled and the parts dispersed. In 1946, one John H. Bateman, with assistance from the 96-year-old Long, reassembled the machine, which is now on display at the Smithsonian Institution.[3] The example at the Smithsonian has been noted as the "oldest completely operable self-propelled road vehicle in the museum".[4]

In 2004–2010, the item was displayed at Blackhawk Museum in northern California.[5][6]


Specifications in the infobox to the right are from the Smithsonian Institution America on the Move collection.[3][7]

Steering the two front wheels was accomplished via two independent tillers which would have made simultaneous steering and control of the brake levers difficult for a single individual.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "1880 Long Steam Tricycle - Pictures". Remarkablecars.com. 2009-06-17. Retrieved 2010-07-29.[dead link]
  2. ^ "Long Steam Tricycle - Pictures". Remarkablecars.com. Retrieved 2019-09-29.
  3. ^ a b c d "America on the Move | Long steam tricycle". Americanhistory.si.edu. 2008-10-24. Retrieved 2014-06-17.
  4. ^ Oliver, Smith Hempstone; Berkebile, Donald H. (1953), Wheels and Wheeling: The Smithsonian Cycle Collection, Smithsonian Institution Press, p. 49
  5. ^ "Arts Listings: Museums-East Bay Through May 30", The Berkeley Daily Planet, May 18, 2010, retrieved 22 September 2019
  6. ^ "Automobiles de collection: Long steam tricycle", Les voitures anciennes et histoire des marques des véhicules (in French), archived from the original on 2014-11-13, retrieved 2014-06-18
  7. ^ Roger White, Nicholas Jackson (ed.), "Race to the Museum: Long Steam Tricycle, About 1880", The Atlantic blog, The Atlantic, retrieved 22 September 2019

Further reading[edit]

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