July 10, 1898: We test drive the first “Auto-Mobile” in Saint-Louis |


The front page of the July 10, 1898 edition of the St. Louis Post Dispatch featured the story of Kirby May, the tramp who posed as a girl and victimized hundreds of woman hunters. But inside that edition on page 4 was the story of the first person in St. Louis to own an “Auto-Mobile.” Here is our story of this ride with Dr. I. Griswold Comstock.

Dr. I. Griswold Comstock is the owner of the first Auto-Mobile vehicle in St. Louis. He recently bought it for $3,000.

It looks like a “spider” except for the wheels, which are only slightly larger than those of a safety bike, and the tires are of the pneumatic variety used on the bike.

Yesterday, as the Auto vehicle speeded down the street with the writer inside, he had a peculiar feeling that he would hit everything on the road and ride in one of the old-fashioned tricycles. The driver, however, dodged all other vehicles by quickly turning a lever in the middle of the seat.

It responded to his every touch, and the horseless carriage, rolling along without any apparent means of locomotion, gave a strange feeling which resembled that where, in childhood, one’s head covered, one listened to the tales of wild witches who rode a Broom handle.

“How much does the Auto vehicle cost to operate?” was asked.

“Five cents to $1.00 a day,” replied the motorneer who handled this marvelous car, “and it will go at a speed of 12 miles an hour. The battery must be renewed every 30 miles, but it will done in an instant.”

The battery is located on the rear axle of the vehicle, but everything is covered by the highly polished transport box.

It’s neat and not clunky at all, and operates with little noise.

The springs are easy and it is cushioned luxuriously so that with a perfect understanding of the mechanism, which is extremely simple, one can have all the comforts of a workout without feeling like some poor animal is working to provide you with comfort. pleasure.

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