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The Stanleys and their Steamer
Teetotaling twin brothers built the most wonderful car of their era, and its day of glory may not be over yet
February 1959 | Volume 10, Issue 2
Some observers contend that it is performances such as these that keep the steam car from coming back. They claim that powerful automobile and gasoline interests, having long ago won the battle against steam, are certainly not going to allow their old rival to be revived commercially. In at least one instance, this is not true. Not long ago, the Chrysler Corporation brought Calvin and Charles Williams to Detroit from Philadelphia to demonstrate their highly improved steam motor, which works equally well in cars, trucks, buses, or boats. It can be built for one third the price of a gasoline engine and can perform with greater efficiency and economy, operating on fuel oil costing sixteen cents a gallon.
The Chrysler Corporation is reported to be interested in producing the Williams’ steam motor. It is perhaps significant that the Williams brothers are twins. Automobile history may yet repeat itself. In fact, one auto expert, Ken Purdy, writes in Kings of the Road: “The steam-lovers may have to wait just a bit longer—until the atomic-powered automobile is ready. Chances are that it will be a steam car, for it seems doubtful that we will find a way to use atomic energy for transport except by converting it to steam.”
The greatest glory of steam cars, therefore, may lie just ahead.