Oakman Vehicle Drawing

Oakman Vehicle drawingHistorical accounts disagree as to how many of these vehicles were produced but the general history of this vehicle seems somewhat consistent. The new horseless carriage concept fascinated many men of industry. People around the world were trying to take what they had learned from motorized bicycles and translate that into a horseless carriage capable of carrying multiple people and supplies.

In the last decade of the 1800s, Richard Oakman was the president of a cutlery and silverware company. Oakman knew that his Greenfield, Massachusetts based company needed to expand. He had begun providing bicycle parts and under-seat tanks for the Duryea Motor Wagon Company – the first American company to build gasoline-powered automobiles. But, that wasn’t enough for Oakman, he wanted to build his own automobiles.

Partnering with another intrepid automaker, Max Hertel, the pair launched the Oakman Vehicle Company. The company failed, not due to a poor product, but due to high manufacturing costs. One article mentioned that the manufacturing costs for an assembly line built Model-A was 25% of the Oakmans.

These vehicles were touted for their ease of use. They had a rudder like steering system that also housed the throttle and the break. Notice the two friction wheels on the back wheel? One pushed the wheel forward and one provided reverse. They worked well for a light-weight vehicle such as the Oakman but they would more than likely not have functioned for a heavier vehicle.

OK, probably way more than you ever wanted to know about this vintage transportation image. You know me though, I love researching this kind of stuff and sharing what I learn with everyone. This drawing dates back to 1900 when it was included in the October edition of The Popular Science Monthly.

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