Mr. Fisher’s Steam Carriage (1861)

“Mr. J.K. Fisher’s steam wagon made a short trip yesterday afternoon, for the Jersey City Locomotive works to Hudson City, running over beds of road metal  in its ascent of the hill,” said the New York Herald on May 18, 1861.  During this trial the speed of the wagon was held back so as not to alarm horses, the paper noted.  During the trial a chamber used to contain steam noises ruptured due to pressure, leaving the boiler to work with “natural draft.”  – in spite of this “the carriage returned to the works at about a speed equal to that of a common carriage.”  The article went on to say that “it is claimed that steam wagons may be advantageously used for transporting army supplies and troops, and one was built last year, and another is not being built for the purpose the plans being different from that of Mr. Fisher.”

I will be sharing more notes on steam carriages from the 1860s as time permits – apparently Mr. Fisher was far from alone in the endeavor.”

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