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Turning Points

Stanley Motor Carriage Factory

Workers assembling cars at the Stanley Motor Carriage Co. factory, 1912. (Marshall Steam Museum Archives)

From Leisure Sport to Necessity

By the 1910s, the automobile seemed here to stay, and automakers faced the challenge of meeting the demands of a growing population of motorists. Henry Ford’s innovations slowly made the car available to a larger market. Nonetheless, automobile ownership remained out of reach for most families, and Stanley ownership was no exception.  

As the industry changed, how motorists used automobiles also changed. Drivers wanted to travel greater distances, provide room for more passengers and luggage and enjoy drives in inclement weather or during evening hours. The Stanleys added the touring car, a larger and more powerful vehicle, to their lineup to meet the needs of this new motoring public.  

While other companies experimented with ways to build cars faster and more efficiently, the Stanleys maintained an artisan approach in which each car was made to order.

 

Clarence Marshall and Esther Shallcross at Penns Grove, N.J., 1912

Clarence Marshall and Esther Shallcross at Penns Grove, N.J., 1912. (Marshall Steam Museum Archives)

Marshall Connection
Road to Romance

About 1912, Clarence Marshall began courting his future wife, Esther Shallcross, and the couple took numerous chaperoned trips to locations such as Rehoboth Beach, Atlantic City and the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

1910 Stanley Touring Model 71 beside Auburn Heights Mansion, 2012

1910 Stanley Touring Model 71 beside Auburn Heights Mansion, 2012. (Fred Rosenberg)

1910 Stanley Touring Model 71
Improving the Design

Starting in 1910, the Stanley company changed model numbers. Having worked their way through the alphabet, they started to use a more complex coding system. All 10-horsepower cars were given a 60-series label, all 20-horsepower cars became 70-series, and 30-horsepower cars became 80-series.  

In Stanleys, horsepower refers to the size of the boiler; the larger the boiler, the more powerful the car. Within each series, there were a multitude of body styles. Model numbers increased with the number of passengers the car could carry within the 60-series cars, while the opposite was true for the 70-series. For example, the Model 60 was a two‑seater 10-horsepowerP car, while the Model 61 was designated as a four-passenger toy tonneau. The Model 70 was a 20-horsepower car that could hold five passengers, while the Model 71 could hold four passengers. 

The Model 71 is also the last wooden-bodied Stanley. At this time, the company transitioned to aluminum for major body panels.

 

1910 Stanley Model 61, 1910 Stanley Motor Carriage Company Catalog

Models 61, 1910 Stanley Motor Carriage Co. catalog. (Marshall Steam Museum Archives)

1912 Stanley Touring Model 87 beside Auburn Heights Mansion, 2012

1912 Stanley Touring Model 87 beside Auburn Heights Mansion, 2012. (Fred Rosenberg)

1912 Stanley Touring Model 87
Automobile Touring

Early automobile tours were, in essence, long-distance road trips that demonstrated the possibilities of car travel to prospective motorists. In 1903 Horatio Jackson, a physician from Vermont, became the first person to travel across the United States in an automobile. In 1909, Alice Ramsey became the first woman to complete a similar journey. Soon groups emerged focused on organizing such excursions.  

The original Glidden Tours (promotional events sponsored by the American Automobile Association) began in 1904 and lasted through 1913. Covering several hundred miles, the tours could be grueling: cars broke down, accidents occurred and roads were often poorly maintained. However, these well-publicized journeys demonstrated the automobile’s ability to replace the railroad for long-distance travel.

The Veteran Motor Car Club of America revived the Glidden Tours in 1946. This car participated in several Glidden Revival Tours and four transcontinental tours, covering an estimated 60,000 touring miles.

 

Clarence Marshall driving the 1912 Stanley Touring Model 87 during the 1951 Glidden Revival Tour

Clarence Marshall driving the 1912 Stanley Touring Model 87 during the 1951 Glidden Revival Tour. (Marshall Steam Museum Archives)

1913 Stanley Touring Model 76 beside Auburn Heights Mansion, 2012

1913 Stanley Touring Model 76 beside Auburn Heights Mansion, 2012. (Fred Rosenberg)

1913 Stanley Touring Model 76
A Collection Is Born

Clarence Marshall originally sold this Model 76 to local farmer John Becker of Kennett Township, Pennsylvania, in 1913. The catalog price at the time was $1,700. In 1940 Clarence learned that Becker was preparing to sell the car, which had languished in his barn for years and was no longer operational. Clarence stepped in and bought the car back for $150, and it became the seed of the now-premier collection of operating steam automobiles housed at the Marshall Steam Museum.  

Clarence Marshall participated in several auto tours starting in the 1940s and passed on his love for the hobby to his son, Tom. Tom has taken this car on several tours, including the 1975 Glidden Tour Revival from Canandaigua, New York.

 

Clarence Marshall alongside the restored 1913 Stanley Model 76 at Auburn Heights, 1942

Clarence Marshall alongside the restored 1913 Stanley Model 76 at Auburn Heights, 1942. (Marshall Steam Museum Archives)