The Stanley Motor Carriage Company made continuous updates to the cars in hopes of improving the experience for the driver. Some of the early changes appeared in 1905 with the introduction of the coffin-nose design, which moved the boiler from under the driver’s seat to the front of the car. Steering wheels also replaced the earlier tiller steering, and the movement of the boiler provided more room for passengers.

D. F. Goodspeed in a 1907 Model EX at Wilton, Maine

D.F. Goodspeed in a 1907 Model EX at Wilton, Maine. (Stanley Museum Archives)

Between 1910 and 1912, kerosene replaced gasoline as the fuel of choice for steam vehicles. Starting in 1915, another significant change occurred with the introduction of the “condensing car.” Until that time, the steam generated by the cars was used once and exhausted out the rear of the vehicle, but new condensing models reused the steam, converting the exhausted steam back into water that could be reused in the boiler. This innovation lengthened the distance that could be covered between water fill-ups.

Assembling Cars at Stanley Factory

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