Sunday, November 30, 2008

the Scooter was born about 90 years ago

a 1917 image via: http://www.shorpy.com/ had me look this up
From 1918 is the Museum’s Autoped Motor Scooter, made by the Autoped Company of Long Island City, New York. This compact scooter was designed for short distances, in that it had small (15-inch) tires at either end of a short platform on which the driver stood. Once the destination was reached, the steering column, which contained all operating controls, was folded down over the platform and the entire scooter could be stored in a compact space.
The little machine was powered by an air-cooled, 4-stroke, 155-cc engine over the front wheel, and it came complete with a headlamp and taillamp, a Klaxon horn, and a toolbox. Developed during wartime and gasoline rationing, the little scooter was quite efficient, but it never achieved widespread distribution
All control of the vehicle is through the steering column. Turning the column steers the machine in the conventional manner; pushing it forward engages the clutch; and pulling it back operates the internal, expanding brake on the front wheel.
Turning the left grip operates the throttle, and turning the right grip operates the compression release through a wire controlling the opening and closing of the intake valve. A hand Klaxon is mounted on the left grip. The steering column can be folded down and secured to the rear fender for compactness in storage.

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