Monday, November 05, 2018

The Copeland steam Phaeton Moto-Cycle, likely only used on beautiful days, and dry roads. The photo was taken in 1888 in front of the Smithsonian.

 Lucius Copeland giving a ride to photojournalist Frances B. Johnston on his steam Phaeton Moto-Cycle (made from an Invincible tandem tricycle).

In 1881 Copeland designed an efficient small steam boiler which could drive the large rear wheel of a Columbia penny-farthing to a speed of 12 miles per hour. Unlike typical penny-farthing bicycles, the Copeland had small wheel at the front, which was turned by the handlebar for steering, and large wheel at the back.

In 1884 Copeland used an American Star bicycle, smaller steering wheel in front, to construct a new demonstration vehicle for the Maricopa County Fair that year. The "Star" was able to cover a mile in four minutes and to carry enough water to operate for an hour. Copeland set up the Northrop Manufacturing Co. in 1887 in Camden, New Jersey to produce the a three-wheeled version, the "Phaeton Moto-Cycle", which he demonstrated at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C in 1888.

The steam-powered engine produced 4 horsepower at 2600 rpm with a 100-pound boiler around the steering column with the water heated by kerosene. A simple leather belt drove the large rear wheel, yielding a top speed of around 15 miles per hour

Thanks Steve!

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