The Lincoln Highway
National Museum & Archives
Washington Office

(202) 536-5329



Dear Friends..

 
Greetings..
 
This is an edited version of what I sent
President Obama
and
"A Host"
of
"Auto Industry Executives"
and
"Media Personalities
"
in
"An Effort"
to
"Open The Discussion"
on
"Past Achivements"
in
"Electric Vehicle Technology"
and
"Inspire"
Current Vehicle Manufactuerers
as well as
"A New Generation of Engineers!"

Unfortunately,
 
have not heard from,
"Any Of Them"
but
"Feel I Have An Obligation"
to
"Share This Information"
with
"Interested Parties!!"
 
Accordingly,
with all the recent problems in
"The Auto & Oil Indudtry"
though you might appreciate
"A Short History Lesson"
along with
"Some Hard Facts!!"
 
That being said...
 
"If You're Like Me"
"I'm Sure You Thought"
"Electric Vehicles"
were
"A Relatively New Invention!!"
 
Well...
 
"Surprise..Surprise"
but
"They've Been Around"
for...

 
 
"Well Over 100 Years!!"
 
And...
 
"We're Not Talking About"
"Experimental"
wer're talking about
"Fully Functional"
"Working Every Day"
as...
 
 

"A Normal Part Of Daily Life!!"
 
And get this...
 
In 1914,
"There Were Over 30,000 Electric Vehicles"
in
"The United States!!"
 
"Hard To Believe!!"
 
But then I'm getting ahead of myself...
 
Accordingly,
was at the
Library of Congress
not long ago working on...
 
 
"My Cart Of Historic Material To Scan!!"
 
And...
 
"That's Just The Half Of It.."
 
"Have Two Additional Study Shelves"
that are
"Filled The Brim!!"
 
And...
 
"Almost Every Book"
has
"15 or 20 Markers"
which means,
"It Takes A While!"
 
So...
 
I'm sure you can imagine my relief
when I finally found...
 
 
The National Electric Light Association
 
 
"Bulletin"
with just this one article marked about...
 
 
"The Statue Of Liberty!!"
 
So..
 
"Started To Scan"
thinking
"Happy Days"
"We're Off To The Races!!"
 
Unfortunately,
that was before I tripped across...
 
 
"This Article!!"
 
"Hard to believe!!"
 
"And This Is 1917!!"
 
So then...
 
I flipped through
"A Few More Pages"
and was
"Surprised To Find"
 
 
"The Electric Vehicle Section"
which included this article detailing..
 
 
"The Scope Of The Electric Fleet!!"
 
Well...
 
Needless to say,
"I Was Surprised"
because
"Clearly"
"The Electric Truck Was In Wide Spread Use!!"
 
And we're not talking about
"Plastic Matchbox Trucks"
"Like The Electric Cars Of Today"
these were...
 
 

"Heavy Duty Trucks"
 
 
"Loaded To The Gills!!"
 
And when I said..
 
 
"Heavy Duty"
and..
 
 
"Loaded to the Gills"
"I Wasn't Kidding!!"
 
But what surprised me the most was...
 
 

"The Broad Spectrum"
of..
 
 

"Use!!"
 
I mean...
 
Were not talking about
"A Few Here & A Few There"
there were...
 
 
"Thousands Of Electric Trucks In Service"
that were used by...
 
 
"Almost Every Industry"
and..
 
 
"Government Service"
including...
 
 
"The Post Office!!" 
 
And speaking of
"Rain, Sleet & Snow"
 
 
"Electrics Blew Away The Competition!!"
 
And...
 
When I said,
"Snow"
I mean..
 
 

"Snow!!"
 
"Hard To Believe!!"
 
And then...
 
Let's not forget about... 
 
 



 
"The Electric Taxi!!"
 
"Hard to Believe"
but
"It Makes Sense!!"
 
And finally...
 
We come to...
 
 
"Regular Service"
and...
 
 
"Long Hauls!!"
 
But...
 
As you can see,
"The Electric"
"Passed With Flying Colors!!"
 
And...
 
"Pass They Did"
like this..
 
 
"258 Mile Trip"
from
"Boston to Burlington!!"
 
Now granted...
 
"They Only Went 16 Mph"
and had
"5 Charges"
but if you figure it took
"16 Hours To Make The Trip" 
they probably did it in
"2 Days"
which means there were
"Only 3 Charges In Route"
so if you figure
"Lunch & Potty Stops"
doubt if the charges were
"Very Disruptive!!"
 
That being said,
"Think It Is Amazing"
there were
"Charging Stations Along The Way!!"
 
However,
"Have Seen Maps"
"With Hundreds Of Locations"
so
"They Were All Over The Place!!"
 
Have even seen a map with
"Lincoln Highway Charging Stations"
but
"Can't Quite Put My Finger On It!!"
 
Point being...
 

 
"The Infrastructure Was In Place"
and
"As You Can See"
was
"Quite Sophisticated!!"
 
More on this later...
 
But first...
 
Another...
 
 
"Long Distance Trip"
over...
 
 
"700 Miles"
in..
 
 
"The Ward Special"
was completed in
"11 Days"
with
"Only 25 Charges"
or
"One A Day" 
plus
"An Overnight Charge!!"
 
And if you noticed,
both were using...
 
 
"Edison Batteries"
which as you can see..
 
 

"Were Built Of Steel"
and
"Were Quite Sophisticated!!"
 
And speaking of
"Mr. Edison"
here's a story about his..
 
 
"Battery Systems!!"
 
And did you see...
 
 

"The Size Of The Factory!!"
 
Hard to believe
"He Could Keep Everything Straight"
and
"Did You Notice"
 
 

"The Edison Battery"
was
"Not Your Ordinary Lead Battery!!"
 
So..
 
Looks like...
 
 

"Edison Was In The Thick of It"
with...
 
 

"Batteries For A Variety Of Applications"
including of course
"The Electric Vehicle"
which no doubt led to the endorsement of...
 
 

"The Electric Vehicle Hand-Book!!"
 
Hmmm...
 
Wouldn't it be cool,
"If We Could Find One Of Those!!"
 
So...
 
On a long shot,
"Checked The Card Catalog"
but
"Came Up Empty!!"
 
Oh Well...
 
"Seemed Like Such A No Brainer.."
 
So...
 
Gave it,
"One More Shot"
and
"Sure Enough"
 
 
"There It Was"
 
 

"A 1913 First Edition!!"
 
Pretty Cool!!
 
"And Then It Gets Better"
because...
 

 
"They also had 1914, 16, 17 & 18 Editions!!"
 
However,
"They're Almost Identical"
so
"Flipped Through For The Highlights"
which include these pages on..
 
 
"Batteries"
 
 

"Charging Stations"
 
"Driver Controls"
 
 

"Motor Set-Ups"
of which...
 



 
"There Were Many!!"
 
Hard to believe...
 
"And They're So Varied & Clever"
not to mention
"All The Machining"
 
And get this...
 
 

"GE Was A Big Time Player!!"
 
And remember...
 
"We're Talking About 1917!!
 
In any event,
"All Of This"
would seem to indicate
"Market Saturation Was Pretty High"
because....
 
 
"They Even Had Electric Trucks In Oklahoma!!"
 
But here's the kicker...
 
Apparently,
"Things Were So Advanced"
they even had...
 


 
 
"A Standardized Charging Plug!!"
 
All of which brings us to,
"The Big Drawback"
which
"Still Haunts Us Today!!"
 
How do you eliminate,
"Charging Time!!"
 
Hmmm...
 
Well...
 
"Hard To Believe"
but
"In A Flash Of Inspiration"
"It Came!!"
 
"Plug & Play!!"
 
So now...
 
Instead of pulling in for gas,
"You Pull In To Swap Batteries!!"
 
I mean...
"How Cool It That!!"
 
But then...
 
I tripped across this article...

 
 
which indicates...

 
 
"Somebody Already Thought Of That!!"
 
Warmest Regards,
 
 

 
Craig Harmon, Director
202-536-5329
 
 


Part 2




Electric Vehicles

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