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My First Automobile

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The Stanley Steam Automobile Company was one of hundreds of automobile companies formed at the turn of the 20th century. It was founded in Watertown in 1897 and by 1901 was in Lawrence, Massachusetts. Massachusetts had a thriving car industry, and a distinctive "Massachusetts style" emerged. In the early years of the automobile industry, there were three major technologies for powering cars: gasoline, electricity, and steam. Steam cars were early favorites, although they took a long time to warm up, they were faster than gasoline cars. By 1906, Stanley replaced the yoke steering mechanism with a wheel and the bicycle-like tires with sturdier ones. By 1912 gasoline engines had improved dramatically. Though steam was fading fast, Stanley continued making cars. The company went bankrupt in 1925 but continued production until its demise in 1927.


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