Sylvester Roper with Steam Carriage

Summary

Massachusetts machinist Sylvester Roper (1823-1896) built at least seven steam-powered carriages and two steam-powered motorcycles years before automobiles -- as we know them -- appeared. Roper never produced his vehicles commercially. Instead, he exhibited them at circuses and fairs where crowds marveled at the self-propelled contraptions. Steamboats and steam locomotives were common, but steam-powered carriages were genuine novelties.

Massachusetts machinist Sylvester Roper (1823-1896) built at least seven steam-powered carriages and two steam-powered motorcycles years before automobiles -- as we know them -- appeared. Roper never produced his vehicles commercially. Instead, he exhibited them at circuses and fairs where crowds marveled at the self-propelled contraptions. Steamboats and steam locomotives were common, but steam-powered carriages were genuine novelties.

Artifact

Negative (Photograph)

 On Exhibit

By Request in the Benson Ford Research Center

Object ID

EI.1929.N.B.81500

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford.

Color

Black-and-white (Colors)

Dimensions

Height: 5 in

Width: 4 in

1865 Roper Steam Carriage

Details
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