Past Forward

Activating The Henry Ford Archive of Innovation

Exploring a Few Exposed Engines

January 9, 2015

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From January 10 through March 15, we’re opening the hoods on more than 40 vehicles in Henry Ford Museum. Many will agree that the engine is the heart of an automobile – whether it’s the big V-8 in our 1956 Chrysler 300-B stock car, or the compact four-banger in our 1978 Dodge Omni. Over the next several weeks, I’ll use this space to share my thoughts on a selection of our exposed engines. Some are unconventional efforts, while others are mainstays produced by the millions. Each of them offers some special insight into more than 100 years of experimentation and improvement in how we power our cars.

First up - the 1907 White Model G.

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1907 White Model G

Inline 2-cylinder compound steam engine with condenser, 30 horsepower

The White’s steam engine was designed for efficiency. Steam first expanded in the smaller high-pressure cylinder at rear, then expanded again in the larger low-pressure cylinder at front. The condenser in front of the engine, resembling a radiator from an internal combustion car, captured exhausted steam and converted it back into water, to be used again. These devices gave the Model G a claimed range of 150 miles on a 17-gallon water tank.

Take a look at the opening of the White's hood over on Instagram.

Matt Anderson is Curator of Transportation at The Henry Ford.

Engines Exposed

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