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American Steamer and The American Steam Truck Co.

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American Steamer
The American Steam Truck Co.
Chicago, IL & Elgin, IL

The first American Steam Phaeton shown below was completed June 10, 1922 and displayed at the Chicago Pageant of progress held on the Municipal Pier in August that year.

The American Steamer was equipped with a two cylinder compound double acting engine with piston valves, Joy valve gear and only 17 moving parts.

The water tube boiler tested to 4,000 pounds pressure provided a steam pressure of 500 to 600 pounds. Water and Kerosene fuel tanks held 25 gallons each and this American Automobile did 30 miles per hour at 500 rpm. Maximum speed was 65 mph with a 250 mile cruising range.

1922 American Steamer
1922 American Steamer

Initial production schedule called for 100 steam cars. The firm had already produced its first steam trucks by 1922. President was R. R. Howard and he obtained $300,000 in contracts the first year. One model only was offered at $1,650 but despite conventional looks and handsome Lincoln type radiator the American Steamer on was in production 3 years.

In 1923 an improved burner and boiler were featured together with a choice of roadster, sedan and coupe bodies didn't save the company from bankruptcy in 1924.

1924 American Steamer Chassis
1924 American Steamer Chassis

The conventional layout of American Steamer chassis featured boiler and engine under hood, shaft drive to rear axle, water tank under seat and fuel tank at rear. Up front was a steam condenser. Transmission was eliminated on the American Steamer.

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