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From: (Bruce Hamilton)
Newsgroups: sci.environment
Subject: Re: Electric cars pollute more?
Date: Sat, 03 Oct 1998 08:27:43 GMT (Mark Thorson) wrote:
>In his autobiography, _Pieces_of_the_Action_, Vannevar Bush
>(one-time Dean of Engineering at MIT, and wartime head of
>the OSRD -- umbrella organization for all of U.S. military
>research during the war) claimed that steam was a viable
>alternative to IC engines for cars.

>He claimed that the real reason gasoline won out over steam
>was the conservatism of the Stanley family, who controlled
>the patents.  They only wanted to make small numbers of
>very expensive cars.  So the big automakers were forced
>to turn to IC, and once they made a success of it, they
>used their political muscle to get laws passed unfavorable
>to steam.  For example, they made it illegal in many places
>to keep the flame burning in the garage overnight.

Actually the history of the IC in the USA has a similar event,
the Selden Patent. Basically, the history goes:-

1879  George Selden seeks a "road locomotive" patent. He was a
      Patent Attorney, so he kept revisng the patent, and only
      ever built an engine during the subsequent legal proceedings.
1895  Patent granted to Selden ( #549160 )
1899  Selden sells Patent to Albert Pope for $10,000 plus a share
      of the royalties. Pope immediately sues Winton Motor Carriage
      - the largest producer at the time, wins, and collects back
1900-1907  Pope sells licences to a group of manufacturers who form
      the Association of Licensed Automobile Manufacturers, and who
      attempt to limit the number of competitors by blackballing
      potential new members. Henry Ford asked to join when he first
      heard of the group, but they refused. He refused to pay the
1903  Ford starts his third company, and also advertised in a
      Detroit Newsletter that he would financially support any dealer
      sued by the Association for alleged patent infringement.
1909  Durant ( Founder of GM ) pays $1 million in royalties to the Assn.
1909-11  The Association took Henry Ford to court, and won, he appeals.
1911  Ford mounts an agressive defence, partly based on the fact that
      the information was already available, and partly on the failure
      to actually build the engine. The appeals court effectively upholds
      Ford, saying that the patent could only apply to Brayton design
      2-stroke engines, however 4-strokes engines were already the most
      popular, and only one minor producer used such engines.
1912  Cadillac introduces the electric starter, which pretty much
      wipes out the advantage of the electrics, and steam had already
      become stationary ( cable cars ) because of the complaints about
      embers, smoke, and soot.

       Bruce Hamilton

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