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Orient Motor Buckboard
Orient Motor Buckboard
Resource Typeimage
TitleOrient Motor Buckboard
Coverage / Year1904
DescriptionA flat board automobile with an air-cooled engine in the rear, a tiller for steering, curved wooden cycle fenders, and four wooden wheels with wire spokes.
InterpretationThe 1904 Orient Motor Buckboard, costing a mere $337, was the most inexpensive automobile in the world until the advent of the Ford Model T, which could be purchased for $290 in 1924. The Orient Buckboard weighed just 400 pounds, had a four-horsepower engine, and could reach a speed of thirty miles per hour. The car was advertised as being "Fast, Practical and Safe, " and that it "Rides like a Parlor Car."1 The Orient Buckboard had no suspension, relying exclusively on its wooden floor to absorb the shocks of unpaved roads. The floor was made of ash or other springy wood about an inch thick and attached to the axles. The spring action of the board substituted for steel springs. Buckboards were originally used in wagons and stagecoaches. The Orient Buckboard, patented in March 1903, was built during the transition from buckboard carriages to automobiles. It was designed by Leonard B. Gaylord and built by the Waltham Manufacturing Co. There were approximately eighteen hundred Orient Buckboards manufactured. Waltham was one of eighteen companies licensed to build automobiles under the Selden patent. George Baldwin Selden of Rochester, New York, filed an application on May 18, 1879 for his pioneering patent that covered the use of the gasoline engine as the propelling element of a road vehicle. His patent was issued on November 5, 1895. The Orient Motor Buckboard in the Collection of the Museum of Science and Industry was exhibited at the St. Louis Exhibition of 1904.
Lesson Plans / ThemesHow we learn about communities;
Learning Standards16 History; 10-12 Science; 13 Science, Technology and Society;
Author or CreatorGaylord, Leonard B.
Other ContributorsSelden, George Baldwin, 1846-1922
Waltham Manufacturing Company
SourceBerkebile, Don H. Carriage Terminology: An Historical Dictionary. Washington D. C.: Smithsonian Institution Press and Liberty Cap Books, 1978. Joseph J. Schroeder. The Wonderful World of Automobiles. 1895-1930. Northfield, Illinois: DBI Books Inc., 1981
Subject / KeywordsAutomobiles; Cars; Transportation; Land transportation; World's Fair; St. Louis Exhibition; Patents; Waltham, Massachusetts
Collection PublisherMuseum of Science and Industry, Chicago;
Further InformationFor any further information related to this record, please contact the Collection Publisher. See for more information about this project.
Rights Management Statement
Resource Identifier30.379
CONTENTdm file name10952181982002_ORIENTBU.jpg
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