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Milburn Electric Car
Milburn Electric Car
Resource Typeimage
TitleMilburn Electric Car
Coverage / Year1914 to 1923
DescriptionA black and blue two-passenger, two-door electric car. The car has a tiller for steering, two headlights, one taillight, and four rubber tires.
InterpretationThe Milburn Electric Car was simple to operate. A lever operated the power and steering systems. A button in the end of the lever controlled the horn. The batteries had to be recharged every night and replaced every three years. The driving range was approximately sixty miles. The car was popular with doctors and businesses such as drugstores, groceries, and dairies that used it to make local deliveries. The electric car was best suited for use in cities where most streets were paved and access to electrical energy was readily available. At the start of the twentieth century much of rural America still had not been fully electrified. Electric cars were favored especially by women because they did not require manual cranking to start the engine. Hand cranks could backfire and fracture one's wrist. At that time, women generally drove fewer miles in a day than men, well within the range of a single charge of the battery. Once the self-starter was perfected and inexpensive gasoline was readily available, sales of both electric and steam cars rapidly declined. However, many women who had learned to drive in electric cars continued to drive them. The Milburn Automobile Company was not alone in the production of electric cars. Competition raged among many companies including: Columbia Electrics (produced the 'Electric Brougham', Borland-Grannis, the Waverly Company (produced the 'Waverly Silent Electric'), Rauch & Lang Electrics (produced the 'Hupp-Yeats Electric'), Phillips-Grinnell Electric, and Church-Field Electric. By the late 1920s the only companies that continued to produce electric cars were Rauch & Lang and Milburn. General Motors purchased Milburn in February of 1923. General Motors produced electric cars well into the 1930s.
Lesson Plans / ThemesHow we learn about communities;
Learning Standards16 History; 10-12 Science; 13 Science, Technology and Society;
Author or CreatorMilburn Automobile Company
SourceDe Waard, E. John, and Aaron E. Klein. Electric Cars. New York
Subject / KeywordsAutomobiles; Cars; Electric automobiles; Transportation; Land transportation; Toledo, Ohio
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 Identifier33.235
CONTENTdm file name48447181982002_MILBURN.jpg
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