Monday, June 19, 2017

The new Exhibit!

I want to apologize for my delay on posting this. I can insert a series of excuses which range from the end of a busy semester to a mother in the hospital. However, there is one excuse that will wash: I was waiting to get photographs of the exhibit to share!

For those of you in the loop this years exhibit celebrates the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Historical Society! There are a lot of cool things on display but I have decided, to prolong this presentation, to only talk about a few now and then add the others later. In historian speak that means I want to do some more research on one of the items and I have to read a book of etiquette from 1882. Regardless of that I vehemently urge all my readers to go out, grab your friends/family/frenimies/, run, don't walk, to experience the exhibit for oneself. Remember we are open Wednesday-Sunday from 12 pm - 4 pm. And while there stop in the consignment shop and browse awhile. Now that my sales pitch is over . . .

There is one item that is near and dear to me. As you know I am transcribing the 1866 diary of Sarah Brewster Hawkins. I went to the museum while the exhibit was being created - thanks to Laura Warren, Kathleen Cash and Beth Pranzo for creating a brilliant display, I know others helped but these three I know were involved and if I list all the amazing volunteers then this blog would be ten times longer! - I saw this:

An 1828 coverlet made by Sarah Brewster Hawkins. Not only that but for the first time I saw what she looked like! To read her words and know her in that way and then to see her. It struck me. A shiver ran down my spine, I felt that much closer to her. On it she had her name, from this picture one can see most of it, "Drowned Meadow" and the year. It is a massive coverlet which is why the picture only captures a portion of it. Of course one can always see it for oneself. Hint. Hint. I will also be giving a talk about Sarah's diary and the Platt Civil War letters at the museum on Sunday July 16th. The talk starts at 1 pm. If that is not enough off an incentive there will also be homemade cookies!

The other artifact that I wanted to talk about relates to the car the ONLY. I want to give credit to Robert Sisler and his wonderful book "Port Jefferson Area's First Century on Wheels: 1850's to 1950's." This great book is where I am getting my information from and all credit should go to Mr. Sisler. It is especially valuable because there is almost nothing online about this car.

The ONLY, only one cylinder, for only $700 and the only car one will need! They really went hog wild with getting the most mileage out of the name. Built in the Loper factory between 1909 and 1910 by Maurice Richard. There were two jets in a carburetor designed by Richard, one for low speed and one for high speed. It was ignited by a Bosch Magneto battery and a coil. It was able to reach 60 mph and got 30 miles a gallon. The idea was that in multiple cylinder cars the crankshaft was seen as the problem. Richard eliminated this by losing the crankshaft and adding two flywheels and thereby eliminating vibrations that were evident in other early automobiles.

The ONLY went onto distinction in 1919 by winning an event in its class in the Hill Climb Race an event the town had recently recreated on the steep hill leading to Belle Terre.
In 1914 Richard went onto build the Metropole, a four-cylinder roadster. For the record I love that name for a car and especially a car of that era. This car featured a high hood and no doors. Richard switched from one to four-cylinders because the one-cylinder car was not appealing to most and therefore only a handful of the ONLY's were made. It is said that there is an intact ONLY in existence. Sisler hints at an intact ONLY that has the annoying habit of blowing the Babbitt. However, I am not sure if he meant in 1910 or today.

The Metropole sold for $1,475. Got up to 75 mph and got 25 miles to the gallon. The market not being what t was he sold the factory to Finley Robertson Porter.

In the Loper factory the Maxim Tricar was being built. This was a three wheeled delivery van built by Carl Peters. One could own it for $475. It had a 96 inch wheel base. The tricar left when Porter bought the factory.

In 1915 Porter, with the Loper factory, created a car that he wanted to be the best, the FRP "with its block made of vanadium steel double heat-treated, shafts and gears were of nickel steel double heat-treated, and the manifold and other engine parts were of bronze." (Sisler). It achieved thee speed of 80 mph with four forward speeds and one in reverse. It cost $5000 for all that and then another $5000 for the coachwork. The top car of the time only cost $7500. Only building 36 cars by 1917 the FRP was no more. We have a plate of this automobile at the museum.

I want to thank Mr. Sisler again and remind all that the information about the cars in this blog comes from his informative book.

For now that is all. I hope it encourages my readers to stop in. If not then stay tuned as I tweak the research and prepare to blow your socks off!

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