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Old 08-14-2008, 11:58 AM   #1 (permalink)
MetroMPG
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: 1000 Islands, Ontario, Canada
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Blackfly - '98 Geo Metro
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Last 3: 70.09 mpg (US)

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90 day: 53.56 mpg (US)

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90 day: 58.72 mpg (US)

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Family friend's 1901 pic: NYC Hotel Bartholdi 20 passenger electric sightseeing bus

I had the chance to drive a 94 year old family friend in my electric car yesterday - her first ride in one. ("It's so quiet!", "It runs only on electricity from the batteries?", "How far can you drive?")

When we got to her home, she pointed to a picture on the wall: "That's my mother riding in an electric car in New York City".



Click for medium size (139 kb); large size (490 kb) of this image.

The story:
Quote:
"This picture was taken in New York in 1901 when my mother Flora Belle Asselstine was visiting her sister Ethel who was a nurse in New York - at National Chemical Bank. They are the two ladies in the second row. Flora Belle on the outside & Ethel beside her."
The picture shows an appropriately named, open 20 passenger (plus driver) sight-seeing bus with what appears to be direct chain drive from an electric motor to the right rear double wheel (solid tires):


Click for medium size (76 kb); large size (310 kb) of this image.


There's what looks like a large battery compartment below the floorboards, between the front & rear wheels.

Written on the side of the bus:
Green Car Sight Seeing Service
B-way & 23rd St.
Hotel Bartholdi
I was surprised to see there's also a swastika painted smack between "B-way" and "23rd St" on the side. Recall that the picture was taken well before the icon was co-opted by the Nazis.

Printed on the back of the photo is a drawing showing the Stock Exchange (Looking North on Broad Street, below Wall Street), the Sailors & Soldiers Memorial (Riverside Drive), and the words:
ALL TOURS START FROM
HOTEL BARTHOLDI
Broadway and Twenty-Third Street
"The Green Cars"
A web search turned up nothing about this vehicle.

Google search of "Hotel Bartholdi"

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