York’s Car History Commemorated at YOW
A friend just emailed me the photo above. It’s a commemorative decanter, shaped like a 1903 York-made six-wheeled Pullman automobile. The decanter was issued Michter’s Distillery near Schafferstown, Lebanon County, in the 1970s. Michter’s was perhaps the oldest still-operating distillery in the U.S. when in closed in 1989.
She thought of the decanter when she saw the notices of York County Heritage Trust’s annual car show York on Wheels. It will be held tomorrow, August 21, at the York Expo Center. There will be wheeled vehicles of all kinds and activities for all ages. Click this link for hours, admissions and more information.
What happened with the six-wheeled car?
The middle wheels were the ones that powered the car, so when those wheels hit a high spot in the road, and there were many of those on the unpaved roads of the day, the automobile just seesawed instead of going anywhere.
A.P. Broomall, the York manufacturer of the Pullman auto quickly reengineered the car to a four-wheeled vehicle, as seen below. His company, the York Motor Car Co., went on to some success, showing endurance by winning popular road races of the time. The company turned out at least 12,000, and perhaps up to 23,000 automobiles until it became victim, in 1917, to cheaper assembly-line produced cars, such as those made by Henry Ford. (A young Army officer named Dwight Eisenhower is said to have owned a Pullman.)