Vulcan Technology is in Pullman’s Electrically Controlled Gasoline Automobile
Motor Vehicles at the 1914 Harrisburg Auto Show
This ad for the 1914 Pullman Model 6-46A appeared in the Harrisburg Auto Show edition of the Harrisburg Telegraph. The Fifth Annual Harrisburg Auto Show opened the evening of March 14, 1914, in the Arena-Rex Building at Third and Delaware Streets. The Arena-Rex Building was the largest building available to hold such a show in Harrisburg during 1914.
The show featured twenty-one automobile makes: Abbott, Buick, Cadillac, Chalmers, Cheverlot, Cole, Ford, Haynes, Hudson, Jeffery, Krit, Marathon, Maxwell, Metz, Oakland, Overland, Pullman, Reo, Saxon, Stanley and Studebaker. Truck makes in the show included: Autocar, Case, Chase, Morton, National and Reo. The show also included five Motorcycle makes: Harley-Davidson, Henderson, Indian, Thor and Yale; see motorcycle ads in the post The 1914 Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Truck; also 1914 Indian, Thor & Yale Motorcycles.
The Vulcan Electric Gear Shift had it origins in 1909 U. S. Patents by Frank Beemer. The Vulcan Motor Devices Company of Philadelphia purchased the rights to these patents. Vulcan worked on commercializing the Electric Gear Shift design. Initially they had some problems, however by 1913 Vulcan had a marketable product.
Pullman Motor Car Company in York, PA, was one of the initial car makers to offer the Vulcan Electric Gear Shift on one of their models; in this case the 1914 Pullman Model 6-46A. The appeal of these devices created a stampede from other carmakers for the product. The Vulcan Motor Devices Company had trouble meeting demand and ultimately decided to outsource the manufacturing to The Cutler-Hammer Manufacturing Company of Milwaukee; they held the exclusive license under the Vulcan Patents.
Cutler-Hammer published a manual entitled Gear Shifting by Electricity, written by H. E. Coffin. This image of the arrangement of the shift buttons in the center of the steering wheel is from that manual (Manual is available digitally at the Hathi Trust Digital Library). To shift gears, one merely pushed the appropriate button while depressing the clutch petal and the appropriate shifting solenoids responded electrically to shift gears.
Other Pullman related posts include:
- 1914 Pullman Chassis; First York Auto Show at The Coliseum
- Albert P. Broomell, of Pullman Automotive Fame, and his 24 U. S. Patents
- Sole Surviving Pullman Automobile with Vulcan Electric Gear Shift
- Address Numbers change and Yorkers Resist the Change; also Pullman Building
- #40 Broomell, Schmidt & Company Factory in York; Birthplace of Pullman Motor Car
- A New Car by an Old Designer, the KLINE KAR; Pullman Pedigree to Racing Success, Part 1
- A New Car by an Old Designer, the KLINE KAR; Pullman Pedigree to Racing Success, Part 2
- A New Car by an Old Designer, the KLINE KAR; Pullman Pedigree to Racing Success, Part 3
- YORK Pullman’s at The White House
- Patented by Pullman in 1901 and Made in York
- York made 1901 Pullman Ventilators installed in White House