Motoring in Maine by Open Touring Car, 1908


F.E. Stanley, at the wheel of a 1908 Stanley steam car, prepares to set off from Bath, accompanied by his wife, Augusta M. Stanley, and her two sisters, Helen A. and Emma E. Walker (left to right, rear seat), sometime in the late fall in 1908.

They all wear clothing typical for "automobilists" of the day: heavy automobile coats & gloves, goggles, tight-fitting caps & veils - Emma Walker even sports a full face mask - functional attire for the dust and sand encountered on Maine roads.

Stanley and his twin brother, F.O. Stanley, natives of Kingfield, ran the Stanley Motor Carriage Company in Newton, Massachusetts.

The Walker sisters were from New Portland. The Stanley Brothers and the Walker Sisters had all started as rural school teachers - at this time only Helen remained in education.

Emma Walker was the Clerk/Treasurer for the Stanley Company, unusual for a woman at this time.

Mrs. Stanley was active in social organizations, including the Katahdin Club, a Boston-area club for Mainers, in which her husband and her sister Emma also held official roles.

Mr. & Mrs. Stanley and Emma Walker also had summer residences on Squirrel Island in Boothbay Harbor. Helen and Emma Walker and their other sister, Abbie, settled in Bath.

The car is a 1908 Stanley Model M 5-passenger touring car. A powerful 30 H.P. steamer, one of only 65 (of this model) built, it was easily capable of speeds in excess of 80 mph, where roads were smooth enough to permit it.

The car has come straight from the factory. When offered to the public it would be equipped with a windshield, a folding top, and acetylene headlamps, all yet to fitted on this car. A large, 26" diameter boiler was housed under its distinctive coffin nose hood, on which is affixed a 1908 Massachusetts license plate with the registration number 1676, issued to the Stanley Motor Carriage Company.

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