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Pennington models

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 Pennington Autocar


(1896-1896)




The Pennington  Autocar was produced from 1896 to 1896
1 engine is on Histomobile.


Pennington Autocar 

Misconceived mechanical inspiration was a commonplace in the early, ex-ploratory days of the motor-car, and the Pennington is chosen here as an example, since no other device of such monstrous inefficiency was persisted with so tenaciously. Edward Joel Pen-nington of Chicago was a highly plaus-ible company promoter of considerable vision and limited mechanical talent. A company he organized in Racine, Wisconsin in 1895 claimed to make cars using the Kane-Pennington Hot Air Engine, Kane being the Chicago busi-nessman who financed it. The cylinders were plain steel tubes, for Pennington's engine was supposed to cool itself by heat dissipation from the cylinder walls. There was no carburettor. Gasoline was fed direct into the induction pipe from the fuel tank by a valve: a form of fuel injection. The air and liquid gasoline mixture, drawn into the cylinder, was alleged to be first vaporized and then ignited by another Pennington peculiar-ity: the 'long-mingling spark'. This was allegedly provided by a heated wire spiral inside the cylinder. Though ingenious, Pennington's engines were very crude, with their exposed motion and tentative lubrication. Finally, Pen-nington did not believe in road springs, relying on pneumatic tyres of large section instead. Pennington's ideas worked badly, but just well enough to have his work published in respectable technical journals in an age of ignorŽance, and just well enough to support his gift of the gab. Four Penningtons were entered in the Chicago Times-Herald Race of 1895, but did not start. In 1896 Pennington went to Britain to promote his ideas. H. J. Lawson, busily attempting to gain control of the nascent British motor industry, bought his patents and established him in the Humber factory in Coventry to make his cars. The strange tricycle illustrated was one of the few vehicles that emerged. Even stranger is the fact that it still survives in complete form, in the Montagu Motor Museum at Beaulieu. Later Pennington machines had con-ventionally water-jacketed cylinders and normal ignition arrangements, but this did not save them. In 1899 PenŽnington floated the Anglo-American Rapid Vehicle Company, a grandiose operation designed to take over some 200 patents and all existing British and American car designs. It collapsed, and its instigator fell into obscurity.


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