|THESE EARLY TRUCKS ARE IN THE
IOWA 80 TRUCK-STOP MUSEUM 1903-1969
|1890 – 1919|
| ⇒Engine: 2 cylinder opposed piston gasoline engine
⇒Transmission: friction drive
⇒top speed: 10mph
This believed to be the first truck ever manufactured in the U.S.; and it was built in Des Moines, Iowa. Resembling an old farm wagon, this truck was built by George Eldridge, a machinist, near the start of the 20th century. Eldridge produced at least one car and three other trucks, years before the first Model-T was built by Ford in 1908. This truck was used to transport various items between Eldridge’s various machine shops. It was retired to a field behind the blacksmith shop where it rested for years until Owen Crist purchased the vehicle some 30 years later. The truck’s solid rubber tires had rotted away. Crist spent years restoring the vehicle. Along the way he noticed many unique features of the old Eldridge. One of these features was the friction drive transmission. The transmission has one wheel, driven by the engine, that rubs against another perpendicular wheel. This transfers power to a shaft that dries a sprocket which uses a chain to turn the wheels. This is the oldest American made truck known to exist.
|1910 AVERY TRACTOR / GASOLINE FARM WAGON|
| ⇒Rutenberger 4-cylinder engine
⇒3-speed Avery transmission
⇒Top speed – 15 MPH
With a 45 hp engine, this truck cost $2500 new. It was advertised to do the work of six to eight horses. This truck is so versatile, it could haul up to 100 bushels of wheat, pull a 3-bottom plow, or even run a threshing machine through an additional belt pulley. The solid rubber tires were a $500 option at the time of purchase. The whole truck weight on 5,875 pounds. It is one of only six Avery trucks know to still exist.
|McDONALD SCALE MOLINE PLOW COMPANY|
| ⇒Circa: Early 1900’s
⇒Maximum Load Capacity: 8,000 pounds
Manufactured nearby in Moline, IL, this type of scale was advertised as a “Pitless Scale”, but also known at the time as a “Wagon Scale”. Both farmers and small business owners would commonly use this type of scale to measure bushels of corn (and other products) carried on the back of a wagon, truck, or steer. The scale helped farmers and business owners alike determine the cash value of their product. In the early 1900’s Railroads charged shipping fees by weight. McDonald Scales were used to estimate how much a farmer or business owner could expect the shipping cost to be, and it helped prevent them from being overcharged for their shipments.
|1911 WALKER ELECTRIC MODEL 43|
| ⇒3.5 hp 84-volt DC electric motor
⇒Load capacity of 6,000 pounds
⇒Top speed – 15 MPH
Everyone thinks that electric powered vehicles re a new deal! This electric truck was a milk delivery truck in downtown Chicago for Bowman Dairy Company, which delivered milk to hospitals and restaurants. A single charge would allow this truck to travel up to 50 miles. The walker brand was native to Chicago and in production from 1906 to 1942, longer than any other electric truck in the U.S.
| ⇒Engine 4-cylinder
Thomas B. Jeffrey built and sold Rambler bicycles from 1878 to 1900. He was one of America’s first men interested in building automobiles. His experimental prototypes in the early 1900’s included such radical ideas as steering wheels and front mounted engines. A wide variety of styles of cars were built under the Rambler name, including trucks. Upon Jeffrey’s death in 1902, his took Charles took over the business and in 1914 renamed it Jeffrey, which became the world’s largest producer of trucks during WWII.
This 1913 Rambler was purchased new for $2,350 and used by a plumber in Rock Island, Illinois. The maximum load amount this truck can carry is 2,000 pounds. This could handle the weight because it weighs 4,150 pounds itself. The engine has a 4 1/2 inch bore with a 5 inch stroke and includes a 7-port adjustable external oiling system.
|1915 MACK AB|
| ⇒Engine: 255.33 cubic in. 4-cylinder
⇒Transmission: 4 forward speeds 1 reverse
⇒Top Speed: 24 MPH
This Mack, Serial Number 361, is the oldest Mack AB known to still exist. The AB model was Mack’s first standardized high volume truck model. According to Mack, 51,364 AB models were made from 1914 to 1937. The AB used either chain or worm drive and the truck’s design stayed relatively the same for the entire production run. Gear ratios available at the time were from 5.7 to 1 all the way to 10.5 to 1 all the way to a blistering 24 miles per hour with the 5.75 to 1 ratio. The engine is a 251.33 cubic inch 4-cylinder with cylinders cast in pairs. The bore is 4 inches and the stroke is 5 inches developing 35 brake horsepower. This truck has a magneto ignition. The AB was made in 1.5 and 2.5 ton capacity ratings. There were a total of 383 Mack AB models built in 1915.
|1919 FORD MODEL TT
| ⇒Engine: 4 cylinder, 20HP, electric starter
⇒Transmission: Planetary 2-speed with 3-speed aux.
⇒Top Speed: 25MPH In In 1917, Henry Ford built his first TT model truck. The front end was the same as the Model T car. From the transmission back it had a heavier rear spring mounted crossways over the rear axle and heavier rear wheels. For six years this model was sold as a chassis only. This particular truck is an example of an after-market bolt on cab and body. The current owner purchased it from a construction worker in 1964. The truck then resided in a machine shed in Apple Valley, Minnesota for 40 years. Restoration took place over the course of four years and was completed in 2008. This truck is on loan from John & Elaine Fischer of Hasting, Minnesota.
|1919 PIERCE-ARROW X-3|
| ⇒Engine: 4 Cylinder Pierce Arrow
⇒Transmission: 4 Speed
⇒ Top Speed: 20 MPH
Pierce-Arrow was well known for production of luxury cars when they brought their first trucks to market in 1912. While the Pierce-Arrow truck was not as luxurious as their cars, the company’s trucks were made with careful engineering, using high quality materials to create a well-built truck that performed well and lasted under heavy use. This model uses solid rubber tires in its design, along with a wooden cab, steel dump body, and a hydraulic lift mechanism to raise and lower the bed. Due to the high quality of engineering and materials, Pierce-Arrow was able to market their 1919 truck as being the “cheapest truck to buy” despite its $4,500 price tag-claiming a lower cost due to the lack of operating and repair coast, and low maintenance requirements for proper upkeep of their trucks.