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On august 22, 1902, chairman Theodore Roosevelt rode through the roads of Hartford in an electrical automobile. Car production remained in its early on stages of development at the revolve of the twentieth century and also about fifty percent of America’s vehicles to be electric.

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Although Roosevelt was not the very first president come ride in an auto (that honor goes to william McKinley), he to be the first to do so publicly. Add by Colonel J.L. Greene that Hartford, and followed by one entourage of guys on horseback, Columbia bicycles, and also in cars, chairman Roosevelt greeted men, women, and also children who lined the roadways to witness what would come to be a familiar sight: the an initial presidential motorcade.


The model in which Roosevelt rode was the Columbia electrical Victoria Phaeton. Like various other Columbia models, the Victoria Phaeton had actually an outside box because that the driver, located at the behind of the automobile (one have the right to imagine that this to be a design choice left end from the days of the horse-drawn carriage). It had actually two 20-volt batteries that totaled roughly 800 pounds, around 40 percent of the vehicle’s full weight. The tires to be made the rubber and also the driver had his selection of 4 speeds, the maximum rate a lining thirteen miles an hour.

The Columbia electric Vehicle agency was situated in Hartford, and made both electric and gasoline-run automobiles. The electric vehicle was a product created by Columbia bicycle magnate Alfred Pope, one of a couple of successful vehicle makers in Connecticut in ~ the time.

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Warner picture Company. “Photograph - Theodore Roosevelt in an electrical Carriage, Hartford,” 1902. Connecticut history Illustrated, Connecticut historical Society. Link.