- Written by webmin
Back when urban delivery trucks used electric motors to power them around town rather than gasoline engines, Walker was one of the stalwarts of the niche with box trucks like this 1909 Walker Model 15 headed to RM’s Hershey auction. Looking more like a railroad car untethered from the train, we’re surprised nobody’s yet lettered the big blank canvases on either side. From the auction description:
Walker trucks generally used a seating arrangement placing the driver directly above the front wheels, a layout reprised some 50 years later with the forward-control trucks of Dodge, Willys-Jeep and other marques. The controls were simple, comprising a large steering wheel, two brake pedals on either side of the steering wheel, and a speed-control lever. Another foot lever engaged reverse.
The batteries were located halfway between the front and rear axles, while the electric motor was housed within rear differential and the drive gears were placed within the wheels themselves. Top speeds approaching 15 mph were possible with an operating range of up to 40 miles, depending upon such factors as loaded weight and road conditions.
Relatively simple in their basic design and offering true “stop and go” operation, electric vehicles such as the 1909 Walker Electric Delivery Truck offered here were quite popular with butchers, bakers, dairies, department stores and many other businesses. This vehicle was reportedly used in period by such New York City-based businesses as Hearn’s Department Store and Holland Laundry. It received a complete teardown and restoration and was acquired in 2008 by John M. O’Quinn from the noted collection of James E. Cousens. As presented, it operates at low speeds with as few as four batteries installed, while higher speeds are available with the addition of more batteries. Complete with restoration photographs and copies of news articles related to Hearn’s Department Store, its early operator, this example is believed to be one of but a handful of surviving examples today.
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