1. The Fiske Family
2. The Bennetts
3. The Dicksons
4. The Abbey
5. Landmarks and Personalities
6. The Great Road
7. The South Side
8. Merriams and Fields
9. Sold to Riley
10. Early Automobiles
11. The Dump
Previous Page
Next Page
Website made possible by Lincoln, MA homes for sale



About 1909 or 1910 the Cadillac became incapacitated; a large bolt let go in the motor, causing irreparable damage. My father   was heartbroken because he considered it the best automobile he had ever owned, and we kept it in a shed for several years before finally selling it to a junk man who came and towed it away.    Going down Ball's Hill into Waltham the steering mechanism    broke and the driver lost control and ran into a tree. Luckily he  only fractured an arm.
   In 1906 my grandfather bought a four cylinder Mitchell which    we still have. In its day it was a fine touring car with large brass headlights that burned acetylene. The gas was generated in a    brass tank on the running board. There were two compartments    in the tank, one for water and one for calcium carbide. By turn-   ing a knob the water would drip onto the carbide and generate acetylene, and when the gas flowed freely through the system     you lit the lamps with a match. There was always a pop from an accumulation of gas in the lamp chamber, and a continuous      sizzle when once lit. This was all a rather clumsy arrangement,     but as we rarely drove at night we were not much inconvenienced by it. A few years later the Prestolite tank was developed: a cylinder containing gas under pressure and a much handier arrangement.
   Since the Mitchell had no top, my grandfather had one made      at a carriage shop, which could be raised during a shower to keep dry or on a summer day for shade. The top had a celluloid wind-shield that rolled down and fastened to the dashboard — a won-derful protection when driving in the rain. This was one of the earlier windshields; they were not in general use on automobiles until a year or so later.