A Glimpse of Automobiles from 1899
The Trade Literature Collection at the National Museum of American History Library includes many catalogs related to automobiles. One of these is this 1899 trade catalog by Roach & Barnes entitled Waverly Electric Automobiles. Shown in the catalog are four vehicles named the Run-About, Stanhope, Combination Wagon, and Merchandise Delivery.
The least expensive of these vehicles was the Run-About. Priced at $1,000, it could be used for pleasure or business purposes. Even though it seated four people, the vehicle was really meant for only two people due to the strength of the springs and the power of the motor and battery. The back seat was to be used only when absolutely necessary "and then with extreme care." The Run-About had a motor of one and one-half horsepower and could travel up to twelve to fourteen miles per hour.
Roach & Barnes, Philadelphia, PA. Waverly Electric Automobiles, 1899, page 9, Run-About.
Priced at $1,600, the Merchandise Delivery vehicle was the most expensive vehicle shown in Waverly Electric Automobiles. Described as "very powerful and entirely practical," this vehicle traveled at speeds from eight to twelve miles per hour depending on local conditions and could "do the work of three horses."
Roach & Barnes, Philadelphia, PA. Waverly Electric Automobiles, 1899, page 15, Merchandise Delivery.
The other two vehicles shown in the catalog were the Stanhope and the Combination Wagon. The Stanhope was a pleasure vehicle, especially made for physicians. It had about a two horsepower motor and traveled at twelve to fourteen miles per hour. The Combination Wagon was built for parcel delivery but could also be converted into a pleasure vehicle. It traveled at speeds of about twelve miles per hour. For an additional cost, it could seat four people by adding an extra seat. The Stanhope was priced at $1,500 while the Combination Wagon was priced at $1,200.