of Columbia Cars being
Vehicle Company of Hartford,
First some information about
George H. Day,
then an ad from the Hartford
City Directory of 1900
and a photo taken in front of
The photos of the vehicle
are from the catalogue
published in 1900,
plus images of a Gasolene
and the Tricycle Carrier
which are not found in later
There is a link to the booklet
about the Runabout.
Then comes a photograph from
1903 of Lawrence Duffie
and others with three of the
oldest vehicles made by Columbia.
Next are some magazine ads from 1898 through 1901.
Note the very generous
offer! [That illustration also provides
a link to a 1902 illustrated
catalogue detailing the care and
charging of the Exide
battery.] Then another 1900 page,
plus a First Day Cover of a
U.S. Postage Stamp
which was part of a five-stamp
set issued in 1995
honoring antique automobiles.
The Electric Runabout - which
was a mainstay of the company
for many years - is
illustrated in its earliest versions,
and its longevity is shown in
an article from 1909.
Note: Figures 4 and 8 seem to
have been left out of the
(above). The three photos below are
from the same series, and were
included in the
Columbia catalogue of
1900. Perhaps the
omitted ones are now among
To see a couple more
photos taken from the same perspective,
within an article from 1909
about painting the cars,
To see the detailed
booklet about this model, plus
photos of (perhaps) the only remaining example
as found, transported, and restored,
Below-right is the photo
from which the drawing (above-right) was made
To see a
comprehensive article about this vehicle,
with more photos and schematic drawings, plus
an article about its beginnings in 1895, click here.
The ads above
and below-left show a Dos-a-Dos model,
meaning passengers are seated
Driver and a passenger face
forward (pointing left in the
and two passengers face
backward (pointing right).
The Phaeton, which is shown in
the ad below-right, has a
removable rumble seat which
also faces to the rear -
in this case, to the left
since the vehicle is heading to the right.
[Note: The Stanhope was
another model with back-to-back seating.
To see a 1901 article about
the Electric Vehicle Company, which has
a photo of this automobile in
use, along with several other shots
of various Columbia cars being
driven, click here.]
The next items
show more of the Electric Runabout from several different years.
First, the 1898 model, which was depicted on a U.S. postage stamp!
(A 1901 model would also be featured in that manner, and is
shown on a later webpage, along with other Columbia taxicabs.)
Then a large ad (left) from 1899, and a small ad (right) from 1901.
(Note the link to a 1902 catalogue contained in that image.)
The catalogue-listing page which follows is from the 1900 booklet.
Then come portions of two articles - one from Time Magazine,
and the other from the Cycle and
Automobile Trade Journal -
separated by recent photos of restored vehicles.
[Note: A photo of the 1902 model (shot in 2000) appears on a later
At the turn of the 20th century,
electric-powered cars were more popular than their noisy, smelly,
which had to be started using a hand crank that
had a tendency to backfire.
Among the best selling, and most basic,
were the Columbia Runabouts, produced by the Hartford, Conn.,
of Pope Manufacturing and the Electric Vehicle Company.
Aside from the
Deep Space Nine-style name, the Mark LX Electric Runabout could boast a
top speed of 15 mph and a range of
about 40 miles per charge —
coincidentally the same distance Chevrolet's futuristic 2007 Volt can
cover before requiring a refreshing plug-in.
[Note: To see more about this vehicle, including several large,
close-up photos from the 2008 Chicago Auto Show,
plus a very special shot of the volts/amperes meter, click here.]
For information and
photos of the electric vehicles
from the 1903 catalogue, plus
more ads and
some very special uses,