This information is drawn directly from Kimes and Clark.
The Philion was a coal-burning steamer built by circus showman Achille Philion, who had met a lovely Akron girl named Bel Melvin while she was travening in his native France and who arrived in America soon after their marriage.
The car was begun in 1887 and was patented and made its first appearance on the streets of Akron in 1892. Philion was by now a featured performer in an Akron-based circus and was widely reputed to bee one of teh finest balancing artists of his time, his specialty walking a rubber ball (naturally, this was Akron, and B. F. Goodrich made the balls) up a spiral tower and then descending iat a great speed in a blaxe of fireworks at the bottom.
He built the steamer to call attention to himself and his act, and used it in numerous parageds, which always preceded a circus coming to town.
Philion even played the 1893 Chicago World's Fair. In the late 1890s, following a fall while performing in the East, Achille Philion retired from the circus world. He remained in Akron where he opened a movie theater in 1904 and where, in 1907, the Philion steamer was exhibited at Akron's first automobile show.
Following Philion's death, the car was acquired by a motion picture entrepreneur and appeared in such movies as The Magnificent Ambersons with Orson Welles and Excuse My Dust with Red Skelton. Later acquired by Harrah's Automobile Collection, this Philion steamer remains extant.