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The White Steamer was originally produced by The White Sewing Machine Company. Rollin White, the son of the founder, graduated from Cornell University and at the suggestion of his father, designed the White Steamer to help diversify the company's products. The White Sewing Machine had a superior reputation.
White built some 10,000 steamers between 1900 and 1911 when the last steamers were manufactured. Unlike Stanley, The White Sewing Machine Company and later The White Company advertised widely, using many magazine advertisements.
White also published an advertising magazine, entitled the White Bulletin.
- White Sewing Machines.
- 1900 First Car and Development.
- 1901 - 1902
- 1907 Model H (20 HP, Improved Model F).
- 1909 Models M (40 HP) and O (20 HP) Also made first internal combustion car).
- 1910 Models MM and OO (Kerosene burners).
- 1911- 1913 The Last White Steam Cars.
- President Taft's White Steamer
- The White Steam Car Registry
- The White Steam Car Website
White 1900 – 1911White Sewing Machine Co., Cleveland, OH 1900 – 1906 The White Co., Cleveland, OH 1906 – 1918
Rollin H. White of the Cleveland sewing-machine concern produced his first steamer in 1900. This was a light chain-drive Stanhope with tiller steering and a simple 2-cylinder under-floor engine. It had an underslung frontal condenser, and 193 were sold in 1901, the first year of full production. This gave way in 1903 to a model with a front-mounted compound engine under a hood, condenser in the normal 'radiator' position, wheel steering, and shaft drive.
These and subsequent Whites used a semi-flash type of boiler, and could run a hundred miles between fillings of water. Frames were of armored wood, and a tonneau cost $2,000.
The cars did well in early Glidden Tours, and racing versions, such as Webb Jay's Whistling Billy with an underslung frame, were also successful. This car covered a mile in 74.07 mph. Theodore Roosevelt used a White during his tenure of the White House. 1905 Whites had a 2-speed back axle, and also a 'free engine' enabling the pumps to work without manual assistance when the car was stationary in traffic. 1906 was the best sales year, with 1,534 cars delivered, but steam–car production was held at over 1,000 a year to the end. By 1908, the company was offering two models, a 20 hp Model L at $2,500, and the big seven-passenger Model K with a 112" wheelbase at $3,700. Joy valve motion replaced the Stephenson link type in 1909 cars, which had both sets of brakes working on the rear wheels.
Steamers continued to be listed into 1911, though the 1910 MM and OO were the last new models. For the 1910 season the company offered a 225 ci L-head gasoline car with a monoblock engine inspired by the Delahaye; the 4-speed transmission had direct drive in third gear.