- This is the only Philion produced.
- It is one of the oldest existing American-built cars.
- A chauffeur sat behind the boiler and was responsible for oiling and maintaining steam.
- The carriage could be steered from either the front or the rear seat.
Achille Philion was a showman and his travels took him as far away as Canada, France, and the West Indies. He began working on his steam carriage in 1887, but because he traveled, he would take the unfinished carriage with him wherever he went and work on it as time allowed. Several reports credit the carriage as operating in 1890. It was patented in 1892, but was never duplicated. The Philion steam road carriage is one of the oldest existing American-built “automobiles.”
Thousands of visitors saw Philion’s steam carriage displayed at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. Steam was a common motive power then and coal was used as fuel (later changed to oil). A chauffeur sat behind the boiler and was responsible for oiling and maintaining steam. The carriage could be steered from either the front or the rear and a speed of 8 mph was possible.
Philion’s steam carriage appeared in two movies, Excuse My Dust in 1951 starring Red Skelton and The Magnificent Ambersons in 1942 directed by Orson Wells.