Bailey Electric Automobile
In Margaret Rice's book, "Sun on the River", the Bailey Family History, 1955, she states that when Col. Edward Bailey, S. R. Bailey's son returned home from the Spanish American War in 1899, his father took him to the factory to show him his surprise. It was a Bailey Electric Victoria Phaeton. His son stood there looking at what he called the most beautiful car that he had ever seen. He wanted to take it for a spin, but his father said that the weight of the battery was too much for the motor and had to wait for a lighter battery. This was the first car built in Ammesbury. In 1906, Exide and Edison batteries could now be used. The Exide battery came with the car, but the Edison, which was a much better one could also be purchased at a much higher cost. Bailey kept experimenting with his car until in November, 1906, he informed the press that the Bailey Electric automobile was now in production for the 1907 model year
He was well aware that the electric automobiles were loosing favor to the less expensive gasoline models, but he was convinced that there was still a market for them to be used for local uses and the women preferred them because they started instantly and was easier to handle. Except the battery, he built the entire car in his factory. He built the body, that weighed only 65 pounds, from the three-ply wood that he made with a machine which he invented in 1868, the first plywood in America. To do this was a slow process and cost a tremendous amount of capital, capital that was being depleted every day.
Finally, When it was shown at the New York 1907 Automobile Show, it drew special attention by the reporters of automobile journals. It got rave reviews for its gracefulness and being expertly built. The Bailey Electric Victoria Phaeton had made its first appearance. But sadly, the capital had reached so low that to stay in business, the company had to seek money from private lenders, and in the middle of 1907, the company was reorganized as S. R. Bailey & Company.
Unbeknown to the industry, 1907 was one of its worst years. In July, there was a bank panic where bankers refused to lend money to any automobile manufacturer and a huge number went out of business. It was cause by misinformation that home owners were mortaging their homes to buy automobiles and the bankers feared that these mortages could not be repaid.
Over the course of its existence, the Bailey Electric not only proved to be the best electric, it was regarded as one of the best, if not the best, automobiles ever made in this country. This statement is made from the facts that are copied from every sourse avialable. Facts that has taken five years to find, and have never shown before along with models of these cars.
S, R. Bailey & Sons Factory
Copied from the December 6 issue of the 1906 Horseless Age Magazine
S. R. Bailey & Co. to Manufacture an Electric Runabout.
S. R. Bailey & Co., carriage manufacturers, Amesbury, Mass., informed us that they have decided to manufacture a high grade electric runabout with Queen phaeton top and Victoria body, 72 inch and 80 inch wheel base and Bailey "Pivot" axles. The weight with a leather top is 1600 lbs. They will build the entire vehicle except the electric motor.
1907 Bailey Electric Victoria Phaeton Autmobile
This 1907 model was shown at the New York Show in January with a bar as a tiller, as shown above, but at the Boston Automobile Show in April, it had a D-shape wheel as the tiller.
Copied from the March Issue of Automotive Industry Magazine
S. R. BAILEY & CO. (INC.),
Amesbury, Mass., established builders" of horse-drawn vehicles, are exhibiting a superbly finished and gracefully designed electric Victoria phaeton. Special attention has been paid to developing a low hung, easy riding car of pleasing lines. The frame is of special steel side members, united by steel angles. These side members are of unusual spread, curved to follow the body lines, and are adapted for great strength and rigidity in a vertical plane, but permitting of a certain flexibility under twisting stresses. The wide vertical spread of the special side members permits of the use of a light wood body without sacrifice of strength. Semi-elliptic springs of 40 inches in length support the body upon solid axles. The wheels are 34 x 31/2 inches, with specially shaped spokes and no wood felloe, running on plain bearings with special oil distributing arrangements, which are said to secure adequate lubrication for an entire season. These axles are known as the Bailey "pivot axles." Steering is by means of wheel and column, which passes through the dash high enough to clear the knees, and also releases and swings sideways to facilitate entrance and exit. The front mud guards turn with the wheels and prevent splashing on curves. Band brakes are applied to the rear wheels and also to the motor shaft. The thirty cell battery is underslung, and the 60 volt General Electric ball bearing motor, with its differential countershaft, is held upon a flexible frame. Motor and countershaft are connected by a Morse silent chain, and are maintained in perfect alignment. The double chain drive to the rear wheels is fully encased. The General Electric controller furnishes four forward speeds up to 18 miles per hour, and two reverse speeds.
The controller handle is a lever mounted upon the steering wheel, which interlocks with the brake and prevents current being put until the car is free to move. A safety device also prevents the insertion of the battery plug unless the controller handle is in the "off" position. The car is fitted with a victoria top, and a rumble seat may be attached if desired. A mileage of 40 to 50 miles is claimed under ordinary conditions.
1908 Bailey Electric Victoria Phaeton Automobile
"The S. R Bailey & Company of Amesbury, Mass. U.S.A, offer a unique small electric vehicle for city use in their 1908 Phaeton. These well known carriage makers embodys in this vehicle all the points of superiority of their horse-drawn bodies and furnishings. As will be seen from the accompanying photograph, the carriage is extremely graceful in outline and appearance."
The machine has a wheel base of ++781/2 inches and 34 inch wheels fitted with 31/2 inch tires, both front and rear. The battery consists of 30, 9-plate cells, 60 volts. A 21/2 to 7 H. P. motor is used and the drive is by double side chains. The vehicle weighs complete, 2,000 lbs. and sells for $2000.00.
The large wheels, in combination with having all the weights very low produce easy riding. The frame is a combination of sheet, rolled and forged steel made in very graceful curves by which the effect of the drop frame with more artistic lines is secured. The " Bailey Pivot Axle " are of the companys own manufacture. These have been used for twelve years in our horse drawn vehicles, where they have records it is said of running for three years on a tablespoonful of oil. The same principles of construction are embodied in the automobile axle, but, of course, with a different design and proportion. The wheels are of the artillery type also manufactured by the company, a novelty being that the hub plates holding the spokes are made integral and united by webs instead of being bolted through as in the case of ordinary Archibald or artillery wheels, so railed. No wood rims are used, the ends of the spokes being inserted in thimbles or sockets riveted to the steel channel. These wheels are somewhat lighter and, the makers state, considerably stronger than the ordinary type.
The battery is under-hung, being directly under the floor of the vehicle, the object being to carry this heavy weight low and as nearly midway between the front and back axles where there is the least motion. The plates are placed in a steel cradle with three point suspension.
The motor is also three point suspened and the counter-shaft is placed in a pulley suspension of the companys design and so arranged that, while the motor and countershaft are free to- twist, yet, the motor and counter-shaft will always remain in line with each other. A double chain drive in the rear wheels and a Morse silent chain from the motor differential is used
Peculiar Steering and Control
Front View Showing Wheel Steering
The caption for the Bailey Electric has been copied to show that the description states that the steering could be either lever or wheel. When the 1907 was first shown, it had a lever with a vertical handle, for steering, but he 1908 model was by wheel steering.
"Caption -1908 Bailey Electric Victoria Phaeton, Front View, showing the "Bailey Pivot Axle" and special Bailey control arranged on the steering wheel in a similar way to that of a gasoline car. The wheels are made by the company and the hub plates which hold the spokes are integral and united by webs instead of being bolted. Steel rims with riveted on metal sockets the spokes are used. The battery is underslung below the floor of the vehicle, the weight being midway between the axles."
The particular novelty of construction is, however, in the steering apparatus. Although, a wheel steer is supplied if required, the makers claim the lever, or swinging, steer is better and quicker. A D shaped wheel is mounted on the steering column, quite similar in appearance to the ordinary wheel steer, but the whole column swings from side to side, thus actuating the front wheels. The leverage is ten to one and is supported by bearings, so that no tremor or vibration reaches the hand of the operator and the backlash may be adjusted. The controller is operated by a rod extending down through the steering column and by a lever appearing on top of the steering wheel in exactly the same manner that the spark levers appear in the gasoline car. This brings the steer and control of the speed right under one or both hands at all times.
The brake and controller are interlocking so that when the brake is set the power cannot be put on, not only this, the application of the brake throws the power off. Thus in any emergency a stop may be made by simply setting the brake.
Accidents are also guarded against as the running plug cannot be inserted when the controller lever is in any other position than neutral this interlocking arrangement being considered very important. i
The body is of novel construction and is made of bent, laminated wood in the companys factory. It is very large, measuring 48 ins. across the seat, but, nevertheless, weighs only 30 lbs. in the wood. The top is full Victoria of the most correct style in which it is claimed the finest long grained leather and upholstery and the highest grade of broad cloth that is manufactured are used. Blue, green and maroon broadcloths are the stock materials although other materials and colors will be used to order.
Referring to mileage, the company makes no mileage claim beyond the standard of 40 miles, and states that it does this advisedly, believing it a great mistake to lead the public to expect great mileage from electrics. This vehicle it is claimed, is of lighter carriage weight for its size and capacity than any that is made and the bearings are of the highest possible type and it is probable that it can make a longer mileage run than any other similar vehicle. A vehicle of this type is intended for city and suburban use, park riding, etc., and not for journeying, and although fully double mileage can be obtained by changing to single tube tires and by using thin plate batteries, the maker prefers not to try for this field.
1909 Bailey Victoria Phaeton Electric Automobile with D-Shaped Tiller
Copied from the 1909 Massachuetts Manufacturers Journal
The Bailey Electric Vehicles.
One Of the most attractive automobiles 0n the market is the Bailey Electric Victoria Phaetona characteristic product of this old and' noted company. For more than fifty years their vehicle products have been known for beauty of design, ingenious mechanical construction, and superlative grade in handicraft and materials. The two generations of skill in handling the ingredients of light draft have been applied to the electric automobile problem, and three years to the perfecting of this one vehicle. The electric vehicle herewith illustrated is different in design from other electrics, both in style and mechanical appointments. The wheels and tires are larger, and the weights are hung lower than in any other, it is claimed. The batteries are hung under the floor. It is made with both wheel steer and with long lever, the motor control in both cases being on top of the steering column and under the operator's hand. The three brakes are operated from one pedal, though separately connected, for the purpose of safety. The manufacturers say the seat is about six inches wider than in other cars of this type, thereby af fording comfortable room for three people. , There is no machinery within the body of the car, the entire space under the seat being used for stowage.
S. R. Bailey & Co. have manufactured carriages for fifty years, and are manufacturing this car in the same high grade as their well-known road wagon.
1909 Bailey Victoria Phaeton Electric Automobile Advertisement
110 Bailey Electric Automobile
Copied from the 1910 Cycle and Automobile Trade Journal
Contrary to the general opinion, the light electric is much in demand. Of the makers of electric pleasure cars, S. R. Bailey & Company, of Amesbury, Mass., are notable for producing a light staunch machine. In common with many other carriage builders who were looking forward to future developments they embarked in the production of electric vehicles a few years back and have from one year to another improved their vehicle so that as it is sold to-day the Bailey light electric is a natty, light, sturdy and efficient vehicle. The Victoria-phaeton type of body is used on the Bailey car and as here applied none of the harmonious lines of that type of vehicle are lost and it is but reasonable to assume that carriage makers who have produced high grade vehicles for the past two generations would be able to fit an electric car with a high class body equipment.
The price of the Bailey is $2,000 to $2,600 depending on battery equipment.
According to the sponsors of the Bailey. this car is the lightest electric vehicle of its type and size ever made. The total weight of the car is 2,000 pounds, the weight of the car itself minus the power plant, that is, the motor, countershaft and battery is but 825 pounds, yet strength has not been sacrificed for light weight as the chassis is sufficiently strong to carry more of a weight than it actually has to carry, thus there is even a reserve in this direction. A feature of the Bailey car is that the weight is carried low despite the fact that the car is equipped with larger wheels than.are generally used on cars of this class. The frame is of channel steel and is of a drop fashion, that is, it is curved, or dipped, so to speak, at the center. Frames of steel have not so very long been applied to light electric vehicles, but the advantages of such a construction are without question. As incorporated in the Bailey the steel chassis permits of a long wheel base so that the body of the car is virtually placed between the forward and rear wheels much as in the more advanced gas car practice. That such a location of the body makes for easy riding is certain.
The sprockets are large and accurately cut ensuring smooth and quiet action. The double side chains are guarded at the entrance of the vehicle, being neatly housed. The axles are of the so called Bailey pivot type designed for long life.
Wheel base is 79 inches and the tread 54 inches. The wheels are of chariot style artillery type of improved design. The absence of the wooden rims helps also to keep the weight down. The spokes are of different style than usually seen on artillery equipment and add to the appearance of the wheels.
The motor of the Bailey electric Victoria phaeton is of a special design either 48 or 60 volts, depending upon the model and of a high efficiency. In this respect light weight has been sacrificed for durability, great strength being had where it is needed. The motor is suspended from the frame at three points between the cross members of the main frame or chassis, and is carried well back in such a way as to evenly distribute the weight. This permits oi ample storage space under the front seat, a minor provision perhaps, yet one appreciated by the owner.
Drive and Axles.
Drive is through a Morse silent chain to a countershaft and from thence to the sprockets on the rear wheels through roller chains. The sprockets are large and accurately cut ensuring smooth and quiet action. The double side chains are guarded at the entrance of the vehile, being neatly housed. The axles are of the so called Bailey Pivot type designed for long life. Wheel base is 79 inches and the wheel tread is 54 inches. The wheels are of the chariot style artillery type of improved design, The absence of the wooden rims helps to keep the weight down, The spokes are of different style than usually seen on artillery equipment and add to the appearance of the wheels.
The underslung battery on many cars is used with good results to the exclusion of other types. The Bailey equipment is of this type. It is suspended from the cross members of the frame at three points. The battery is of Exide type, good for 40 to 50 miles of service though the car is designed to take the Edison battery and the makers claim that under ordinary conditions, that is, good roads, it will run 100 miles on one charge if using the Edison battery. The normal charging rate of the Edison battery is said to be about twice that of ordinary types and it can be partially charged at about four times the rate of an ordinary lead battery. Another good feature of this Edison battery according to the builders of the Bailey car is that the vehicle may be left discharged for any reasonable length of time without serious injury resulting, which cannot be said of other forms. The Edison battery as used is in solid welded steel cans and the plates are steel, the active material being carried in pockets, there being no wood separators as in the lead type equipment, and it is claimed no precipitation in the bottom of the jar. The Bailey electric is equipped with two different sizes of Edison battery, and with a 40 cell A4 equipment the car will run 75 to 125 miles according of course to the service and the road conditions. This equipment weighs 540 pounds. With the 54 cell A-i type Edison battery the car will run 100 to 150 miles on one battery charge. The normal speed is about 20 miles an hour and for a vehicle designed for the service such as the Bailey is intended for, town and suburban work, this is sufficiently high. The Bailey car can be had of course with the Exide type of lead battery when desired and of the lead variety the Exide measures high in efficiency. The Exide equipment is 30 cells 9 P. V. or 11 Hycap.
The body of the Bailey is called by the makers the "Bailey Queen," the body frame being of bent wood, laminated and three ply. The panels are also laminated and as a result the body which weighs but 30 pounds will withstand twisting strains without being damaged. The top is of the Victoria type and of full size. It is constructed of high grade materials such as manufacturers of high class coaches for the past fifty years would be able to select. Curtain tops are furnished if desired. The seat cushion is 44 inches wide, sufficiently broad to seat three people and the width inside the bows is 50 inches. The step is 16 inches from the ground while the floor of the vehicle is 28 inches from the ground. Trimming is in the best quality of broad cloth in dark green, blue or maroon with the car proper colored to match. Purchasers, however, have the option of other colors which will result in a slight delay in the delivery of the car.
The three brakes on the car, two on the rear wheels and one on the motor and are so arranged that a single foot lever actuates both sets. The rotation of the motor is checked at the same time that the momentum of the vehicle is stopped. Steering is by either lever or wheel and in either instance the speed controller is located above the lever or wheel and the operator knows at all times at just what speed it is set. The controller is doubly interlocking, that is, by the switch which connects the battery with the motor, so that the power cannot be turned on unless the controller is at the neutral point, and then again with the brake so that when the brake is brought into play the current is automatically cut out.
The springs, front and rear-, are semi-elliptic secured to the axles in the usual manner by steel clips. A torsion or radius rod is provided. The brake bands are adjustable and are worked through steel pull bars.
The equipment includes electric side and tail lights which are finished in black. A boot or waterproof apron is carried in the wallet at the base of the patent leather dash. Tires are of course of the pneumatic clincher type.
1910 Bailey Electric Victoria Phaeton, with Col. Bailey, driving and A. J. Foote, electrical engineer as his passenger
Article Copied from the 1911 Cycle and Automobile Trade Journal
E. M. W. Bailey, S. R. Bailey & Co., Amesbury, Mass.: We would say that the past year's business in electric automobiles has been encouraging, but the prospects for the coming year we consider more so. The electric vehicle has advanced by leaps and bounds, particularly in the East, where it has had slow sales. It is destined to take the front and center of the stage in the next few years and a very large number of additional manufacturers are sure to embark in it. We shall certainly do more than double the business next year.
1911 Bailey Electric Victoria Phaeton Automobile
1912 Bailey Electric Victoria Phaeton
1912 Bailey Electric Roadster
1912 Bailey High Speed Roadster Automobile Advertisement
1912 High Speed Roadster that could maintain a speed at 30 MPH
Copied from the January Issue of the Automobile and Cycle Trade Journal
TWO body styles on two chassis are offered as the1913 line, these styles consisting of a roadsterand a victoria pheaton. called the Queen Victoria model. The former seats two passengers, while the latter seats three side by side. The wheelbase of the roadster is 106 inches, and that of the victoria is 82 inches. The distinctive Biley features of low construction, wheel steer, and threepoint suspension are retained as in former years. Pneumatic tires are used on both models, 32 by 3\i, front and 33 by 4 rear on the roadsters and 34 by 3'A on the victoria. Edison batteries are used on both chassis, that of the roadsters being of fifty-two plates, and of the victoria, fifty-four plates. The front of the car is hung on a transverse semi-elliptic spring; the ends secured near the steering knuckles and the 'enter to a ball-and-socket joint on the front »f the frame, which is of steel-reinforced wood. The rear of the chassis is hung on elliptic springs. This three-point suspension permits the displacement of the front axle as in passing over obstructions without subjecting the frame to undue stress. ll ami socket is above the center of weight, which is quite low, so that in rounding curves the body tends to lean inwards, which constitutes a factor of safety. The floor is low, and the passage is wide, making entry and exit easy. Control is by a lever on the inclined steering wheel, and by a foot switch and brake. The front hood is given a graceful curve which reduces wind-resistance.
Col. E. W. Bailey with Thomas Edison"s son drove from Boston to New York City in 7 hours and 44 minutes, a record tme
1913 High Speed Roadster
Cut from the 1913 Edition of the Electric Vehicle: Technology and Expectations in the Automob1le Age
Copied from the 1913 Automobile Topics Journal
TOURING IN AN ELECTRIC ROADSTER.
y that the right facilities would be procured forthwith.
.End of Article
1914 Bailey Electric Roadster Automobile on Exhibit
1913 Bailey Electric Four-Passenger Roadster Automobile
1913 Bailey Electric Automobile Adertisement