1901 Mobile

A black & white photo of three people sitting in the 1901 Stanley Mobile, which looks more like a carriage than a car

Lex, Irénée & Barbara du Pont in Mobile, circa 1945-1948

1902 Stanley Stick-Seat Runabout

Want to see our founder talk about the 1901 Mobile? Check out this video from the official Marshall Steam Museum YouTube channel!

Tom Marshall: 1901 Mobile

General History

In 1899, the Stanley brothers sold their fledgling business and steam car patent to John B. Walker and Amzi L. Barber, but the latter partnership immediately fell apart. Both manufactured vehicles of Stanley design, with Barber launching the Locomobile Company in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and Walker starting the Mobile Company of America in Tarrytown, New York.  In 1902, the Stanley brothers founded the Stanley Motor Carriage Company after having reinvented their own version of a steam car, since they no longer owned the rights to their original patent. Mobile’s manufacturing ended just a few years later, about the same time Locomobile switched to building high-quality gas cars. 

Our Model’s History

Purchased new in 1901 by the Hodgetts family, this Mobile received an aftermarket modification in 1903 that lengthened its wheelbase, added a front seat, and changed the steering from the center to the side. Soon after, Edwin Hodgetts drove with three passengers from Wallingford, Connecticut, to Atlantic City, New Jersey, and back—an astonishing feat for such a delicate machine on the roads of that era.

Alexis I. du Pont purchased the car from Edwin Hodgetts in 1945. He made it operational and gave it a quick cosmetic restoration. After 60 years of care, du Pont sold the car to the Friends of Auburn Heights, which became only the third owner. It is the oldest car in the collection and remains the only one that uses the chain drive of the Stanley company’s earliest design.


Capacity: 2/4 passengers
Engine: 4½ horsepower
Weight: 900 pounds
Wheelbase: 65 inches
Cost: $650 in 1901; today’s equivalent: $17,000

Comparison Chart

ModelCar TypePassenger CapacityEngine (Horsepower for Steam & Gas, Volts for Electric)Weight (Pounds)Wheelbase (Inches)Original Cost (Year Released)Today's Equivalent Cost (in 2015)
1901 MobileSteam44.59006565017000
1902 Stanley Stick-Seat RunaboutSteam469007065018108
1905 Stanley Runabout Model CXSteam4810007867016900
1907 Stanley Semi-Racer Model K
1908 Stanley Model EXSteam41012009087020400
1908 Stanley Gentleman’s Speedy Roadster H-5Steam2201350100135035526
1910 Stanley Touring Model 71
1912 Stanley Touring Model 87Steam7304200134250057100
1913 Stanley Model 76Steam5202800120170038000
1913 Stanley Roadster Model 78Steam2202500115164036700
1914 Stanley Model 607Steam4102200112145034414
1915 Stanley Mountain Wagon Model 820
1916 Stanley Touring Model 725
1918 Stanley Touring Model 735
1922 Stanley Touring Model 740
1924 Stanley Model 750
1914 Ford Model T
1932 Packard Phaeton Model 905
1937 Packard Model 1508
1916 Rauch and Lang Electric Brougham

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