Auto Accessories, 1906

Thus has it ever been.  Of course, nowadays we’d call many of these standard features.  (We’re interested in the steam whistle and the “dragon,” how about you?) From the Skidmore New Era (Skidmore, Missouri), August 2, 1906, page 4:

A Complicated Machine.

When a Man Gets an Automobile on His Hands He Likewise Gets Busy.

Purchasers of automobiles cannot, as a rule, get their vehicles into commission too soon.  Yet the Hartford Courant tells of a man who bought a steam car early last winter and in July had yet to take his first ride.  Meanwhile, however, Mr. Blank, the owner of the car, had been busy.  He has been fitting his automobile with extra appliances and having heaps of fun in putting them on for himself.

When the reporter inspected this be-decorated vehicle, the new attachments included six lamps of various kinds, a clock, a barometer, an odometer, a speed indicator, a huge horn known as a “dragon,” an electric bell, a steam whistle, an “eradicator” for getting rid of small boys and a few other things.

The lamps include electric lights for illuminating the tonneau and the various gauges and indicators on the dash. These lamps are supplied with current by storage batteries under the seats.  Switches are located in a box on the left side of the dash.

The device Mr. Blank calls his “eradicator” consists of a steam jet placed out of sight in the rear.  When a small boy “hooks on” in the rear, he unconsciously informs the driver of his presence by ringing a small electric bell.  Thereupon the driver presses a plunger and shoots a jet of steam in the direction of the intruder’s legs, not to harm him, but to make him jump.

Another novelty is a fan belt indicator, which tells at a glance whether the fan is running, or whether the belt is broken or become slack.

Mr. Blank has spent about $800 in putting all these attachments on his machine, and he thinks there may still be things he has missed.