Huber's Horseless Carriage

Ruth and Carl Huber are sitting in a 1902 (not '04) Holz (pron. Holtz) horseless carriage in front of their home above Fairfield -- about 1972. You can see that the rock spread in front of the auto is a fresh portion of New Fairfield. The Holz-auto originally belonged to a doctor in Cincinnati who abandoned it in a barn in southern Franklin County between St. Peter's and Penntown. The barn belonged to Carl's cousin who had no interest in the auto. Carl, as a kid (1914), and others, cranked the dead-engine sufficiently over the years to circulate the oil. He rescued the auto after WW2, took it to an Amish buggy shop for refinishing, then to a mechanic to over-haul the engine. The engine started readily and did drive the carriage. The drive-mechanism consisted of two manila-ropes, each one spliced into an oval-belt, like any drive-belt now. Each belt-rope encircled a grooved channel surrounding a wheel and ran to a pulley, on each side the carriage, connected to a common drive-shaft from the engine. The drive-lever moved idler-wheels that tightened each drive-rope, thus, turning the wheels simultaneously. Carl's right-hand is on that drive-lever and his left-hand is on the steering-lever. In the later years, Carl gave his interest in the auto, I think, to another relative. I don't know where the auto is now.

-- Gayther Plummer


Note from me: I am forever grateful for this photo and the accompanying information.
-- John

A bit on New Fairfield