AO Smith Corporation
Automotive manufacturer of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA from 1916 to 1919.
AO Smith Corporation is a US company that built the Smith Flyer in the 1910s .
Charles Jeremiah Smith founded Charles J. Smith-Machinists in Milwaukee , Wisconsin in 1874 .helped Later, two of his sons, the company was renamed CJ Smith and Sons . From 1899 created the framework for bicycles . Around the turn of the century some were automobiles manufactured, but prototypes were and were not marketed. 1902 chassis came for cars to it. The client initially was Peerless Motor Car Corporation , later Cadillac ,Oldsmobile and Packard .
One of the sons, Arthur O. Smith, was renamed AO Smith Company in 1904 .1914, the production rights for the Wall Auto Wheel were purchased by AW Wall of England This drive unit has been reworked and sold by the thousands. The American Motor Vehicle Company used it to drive their four-wheeled vehicles. AO Smith took over the rights to this vehicle.
The company was on November 11, 1916 established in the same city as the successor company. In the same month began the production of automobiles. The brand name was Smith Flyer . 1919 ended vehicle production. Briggs & Stratton continued production under its own name.
The Smith Flyer was a small vehicle. It had four wheels, but with the Auto Wheel a fifth wheel at the rear for the drive.
The Smith Flyer was an American Buckboard , who from 1916 to 1919 by the AO Smith Corporation in Milwaukee (Wisconsin) was built. Then the production rights to Briggs & Stratton were sold and the car was renamed Briggs & Stratton Flyer .
The Smith Flyer was a small, simple and light vehicle with two seats and a wooden frame that was both chassis and body. The small gasoline engine was mounted on a fifth wheel, which was attached to the back of the flyer and pushed him forward. The wheelbase was 1,575 mm, the wheels were 20 "in diameter and the vehicle width was 762 mm. Since the engine was mounted directly on the fifth wheel, it was started with the wheel slightly raised. As soon as the engine was running, the driver lowered the wheel with a lever and the vehicle began to move forward. Instead of the wheels, the car could also be equipped with skis for the winter. In both cases, the maximum speed was 40-48 km / h.
Such a drive wheel was first developed in 1910 by Arthur William Wall in Birmingham in England for driving a motorcycle . This concept was not new, Ferdinand Porsche had already developed such a drive wheel in 1900, but it was electrically powered. The metalworking and automotive supplier for chassis and rear axle housings, AO Smith Company , acquired US manufacturing rights to the Wall push wheel in 1914 as an ancillary business and upgraded it to the Smith Motor Wheel . In particular, now a full disk wheel instead of a spoked wheel used and the power transmission was no longer via a chain , but directly from the camshaft. AO Smith first used the device as a drive for bicycles . The improved Smith Motor Wheel cost only US $ 60 and became a great success; By the end of 1915, US 500,000 had been implemented.
The Smith Flyer was as Platform truck with wooden frame from the American Motor Vehicle Company in Lafayette (Indiana) developed. AO Smith bought the rights to the market shortly after the vehicle appeared on the market in 1914 and produced it himself as Smith Flyer . As an accessory for the winter operation skis were available, which were installed in place of the wheels. In 1916, the company went public and re-formed as AO Smith Corporation .
In 1918 Briggs & Stratton bought the production rights and produced both the driving wheel and the flyer under his own name. The new owner improved the engine in many ways; he enlarged the cylinder bore and equipped the ignition with a flywheel magnet. The improvements resulted in a power of 2 bhp (1.5 kW). Briggs & Stratton sold the flyer USA-wide and even published a magazine called Motor Wheel Age . Even a motor scooter according to the same drive concept followed around 1920.
In 1925 the Flyer's production rights were re-sold to the Automotive Electric Services Corporation (AESC). This company made the flyer until there were no more engines and then replaced it with an electric version. The engine was the starter of a Dodge -Automobils, which was mounted together with the battery in the rear of the vehicle and passed the power by means of drive belt to the right rear wheel. Production continued until at least 1928.
Briggs & Stratton continued to build the engine, which had been at the heart of the impeller, and adapted it to other applications, such as: B. for driving lawn mowers or small appliances. The drive wheel was the starting point of all later Briggs & Stratton engines.
Almost all flyers were painted red, were therefore commonly called "Red Bug" (German: red flea). The flyer is even mentioned in the Guinness Book of World Records as the cheapest car ever. There it is stated that the Briggs & Stratton Flyer cost 1922 between US $ 125, - and US $ 150, -.
The Smith Flyer was rebuilt in the 1950s as Banner Boy Buckboard (without 5th wheel). It was ready or as a kit available and was advertised in relevant magazines such as Popular Mechanics or Popular Science and delivered via mail order .