Seal Cove Auto Museum, Antique Autos and Motorcycles from the Brass Era, Mount Desert Island, Maine
1907 Holsman
  • Manufacturer: Holsman Automobile Company, Chicago, Illinois 1902-1010
  • Model: Model #11 Surrey
  • Body Style: Touring Runabout
  • Cost new: $650
  • Engine: Opposed two-cylinder
  • Transmission: Direct Drive
  • Suspension: Longitudinal semi-elliptical leaf springs, solid axles
  • Brakes: Mechanical on the rear tires

A buggy with a gasoline engine, the Holsman high-wheeler looked, rode and operated like a “horseless carriage”. Henry Holsman eschewed mechanical advances to the point that his high-wheeler drove the rear wheels with tensioned manila rope loops. More remarkable, he stayed with manila, only graduating to grippers on them and then chains long after competitors were recognizing the advantages of the shafts and gears.

Tillers and solid rubber tires on immense buggy wheels put rural farmers in control of buggies. The tall wheels fitted neatly in the ruts of a century’s progress across the Great Plains.