1900 Skene Steamer
Manufacturer: Skene American Automobile Co.
Factory: Lewiston, Maine
Office: Springfield, Massachusetts
Model: Model No. 1 ~ Spindle Back Runabout
Engine: Steam ~ 5 H.P. Double-acting, reversing, twin-engine type, cast in grey iron with aluminum frame and steel braces. Weight ~ less than 50 lbs.
Boiler: Upright straight tubular type, made of tempered copper with forged heads and contains 308 cold-drawn seamless copper tubes tested to 1000 lbs. cold water pressure. The working pressure of the boiler is 160 lbs., which will give a speed up to thirty miles an hour.
Price: $750. Accessories included a foot gong and nickel plated lamps.
This Skene is one of only a very few Maine built automobiles known to exist. The car was originally owned by an American soldier who came to Europe in 1917 to fight in the First World War and was killed. The car was then locked up in a barn in Readfield, Maine, and rested there for 53 years until 1973 when Leslie Maynard Leighton, a noted Maine steam car collector, was able to purchase it for an English friend who arranged for the Skene to go to a Mr. Reg Parsons, in England, for restoration. Mr. Parsons subsequently purchased the car and eventually sold it to a Mr. Hugh Mothersole. Under both Mr. Parsons and Mr. Mothershole, the car participated in several British steam car meets, including London to Brighton Runs, the longest-running motoring event in the world.
The Skene was acquired by the Richard C. Paine Jr., Automobile Charitable Trust in 2010, and after undergoing complete restoration by M.S. Harmon & Company of Georgetown, CT., was placed on display in the Museum on May 19, 2014.