Location: Lower Level
This exhibit includes a homemade wooden bicycle, the first hearse in Adams County (built in the 1880s) and a 1912 Rauch and Lang automobile with an 80 volt electric motor. Yes, you read that right, an electric vehicle dating back to 1912!
Rauch and Lang built several models of electric cars. Ours is a B26 – a two-door, five passenger town car that weighed 4,000 pounds (including 1,000 pounds of batteries!). Its top speed was 19 miles per hour and it could travel 100 miles per charge. Pretty good for 1912 technology!
Electric vehicles like this were popular with women because no cranking was required – you just turned the switch and went.
In total, Hastings Museum has several motorized, one electric vehicle and a number of horse-drawn vehicles.
Our 1914 fire engine is a wonder – and an early tandem bike sparks the imagination.
You won’t want to miss William Jennings Bryan’s 1900 Brougham. With more than 500 speeches given in 1896 alone, Bryan invented what is known as a stump tour! He served in Congress and ran for President more than once. Traveling frequently required a sound vehicle, and this exquisite carriage fit the bill.
The latest vehicle in this exhibit? The Hastings High School racing car! It’s the only race car in the country to be built and driven by students.