Autoped motor scooter
From the Smithsonian Collection
This lightweight scooter was built in 1918 by the Autoped Company of America, Long Island City, New York. It bears the number D3201 on the left side of the engine.
The 4-cycle engine, mounted on the left side of the front wheel, has an air-cooled integral-head cylinder bolted to a circular crankcase. In front of the cylinder is a breather tube that protrudes from the top of the crankcase; the carburetor and muffler are behind the cylinder. The Breeze carburetor has a screw-adjusted air intake, and its needle valve is operated by a small knob bearing numbers for convenience in adjustment. A shutter serves as a throttle control. On the side of the intake manifold is a small priming cup. The intake valve is automatic and the exhaust valve is cam operated.
The engine is geared to the wheel by means of a disk clutch. The flywheel, on the right side of the front wheel, contains a 6-volt lighting generator that originally furnished current for lighting and ignition, but the system later was altered by the addition of an ignition coil and four dry-cell batteries. The ignition switch is mounted on the right side of the frame, and the gasoline tank is above the front fender.
All control of the vehicle is through the steering column. Turning the column steers the machine in the conventional manner; pushing it forward engages the clutch; and pulling it back operates the internal, expanding brake on the front wheel. Turning the left grip operates the throttle, and turning the right grip operates the compression release through a wire controlling the opening and closing of the intake valve. A hand Klaxon is mounted on the left grip. The steering column can be folded down and secured to the rear fender for compactness in storage.
A headlamp is mounted at the right of the front wheel, and a tail lamp, on the rear fender. The operator stands on rubber pads on the frame of the vehicle. A two-pronged stand, attached to the underside of the frame, is operated by means of a pedal that extends through the floor.
A utility box, mounted toward the front of the machine, now contains the batteries that were added to the electrical system; an ignition coil is mounted just in front of the utility box.
The 15-by-2 1/4-inch pneumatic tires, made expressly for this vehicle by the Empire Rubber and Tire Company, Trenton, New Jersey, bear the inscription "Auto Ped Tire, Empire red, non-skid."