Twins Francis Edgar Stanley and Freeland O. Stanley founded the Stanley Company after selling the Stanley Dry Plate Company to Eastman Kodak. They produced their first car in 1897. They sold the rights of the design to Locomobile.
The Stanley/Locomobile cars had light wooden bodies mounted on un-sprung tubular steel frames using the means of full-elliptic springs. Steam was generated in a vertical fire-tube
boiler, mounted beneath the seat, with a vaporizing petroleum burner underneath. The boiler was reinforced by winding several layers of piano wire around it, which gave it a tremendously strong, yet relatively light-weight shell.
1924 Stanley Steamer
The production line closed in 1924. Without many technological innovations, the company had endured a long period of decline. Production specifications show no models with a power output higher than 20 hp produced after 1918. The price of a Stanley also caused a decline in sales. This 1924 Model 740 had a $2,750 sticker price while a Ford Model T cost only $265.
The Stanley/Locomobile was the nation's most popular car from 1900 through 1904. The slogan, "Power, correctly generated, correctly controlled, correctly applied to the rear axle," was used in many Stanley Motor Carriages ads. But by 1905, sales of the Stanley had fallen drastically in competition with several models of internal combustion cars. Their top production year was 1907 when 775 cars left the Newton, Massachusetts factory. The most of any single model Stanley built was just over 1700 Model 735s.