Art Peterson recently sent us a picture of a wooden doodlebug constructed by the Hicks Locomotive and Car Works, from the Krambles-Peterson Archive. Thanks, Art!
George Krambles wrote on the back:
Muscatine North & South RR (Burlington to Muscatine)
"Sarvent" model car of 1911
The Bettendorf Co. design, Bettendorf, Ia.
Built by Hicks Car & Loco Works, Chicago
Like most Hicks company customers, the Muscatine North & South was an obscure short line, although somebody has written a book about it. The Bettendorf Co. was of course much better known for its freight car trucks, but it evidently tried its hand at designing a "MOTOR CAR". I would assume that the gas-mechanical power plant was the weak point of the whole design, as it was on all similar efforts at this time, including much better known projects such as the McKeen car. It would certainly be interesting to see some blueprints of that bizarre power truck. I'm sure, however, that the wooden car body was entirely satisfactory. Or your money back.