This past August the ladies and I took the bus up to Acadia in Maine for a week long vacation. We stayed at the Bar Harbor KoA and had a lovely site right at the water's edge. While we were there we visited the Seal Cove Auto Museum on Mount Desert island.
Seal Cove specializes in automobiles from the "Brass Era," that is cars primarily made prior to 1916 and thus named due to the large number of brass lighting fixtures and other accessories. You can see why this might be a particular favorite museum of mine!
The facility is large and well lit and the cars in absolutely beautiful shape.
I paid particular attention to the headlamps and shot a great deal of photos of various examples, I think this is a particularly gorgeous pair. I'm planning to reproduce a set very much like this for my own little roadster.
There were some really neat examples of running and coach lights as well, these are particularly elegant ones.
This headlamp is mounted for use as a spot light, that's not a wire connecting it to the car but a gas hose connecting it to the gas generator, a chamber where water is combined with calcium carbide to generate the brightly burning acetylene gas.
Here's another cutie.
This Pugeot has some of the most outlandish styling of any car in the museum. Just look at those bullet headlights! The radiator is pretty extreme too, brass is not easy to work into curves like that.
Note the electric running lights just below the windshield, this was really modern for the times.
All of the mahogany bright-work on this car was in absolute top shape, it's an amazing example of a truly unique car.
This is probably my favorite car in the building, it's a 1910 Stoddard-Dayton and in addition to having the searchlight you saw earlier it came equipped with an exhaust gas calliope!
Exhaust gas is directed into a manifold thats connects to a series of tuned pipes very similar to what you might find in a church organ.
A series of valves connect these pipes to the manifold.
These valves are opened and closed by control wires threaded through the small copper pipes that you see leading up the the brass keyboard. I really, really want to make one of these for my own car!
In addition to the many internal combustion Brass Era cars, Seal Cove also has a large collection of steam cars including this rare 1914 Stanley Mountain Wagon that was built in my childhood home of Newton, Massachusetts.
I particularly liked the way in which this 1908 Stanley Steamer was put on display, it's engine and boiler were partially disassembled and on the ground next to the car and tools and miscellaneous parts were strewn across her running boards.