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McKeen Designs and Advertisements


William Riley McKeen Jr. A photo of William Riley McKeen Jr., creator of the McKeen Motor Cars.

McKeen underframe McKeen powered and unpowered trucks.

McKeen Back End The early back end of a McKeen with square window.

McKeen Australia 5'3" McKeen Victoria Railway  5’3″ plans for construction.

McKeen Queensland Railway McKeen blueprints for the Queensland Railway narrow gauge McKeen Car.

McKeen Car Oregon Shorl Line #470

McKeen Motor car for the Oregon Short Line

McKeen Mallet Blue Prints McKeen Mallet for the Southern Utah Railroad.

McKeen Motor Car Union Pacific #23 McKeen Motor Car blueprints for U.P. M-23.

McKeen Trailer McKeen 31′ long trailer, built for the Union Pacific and the Southern Pacific.

McKeen U.P. Trailer #499 McKeen U.P. Trailer #499

Trolley Gauge McKeen Car Engine. Trolley gauge McKeen Car Engine for Australia McKeen Car.

McKeen Motor Truck EarlyPatent #980546

McKeen Motor Truck Later This is the later motor truck applied for in 1909 and patented in 1916. Patent #1191979

McKeen Top View This is the top view of the powered motor truck off the later design but is abut the same for the early design.

McKeen Builders Plate copy from Carson City
McKeen builders plate copy from Carson City, Nevada.

Auxiliary Air Compressor Gasoline-driven auxiliary air compressor from a McKeen motor car. This small engine, which used the bottom half of the cylinder as the compressor and the top as the gasoline engine, was small enough to be hand-started with the crank shown. It then provided compressed air to start the main engine.  Patent #1017008

McKeen Carburetor McKeen Carburetor standard in all McKeen Cars with McKeen Engines, all McKeen Weed Burners, and McKeen Switcher engines.

Base Structure Patented for William R, McKeen Base structure patented for William R, McKeen but not used in his products except the Minneapolis and Northern Freight McKeen cars. Patent #972467

McKeen Support rods McKeen framework structure design. Patent #972467

McKeen Patent #972467 rear Patent #972467

McKeen patent #972467 front Patent #972467

McKeen Motor Cars of the Grand Island Railroad.

McKeen Motor Cars of the Grand Island Railroad, in an amazing crash.  This crash was completly unplan, and the cause is unknowen, but the two motor cars crashed at a combined speed of 75-85 M.P.H. and happened on a sharp curve.  Dispite all of these factors, plus the fact that the McKeen Cars could have wedged each other off the track, both motor cars stayed on the tracks with all of the wheels on the rail.  The 34 ton motor cars crushed about the first 7-10′ of each car, but not one bone was ever broken.  One report on , there was a man, Tim Staten, wrote this,”My uncle was on or in that car when that collision happened.  He was sitting near the back and when the dust and glass settled he found himself under a seat toward the front.

McKeen Round Window Window for McKeen Motor Cars. Patented to both E. H. Harriman and W. R. McKeen, Patent #973502. McKeen Ventilator Hood McKeen Ventilator Hood, Patent #843413 McKeen Motor Car Ad McKeen Advertisement from Railway Master Mechanic, Volume 34. McKeen Car Advertisement McKeen Advertisement from Railway Master Mechanic, Volume 34.

McKeen Between Callaway & Kearney U.P. Motor Car Advertisement.

Photo Courtesy of Madison Kirkman, M.M.C.C.H.S.

1917 Company Advertisement.

colorized AD from "The Automoblie Journal" July 25, 1916
This is a colorized advertisment from “The Automoblie Journal” July 25, 1916 of the ficionious McKeen Car #229.
“The Automobile Journal” July 25, 1916.

Splitdorf spark plug advertisement from "Automobile Topics" magizine April 29, 1916
This is a colorized Splitdorf Spark Plug advertisement from “Automobile Topics” magizine, April 29, 1916. This advertisement has the #101 McKeen Car built for the Central New York & Southern Railroad, this railroad also bought another 70′ McKeen Car, #102.


Miscellaneous photos & links

Practical Results of Wind Resistance Economics by W. R. McKeen Jr.

Norfolk & Southern McKeen Car #90, McKeen Motor Car for Victorian Railways in a shipping crate in Omaha, Neb, and two of the St. Joseph and Grand Island Railroad McKeen Car that crashed head to head


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