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  • Writer's pictureLawrence Lore

Holsman Automobile




Dr Robert McMurray of St Francisville used to visit patients in his two-cylinder horseless buggy.  It was bought about 1908 for $600. It was called the Holsman and is said to have been built to compete with the popular Model T Ford. Dr McMurray's granddaughters are shown in the photo above.


From an article published in Daily Record Aug 27, 1968, page 2     


In 1908 Dr Robert J McMurray purchased a Holsman automobile, probably the first one of these “new-fangled machines” to be used by a Lawrence County physician. The engine was under the seat and was started by a crank on the side of the car.  It had a chain drive.     


Dr McMurray’s trip to Florida via a later Model A Ford provides an interesting view of automobile travel at the time.  In a letter to the St Francisville Times, the doctor stated that he had arrived on Saturday September 25th after traveling 1350 miles in eight- and one-half days without any serious trouble.  He noted that they had burned out their brakes going down Mount Eagle and had to use the reverse gear to get down safely, they had punctures in both left tires and a blow- out in the left front tire. Both right tires arrived in Florida with the original St Francisville air in them.


The travelers once travelled 150 miles on three cylinders.  Cleaning the spark plugs did not help.  They then found the trouble was in the timer and a new one was inserted.  The doctor said that “the new timer made the "tin Lizzie" run as well as ever.”  The longest day’s run was a phenomenal 177 miles. 

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