At Bridgeport in Connecticut, the Armstrong Manufacturing Company produces tools and bicycles and develops some widgets using electricity.
Their prototype car is completed in 1896 or maybe a little before. The bodywork in phaeton indicates an intention of luxury and comfort. Its features and equipment are well ahead of its time, including tubular chassis, electric light and electromagnetic transmission. The silent electromagnetic starter inside the steering wheel is a remarkable innovation. The manufacturer names this device the "commencer".
This prototype makes a spectacular start, being one among six cars entered in a race in New York amid the traffic jams of horse carriages and cable cars. Afterwards a promotional exhibition turns to commercial failure and the prototype will not be imitated.
The phaeton was rediscovered in 1963 in Hartford in the factory of the company that had succeeded Armstrong. This car is estimated $ 550K, for sale by RM Auctions in Hershey PA on October 9, lot 152.