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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa.
ADAMS-FARWELL AUTOMOBILES were using Farwell's motor in 1903 when one of the cars was shown at an automobile show in Chicago. M. Sequin of Paris saw the car and after returning to France built the gnome engine following the design. (5) J. W. Smith of Chicago saw the same engine and developed America's first radial engine for aircraft. He took his invention to England where it was used in the Bristol and 9BC aircraft. (6)
In 1910 the Adams Company acknowledged that their engine had been the model for the airplane engines. In its advertising, the company stated:
The motor is the well-known revolving type also built for aeronautic use, and it enjoys the distinction of being the lightest power plant per horsepower in existence...It is a significant fact that our motors are being copied very closely by a half dozen well- known European manufacturers, and the most important aeronautic records are being held by motors of this type. (7)
In 1910 a newspaper article gave a possible reason why the city allowed the automobile industry to slip its grasp. The article suggested that while automobiles were a "craze" elsewhere, it was only recently that they were popular here. (8) It was expected that in 1910, forty cars would be sold which was twice the number as the previous year. (9) Cost of the automobiles did not help sale. An Adams-Farwell could cost thousands of dollars while Henry Ford sold his for around $800. (10)
In 1911 Ray and Jay Farwell, Fay's sons, actually demonstrated the potential of his invention outside of cars. In a regatta in Dubuque, the boys attached an eighty-horsepower engine of their father's design to a boat. (11)
1. "Dubuque Lost Chance for Plane Leadership," Telegraph Herald, Nov. 9, 1941, p. 8. Online: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=rllFAAAAIBAJ&sjid=2rsMAAAAIBAJ&pg=2241,6655580&dq=adams-farwell&hl=en
2. Kittle, M. D. "Iron, Cars and Gears: A Quick History of The Adams Company," Telegraph Herald, Sept. 30, 2004, p. 2. Online: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=ap1dAAAAIBAJ&sjid=zlwNAAAAIBAJ&pg=5149,6473449&dq=adams-farwell+motor&hl=en
3. Hinkley, Jim. "Requiem for an Industry," Kingman Daily Miner, May 5, 2007. Online: http://www.kingmandailyminer.com/main.asp?SectionID=4&SubSectionID=4&ArticleID=12005
4. "Dubuque Lost Chance..."
10. "Hunt Dubuque-Made Auto," Telegraph Herald, June 24, 1945, p. 5. Online: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=YCdiAAAAIBAJ&sjid=OXYNAAAAIBAJ&pg=3106,2979600&dq=adams-farwell&hl=en
11. "New Boat Entered in Races," Telegraph Herald, June 29, 1911, p. 3. Online: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=NvZCAAAAIBAJ&sjid=8qsMAAAAIBAJ&pg=4946,2130902&dq=adams-farwell+motor&hl=en