A. L. Dyke Auto Supply Co.

The Dyke steam car was the product of A. L. Dyke Auto Supply Company of St. Louis, MO. It apparently started in 1899 and survived at least as late as 1904.

Copies of surviving Dyke catalogues indicate that it provided some of the first "build-it-yourself" cars.

According to the Standard Catalog of American Cars, the Dyke automobile was built from 1899 to 1901 and used gasoline engines. They were sold in a kit form and assembled by the purchaser. They had a 5 HP one lunger to a 12 HP twin gas engine. The various models sold from about $600 to $1,000. On three occasions, A. L. Dyke offer complete cars on the market. In 1899 he organized the St. Louis Electric Automobile Company and produced a stanhope and a runabout variously called a Dyke or St. Louis. In 1904 , a car with the name of Dyke-Britton, a 20 HP gasoline touring car was built by him and his new investor. A. L. Dyke is the same Dyke that authored the Dyke's Automobile and Gasoline Engine Encyclopedia.

Pharmacy.

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[1]Georgano, G. N., Encyclopedia of American Automobile, (New York, E. P. Dutton & Co., 1968), p. 114.
Dyke Steamer
March 20, 2003 02:54PM

 

My grandfather had a 1900 Dyke Steamer that has been passed along to me. Family legend has it that there were only 10 of them out there when my grandfather put his together and I'm having a hard time finding any reference to the Dyke company. Does anyone out there know anything about this vehicle?

Reply Quote

Pat Farrell

Re: Dyke Steamer
March 21, 2003 12:18AM

 

Dear Becky,  If you have a Dyke Steamer, then you have the Dyke car kit that someone easily adapted a steam engine and boiler to. Could have been your Grandfather's adaption. Through many of the parts supply houses of the day, replacement steam engines and boilers were sold to who ever had the money to buy them. The Locomobile style car of 1900 was pretty common and most parts could be adapted from one car to another. Your Dyke gas car chassis received a boiler and steam engine. Simplicity was their key to success in 1900. As long as one possesed some blacksmith skills, any thing could be built from about anything. Try that today. Today, spark plugs won't even interchange. Your Dyke Steamer is a historical car and should be preserved as a steamer. Correctly done, it is a good investment and also a photo into the past and of simpler times. SSsssteamer

Reply Quote

David K. Nergaard

Re: Dyke Steamer
March 21, 2003 07:36PM

 

A. L. Dyke also listed steam car kits and components in his early catalogs, some pages of which have been reprinted in the Steam Automobile. I will look up which issue.

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David K. Nergaard

Re: Dyke Steamer
March 22, 2003 07:18AM

 

The reproduced pages from the Dykes 1902 catalog are in the Steam Automobile,
Vol. 5, #4, p. 7
Vol. 5, #5, pp. 9-11
Vol. 6, #1, pp. 10-11
Vol. 6, #2, p. 9
Vol. 6, #3, pp. 12-13
Vol. 6, #4, pp. 12-13
Vol. 7, #1, pp. 16-17
I can Xerox them if you wish.

Reply Quote

Pat Farrell

Re: Dyke Steamer
March 22, 2003 10:00AM

 

Dear Dave, You did a better job of research than I did. My Standard Catalog of American cars let me down on the Dyke steam car. I looked over your referenced ads and wow, the Dyke steamer sure looks like the Locomobile design. Just about like every steam car manufacturer in 1900 looked like Locomobile's unique design. Today, if anyone copies another's car design, with in days they find themselves in court for copyright infringement. Studebaker just came out with the Humve (sp?) look alike at a recent auto show, and instantly, they had their hands full of lawyers. Thank you for your research.

Reply Quote

David K. Nergaard

Re: Dyke Steamer
March 24, 2003 07:24AM

 

The Locomobile made such a splash that every body and his brother copied it! Only certain details of the Locomobile sub frame were patented, thus look alike chassis were common.
My grandfather built a steam car from mail order components, never made it run to his satisfaction and eventually threw the remains into Battle Lake, Minn. I wonder if A. L. Dyke was one of his sources.

Reply Quote

Becky

Re: Dyke Steamer
March 31, 2003 08:13AM

 

Thank you so much for all the information! I know that Grandpa put the kit together himsef. He was quite an antique car collector and I can't imagine that he would have adapted the car from the original design. What concerns me is that the car is now sitting on jacks in my garage and I don't know if there's anything I should be doing for it to keep it at it's best. Is there a source I should be looking to for basic maintenance on it? Thanks again for your help.

Reply Quote

John Campbell

Re: Dyke Steamer
November 21, 2003 12:36AM

 

Hello, Becky. Kati asked me to relay the following:

The Dyke company appears to have been located in St Louis, Missouri. I have emailed their chamber of commerce for assistance. I dug through my boxes of photos and found pictures of my father-in-law's 1901 Cadillac and 1908 Buick but none of the Dyke. The Dyke is located in Florida and I will try to obtain a photo from my niece. The body is of plywood construction and was fabricated by my father-in-law who had no photos, manuals, or other text to guide him in putting together this car from pieces that had never previously been assembled. The following message from Art Hart of Vintage Steam Products http://www.vintagesteamproducts.com/index.html provides some additional information.


The A. L. Dyke Supply Co. was located on Olive Street in St. Louis, Missouri. according to the May 1904 catalog I have which is called: Dykes Automobile Bulletin " a medium for all interested in new motorities".

Thanks for the information.

Where was the Dyke company located?

----- Original Message -----
From: "Art Hart" <arthart@att.net>
To: <jandccampbell@erols.com>
Sent: Thursday, November 20, 2003 1:52 PM
Subject: Re: Contact Form


> John,
>
> I don't think you are going to find out a lot about the Dyke steamer you
> have as it was offered through Dyke's catalog with several options on
> type of chassis and types of body - even types of motive power. You
> could build nearly the same car with a gasoline engine (actually several
> different gasoline engines, if I remember correctly).
>
> My earliest original Dykes catalog is from 1904 and by then they were
> not offering kits, altho all the parts to build a car were available as
> separate items. I do have a 1903 Charles Miller Co. catalog and they
> were still showing kits similar to what Dyke offered.
>
> I think the only information you will be able to find would be copies of
> original Dykes catalogs that may be available from some of the
> automotive libraries like the Ford Musuem or the HCCA library. I can't
> help you any more than that, I'm afraid.
>
> Good luck,
>
> Art
>
> >Comments: My family owns a 1901 Dyke steamer. The car is complete, but
not currently running. It was running at some point. The history of this
car is as follows. My father-in-law purchased this car from a farmer who
was the original purchaser. The farmer took delivery of the car in crated
and unassembled condition. No body was included in the kit. The farmer
never got around to competing the assembly and stored the parts in his barn.
My father-in-law owned a Cadillac dealership in Indiana. He had the
mechanical acumen and resources to assemble the car and put it in running
order. However, he died in 1986 and the family has lost much of the
information regarding this car.
> >Can you direct me to somebody who has information on the car and its
manufacturer? I recall that Hemmings Motor News ran an advertisement of a
1902 Dyke steamer for sale at some point in the last few years. That tells
me that at least one other model survives.
> >
> >
> >
> >I thank you for any assistance you are able to provide.

 

[1] Georgano, G. N., Encyclopedia of American Automobile, (New York, E. P. Dutton & Co., 1968), p. 68.  Information for this entry also came from a series of posts on John Woodson's web site, http://www.steamautomobile.com/ForuM/read.php?1,1078, that includes an exchange between Pat Farrell, John Campbell, David K. Nergaard, and an unidentified owner of a Dyke Steam Car known only as "Becky."

[2] Pat Farrell