1918 Milburn Electric Runabout
Engine: 76 volt General Electric DC motor with four forward and two reverse speeds.
Top Speed: 30 MPH with a range of 100 miles.
Cost New: $1,485.00
In the beginning of the automobile era, many individuals and companies experimented with different types of fuel sources. At that time, each had their positives and negatives. Gas was cheap and showed a lot of potential but the engines were noisy, smelly, and hard to start. Steam produced great power and was clean and quiet, but there was a longer start up and they were more difficult to operate. Electric cars were clean, quiet, easy to start and operate, but they had limited range. As more and more homes received electricity, the electric car quickly became popular and the Milburn Electric Company began to produce cars in 1914.
The company had been around for over 45 years, becoming one of the largest manufacturers of farm wagons in the world. They began building bodies for the Ohio Electric Car Company before 1910. After a failed merger, Milburn decided to make their own cars, and used a design by Karl Probst, who later designed the Bantam Jeep. The new car was the lowest priced and lightest electric made. They made over 4000 vehicles from 1915 to 1928. In 1923, GM bought the plant and Milburn only produced a few vehicles and parts after that. The cars were very popular at the time, with President Woodrow Wilson and his secret service men using 1918 Milburns for their transportation around the White House.