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American Government Special Collections Reference Desk


The New York Times
June 19, 1900

Drivers of locomobiles, by which name one of the variety of steam automobiles is known, have just discovered that the police authorities of Yonkers are disposed to make strict inquiry regarding their license to operate a steam motor vehicle.  The Yonkers Board of Boiler Inspectors discussed the question a few days ago and decided that a boiler license from Yonkers would be necessary to enable the driver of a steam motor vehicle to run through the streets of that city.  Notice of this decision has been given to the Yonkers Chief of Police, and yesterday several members of the Automobile Club were wondering whether they would be held up in their locomobiles when they reached the borders of Yonkers.

In this city, as well as in many others, those who operate steam vehicles are required to have a license.  President George F. Chamberlin of the Automobile Club had heard nothing yesterday of this Yonkers resolution, but he said the matter was one for individuals to settle, and no action was required by the club.

"I think it is generally the case," he added, "that when a man has a boiler license in one city and removes to another city he can receive a license from his new abode by presenting his old one, showing that he is duly licensed.  I Imagine that those who are licensed in this city may obtain the Yonkers certificate by showing their New York license and paying the required fee."

One of the officials of the Locomobile Company  at 11 Broadway said that no complaints had reached the office from Yonkers, and if he thought that if drivers steam motor vehicle exercised sufficient care they would not be molested.  "Railroad locomotives evidently pass through Yonkers without special licenses from that city," he remarked, "and if the driver of a locomobile satisfies the New York authorities that he can manage his vehicle in this city, I do not see why the Yonkers people are afraid to let him run through their streets, unless the boiler inspectors want to increase their funds by additional fees."

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