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About Quiz #441: A circa 1913 Diederichs taxi


Whatisit-quiz #441

 Although originally involved in the weaving industry, the Diederichs brothers already early had an interest in mechanical transport. In 1878 they built a steam tricycle followed by the development of a heavy oil engine which they showed....

....at the Exposition Universelle of 1889 in Paris. Financially it didn't really work out and for the next decades they concentrated again on their activities in the textile business in Saint-Barthélémy and Bougoin-Jailleu, near Lyon. In the early '10s Diederichs brother Théophile decided to make another try and he launched the Société des Automobiles Diederichs et Cie in Lyon. With an average of two chassis a month, the total production stopped at 60 when WW1 broke out. Engines came from Luc Court, bodies were made by Chaussende, just like this taxi. How many taxis were built is unclear but I remember to have read somewhere that a contemporary regularly had seen them driving around in Lyon. The production year of this taxi seems to be 1912 or 1913 as the radiator for 1914 became slightly elongated.

 


Congrats to the two jury members who solved the mystery: Alan Spencer as well as the omniscient Robbie Marenzi! 

 
Words and photos: Ariejan Bos 

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