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The W. K. Ackerman Co.
Detroit, MI 1897
W. K. Ackerman of Detroit, Mi built this American Automobile in 1897. Passenger comfort was Ackerman’s first goal. He was not concerned with how to propel his automobile, but how to give it greater riding ease.
Passenger comfort was a problem to be solved in the late 1800s.
W. K. Ackerman did this with three separate features. The feature attraction of the shown below was the “Ackerman Spring Wheel.” All forms of leaf or coil springs had been eliminated. The new arrangement consisted of a wheel hub and steering knuckle that had internal springs.
Although limited in production, the Ackerman was the easiest riding car of the period. Other features that added to the comfort of Ackerman passenger’s was larger than ordinary pneumatic tires used to absorb road shock.
The Ackerman Spring Wheel
A careful look at the close up illustration reveals the dash to be made by screen wire, which permitted air to pass through. This served the dual purpose of cooling the passenger’s feet in addition to supplying a current of air to the single cylinder air cooled engine under the seat.