THE MOTOR AFLOAT
Too Long; Didn't ReadHaving made such conquests on land, and rendered possible aerial feats which could scarcely have been performed by steam, the explosion motor further vindicates its versatility by its fine exploits in the water.
At the Paris Exhibition of 1889 Gottlieb Daimler, the inventor who made the petrol engine commercially valuable as an aid to locomotion, showed a small gas-driven boat, which by most visitors to the Exhibition was mistaken for an ordinary steam launch, and attracted little interest. Not deterred by this want of appreciation, Mr. Daimler continued to perfect the idea for which, with a prophet's eye, he saw great possibilities; and soon motor launches became a fairly common sight on German rivers. They were received with some enthusiasm in the United States, as being particularly suitable for the inland lakes and waterways with which that country is so abundantly blessed; but met with small recognition from the English, who might reasonably have been expected to take great interest in any new nautical invention. Now, however, English manufacturers have awaked fully to their error; and on all sides we see boats built by firms competing for the lead in an industry which in a few years' time may reach colossal proportions.