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1907 Thomas Flyer
MODEL "35" New York-to-Paris Racer
BUILT BY E. R. Thomas Motor Co.
Buffalo, New York
ENGINE 4 Cylinder, 70 H.P.
DISPLACEMENT 571.3 Cu. In.
The roots of the Thomas marque began with the bicycle company of Erwin R. Thomas. He had built a good reputation for assembling lightweight, strong, fast and inexpensive bicycles. In 1896, Thomas began experimenting with engine building and designed a one cylinder, air-cooled gas engine that could be fitted onto his quality bicycles, calling the complete unit an "Auto-Bi". But more important to automotive history was the appearance of his first one-cylinder, four-wheeled motor carriage in 1899. Thomas erected a factory especially for automobile production in Buffalo, New York, and promoted his product with advertisements, sales catalogs, and sales manuals.
The four-cylinder model designated as "Thomas Flyer" had proved to be very reliable, so when it was decided to enter the 1908 New York to Paris (Round-the-World) Race, a brand new 1907 Thomas Flyer was removed from the showroom floor. Extra gas tanks were mounted, spare tires strapped on, and some minor modifications made. After traveling 12,427 land miles (over 22,000 miles overall, including sea voyages) in 170 days, George Schuster, the only crew member to travel the entire distance, drove this car into Paris to win the race. There has not been another attempt at a round-the-world auto race since 1908, and as the current world record holder, this is arguably the most historic American automobile in existence.
Because of its victory in the 1908 New York to Paris Race, Thomas automobile sales increased for a time. In 1911 and early 1912, only six cylinder models were produced and by the end of 1912, E. R. Thomas Motor Car Company production ceased.
Production of Creamery ice cream has begun in the manufacturingrooms of the Berkey Creamery, which is expected to open sometime thismonth. Ice cream cone sales are continuing at the Borland Lab locationdown the street. Meanwhile,the hot weatherand increased demand during arts festival week, coupled with the needto stop production during July to facilitate the move,has caused an ice cream shortage in some flavors at the Creamery. TomPalchak, manager of University Creamery Services, has had to orderabout 300 tubs of Hershey Ice Cream in strawberry, chocolate, cookiesand cream, and peanut butter swirl, to sell in the interim as the newmanufacturing facility goes online. "Anice cream season like this one occurs only once in every 10 years inPennsylvania," hesaid. Palchak had stockpiled a six-week supply of ice cream, but demandwas so heavy it sold in two weeks.