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1881 Thury-Nussberger Steam 3-Wheeler

1881 Thury-Nussberger Steam 3-Wheeler

Rene Thury and Jean-Jacques Nussberger, builders for the medical equipment company Societe d’Instruments de Physique de Geneve SIP, were pioneers of the automobile industry in western Switzerland. At the beginning of the 20th century, several means of propulsion competed against each other; steam engines, electric motors and internal combustion engines all had their supporters. On May 16, 1881, La Tribune de Geneve noted that Thury, Nussberger and a friend were driving a steam tricycle at the Plaine de Plainpalais. They reportedly later ascended the Saleve mountain with the same vehicle, though that expedition is doubted by some historians. What seems certain is the longer trip of the tricycle with a trailer carrying five people in 1879. The 175 km long circumnavigation of Lake Geneva was achieved in a remarkable 5 hours and 30 minutes, for a median speed of 35 km/h. Years later, the tricycle was restored, and Thury presented it at the national exhibition in Bern. Today, the vehicle is part of the collection of the Museum of History and Science.

This 3-Wheeler was displayed at the 2005 Geneva Auto Show as part of their vintage display celebrated 100 years of the Automobile.


In Detail

submitted by Richard Owen
price $ $ Steam 3-Wheeler
engine 2 Cylinder
power 8.9 kw / 12 bhp
body / frame Forged Steel Chassis
f brake size mm / in
r brake size mm / in
gear ratios :1
top speed ~50 kph / 31.1 mph