Fort Branch & Haubstadt Public Library

Hours & Locations

    • Fort Branch Public Library

      107 E Locust St.
      Fort Branch, IN 47648

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      Phone: 812-753-4212

    • Business Hours

      Mon: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
      Tues: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
      Wed: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
      Thurs: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
      Fri: 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
      Sat: 9:00 am – 1:00 pm
      Sunday: Closed

      Special Hours »

    • Haubstadt Public Library

      101 W. Gibson St.
      Haubstadt, IN 47639

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      Phone: 812-768-6005

    • Business Hours

      Mon: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
      Tues: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
      Wed: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
      Thurs: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
      Fri: 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
      Sat: Closed
      Sunday: Closed

      Special Hours »

Historical Snapshot- Schiffmobile

Jun 11, 2024 | Historical Snapshots

“Around the turn of the century in 1899-1900, Henry Schiff was already dreaming of building a ‘horseless carriage’.” His idea and plans for such an invention was considered outlandish. “Undeterred by all this Mr. Schiff soon was making his dream come true, making all of the parts by hand, including the metal castings, in his workshop on Gibson Street. By 1903 he was well on his way to realizing this unthinkable project. It took time, four years to actually see this to completion, but to the amazement of everyone in the area, surely this young man had proven his point. Built similar to a horse drawn buggy this automobile was soon seen traveling down the streets of this town [Haubstadt]. Moving but five to ten miles an hour, and with no brakes, this was indeed a sight to behold. With one forward gear and the reverse gear, the driver simply had to put the gear in reverse to stop the car. The ‘Schiffmobile’ was designed with a turtle back seat and a pickup style bed which could be used for hauling. It was powered by a one cylinder engine, and it had a two-quart capacity gas tank. The frame, wheels, seat, and steering wheel were all originals, and of course, made by Mr. Schiff himself. Soon after this horseless vehicle had been designed a representative of Henry Ford visited with Mr. Schiff in his shop. The Ford Company wanted a copy drawn of the car’s front axle. Mr. Schiff immediately drew the plans on the back of an old sale bill. Whether or not this was ever used is not known, but Mr. Schiff never received any type of compensation from Ford.”

 

**Information quoted and summarized from “A History of the Haubstadt Area” by the Haubstadt Area Historical Society, 2002 (pages 70-71). You can read this book at both Fort Branch and Haubstadt Library locations.

 

(Picture below taken directly from page 70 of the book mentioned above.)