For Immediate Release
Contact: Kim Keeline, email@example.com, 619-229-8387
ELECTRIQUETTE ON DISPLAY AT SAN DIEGO HISTORY CENTER
A working prototype of the Electriquette has been made to replicate the design of the popular 1915 Osborn vehicles that once filled Balboa Park.
The original Electriquettes, invented by Clyde H. Osborn, a San Diego attorney, plied the walkways of Balboa Park (and eventually were also seen at the San Francisco Exposition and a number of beach boardwalks in California) in 1915-1916. Despite their enormous popularity, they were eventually removed from the park and nobody knows what happened to them. All we have left are some wonderful photographs and a slew of articles written at the time.
In 2011, attorney and entrepreneur Sandor Shapery was talking to Committee of One Hundred members Michael Kelly and Wleton Jones and the end result of that conversation was Shapery’s ambitious plan to bring the wicker carts back to San Diego in time for the 2015 centennial celebration.
This is a task with a number of challenges, the first of which was to design a replica of the car with the limited information available.
Preservation architect David Marshall designed the prototype from photographs and written descriptions. The vehicle body was built in China based on his plans. The prototype’s body was then shipped to Boston, where Brad Hunter, an electronics controls expert at MIT, built a control system and drive motor.
The prototype was unveiled in November 2012 at the San Diego History Center (where it remains on display).
The San Diego History Center has a display with a large photo of the Electriquette as used in the park and the prototype wicker cart. Visitors can have their photo taken in the display for a small donation to the San Diego History Center.