Foster steam car, 1901.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
In the early days of the motor car, a considerable number of manufacturers believed in steam propulsion as a viable alternative to the petrol engine. This was particularly true in the United States, where this car was manufactured by the Foster Automobile Manufacturing Co of Rochester, New York. However, the popularity of the petrol motor car was growing steadily, and most of the manufacturers of steam cars had switched to petrol or gone out of busines by the early 1910s.