The Aerodrome’s Baker is an interesting piece of history in that it is over 100 years old and it is entirely powered by electric! Many people think of the concept of the electric car as something new, but electric-powered cars have been around since the earliest days of the “horseless carriage.” There were several manufacturers of electric cars in the early days, but limitations in battery technology at the time prevented the electric car from being competitive with fossil-fuel powered automobiles.
The Museum is making efforts to get the Baker back in the shows at Old Rhinebeck. It is an important piece of history and demonstrates that ideas for alternate power vehicles have been around since cars first developed. Another example of a vehicle in the Aerodrome collection using alternate power is the Grout Steam car, which dates back to 1904!
One of the unique characteristics of the Baker that set it apart from gas-powered automobiles was its completely silent operation. It was always interesting to witness the Baker moving under its own power without making a sound…that was until the operator stepped on the brakes…those made quite a squeal!
As part of its mission to educate visitors about early technology, the Museum will work to make the Baker operable once again, and will allow visitors participating in the vintage fashion shows to once again have the unique opportunity to ride in an authentic 100+ year-old electric car!