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Friday, September 15, 2017

Tom Swift and His Electric Runabout updated, EPUB added

All 25 of the public domain Tom Swift novels have been posted in the Tom Swift and His Pocket Library collection. I am now returning to the earlier novels, upgrading them to use the more modern typography of those I've done in recent years. The fifth novel in the series, Tom Swift and His Electric Runabout, has now been updated. Several typographical errors in the original edition have been corrected, Unicode text entities are used for special characters such as single and double quotes and dashes, and the HTML version is now XHTML 1.0 Strict.

An EPUB edition of this novel is now available which may be downloaded to compatible reader devices; the details of how to do this differ from device to device—please consult the documentation for your reader for details.

Tom Swift's electric car, described in this 1910 novel, compares quite favourably with those on the market more than a century later. Top speed was one hundred miles an hour, and in chapter four Tom says of range on a battery charge, “Well, if I can make it do three hundred miles I'll be satisfied, but I'm going to try for four hundred.” But in case the battery runs down and there's no charging station nearby, Tom has a trick up his sleeve even Elon Musk can't exploit. Asked by his father, “Suppose you're not near a charging station?”, Tom replies, “…I'm going to have it fixed so I can take current from any trolley line, as well as from a regular charging station. My battery will be capable of being recharged very quickly, or, in case of need, I can take out the old cells and put in new ones.”

In 1910, interurban trolley lines were ubiquitous in the eastern United States, so the intrepid motorist, seeing the charge gauge creeping down toward zero, need only divert to the nearest trolley line, hook up to the rail and overhead wire or third rail, and before long everything would be just tickey-boo. No thief, the young Swift remarks, “ ‘I'm going to pay for the current I use,’ explained the young inventor. ‘I have a meter which tells how much I take.’ ”

Posted at September 15, 2017 13:58