Stevenson, Gilbert: Advocating the Restoration of Steam in the Automotive Industry


Stevenson, Gilbert: Advocating the Restoration of Steam in the Automotive Industry


A three page document by Gilbert Wright Stevenson (1914-1998) advocating the restoration of the steam engine for powering automobiles. Published on August 6, 1932 as an attachment to the Granville Center News. Multiple copies found in the library archives.

Gilbert Stevenson was the "Chief Editor" of the Granville Center News, informally published in the 1930's as stated in the paper, "on nine more or less consecutive Saturdays during the summer."

Stevenson appears to have summered in Granville during his late teens and came up with the idea of publishing the Granville Center News (GCN). He was "Chief Editor" with staff consisting of Assistant Editor J.D. Wright, Jr., Feature Editor Holland Newton Stevenson, Jr. (Gilbert's brother), and Foreign Corespondent J. Laughlin IIII. Together they created a publication that was both informative and humorous, with occasional editorials espousing the virtues of anarchy, among other things.

Issues 12 thru 35 of the Granville Center News have been found and digitized. They can be viewed here: 

Gilbert Stevenson's passion for steam led him to own a steam car around 1933. The brief period of ownership was commented on in the Granville Center News occasionally, including the car's final trip to Newton, MA. when Stevenson and the car fell short by about 5 miles so the car was towed and abandoned.

Stevenson was not easily discouraged. He seems to have been a natural engineer, entrepreneur, dreamer, promoter, and all-around character. A Yale engineering graduate (1936), he helped build at least two companies in an attempt to mass produce a steam car in the late 1930's. He unveiled a prototype in 1938:

Granville's summer newspaperman died in 1998 in Laramie, Wyoming.

Steam on, Stevenson!




Photo of Gilbert Stevenson in car courtesy of John Stevenson, March 4, 2020.


Granville Public Library Historical Room


“Stevenson, Gilbert: Advocating the Restoration of Steam in the Automotive Industry,” Granville History Digital Collection, accessed April 19, 2024,


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