A steamer was a motorised road vehicle whose power plant was a steam engine. Steamers burned kerosene to heat water in a boiler which turned to steam and was used to propel the vehicle. If the vehicle was parked for a short period of time, the burner was left on at a low level in order to maintain steam pressure in the boiler. Otherwise, it was shut off and it required an 8-10 minute wait for pressure to build up before the steamer could be driven.

Steamers were a popular mode of personal transportation in the North American Union. They competed with electrics which were generally considered suitable for only in-town travel.

"Honest" Dick was a prosperous used steamer salesman in New Liverpool. As many of the steamers which he sold were of poor quality, he was often referred to disparagingly as "Tricky Dick."

Some common brands of steamer, by nationality:

  • British: Rolls, Supermarine (incl. Supermarine Saloon)
  • French: Peugeot
  • American: Washington, Wrightmobile, Lightning, Henry, Reliable, Morse