AUTOS: The Steam Engine That Might

In the view of many Americans, the awesome edifice of modern technology has become more a millstone than a spire. And the internal-combustion engine, which propelled an adoring U.S. public to the forefront of the 20th century, has become the critics' primary target. They indict it for polluting the air and disturbing the peace. The fuel that it burns has presented Texas oil barons and Middle Eastern potentates with generous profits, but there is growing public pressure for some alternative kind of engine.

Surprisingly, one of the most talked-about substitutes is the old-fashioned steam engine, which enabled the Stanley Steamer to...

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