The horse was still the primary mode of transportation at the turn of the 20th Century in Europe and America, but that was poised to change. As people became more prosperous, they turned to the newly invented motor vehicle—available in steam, gasoline, or electric versions—for travel. Steam was already an established energy source for transportation, having proven reliable for powering trains, and by the 1850s it was viable to produce steam vehicles on a commercial basis. While initially more popular with the public than gasoline vehicles, steam cars were eventually a commercial failure. The current interest in alternative energy sources, however, has led to a renewed interest in developing a steam-powered vehicle for personal travel.
My new article for The Pandora Society: Geared Towards Speculative Fiction
I hope that you all enjoy!