Gatsonides’ Coal Gas-Generator
From the collection of the Overloon War Museum
h 125 cm x w 265 cm
Because the German occupier commandeered fuel for its own needs, early in the war there was already a shortage of petrol. To ensure that cars could still keep riding, some were equipped with a gas generator or a large gas reservoir on top. This meant extensively rebuilding the vehicle. The Dutch race car driver and inventor Maus Gatsonides developed a new kind of gas generator: a gasifier.
The Dutch newspaper De Oprechte Haarlemsche Courant reported in August 1940 ‘Mr Gatsonides has come up with a totally different system: he has placed the entire generator installation on a trailer that can be pulled behind any car’. In this small unit, a kind of gas that a car could run on was made from coal: therefore saving on petrol and making rebuilding a vehicle no longer necessary.