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Thread: OT: Crawler tractors

  1. #81
    Peter S is offline Diamond
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    Another way of laying your own track - here is Mr Bramah Diplock's design patented in 1893 (No. 19682), and built as a steam-driven four-wheel-drive, four wheel steer machine in 1898 by Taskers, then re-designed and re-patented (Patent 14710 of 1899) with the "Pedrail" wheels. This is the second machine built, once again four wheel drive, a compound under type engine of 108 ihp and built by Kerr, Stuart, I don't know the date but presumably around 1900. Diplock found that having a differential on each axle was not enough, so added a third diff.

    From the classic volume The Development of the English Traction Engine by Ronald H. Clark, published back in 1960.



    Side view:

    Last edited by Peter S; 01-25-2010 at 03:20 PM. Reason: 1898 was 1899, add info.

  2. #82
    northernsinger is offline Titanium
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    I had skipped this discussion until this morning as I have little knowledge or real interest in crawler tractors except for one peripheral point. Now that I've enjoyed reading this discussion I'd like to bring up this point, though I know it's not what is mostly being discussed here.

    Several years ago I bought this antique 16" wood working jointer from an eBay seller:




    This machine--as you can see--is marked in the casting 'Waterville Iron Works' and is covered by an 1889 patent. It is the only discussed example of this machine known at present.

    In writing this up for the antique wood working machinery sites OWWM.com and OWWM.org several years ago I referred to the Waterville Iron Works and this firm's connection with the Lombard machines you have been discussing here.

    In addition, about a year later I purchased another antique wood working machine, a band saw, which is marked Webber & Philbrick, a photograph of which is shown here:



    [Both of these photographs are taken from an OWWM.org discussion of them, as being the most easily accessible.]

    This machine, too, as with the jointer above, is the only known example.

    Webber and Philbrick were owners of the Waterville Iron Works, Waterville, Maine.

    Dates of manufacture of these two machines are not easily known. Probably not very early, likely 1890's.

    If any of you can tell me more about this the Waterville Iron Works--this firm, for example is noted in the ASME citation already quoted here,

    'Lombard arranged with Waterville Iron Works to build the first Lombard log hauler and his applicationfor a patent was filed Nov. 9, 1900.'

    and

    'In 1900 the Alvin O. Lombard Traction Company began in the Waterville Iron Works the construction of the Lombard steam log chauler, and on Thanksgiving Day of that year, the first machine made its trial run.'

    ... I would very much appreciate it. I would like to know more about the firm in general, and more about Lombard's relation to it in specific.

    Terry Harper, thank you for that fine office photograph of Lombard: what is the provenance of that? Anbd, by the way, you aren't the Terry Harper who used to live in western Vermont and deal in used books, are you?

    Thanks.

  3. #83
    Robert Grauman is offline Aluminum
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter S View Post
    Another way of laying your own track - here is Mr Bramah Diplock's design patented in 1893 (No. 19682), and built as a steam-driven four-wheel-drive, four wheel steer machine in 1899 by Taskers,...
    The patent document for this machine can be seen at:
    http://v3.espacenet.com/publicationD...C&locale=en_EP
    Patent GB 1893 19682 - Improved Means for Transmitting Power to the Driving or Road Wheels of Gear Driven Locomotives for Use on Ordinary Roads or Railways, applied for on 19th October 1893 by Bramah Joseph Diplock

    This is a plan view of the machine from the patent. It features large, spherical joints around the differentials.


    This view shows the steering action:


    ...then re-designed and re-patented (Patent 14710 of 1899). This is the second machine built, once again four wheel drive, a compound under type engine of 108 ihp and built by Kerr, Stuart, I don't know the date but presumably around 1900.
    The second patent document that Peter mentions can be seen here:
    http://v3.espacenet.com/publicationD...C&locale=en_EP
    Patent GB 1899 14710 - Improvements in Traction Engines and Other Vehicles, applied for on 17th July, 1899, by Bramah Joseph Diplock

    It appears to cover the unique(!) wheels shown in the photographs in Peter's posting.


    More spherical joints, and a multiplicity of moving parts!

    Robert Grauman
    Last edited by Robert Grauman; 01-25-2010 at 11:38 AM. Reason: Add patent details

  4. #84
    Alpacca Fortyfive is offline Stainless
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Grauman View Post
    And a big thanks to you for your valuable contributions.

    Ooops - I didn't realize it was a Hornsby thread. The heading said "OT: Crawler tractors" so I went charging ahead.

    It is vital that any misinformation be challenged, in my opinion.
    As the one who started the thread, I guess it fall to me to say

    Anything and everything crawler and related is welcome!

    I'm absolutely astonished at the depth, spread and rate of growth of what is being posted here, please, keep it coming!

    Are any of you writing this stuff up for publication? if not, then please think about it.

    Robert, that restored Linn is beautiful, thankyou for sharing the photo with us.

    Keith

  5. #85
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  6. #86
    Terry Harper is offline Aluminum
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    Terry Harper, thank you for that fine office photograph of Lombard: what is the provenance of that?
    Nice looking machinery! Glad to hear its found a loving home. I don't have much on the relationship between Lombard and the Waterville Iron Works. Its sad to think what has been lost. A friend of mine (now deceased) helped clean-out the old Lombard factory. There were wooden patterns galore. Aparently quite a few went to a local artists who incorporated them into at least one artistic piece for a local banks lobby.

    The Bank of America down the street from my office has such a sculpture but I don't see any Lombard parts in it!

    The photo of Lombard in his office - not sure where I aquired my copy But I beleive the State Muesum has a copy as well. The calender on the wall dates it as May 1912. I also have some film footage with Lombard driving the model LD.

    Anbd, by the way, you aren't the Terry Harper who used to live in western Vermont and deal in used books, are you?
    Not the same guy - love old books but never lived in Vermont

    I will leave you with a few of the Lombard factory
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails scan0006.jpg  

  7. #87
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    Here's a Linn that's local to me. I have photos of a '40s Linn, but I'm afraid they are on film and not easily found.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails dscn4933-800.jpg   dscn4936-800.jpg   kicx1611-800.jpg  

  8. #88
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    Found one online -




    Then stumbled onto this site with lots of tracked hauler info - http://mailer.fsu.edu/~akirk/tanks/UnitedStates/unarmored-halftracks/unarmored-half-tracks.html

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails linn.jpg  

  9. #89
    Robert Grauman is offline Aluminum
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    Default Holt and Lombard

    Quote Originally Posted by Terry Harper View Post
    While Lombard was not the "first" to devise a track system (Patent filed Nov. 9, 1900) he was indeed the first to develope and put into production a tracked vehical. His first "Lombard Log Hauler" steamed to life on Thanksgiving Day, 1900.
    You can see this Lombard patent at:
    http://www.google.com/patents?id=UiB...age&q=&f=false
    Patent US 674737 dated May 21, 1901, Application filed on November 9, 1900 for a "Logging-Engine" by Alvin O. Lombard of Waterville, Maine.

    This is a side view of the track assembly from the patent:


    Note that toothed gears are shown driving the track chain in the patent. As pointed out by Terry in his post #75, Lombard soon abandoned the gear for a sprocket.

    I don't have an illustration of the sprocket used by Lombard, but here is an illustration from a Phoenix parts book of the sprocket they used in their log haulers built under license from Lombard.


    For the sake of completeness, here is Lombard's 1907 patent:
    http://www.google.com/patents/about?...EBAJ&dq=854364
    Patent US 854364 dated May 21, 1907, application filed November 22, 1905 for a "Log-Hauler" by Alvin O. Lombard of Waterville, Maine.

    The patent shows his 1907 log hauler:

    Another detail in the patent shows a sprocket driving the track chain. (The final drive to the track assembly was also by means of chain and sprocket).

    Note that the roller chain of his 1901 patent has been replaced by Holt like idler rollers.

    Beating Holt by a wide margin. (1904)
    As Terry says, Holt started experimenting with crawlers in 1904, but he didn't apply for a patent on the crawler until 1907. See:
    http://www.google.com/patents?id=_Ml...age&q=&f=false
    Patent US 874008 dated December 17, 1907, application filed February 9, 1907 for a "Traction-Engine" by Benjamin Holt of Stockton, California.

    This is a side view of the tractor in the patent application:

    The transmission shown on other pages in the patent document are different than those in the production crawler, and the tiller wheel is illustrated as being operated by a (wire?) rope.

    As it turned out Lombard DID sell rights to his system to Phoenix, Jenckes and Best.
    Lombard entered a licensing agreement with Phoenix in about 1904, and was to receive $1,000 for each copy built.

    Reynold M. Wik, in his book "Benjamin Holt & Caterpillar - Tracks & Combines" devotes a full chapter to Benjamin Holt's legal battles. There is no mention of a suit brought against Holt directly by Lombard. Benjamin Holt had some very expensive lawyers offer opinions about the Lombard and Holt patents, and in 1909 they concluded that both were of little value because of prior art. With that in mind, Holt reacted calmly when Lombard visited Holt in Stockton in 1910, complaining of patent infringement. Holt showed Lombard around the factory and took him for a drive in the country in his Oldsmobile roadster. When the matter of money came up, Holt merely suggested that they divide the country up; Lombard should stick to his log-hauling in the northern woods, and Holt would take care of the rest of the nation. According to Lombard, Holt had promised to write letters with more details, but had failed to do so.

    Holt and C.L. Best were soon locked in a vicious legal battle after Best started selling what was basically a carbon copy of Holt's tractor. Best's attorneys knew that Holt's patents predated Best's 1913 patent and reasoned that their best defense was to prove that Holt had violated Lombard's patent. One of Best's lawyers, Henry Montgomery went to visit Lombard in 1915, and asked Lombard to be a friendly witness. Lombard is alleged to have replied, "By God, young man, I'm glad to see you. If God Almighty could charter me to kill a man, I'd get on the train and go to California and kill old Ben Holt."

    Later, Lombard sold his 1901 and 1907 patents to Best for $25,000, and he and Montgomery traveled to Eau Claire, Wisconsin and persuaded Phoenix to cancel the Phoenix-Lombard royalty agreement. More legal twists and turns followed. It is estimated that legal fees during the 14 year legal battle cost Holt $750,000. The bankers finally "suggested" that Holt and Best amalgamate, which they did, forming the Caterpillar Tractor Company.

    Much is made of the fact that during the protracted trial, C. H. Richardson of Missoula, Montana, who had operated Lombard log haulers beginning in 1905 testified that in 1906 Ben C. Holt (Benjamin's nephew) and Benjamin Holt had asked to see and were shown his Lombard log hauler. I contend that by 1906, most of Holt's design had already been set.

    Much is also made in some quarters of Holt purchasing Dr. Roberts' Hornsby patent. I contend that the sole reason for this purchase was to add weight to the legal case against Best.

    This is but an abbreviated summary of Chapter 17 from Wik's book, (with some of my comments thrown in).

    Robert Grauman
    Last edited by Robert Grauman; 01-26-2010 at 08:49 AM. Reason: Add details of Lombards 1907 patent

  10. #90
    Peter S is offline Diamond
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    Robert, Terry (or anyone else),

    I am wondering about the fundamental differences between Lombard, Holt, Hornsby etc. For example, if you were allowed a hypothetical situation - could a Lombard turn in its own length, or would the tracks fail under such side loads? I am wondering if the Lombard design was only suitable for large radius turns.

    Regarding Holt not using any Hornsby/Roberts features - would it be fair to say the idea of having tracks only, and being able to turn tightly using only these tracks, has proved to be one of the lasting features of a successful crawler tractor? Would it be too much to suggest the track and sprocket design (which is still being improved after 100+ years) is almost secondary to this?

    Just thinking....

  11. #91
    Robert Grauman is offline Aluminum
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terry Harper View Post
    Several of the Phoenix steamers survive.
    There is one on display at the Western Development Museum in North Battleford, Saskatchewan in Canada. It is not in operating condition, as far as I know, but it is in good cosmetic condition.

    It has the optional auxiliary saddle water tank. This photograph shows it with wheels on the front end. It has since been fitted with proper skis, and has been integrated into a fine display.


    There is another at the Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, branch of the Western Development Museum. It was in operating condition until recently. A couple of years ago, while it was operating, a connecting rod strap broke, allowing the piston to smash into the cylinder head, breaking the head, and doing other damage. At that time, it was discovered that repairs to the running gear were also required. There is a small, but dedicated team of volunteers looking after the machine, so it may be repaired and back in operation now.

    You will notice that it does not have the correct front wheels fitted, which are much smaller.


    There is one in a covered outdoor display in the small town of Wabeno, Wisconsin. At one time it was steamed during the town summer festival, and may still be steamed occasionally. It has a short string of disconnect log hauling sleighs on display with it. The correct summer wheels are also on display.


    There are reports of another Phoenix on display in a park in Rhinelander, Wisconsin. I have not seen this machine.

    Google brings up an operating Phoenix in Wisconsin. I have not seen this machine.

    There are apparently two on display in Finland. An excellent photograph of one can be see here:
    http://vaunut.org/kuvasivu/14849
    or you can see a smaller version by clicking on the image at the bottom of this post.

    The Phoenix is reported to be lighter (at 17 tons) and slightly faster than the Lombard. I have seen a figure of 65 machines quoted for Phoenix production over the decade or so that they were building them, but I have been unable to verify that number. The two Saskatchewan machines were used in logging operations in Northern Saskatchewan and Manitoba. They were used until well into the 1930's. They often hauled 30 sleighs loaded with logs, with reports of up to 38 sleigh loads. They burned about 3 to 3-1/2 tons of coal a day, and required water every five to seven miles. These machines were also used to haul finished lumber from the mill to the rail head in Prince Albert, a distance of some 30 miles. The usual load was about 150,000 board feet. A trial trip with 250,000 board feet was made, but some of the hills could not be climbed with this load. A six man crew was required for this operation, and a round trip took about 24 hours, with an average speed of four miles per hour while traveling. Often, men laid off from the railways during the slack winter months were hired to operate these machines.

    Here is a very poor photograph of a Phoenix in operation in Northern Saskatchewan.

    Note the auxiliary coal bunker on the sled immediately behind the tractor.

    Robert Grauman
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails finnphoenix.jpg  
    Last edited by Robert Grauman; 01-26-2010 at 09:21 AM. Reason: Add details of service in Northern Saskatchewan

  12. #92
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    I have been away for a bit and there is whole lot of great info here that will take a while to look over.

    "Mr. Bramah Diplock's design patented in 1893" I call these walking wheels or tracked wheels
    they are not a real crawler in sense but were early attempts trying address the same problem of ground pressure.
    There were a number of companies that sold walking type wheels as attachments during the Teens and the Twenties I have seen them used on a small garden tractor, Neat unit but extremely noisy!
    There were also a number of companies that sold track conversions during this time also more aimed at the Fordson, Tracson and Belle City were the more prominent in this field.
    This is an earlier steam powered unit with the walking wheel design.
    This came from The Agricultural Tractor 1855-1950
    The caption reads Track-Laying steam traction engine of Boydell 1846 Used by the Army during the Crimean War 1854.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails walking-wheel-picture.jpg  

  13. #93
    Bodger is offline Cast Iron
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    In England 1940/50 i recall seeing a Minneapolis Moline crawler tractor, where does that company fit into the scheme of things ?

  14. #94
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    Thanks, 8D. I’d seen references to a tracked vehicle being used in the Crimean War, but didn’t know what it was. The Crimean War has the unwanted claim to be the ‘prototype’ of industrialised warfare.

    I’d been aware of the Pedrail, Botrail, Boydell systems, but hadn’t given them any thought, couldn’t envisage them in action, but clearly there’s a lot more to them than just a load of clattering appendages on wheels.

    Boydell’s system was called an ‘endless railway‘. It can be truly described as a track-laying vehicle. The wheels roll a short distance over the shoes or ‘boards’ and then pick them up. W J Hughes’ ‘A Century of Traction Engines’, points out that the shoes hung from cycloidal guide brackets. These are key to allowing the wheel to roll over the shoe. They can be seen in 8D’s engraving. Also note the stepped ends on the shoes. These allow the shoes to overlap on the ground. The book points out that the system was adopted by a number of makers in the 1850s and 1860s, and machines were widely exported.

    Having feet, they also had Achilles’ heels. There was a lot to wear out. They were readily damaged on uneven hard ground - stepping on stones could apply a lot of pressure and unfavourable leverage on a foot.

    The principle was revived decades later by Mr Bottrill (see .RC's post of 'Big Lizzie'). Fowler also tried it on a traction engine, the shoes being attached by cables.

    Going back to caterpillar tracks, friend Bruce Ward in Oz sent me a copy of an 1869 engraving showing Vandenvinne’s tracked steam excavator. As far as I can tell from the picture, the tracks were, so to speak, ‘too big for the wheels’, i.e. they had their own self-supporting shape like the Hornsby tracks, and the four sets of wheels had a certain amount of liberty to roll along within.

  15. #95
    Robert Grauman is offline Aluminum
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    Default Hypothesis and speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter S View Post
    Robert, Terry (or anyone else),

    I am wondering about the fundamental differences between Lombard, Holt, Hornsby etc. For example, if you were allowed a hypothetical situation - could a Lombard turn in its own length, or would the tracks fail under such side loads? I am wondering if the Lombard design was only suitable for large radius turns.
    This is hypothetical and speculative on my part, and, since I have only studied the Phoenix variant of the Lombard, not a direct response to your question. In my opinion, the Phoenix track would not be suitable for short radius turns. The are no real track chain guides, other than the track sprockets on each end of the track frame. The roller chain is guided on the inside by the frame, and on the outside by few not very substantial metal guards.

    I don't know what Lombard's full track design looked like. I can't find anything more than what Terry Harper has written about this machine. I speculate that it was quite different from that shown in the 1901 and 1907 patents (and his 1913 patent for a single track vehicle).

    Regarding Holt not using any Hornsby/Roberts features - would it be fair to say the idea of having tracks only, and being able to turn tightly using only these tracks, has proved to be one of the lasting features of a successful crawler tractor? Would it be too much to suggest the track and sprocket design (which is still being improved after 100+ years) is almost secondary to this?
    Again, highly speculative on my part, but I believe that the reason Holt didn't start with a full track model was that he didn't think of it. I quote from Wik's "Benjamin Holt and Caterpillar - Tracks & Combines":
    "Around 1915 a Stockton factory mechanic discovered he could move a tractor without the front wheel. To illustrate how well a track type tractor could function without this extra wheel the mechanic moved the tractor out of the building in a successful demonstration."

    {Watch out for that fan!!!}
    This makes me wonder if Benjamin Holt even knew about the Roberts Hornsby patents at that time.

    From my limited knowledge of the subject, the track design changed only in a few details from the early Holt tiller steering production models to the full track models. The major change was the addition of steering brakes. The tiller steering models already had steering clutches.

    The ability to turn sharply is certainly one of the useful features of a crawler. Once past the tiller wheel models, square turns became an enduring feature. I believe that the later Yuba Ball Tread, with it's marine type transmission may have been one of the first with zero radius turns. You are correct that many designs of track and sprocket allow short radius turns. I also submit that the ability to traverse difficult terrain due to its low ground pressure is also a useful feature of crawlers, and is independent of track or sprocket design.

    Just thinking....
    Just wildly speculating on my part.....

    Robert Grauman
    Last edited by Robert Grauman; 01-26-2010 at 06:19 PM.

  16. #96
    Terry Harper is offline Aluminum
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    am wondering about the fundamental differences between Lombard, Holt, Hornsby etc. For example, if you were allowed a hypothetical situation - could a Lombard turn in its own length, or would the tracks fail under such side loads? I am wondering if the Lombard design was only suitable for large radius turns.
    This is kind of an apples and oranges question - but a good one.

    The only info I have on turning radius for Lombard is for the later gasoline tractors. This was quoted as 50 ft. With the exception of the early machines Lombard used a "runner" as he called it to carry the weight of the machine on the tracks. This had a replaceable shoe that had two channels cast the length of it along which the roller chains travelled. To help prevent sideslip there were two small ridges cast into back of each track pad which the roller chains run between. (not sure if this present on the steamers. when dealing with Lombards "standardized" is a very relative term)

    On the "standardized" steamers and the early gasoline tractors the roller chains ran tight to the runner as seen in the sigle track patent. Later machines used loose chains running the full lengthof the track (long chain) and around guide wheels located on the sprocket shafts. Interestingly at least 4 of the survivng tractors have an odd 'short' chain setup. However all these were employed by Edouard Lacroix who may have requested it for one reason or another.

    You would think the rollers would wear quickly but amazingly they caused very little trouble. It was important to keep the little scrapers situated at each guide wheel working. Otherwise ice, mud etc. would build-up on the guide wheels and bind the chains.

    Lombard it must be remembered was catering to a very specific market which had very specific needs. Speed, power and reliabilty were the charicteristics his clients sought. Lombard was focused almost totally on that market with but a few deviations. (I still chuckle at the pitch in a trade publication of a 10 ton Lombard with a 145 hp Sterling as being suitable for a 12 bottom plow! I have no doubt it could pull the plow but the hedgerow would have taken heck.)

    This was a totally diffrent market strategy from Holt who sought to offer a machine that may not have been optimum for all situations but was acceptable in most. Thus the apples and oranges.

    You also must understand how these machines were used. The typical hauling season lasted from January through march. During that scant 90 days. Speed and efficiency were paramount. Just a handful of lost days could mark the diffrence between a successful (profitable) year and leaving timber in the woods and going bust. It was not unusual for these machines to run 24 hours per day, 6 days a week.

    To highlight this Lacroix went to great lengths to improve the efficancy of his gasoline tractors. In addition to an extra 60 gallon fuel tank his mechanics ground every other grouser off the track pads. This of course increased the point load on the remainng grousers and increased pulling power termendously on the ice roads they traveled on. This caused termendous stress on the frames. In fact its hard to find a Lacroix machine that dosent have flitch plates and other repairs to the frame.

    Breaking out frozen sleds was another task that was hard on the tractors. The runners had a habit of freezing in. It was important to pull at an angle to break them out. Ray Vigue recalled a fellow Lombard driver at Clayton Lake who didn't do this. That big Wisconsin engine had broke its mounts and was lying on its side with the oil dripping out The radiator was a bit worse for wear too.

    Again its apples and oranges. What I do know is Lombard's run very smooth. There is very little clatter and its amazing to see a steamer coast a bit.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails number-6-5.jpg   ashland-13.jpg  

  17. #97
    Robert Grauman is offline Aluminum
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    Default John Heathcoate

    Reynold M. Wik in his "Benjamin Holt & Caterpillar - Tracks & Combines", which I have been quoting in previous posts, says:
    "In 1832, a British textile manufacturer, John Heathcoate, built a 30-ton steam plowing engine which rested on two 7-foot-wide belts. These tracks were intended to prevent the steam engine from sinking into marsh land. Attracting considerable attention, the engine was heralded a "a remarkable contribution to science and to the wealth of the country", but optimism was shattered when the monster sank and almost disappeared in a swamp. Heathcoate lost $12,000 in the venture."

    In the footnotes, Wik quotes Clarke C. Spence, "God Speed the Plow: the Coming of Steam Cultivation to Great Britain" (Urbana, Illinois, 1960) for this reference.

    Does anyone have anything further on this machine? Was it some type of crawler? Should I bring some DEET, a pair of "wellies", and my metal detector when I visit England this spring?

    Robert Grauman

  18. #98
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    Robert,

    By coincidence I was also reading about the John Heathcote (sp?) machine and scanned a drawing ready to post tonight, so good timing.

    Note the spelling, I have now seen the name spelled three different ways - Heathcote (R. H. Clark), Heathcoat and now your Heathcoate!

    Mr Clark in The Development of The English Traction Engine seems skeptical, seeming to doubt the machine was made, however maybe more info has come to light since he was writing in 1960.

    This scan is taken from 500 Years of Earthmoving by Heinz-Herbert Cohrs:



    Another drawing from the same book, this time an American machine by Warren P. Miller:



    And from the same book, finally an actual photo, this is a steam-powered machine by George Minnis from Ames Iowa, patented in 1869, but no date given for this photo unfortunately. Note the author also writes "by the end of the 19th century, over 100 patents had been issued for tracked vehicles".


  19. #99
    Asquith is offline Diamond
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    Some remarkable information is coming to light.

    Iím very pleased to see Peterís drawing, as, following Robertís intriguing post, I searched for information on the Heathcoat/Heathcote/Heathcoate machine, but could find no details beyond the fact that it weighed 30 tons, and that it did exist. A brief reference to it here, although the date is given as 1837 (1832 is used in other references):-
    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal.../139685a0.html

    Heathcoat was both ingeneous and successful. He invented lace-making machinery and moved from Derbyshire to the Luddite-free county of Devon, establishing successful mills and a foundry in Tiverton, and the textile business continues today. Tiverton museum has displays relating to the business, including lace-making machinery.

    Incidentally, various other enterprising people in the lace-making business moved to this area from the English Midlands in the Industrial Revolution. These included Messrs Stringfellow and Henson, who were influenced by the work of Sir George Cayley, and developed steam-powered flying machines. I seem to recall that one of John Stringfellowís steam engines ended up powering a textile machine, but I canít now find any more information. Chard Museum in Somerset has a small steam engine made by Stringfellow in 1870 and intended to propel a balloon to relieve the besieged City of Paris.

    Going back to Vandenvinneís 1869 tracked steam excavator, Peter S has seen the engraving and has rightly pointed out to me that the tracks arenít free standing, but were supported by rollers attached to a ladder frame.

  20. #100
    Robert Grauman is offline Aluminum
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    Oct 2004
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    222

    Default Frivolity

    For something completely different, here is Bill Graham on his Euclid TC-12 demonstrating zero radius turns. This machine has two independent drive trains, each driven by a Detroit Diesel (GMC) 6-71. The machine dates from the late 1950's or early 1960's. It has since been restored to his usual high standards.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DjP5C_5ZzlY

    "You're going to throw a track, Bill"

    Sorry, I don't know how to properly imbed a video. This one is ~35 seconds long. Don't try it on dial up.

    Robert Grauman
    Last edited by Robert Grauman; 01-27-2010 at 12:15 PM.

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