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  1. #321
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    Thanks Robert!

    For a good insight into the pitfalls of patents - read the transcript from Lombard V. Alexander Dunbar.

    Its a long read but worth the time. The question and answer sections are worth the effort.

    Eastern law reporter, Canada - Google Books

  2. #322
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    Default Major-General Fuller and Guillaume Fender

    In Fuller's "Tanks in the Great War", which I referenced previously in postings #303 and #311, he writes this:
    "In 1882 Guillaume Fender of Buenos Aires suggested and John Newburn patented certain improvements to endless tracks. Fender realised that the attempts to produce endless travelling railways had not met with great success owing to the shortness of the rails or tracks employed; he, therefore, proposed that their length should be the same as the distance between the vehicle's axles. If it were desired to have short links the number of wheels must be increased; furthermore, should the tractor be used for hauling a train of wagons, the endless track should be long enough to embrace all the wheels. This is the original idea for the all-round track."

    I have been unable to find this patent in the US patent database. I wonder if this patent pointed the way for the early British tank designs.


    British Mark IV tank

    I did find an 1887 patent issued to Guillaume (William) Fender of Buenos Ayres for a <wheel with endless rail>, US patent 373887, but it does not appear to be the one referenced by Fuller. It appears to be a variation on Bramah Diplock's various pedwheels.



    I think the "mean time between failure" of wheels of this type, operated on anything other than a hard surface, would be measured in minutes or hundreds of feet.

    Fuller had little to do with tank design. He was a tank strategist and tactician, and continued in this field following WWI. He wrote over 45 books on various subjects, including a peculiar small volume titled "Pegasus, Problems of Transportation", where he expressed his views on social matters. He advocated the resettlement of some of the "surplus population" from post WWI England to the colonies and dominions, which were under-populated. The use of tracked vehicles would be used to enable this resettlement. With the clear vision of hindsight, I can assure him that poor people plucked out of the slums of London, Manchester, and Liverpool mostly did not thrive when resettled on homesteads in the Dominion of Canada. Tracked vehicles would not have helped.

    You can read more about Major-General Fuller <on this Wiki page>.

    Robert Grauman

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    Default Lombard v. Alexander Dunbar

    Quote Originally Posted by Terry Harper View Post
    For a good insight into the pitfalls of patents - read the transcript from Lombard V. Alexander Dunbar.

    Its a long read but worth the time. The question and answer sections are worth the effort.

    Eastern law reporter, Canada - Google Books
    Terry,

    Thanks for the link to Google Books. It is indeed a fascinating read. The law does not seem to have treated Lombard well. Just as an aside, the K. C. after the Dunbar's lawyer's name stands for "Kings Council" (Q. C. for "Queens Council", these days). They are usually more senior lawyers that can be assigned to act as prosecutors, and perform other duties, for the crown (state). It may be that Lombard was out-lawyered.

    By the way, Google, in their wisdom, will allow we Canadians (and no doubt other "foreigners") to read only slim snippets of this Canadian document. I managed to download the plain text version through a proxy, and have it in the form of a nine page MS Word document. I'm trying to figure out how to post it somewhere. In the meantime, if someone wants to read the document, PM me, and I can email you a copy. This offer will no doubt expire at some point in the future.

    Robert Grauman

  4. #324
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    Robert,
    I tried to post a copy but the word count was too long. It's interesting that Lombard sort of shot himself in the foot. In effect abandoning the patents and offering machines in Canada prior to obtaining the Canadian patent.

    Another interesting one is Paridy V. Caterpillar (1931) Mr. Paridy claimed that Holt & Lombard conspired to steal his tracklayer design allegedly developed in 1892 but not patented due to financial dificulties.

    Reading your comments on Fuller and the use of tracked vehicles to settle remote areas somehow gave me a flashback to Vilhjalmur Stefansson's "The Friendly Artic" and the Wrangle Island epic!

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    Default Scott's Snowmobile

    Back in posting #171, an exchange regarding the crawlers (snowmobiles) used on Scott's Expedition to the South Pole started with:
    Quote Originally Posted by Terry Harper View Post
    Anyone have information of the crawlers used by the Scott Expedition?
    and several postings regarding the machines followed, including those by Asquith and Peter S later in postings #199 and #200, respectively.

    I recently re-read David Fletcher's "The British Tanks, 1915-19" and came across an additional data point for these machines:

    "In 1910, when Robert Falcon Scott was planning his second, disastrous Antarctic Expedition he was advised to take some caterpillar-type tractors to haul sleds across the snow. The advice came from a fellow naval officer, Captain Murray Sueter, and the tractors were built by the Wolseley Motor Company. Wolseleys was then a Vickers subsidiary, with no apparent experience of making tracklayers, and the result seems to confirm this. They did not even bother to devise any form of steering gear. Each tractor was equipped with a sort of bowsprit and a change of direction was achieved simply by men swinging the machine around upon the snow using the bowsprit as a lever."

    Robert Grauman

  6. #326
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    Default Scott's Snowmobile, con't

    While scanning through the Scientific American issue for May 14, 1910, I found an article about Capt. Scott's snowmobile.
    ---------------------------------------


    Scientific American

    page 396, continued on page 407

    The practical success achieved with the gasoline propelled motor sleighs on the Shackleton and Charcot polar expeditions has prompted Capt. Scott to include a vehicle of this type for his forthcoming dash to the south pole. This vehicle is, however, distinctly different from the motor sleighs hitherto used. In the two previous cases the front of the car was mounted on runners or skates, a chain and sprocket with spuds which gripped the snow and ice being fitted at the position occupied by the wheels in the ordinary motor car. In the new sleigh, however, what may be termed an adaptation of the pedrail or caterpillar system has been resorted to, which imparts a greater degree of efficiency to the vehicle, and enables it to surmount obstacles and to travel over rough ice with ease. In view of the conditions prevailing and the work it is intended to fulfill in the south polar regions, the engine is of a special type. It comprises four vertical cylinders, cast in pairs, and developing twelve brake horse-power.

    ---------------------------------------
    I'm surprised at the pedrail reference in this paragraph. It's difficult to tell from the photographs, but the tracks appear to be a simple belt type. There do appear to be some dangly bits hanging from the tracks, so perhaps that accounts for the reference, although they don't look nearly complex enough to be pedrail components.


    ---------------------------------------
    The sleigh is fitted with a runner, upon which bear the rollers of the chain. The latter passing between this runner and the ground supports the whole vehicle and propels it as the wheels revolve. There are no brakes provided, as the big reduction ratio of the worm renders it completely irreversible, so that brakes are not necessary. Similarly, steering gear is dispensed with, as such is not requisite, for in any open area such as an ice field steering is not demanded. When it is required to deviate to the right or left, ropes attached to the front of the frame can perform this function. Turning sharp corners, under some circumstances is admittedly exceeding difficult, but when working in its designed sphere this difficulty will not be serious, as sharp turning can be usually avoided.



    The sleigh has a substantial wooden frame. Underneath is fitted a large undershield extending end to end so as to present a perfectly smooth surface to the snow. When the sleigh is under way, a curious fact is observable. The chain, where it touches the ground, appears to stand still, while the sleigh slides over it. This is the motion that actually takes place, for the top of the chain travels forward at twice the speed of the sleigh. It will thus be seen that in reality the lower part of the chain in contact with the ground constitutes a surface over which the vehicle itself can move.

    The driver has his position on a box behind the engine, which seat forms a receptacle for tools, spare parts and other accessories. That the vehicle has great climbing power has been conclusively proved, for it will ascend steep banks of earth and ride over serious obstacles easily and without any appreciable diminution of speed.




    Although this sleigh can carry a party and full equipment, its actual function is to act as a tractor for the haulage of ordinary sledges, the trailing vehicles carrying the loads. Upon completion by the builders, the tractor was taken to Norway by Capt. Scott, and submitted to some exacting trials on snow-covered Lake Fefor and the tumbled country in its vicinity, where the conditions were somewhat analogous to those prevailing around the south pole. Heavily laden trailing sledges were hitched on to the tractor and numerous journeys were made among the Norwegian ice fields. The vehicle proved itself fully capable of withstanding rough usage, and Capt. Scott expressed his complete satisfaction with the results achieved.

    Robert Grauman

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    Default and now for something completely different....

    There is a rather peculiar tractor in the Reynolds Alberta Museum in Wetaskiwin, Alberta, in Canada, that I suppose could be called a crawler.



    The information sign with the machine says:
    --------------------------------
    MULTI-PED

    Edward (Ward) Snell of Edmonton wanted to design a machine that could travel over muskeg and rough terrain. Wheeled vehicles often got bogged down under these conditions, so Snell made his tractor walk rather than roll. The "legs" move independently, making the tractor walk.

    Along with Aimee Dragon, who owned a repair shop in Wetaskiwin, Snell built this prototype between 1947 and 1949.

    Snell's dream to design a machine suited to Alberta conditions embodies the creative spirit of Alberta's inventors.

    Manufacturer - Multi-Ped Traction Limited, Edmonton, Alberta
    Engine - Case Model R tractor, 4 cylinder Waukesha
    Horsepower - 20 hp @1425 rpm
    Bore and Stroke - 83 x 102 mm (3-1/4 x 4 inches)

    --------------------------------------------------------







    The hydraulic pump to operate the steering cylinders was belt driven from the power-take-off. It can be seen in the center of the last photo.

    Speaking of steering, it wouldn't. When operating on anything other than a hard surface, it tended to continue in a straight line, despite the operators best efforts to turn it.

    You can see a very short video of it in operation <here>.

    I can remember a gentleman (I would guess it was Mr. Snell) coming to my father's machine shop, trying to sell him shares in the company which was going to build these machines. He (wisely, I think) declined - most likely because he didn't have any money to spare.

    Robert Grauman

  8. #328
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    Default

    Someone may have mentioned this before in this thread, but I have just watched a You Tube video called "The World's First Catapillar Track (1908)'.

    Great stuff, including the Hornsby steamer.

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    Boy, those are some hideous looking welds on that Multi-Ped tractor. Given the pounding shown in the video, the fatigue life of those welds must have been measured in minutes.

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Droll View Post
    Someone may have mentioned this before in this thread, but I have just watched a You Tube video called "The World's First Catapillar Track (1908)'.
    Did you perhaps mean this video? <YouTube - The World's First Caterpillar Track (1908)>.

    If so, Asquith pointed us to that one <in posting #37> in this thread.

    Worlds First Caterpillar Track (1908)?? I don't think so.

    Great stuff, including the Hornsby steamer.
    I didn't see the Hornsy steamer in that video. I did see both the single cylinder oil engine version and the Rochet-Schneider based version with their coolant boiling furiously in that clip (at 3:11 and 5:34, respectively) emulating steamers. Vapour phase cooling, perhaps?

    Robert Grauman

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    Quote Originally Posted by rklopp View Post
    Boy, those are some hideous looking welds on that Multi-Ped tractor. Given the pounding shown in the video, the fatigue life of those welds must have been measured in minutes.
    The welds are indeed hideous. There are welds on top of welds on top of patches. Close inspection reveals many unpatched cracks on several members in the mechanism. The operator must have suffered fatigue as well. I can't imagine driving that thing for more than a few minutes.

    Edward Snell was granted <US patent 2,430,537> for a Reciprocating Load Carrier on 11 November, 1947, having filed for it on 8 December 1944.

    This is one of the drawings from the patent.



    The mechanism is shown in this drawing.



    One of the references Mr. Snell quotes in his patent application is for another walking type vehicle which I find interesting/amusing. It was <US patent 1298953> granted to Ole Jenson, also of Alberta, on 1 April 1919.





    If this one moves like the Snell crawler, I should imagine that the life of the entire automobile would be measured in feet.

    Robert Grauman

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    Default

    It seems like a slow way to move a machine. I have seen similar designs for cranes
    such this one.



    YouTube - Rapier Dragline takes a walk

    For those who like old crawler machines mostly Caterpillar
    there will be a show in Woodland CA in July. here is a link for that, the site is in progress for that event.

    The Best Show: Harvest Spectacular

  13. #333
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 8D-132 View Post
    ..............
    For those who like old crawler machines mostly Caterpillar
    there will be a show in Woodland CA in July. here is a link for that, the site is in progress for that event.

    The Best Show: Harvest Spectacular
    8D,

    Do you think Don Hunter's Holt steam crawler will be present at this show? I would certainly make an effort to be present should that be the case.

    Robert Grauman

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    Robert, I did some checking and Yes he is supposed to be bringing it there for the show.
    For those who are wondering what we talking about, Don Hunter’s Holt steamer No.111 reproduction has been on here before.

    YouTube - Don Hunter&#39;s Holt tractor

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    Default crawler tractor

    Now for something different, well sorta..

    Snow Vehicle Concept (1924)

    Tak care and enjoy! Jon.
    Last edited by JonC32; 04-08-2011 at 06:45 PM. Reason: link worked!

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    Default Best Show

    Quote Originally Posted by 8D-132 View Post
    Robert, I did some checking and Yes he is supposed to be bringing it there for the show.
    .........................................
    8D,
    Thank you for the information. I missed the 2008 show. I'll be there even if I have travel half way down the continent on a Greyhound bus.
    See you there!

    Robert Grauman

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    Default The Archimedes Screw and the Weasel

    Quote Originally Posted by JonC32 View Post
    Now for something different, well sorta..

    Snow Vehicle Concept (1924)

    Tak care and enjoy! Jon.
    Mention of these Archimedes Screw vehicles often comes up in discussions of off road vehicles. < Geoffrey Pyke - Wikipedia>, one of Lord Louis Mountbatten's "boffins" developing special weapons for Great Britain during WWII, had seen some information about the Armstead snow vehicle, and was impressed with it. (Be aware that, as often is the case, there are errors in the Wikipedia entry. For instance, the statement "Pyke's snow vehicle project was superseded by Canadian development of the Weasel tracked personnel carrier..." is nonsense.)

    When the Germans invaded Norway in April of 1940, the British became concerned about the raw material, (iron ore, heavy water, molybdenum, etc.,) that the Germans were able to obtain from Norway. The British wished to disrupt the flow of this material as much as possible, and Pyke's Project Plough was implemented to build up forces to land in Norway to conduct harassing operations. It should have been left to Norwegian partisans to conduct these operations, and they later proved very capable of doing so when provided with supplies. Nonetheless, a Special Services Force, a joint US and Canadian unit, was established for this purpose. They would need light, rapid transport for their operations. Ideally, the transport would be air droppable, although the aircraft necessary to make the drops did not exist at the time. Later, when "Bomber" Harris (the head of British Bomber Command) was asked to have some of his precious Lancaster bombers modified to carry the Weasel in their bomb bays for air dropping, he is reputed to have said that if they could prove that this would be more effective than 1,000 bomber raids, he would consider it. That was taken as a "no".

    Geoffrey Pyke, often described as "erratic and unqualified" in polite company, had been sent to the US to help the US with the implementation of his Project Plough. He was adamant that Archimedes Screw vehicles should be built to provide the necessary transport. The US officers responsible for the rapid implementation of the project, wisely, I think, took the problem to Studebaker, a respected builder of quality automobiles in South Bend, Indiana.

    The proposal was presented to Studebaker in April of 1942, and by June of 1942, they had 4 prototype tracked vehicles ready for testing. The vehicle was named the Weasel, and it was tested on a glacier in Alberta that month (some reports say that the glacier was in Saskatchewan, but there hasn't been a glacier in Saskatchewan for at least 10,000 years). The tests revealed what had to be changed to make a satisfactory vehicle, and pilot production was started on the Studebaker T-15 Weasel. Some 600 were built, and tests revealed that some changes in the design were desirable. The result was the Studebaker Cargo Carrier, Light, M-29, the Weasel, and it was available in numbers by the middle of 1943. From proposal for a new vehicle to availability in numbers in about 15 months was an astonishing feat, I think.



    A Comparison between the Weasel M-29 and the Jeep

    While the M-29 Weasel could float, it could not make speed above 1.5 miles per hour in the water, and it was difficult to maneuver. Bolt on false bow and stern flotation cells were developed, and a propellers and a pair of rudders were added. This model was designated the M-29C Weasel, and 4,201 were built in 1944, and 6,446 were built in 1945. Kits were built to enable the earlier M-29 to be converted to the M-29C model.



    A M-29C Weasel transporting a wounded POW across the Rhine. This Weasel has the flotation cells in place.

    In the meantime, Pyke had become such a thorn in the side of the Americans that he was deported as a "security risk."

    The Norwegian operation was never carried out, and the Weasel was used in Europe and the South Pacific, as well as in Alaska. The force that had been trained for Norway distinguished themselves on battlefields across Europe, and (minus the Canadians) were the start of the US Special Forces.

    The track for the Weasel was patented by Studebaker in < US Patent 2420133>, filed on August 19, 1944. It bears a striking resemblance to Kégresse's design, I think, which we discussed here previously.





    The tracks were built by Firestone. They were made mostly of stamped sheet metal parts coated with rubber.

    Later, a Weasel was dropped from a C-54 (military DC-4) transport plane at 12,000 feet, at Wright Field, near Dayton, Ohio. Getting a 4,000 pound vehicle out the cargo door of a C-54 at 12,000 feet must have been a hair raising venture for the aircrew. As it turned out, the Weasel flipped, severed the parachute lines, and fell to the ground. Later drops were somewhat more successful, but I have not heard of any Weasels being airdropped operationally.





    The Weasel M-29 weighed 4077 pounds, and the M-29C weighed 4771 pounds. The hull was built of 18 gauge steel plate, so it could not be considered armoured. They had a 6 cylinder Studebaker Champion engine, which was rated at 70 horsepower at 3800 rpm. They were rated to travel at 25 miles per hour at 3300 engine rpm, and could reach 35 miles per hour, although it would take a braver man than I to drive one at that speed. I suppose if someone were shooting at me....

    The steering was by means of brakes operating on the differential. The ground pressure was 1.69 pounds per square inch - 1.91 psi for the M-29C.

    -------------------------------------------------------------

    The Russians built some Archimedes Screw vehicles.
    <YouTube - ZIL screw drive (1)>

    <YouTube - ZIL screw drive (2)>

    During the boom in petroleum exploration in the Canadian section of the Beaufort Sea during the 1970's, the Japanese, with much fanfare, brought a similar vehicle to the area for testing. It seems to have disappeared without a trace, and I have been unable to locate any mention of it now, although I did see video clips on the television of it being tested at the time.

    -------------------------------------------------------------

    Geoffrey Pyke also conceived <Project Habakkuk - Wikipedia>. It was a project to build a massive aircraft carrier out of ice mixed with wood pulp to sail the North Atlantic, and allow aircraft to patrol the convoy routes. It's a story for another time and another place, since it involves antique machinery only peripherally.

    Robert Grauman

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    Hi all! I remember reading about this harvester a few pages back. Jon.

    Walking mechanical harvester. [VIDEO]

  19. #339
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonC32 View Post
    Hi all! I remember reading about this harvester a few pages back. Jon.

    Walking mechanical harvester. [VIDEO]
    It's funny. These type of vehicles come along every once in a while touted as a new way to work in the forest that is gentler on the terrain, but really it's just the opposite. A crawler has considerably less ground pressure than one of these walkers. It's ground pressure that causes damage to the root systems. You just have to be careful about the way you operate, not too many turns. Crawler tracks are more visible, but do less harm.

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    I found this book on archive.org that i have taken a quick look at
    Tanks in the great war, 1914-1918 (1920)
    Tanks in the great war, 1914-1918 : Fuller, J. F. C. (John Frederick Charles), 1878-1966 : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive
    I thought some of you who have posted in this thread might like to see it .
    Regads,
    Jim

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