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Post Info TOPIC: "Horseless Artillery" Gun Tractor


Legend

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"Horseless Artillery" Gun Tractor
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Never seen this before. A two-wheeled contraption pulling limbers, apparently petrol-engined - and controlled by reins.

http://www.britishpathe.com/record.php?id=74809

This still shows what seems to be an exhaust pipe.



Attachments
Horseless.bmp (107.5 kb)
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Commander in Chief

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Never seen this before too. Thanks for sharing with us.

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Commander in Chief

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Some months back, I sent the link to this film to David Fletcher at The Tank Museum. He said, excitedly, "The Fowler Mechanical Horse, as I live and breathe!"

And then I looked up The Fowler Mechanical Horse, and didn't find very many. But I found some:

This should be a page from an exciting book about Australian tractors, in which this type of vehicle is called 'rein drive' (and they seem to allege that Mr Fowler got the idea from an Australian. Not Lancelot De Mole).
http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=QaYm2BRTokUC&pg=PA142&lpg=PA142&dq=mechanical+tractor+with+reins&source=bl&ots=6W-SdjhGEl&sig=eDd4rFoOgpUSgFq1uPBry0xTizU&hl=en&ei=suJgSoDmLtWZjAfGx5W1Dg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1

and
http://www.steel-wheels.net/fowler.html

and
http://www.flickr.com/photos/bparo2003/1126923052/

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Legend

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Curse you, PDA. Always one step ahead.

Nope, I can't find anything, either. The machines in your links seem to be operating on a different principle. I think. The clip would seem to be early War, since it seems to be some sort of recruiting stunt.

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Commander in Chief

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Yes, the machines do look different. I attributed that to them being from the mid 1920s. And when I say 'them', there is actually only one machine in those last two links I posted, and it is in Australia.

And the book on Googlebooks is an Australian book. The book appears to be saying that an Australian sent his ideas to Fowler in Leeds in the UK, and subsequently Fowler produced the Mechanical Horse to his design.

Information is scant on 'Fowler's Mechanical Horse' (perhaps the name is not quite correct enough to find good quality information?) but I am sceptical of the suggestion in the Australian Tractors book. However, I am also sceptical about much of what is on Pathe's site, and there is no guarantee that Pathe's film is dated correctly. Although it does seem to be from during the war, rather than the interwar period.

And, as much as I like and respect David Fletcher, he may be accidentally giving this machine the wrong name. I say that because 'mechanical horse' gives more Scammell hits than Fowler hits, and 'rein steer' or 'rein drive' gives more Fowler hits than Scammell hits.

Perhaps Fowler had a rein steer tractor during the war, and then an Australian suggested many improvements that Fowler then incorporated into later models. That might explain what we can see. But I think it is tenuous, and only a notion of mine.

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