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Post Info TOPIC: Seeking information about this Ruston Hornsby vehicle circa 1910
IanP

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Seeking information about this Ruston Hornsby vehicle circa 1910
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I'm seeking information about this photograph which I have inherited. It shows my great-grandfather (on the right) in front of what I believe is a vehicle from Ruston Hornsby near Lincoln, UK. It is labelled as being an early development of a tank and is dated as circa 1910.

Any more specific information about this would be very gratefully received.

Thanks is advance.  Ian



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Corporal

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This is an interesting vehicle.  For some reason, I just found this post.  As far as I know, it is only covered briefly in a photo caption of a low resolution photograph in David Fletcher's Staff Cars (page 5).  This fall I was corresponding with David Fletcher about it.  This vehicle was listed right after WWI by a US Government patent attorney as possibly the first wheel and track convertible vehicle.  This concern was raised during research that preceded the US Government buying Christie's first convertible wheel and track vehicle patent.  While we tentatively concluded, that the Hornsby was not a convertible vehicle, but we only had the one poor resolution photograph to go by.  This higher resolution photograph was taken at exactly the same time, but with people in it, including the original post author's great grandfather.  It confirms that conclusion.

David Fletcher states that it is a Mercedes car with a 75hp, six-cylinder engine.  The chain tracks were fitted in 1908 to David Robert’s design but the car itself is probably even older.  It seems to have employed friction drive from the large center wheel and steering was by compressed air actuating brakes on the differential shafts.  It was tested on the beach at Skegness and was clocked at 25mph. Ruston and Hornsby did not amalgamate until 1919, so when it was built it was just Richard Hornsby and Sons of Grantham, David Roberts was the managing director.  We think it was later sent out to Egypt, it was seen with an enlarged radiator and full length canopy, but after that it vanishes.



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Neal


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You can see on the side of the bonnet that it says R. Hornsby and Sons Ltd. Was this not designed for the agricultural community as some for of heavy haulage or ploughing engine? Was it not designed to try and compete with the likes of the Fowler traction engines and steam ploughs?? Just a thought?

Grant

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Legend

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Fascinating photograph!

You may wish to contact Lincolnshire Archives office, which holds an extensive Ruston & Hornsby archive - see here.  They may also be able to direct you to other archives and individuals with information of use in your research.

Good hunting.

Gwyn



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Commander in Chief

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Here is a link to a video of another R-H tracked car, is your great grand father shown?

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TGgLrS9Sfs



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ChrisG


The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity (Dorothy Parker)


Colonel

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Very interesting video...even back 'in the day' they were doing donuts in the works yard!!! lol

Grant

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Legend

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LincolnTanker wrote:

Here is a link to a video of another R-H tracked car, is your great grand father shown?

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TGgLrS9Sfs


That's a Rochet-Schneider. It would be brilliant if Ian'd g-g-f is one of the crew.

BTW, it's not the only surviving version of the film. You can get a copy of a longer, better quality version from an outfit called MACE: http://www.macearchive.org/Archive/Title/trials-of-the-chain-tractor/MediaEntry/1418.html



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