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Post Info TOPIC: Artist's Impression Puzzle.


Legend

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Artist's Impression Puzzle.
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Slightly odd.

inglese_dreadnought.jpg

Caption reads: The new Allied weapons, an English land dreadnought on German positions. Illustration by Achille Beltrame for La Domenica Del Corriere, 8–15 October 1916.

 

No such thing, obviously. But a curious resemblance to the Automatic Machine Company's Alligator/Land Cruiser, don't you think? How would an Italian artist come to paint an American prototype of which 2 might or might not have been built? How did that come about?

Alligator.jpg




-- Edited by James H on Wednesday 23rd of June 2021 11:26:19 AM

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Corporal

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An elaborate article on the Alligator, accompanied with several illustrations was published in the "Scientific American" of October 7, 1916. Note that the "La Domenica Del Corriere" was published on sundays, in this case 15th October 1916. I think a skilled artist like Achille Beltrame would be able to finish something like this within a week.

Also, the Alligator remained a paper project, no prototypes were ever built. 



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Legend

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Indeed. Plans of this machine appeared in at least two journals: "Scientific American" of October 7, 1916, and "Popular Mechanics" of November 1916. The former stated that the machine had been designed for the British Government by the Bullock Tractor Company of Chicago (although there is no mention of it in British records); the latter described it as the "Land Cruiser" or "alligator car", designed by the Automatic Machine Company of Bridgeport, Connecticut.

So it's possible that Beltrame could turn it round in a week.

As regards whether a prototype was built, there is a claim by Robert J. Icks in 1975, in a journal called AFV-G2 Magazine, Vol.5, Number 4,published an article entitled Steam Power for Tanks, stating that "Norman Leeds of the Automatic Machine Company of Hartford, Connecticut built two mock-up hulls on the chassis of the firm's commercial 'Alligator' vehicle, calling them the 'Automatic Land Cruiser I. and II.'" Here's a transcription: https://www.whatifmodellers.com/index.php?topic=29501.0

That's all I know.

This design or something clearly inspired by it seems to have spread round the world, and been accepted as a real tank, rather like the Caterpillar G9. It seems also to have misled William K. Emerson and the US Army Institute of Heraldry.

And there's this:

 

 



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Legend

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It's an anachronism to project our instantaneous information transmission back to earlier times when it would have taken 

the physical delivery of the Scientific American magazine and some weeks to transmit the picture. 

There are elements of the Italian drawing which remind me of the Fiat 2000. I don't know when the Fiat 2000 project got started

but is it possible the artist saw some early sketches of this vehicle?

Charlie

 



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Corporal

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Yeah, I thought that as well, but around World War 1, publishers had set up a very effective and continous international discourse with each other.

However, if other vehicles have to be taken into account, I suggest the Ansaldo Turrinelli Testuggine Corazzata. It has similar features, most notably the layout of two pairs of tracks and is also from Italy.



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