In the early 1900s, this machine was sent by the Ford Motor
Company via railway flat car to Newport, Vermont. It was assembled
and unloaded by the employees of the local Ford dealer. Mr. Ray
Wilder, Newport, an employee at the time, remembers this machine to
be an experimental model. It proved to be not very practical and
nearly impossible to steer.
It was powered by the regular Fordson Tractor engine. Parallel
shafts from the differential, with roller chains sprockets, which
drove the chain sprockets on the rear end of each drum. Heavy
brackets attached to the tractor frame, held the drum in place at
each end. Individual rear axle brakes were the only means of
steering. Angle irons were attached to the drums in a spiral
pattern as a means of traction as the drum revolved.
The idea of the drums was to afford buoyance and traction over
soft ground and snow. They were designed to be water tight. Each
one revolved in the opposite direction of the other.
After several demonstrations and a parade or two, the machine
was reloaded and returned by rail to the Ford Motor Company.