Courtesy of R. P. Carpenter, 47 Oak Street, Newport, Vermont 05855.
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.