Sign in to follow this  
Paul Christ

1926 Fordson Snow Devil

Recommended Posts

.

The video below was passed along to me, and I would like to share it here. This is a great example of "thinking outide the box". Click below, and allow time for the video to load...

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=568_1233111054

More info on this vehicle was found on Wikipedia, and I have reproduced a portion of their article here.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Screw_propelled_vehicle

<span style="font-style: italic">In the 1920s the Armstead Snow Motor was developed. When this was used to convert a Fordson tractor into a screw propelled vehicle with a single pair of cylinders; the combination became known as the Fordson Snow Devil. A film was made to show the capabilities of the vehicle as well as a Chevrolet car fitted with an Armstead Snow Motor. The film clearly shows that the vehicle copes well in snow. Steering was effected by having each cylinder receive power from a separate clutch which, depending on the position of the steering gear, engages and disengages; this results a vehicle that is relatively maneuverable. The promotional film shows the Armstead snow motor hauling 20 tones of logs.

In January 1926, Time magazine reported:

"Having used the motor car for almost every other conceivable purpose, leading Detroit automobile makers have now organized a company entitled "Snow Motors Inc.," to put out a machine which will negotiate the deepest snowdrifts at six to eight miles an hour. The new car will consist of a Ford tractor power-plant mounted on two revolving cylinders instead of wheels—something on the order of a steam roller. The machine has already proved its usefulness in deep snow previously unnavigable. One such machine has done the work which formerly required three teams. In Oregon a stage line uses a snow motor in its two daily round trips over the Mackenzie Pass between Eugene and Bend. Orders are already in hand from Canada, Norway, Sweden, Alaska. The Hudson Bay Co. has ordered a supply to maintain communications with its most northern fur-trading stations. The Royal Northwest Mounted Police have also gone into the market for snow motors, and may cease to be horsemen and become chauffeurs, to the deep regret of cinema people. A number of prominent motor makers have also been interested in the proposition from the angle of adapting the snow motors equipment to their ordinary models. Hudson, Dodge and Chevrolet are mentioned especially as interested in practical possibilities along this line."

An an extant example is in the collection of the Heidrick Ag History Center in Woodland, California. This particular vehicle is said to have been used to haul mail from Truckee to North Lake Tahoe.

Despite this interest, the Armstead Snow Motor was not a long-term commercial success.</span>

.

.

.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very Cool. I do remember seeing one of these featured in an antique tractor magazine about 25 years ago. Somewhere in the world at least one still exists. Thanks for shareing that. grin.gif Dandy Dave!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

snowmotor.jpg

I think I took this at the Hays museum in Sacramento, CA.

Regards,

Ron

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dave,

If it keeps snowing like this around here, maybe we should build one for next winter.

But, I guess we need to come up with some sort of fenders for safeguards so the driver cannot fall onto the screws. Also, the rear chain drives would need to be covered. Well, that's the safety engineer in me. Maybe just a drivers "kill switch" like motorcycle hill-climbers would do.

John

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

John, Do you know "The Connecticut Yankee"? Sells T shirts of old tractors and such. He has collected a bunch of Fordson tractors and Fordson convertion stuff though the years. If anyone has anything he would know. He may even have the remains of one himself. wink.gif Dandy Dave!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is a complete Snow Motor and an extra set of cylinders on display outside the Pioneer Air Museum in Fairbanks, Alaska. Three snow motors were shipped here to haul supplies for a 1926 transpolar flight attempt from North America to Europe by Wilkins and Eielson. The plan was to haul 10 freight sleds bearing 15 tons of aviation fuel & oil, radio equipment and gas for the snow motors. The Snow Motors didn't work so great. They didn't steer well on interior Alaska's dry snow, were gas pigs and extremely slow.

The Valdez Heritage Museum also has two Archamedies screw floats and apparently the Museum of Alaska Transportation and Industry in Wasilla has the Fordson tractor they went with. We'd love to find the third tractor and display one of these crazy machines at our museum.

post-58418-143138044578_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this