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Gordon (1)

The Gordon was created in 1824 in the UK when David Gordon obtained a patent for steam carriages to run on common roads. His vehicle had three wheels, each with a separate axle though these were not powered.  Instead the steam engines powered a number of feet that would push the vehicle forward. The following is a description on how the vehicle worked:

“The steam engines consisted of two brass cylinders, in a horizontal position, but vibrating upon trunnions the piston rods of these engines gave motion to an eight-throw crank, two in the middle for the cylinders, and three on each side, to which were attached the propellers; by the revolution of the crank, these propellers or legs were successively forced outwards, with the feet of each against the ground in a backward direction, and were immediately afterwards lifted from the ground by the revolution of another crank, parallel to the former, and situated at a proper distance from it on the same frame.

If the carriage was proceeding upon a level, the lifting of the propellers was equivalent to the subtraction of the power, and soon brought it to a stoppage; and in making turns in a road, the guide had only to lift the propellers on one side of the carriage, and allow the others to operate alone, until the curve was traversed.”


The 1824 Gordon. (My thanks to Kerry Croxton for sending in this picture).

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