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.”