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    1. Kit: , by (VIP/Sponsor) Old Busted Hotness is offline
      Builder Last Online: Sep 2018 Show Printable Version Email this Page
      Model Scale: 1/8 Rating:  Thanks: 0
      Started: 07-09-10 Build Revisions: Never  
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      Digging through the family archives, I came across the technical drawings for this most unusual device. It is probably the first 4-wheel-drive vehicle, designed for exploring and mapping the rough terrain across the US-Canadian border. It accomplished two Rocky Mountain crossings, in the days before roads.

      It was commissioned by Felix Huggleston (a distant relative) and built by the Lima Locomotive works. Many technical obstacles had to be overcome, including flexible suspension (not normally a requirement for locomotives) and steam generation at extreme boiler angles, again a situation your normal loco does not encounter.

      There was a crew of two; a driver, in this case Felix, and a fireman/spotter, who, when not stoking the boiler, would step outside onto a platform to overlook the terrain ahead (much of which was invisble to the driver).

      Starting with the front half of an XC and a TLT axle, I made the wheels and boiler by wrapping .020 styrene 1854 Huggleston Steam Waggon inside a roll of tape. Steering was by the rear wheels, as the weight of the boiler prevented steering the front wheels.

      Suspension by walking beam/leaf spring, with stout lower links.

      Driver's compartment, with entry door and spotter's platform

      Front of the Steam Waggon, showing the boiler, smokestack and steam dome.

      The Department of the Interior took a dim view toward Felix's expedition, as driving a steam engine through several thousand miles of forest was, in the words of Secretary of the Interior William Walker, "dangerously stupid, at best." Refused funding by the government, Felix (heir to the vast Huggleston Parasol Company fortune) funded the expedition himself, beginning with the construction of this remarkable vehicle.

      The fate of the expedition, and of Huggleston, will be revealed at the end of this thread. Stay tuned for an historic journey.
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  1. A somewhat interesting note on the expedition itself: Huggleston planned to cut wood for fuel, and replenish the water in the boiler from rivers, streams and springs. However, a glance at a map showed him that this plan would not work, as known water sources were scarce along the border.

    Huggleston therefore sent forth a party to construct and fill water tanks along his proposed route, and to cut some wood for fuel, so it would be dry enough to burn when he got there.

    It was this expedition that did most, if not all, of the actual mapping.

    Excerpt from Huggleston's journal:

    19 May: [year unknown, probably 1855] In an unexpected contradiction to the information given by the advance party, animal life along the border region is quite sparse. I have seen not one buffaloe, nor deer nor antelope. Yesterday I espied through my glass a small herd of possibly the latter, but so great was the speed at which they fled I was unable to ascertain the species. Even small game such as hares do not appear to live here.

    Stoker [the fireman's name was Stoker, first name unknown] thinks the noise of our passage has caused them to flee, and points out that many of the aforementioned animals can be seen at night, while I sleep in my tent and he gathers wood for the next day's passage.

    Dear Stoker is an uneducated man, so I take his views with a grain of salt. In the few weeks we have been travelling, Stoker's reluctance to voice his opinions has receded the farther we stray from civilization. I shall soon have to have words with the man.

    Excerpt from the board meeting of the Lima Locomotive Works, 14 October 1853:

    "Huggleston should stick with making fancy parasols and leave the engineering to us men as have the temperament for it."

    "Indeed he thwarts our efforts at sound engineering with every new telegram, and they number over one hundred already."

    One may conclude that Huggleston's Folly (as the machine was informally known) was not Lima Locomotive's finest effort.

    Efforts to unearth the telegrams continue.
    This don't look like no expressway to me! - Jake Blues

  2. More on the build:

    Rear wheels (smaller than the fronts, I think the gearing will work out but won't know for sure til I install the front driveshaft)

    Battery compartment

    Right-hand cylinder/wheel assembly

    A considerable amount of bracing was required to accommodate the swinging cylinders, which were fixed to the lower links. Flexible steam pipes were used, and these proved troublesome.

    Driving seat and steering wheel. Huggleston complained at great length about the seat, and the effort required to steer, eventually surrendering this duty to Stoker and taking up his fireman's spot on the platform in front. He did not, of course, take over the duty of stoking the fire, as such duty would not suit a gentleman.

    Huggleston's "duty" consisted largely of sitting in a camp chair on the platform (under a parasol, of course) and shouting instructions into the speaking tube.
    This don't look like no expressway to me! - Jake Blues

  3. It was pretty huge. L 22'2" W 10'6" H 14'. About the size of a monster truck, plus all the gear that they stowed all over it. Weight, fully loaded, 30 tons. The model is approximately 1/14 scale.

    More from the journal:

    8 November 1853: Today received a telegram from Lima {Locomotive Works] with the glorious news that the Steam Waggon's best speed is 28 miles per hour. With that figure I may conclude that the traverse of the 49th Parallel may be made in but six days, and with only six watering stations, spaced two hundred miles apart. Advised Jones to construct these stations with all possible speed.

    Needless to say, top speed on the level, flat terrain of Lima's proving ground did not correspond to the same speed on the terrain along the frontier. Huggleston's assertion that the crossing could be made in six days, and his subsequent preparation for a six-day journey, proved disastrous.

    The crossing in fact took two years.

    A note on spelling. Huggleston proudly displayed a drawing of the Steam Waggon for all to see, starting in 1849. When prompted that he had spelled "wagon" incorrectly, he responded: "Perhaps an ordinary wagon can suffice with one G, for Goods perhaps. Mine, however, carries two G's, for Glory and for God, to whom I shall dedicate this noble enterprise."

    Clearly, the man was an a$$.

    Tender and water tank

    Feedwater pump, and left-hand cylinder support with notch for the water tube.

    Front of boiler. The speaking tube is visible on the railing.

    Other end of the speaking tube, next to the driving seat.

    Overall shot with the roof support started. The roof support was a cast-iron hoop, intended to support the expedition's luggage. It seems a bit over-built for the purpose, but as it did not fail under use (possibly the only part not to do so) that point is debateable.
    This don't look like no expressway to me! - Jake Blues

  4. 1st May 1855: Today we begin our glorious enterprise! We arrived in Duluth, a town in the Minnesota Territory, by ship, and supervised the unloading of the Steam Waggon and the supplies we will need for our journey. We were observed by the residents of Duluth, many Frenchmen, Red Indians (Stoker, much to my surprise, speaks their incomprehensible language as he served in the Indian Wars so recently concluded. He tells me they are known as the O-Jib-Way, and is negotiating with them for such guidance as we may need) miners and fur trappers.

    To the north, I see a great forest. We shall not want for fuel on this journey! Stoker has gone into town to purchase additional axes, saws and other tools as will be needed. For my part, I secured us a suite of rooms at the Hotel Duluth, the most deluxe available as we shall not enjoy accommodations indoors for some time. I must note that the Hotel Duluth does not measure up to the fine establishments in Philadelphia, but as we are on the frontier one must make allowances.

    The Steam Waggon has aroused much curiosity in the population. I mounted the platform and addressed the crowd, speaking to them of our endeavour. Upon concluding, the crowd cheered hurrah! and wished me well. The trappers informed me that the forest extends north from here even into British Canada, a distance of nearly one hundred miles!

    The Northern Frontier shall be a grand adventure. Tonight we feast, tomorrow we embark.

    Some more progress today:

    Roof panel installed, as well as some edging around the tender. The rain gutters channel rainwater into the water tank.

    The left-hand cylinder pivots on another massive cast-iron bracket, this one attached to the water tank. The small water tank is a bit of a mystery.

    Drinking-water pump

    Guess what this coil is for

    Pimpin', 19th-century style.
    This don't look like no expressway to me! - Jake Blues

  5. 2 May 1855:

    At noon we set out from Duluth, to the cheers of the crowd and even a hastily-assembled brass band! The saloon in town was doing a brisk business with all the revellers, and Stoker procured several bottles of whiskey, wine and bourbon from this establishment, perhaps rather more than necessary for a six days' journey.

    We steamed north into the forest, and Stoker began clearing our path. Jones and company left a map for us at the hotel, which did show the way to make the best progress and the location of the first water depot, which is a great river. When I reach this river I shall name it The Huggleston River [known even then (as it is today) as the Rainy River; this would not be the last attempt by Huggleston to re-name every natural feature he encountered, the country would be girdled with Huggleston landmarks had he had his way.]

    Our course has strayed but little from the true North, as this ancient forest offers room for progress. It is as if God Himself has placed the trees in a manner most favorable to our progress. Stoker has had to fell only twenty large trees today, and as for smaller ones we can simply steam over them. Trees up to nine inches across yield to the might of the Steam Waggon.

    Nonetheless, progress today was slower than I anticipated. To the rear can still be seen the lights of Duluth. Another difficulty is taking readings with my sextant in the forest. One needs a clear view of the sun to use the instrument after all.

    Tonight we rest, while Stoker cuts the trees we felled earlier into logs for fuel. I prepared for us an excellent brisket from our stores, which we may need to supplement with fresh game as we encounter. I anticipated making two hundred miles today. Instead we have made less than two.

    This poor whiskey, the best available at the frontier, is nonetheless quite refreshing after a long day of travel and bolsters my spirits after the day's adversities.

    I must admit Stoker was correct in one aspect; my insistence on bringing my portable telegraph machine was perhaps a folly. I shall instead rely on the good will of such travelers as we encounter to relay my messages home.

    7 July 1855:

    Arrived today at the mighty Huggleston River, which forms the border here in the Minneota Territory. From here we follow the river west unto the 49th Parallel. I shall petition the Department of Maps [no such agency exists, or ever has] to rename this line in due course.

    As the river is shallow be quiet Stoker, I know you were jesting at my expense we shall steam along the banks as there are no trees damned trees as far as the eye can see the eye can see nought for the trees and we shall make rapid progress. Plenty of water and wood for the boiler.

    Are we really two months into this journey? I am astounded that the woods has slowed our progress so markedly, but now we are at the banks of the Huggleston we shall speed unto the Pacific Ocean where I shall strip off my cloting and shout to the heavens why have you done this to me then turn about and return home as heroes we shall walk as gods among men.

    Although the compass and chronograph have broken, Stoker damn the man damn damn damn him has seen fit to bring a pocket compass, and my fine pocket watch shall serve as chronograph so we may ascertain our position o god nearly a thousand miles yet to go is this my private hell upon earth? There is no more whiskey Stoker damn the man bathes in the river soiling its water with his stench how dare he defile the Huggleston such?

    I shall not pay Jones for this. The river was here to be found, he nor his men did not construct a watering station so I shall save one sixth share of his extortionate expense. Perhaps he has built two stations at the 400 mile mark a devious man would do that will we ever reach it

    We have depleted our stores long ago, even rationing the tobacco to one smoke per day, in the evening. Stoker has suggested an alternative used by the Red Indians, known in these parts as the Soo as we have left the O-Jib-way way way behind us. I know not whether to trust this Indian tobacco, but Stoker swears by it has he got tobacco and kept it from me o I shall see to him he will be dealt with damn damn damn the man and his heathen ways
    Last edited by Old Busted Hotness; 07-13-10 at 04:08 PM. Reason: got rid of the asterisks. Who knew "pocke****ch" was a bad word?
    This don't look like no expressway to me! - Jake Blues

  6. 28 July 1855: Awakened today bound hand and foot, and blind-folded as well! I heard Stoker rummaging in the tool locker at the rear of the Steam Waggon, and he later unbound me that I might see the spectacle to come. Upon the banks of the Huggleston River [the seventh such river so far] which lies at the bottom of a mighty gorge we cannot ford, Stoker produced a quantity of Dynamite and an ignition box for same dynamite we have dynamite why does the man conceal it from me and set off mighty explosions of same on both banks of the river, producing a gentle slope that we may cross.

    I shall not forgive the indignity of being bound like an animal, or indeed a madman!

    14 September 1855:

    On to the plains of the Dakotah! Behind us are the woods, ahead lies the Pacific, and Glory! Stoker has filled the tender to overflowing with wood as now the open plains stretch before us, and the Steam Waggon can stretch its mighty legs, today reaching our top speed and sustaining it for a period of many hours. We shall swim in the Pacific before Christmas!

    Ahead lies one of Jones' watering stations, I see it in my glass the devil awaits us there and beyond that the Rockey Mountains [actually the Pembina Hills] which do not appear as daunting as reports have indicated. Those nancy men fear hills such as these and name them as mountains? I laugh at the so-called explorers of old. Men of spirit and character can overcome all obstacles stoker looks upon me of late with pity but I know evil lurks within his heart and [illegible]

    And now we rest at the watering station, filling our tank. Stoker has taken the rifle and returned with a deer, and we dine on venison this night. I cannot think why the man insists upon locking the rifle and ammunition away when we have seen no men for many months.

    I really wish I had Stoker's journal. I'm developing a fairly intense dislike for Huggleston, and I didn't spend two years with no one else for company. And now on top of it all, Stoker has to play frontier psych nurse.

    1 August 1855: Even the great steam pistons shout my name to the heavens as we pound across the open prairie, Huggleston Huggleston Huggleston Huggleston Huggleston WOO WOO! The whistle blows and fills me with an indescribable joy Stoker doesnt like the whistle he says it is a waste of steam but he will pay for his insolence the whistle the whistle WOO WOO! Huggleston Huggleston [the rest of the page is filled with Hugglestons and the occasional whistle]

    9 August 1855 [apparently a "good" day]: Tragedy upon the prairie. The Steam Waggon has broken down. Stoker says it is a valve operating rod and we may proceed no further without it. The steel rod is cleft in twain, and bent as well, and no blacksmith for hundreds of years [miles]. Stoker is constructing a small forge of such stones as can be found that we may repair this rod and resume our voyage to the Pacific and my glorious destiny stokers destiny is to serve me damn the man the glory shall be all mine although we are perilously short on wood we may have enough to effect this repair. Can grass be burnt in a boiler? But we yet have Dynamite if the damnable man will open the locker.

    20 December 1855:

    All the elephants have died but one, and Rome lies far afield. No sign of the army have they forsaken me as well? Caesar must be buried and I shall see him in his grave then Rome will be mine mine all mine lord of of the empire strong men will tremble when they hear my name [it goes on like this for most of the page. Clearly he thinks he's Hannibal at this point. Previous entries refer to being snowbound in the Rockies.]
    This don't look like no expressway to me! - Jake Blues

  7. Time to get on with the build:

    A quick coat of flat black (final color will be gloss black with gold pinstripes). Luggage platform over the left front wheel was supplemented with a roof rack.

    Steam lines and valve boxes

    19th-century bling

    Ground-level view. It's hard to imagine how truly big this thing was. Like two one-car garages on top of each other, and made of cast iron.

    Started on the rear locker

    Brake block and linkage
    This don't look like no expressway to me! - Jake Blues

  8. 6 January 1856:

    Today I awakened to a feeling of great mental clarity. I seem to have suffered a Fever most grievous, and this morning it has lifted and my spirit is restored. I look upon my surroundings and see things as they are, and they are frankly grim. The Steam Waggon sits in four feet of snow, its mighty wheels buried as they have been these many months. The water in the storage tank has frozen solid! We sit upon the side of a mountain. More are visible to the west, and to the east as well. Our supplies have long been depleted, such tools as we have are much worse for wear. The few ropes we have remaining are frayed and mended many times. I fear that we must rely on such poor devices for our very survival.

    Some time in the past, Stoker has built us a rough Cabin, so that we may enjoy some comforts until the snow melts and we may resume our journey.

    Of Stoker there is no sign. His bed is undisturbed, and an accumulation of snow can be seen upon it. What has become of the man? His boots and overcoat, both much the worse for wear, sit upon our only chair. There are bones in the fireplace, and some salted meat hangs upon the walls. My belly is full as it has not been for many weeks. Blood litters the floor and my hands as well! [this page bears some brown stains that may indeed be blood] Have I in my hours of madness done some unspeakable act to this man who has shown me so much kindness on our journey? Dear Stoker forgive me, may God have mercy upon your soul, and mine as well. I know not how I may continue, nor what fate awaits me upon my return. O Lord, I did not mean to become a murderer and cannibal!

    My newfound mental clarity comes with no small measure of despair.
    This don't look like no expressway to me! - Jake Blues

  9. ScaleMotorcars's Avatar Administrator
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Where do these ideals come from buddy???

  10. History, my man, History!

    8 January 1856: Awoke this morning to a great Commotion, the blanket that serves as a door was thrust aside, and standing in the doorway, a Bear as tall as a man, standing upon two legs! Then the bear did thrust back his head, and behold, it is no bear but Stoker who has returned! Wearing the skin of a bear from head to foot, and pulling a sledge laden with venison that should last us many months.

    Stoker's account of the last part of our Journey has been most enlightening. As I was in no fit state to record it properly (my journal entries of late show an appalling lack of mentation) I shall recount it here:

    In late September we passed the Milk River and made way toward the Rockey Mountains. With the open prairie behind us, progress became slow as we fought up and down ever more difficult slopes, but enjoyed magnificent views from each new peak. I apparently was bound to the platform, or in inclement weather, upon the floor of the cabin, so unpredictable were my actions in those days. Stoker, insolent as ever, said I had the Crazy Eye but it has gone now and he felt I could be left alone so that he might hunt.

    During our passage through the Indian territory, we received some kindnesses from the Black Foot Tribe, but none wished to accompany us. Stoker's view is that such a choice was wise even though they are Savages, for it is not they who freeze upon a mountain side in the bitter winter, miles from home.

    And yet! We are close to the Continental Divide, after which all waters flow into the Pacific. Stoker tells me we have strayed from the true course of the 49th Parallel, necessitated by the passage through these majestic peaks. I can comprehend that necessity, gazing upon the countenance of these mountains which offer little in the way of comfort.

    In early November we arrived at this mountain and could go no further as our way was impeded by deep snow, and even the Steam Waggon's power could not overcome it. As wood is plentiful, Stoker built us this cabin and did also fill the tender of the Steam Waggon, that the wood may be seasoned when once again we may make steam westward.

    And so, when the snow melts away and our water is once again liquid, we shall resume our Journey to the Pacific. But I fear that will not be for many months.
    Last edited by Old Busted Hotness; 07-10-10 at 03:24 PM.
    This don't look like no expressway to me! - Jake Blues

  11. ScaleMotorcars's Avatar Administrator
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Jeff, your to blame, you left those funny crayons out again.

  12. 21 November, 1853, letter from Lima Locomotive works:

    Mr Huggleston: We have completed your latest request for modification the Forest Ram. However, while the Design Staff agrees that a spiral stairway to the roof platform would be aesthetically pleasing, the Engineering Staff advises that an ordinary ladder would perform the same function and add considerably less unnecessary weight, nor would it remove from service valuable space in the tender. As the journey you propose is long and arduous, I would advise the latter.

    As the Forest Ram does not appear on the original drawing, I had to improvise. I believe this is consistent with the rest of the build.

    Tool locker, with keyhole

    Throttle and brake levers. Clearly ergonomics was an inexact science back then.
    This don't look like no expressway to me! - Jake Blues

  13. hot ford coupe's Avatar VIP/Sponsor
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    I have a feeling that this is related to more than crayons here. The symptomatology resembles more of a lacquer 1854 Huggleston Steam Waggon problem than one of crayons. Although the diagnosis seems to be an open and shut case, more tests will be needed for confirmation. These things take time.
    Sometimes a handful of patience is worth more than a truck load of brains. Have the courage to trust your own beliefs. Don't be swayed by those with louder voices. W.S. Maugham :)

  14. QUOTE QUOTE #15

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