Novel Rat Trap

1873 Scientific American  
M. A. Huet, a Dutch civil engineer, has invented a ma rine carriage; or, in other words, he proposes to propel a locomotive, with its train of cars, over the surface of a canal or river at as great a speed as upon a railway on land. How this result is to be accomplished our engraving illustrates. The locomotive and cars are separate vehicles, and each rests on a number of cylinders placed as represented, and arranged to revolve freely on axles. Each cylinder is a paddle wheel, the buckets of
more » ... ch are placed parallel to its axis, and are bent upwards so that the lower portion of the curve strikes the witter nearly parallel to its surface, thus tending to lift the superstructure upwards as well as propel it forwards. The inventor suggests that some of the paddle wheels may be constructed with tloats arranged spirally: those on one side of the car b.�ing inclined in one direction, and those on the opposite side in the other, so that the water may be thrown obliquely outwards to the rear. The nwtive power is supplied by a small double cylinder engine placed horizontally upon the boiler upon the platform of the locomotive. The machine is of the simplest form. The pis ton rod actuates a shaft on which are driving pulleys, from which, by means of a belt, mo tion is communicated to the two rear paddle wheels. These are connected by an endless belt with pulleys situated on the inner ends of the other cylinders which are thus rotated. Steer ing is accomplished by going ahead with the paddle wheels on one side, and, if necessary, re versing the others, according to the direction to be taken up. A number of rudders may also be arranged, one in front of the locomotive and the others in rear of the cars. The platforms of the vehicl@ll have rounded ends to admit of their turning curves, and springs are provided above all the axles to lessen the vibration caused by the paddles striking the water. The inventor states that the .machine can be quickly stol?ped by arresting the motion of the engine. The train, which when moving is slightly lifted up by the downward action of the paddles, then increases its draft of water, be coming more subm�rged, and so opposes a larger surface of resistance to the fluid. Consequently its momentum is quickly overcome. For sudden stoppage, broad boards are to be dropped at right angles to the line of advance, and the same are also to be used at either side of the vehicles when they are running with the wind abeam, in order to prevent lee way. The plan, we think, would be plainly impracticable in a sea way, while the probability of the cars remaining up right, even in smooth water, during a strong wind seems to us very slight. The practical feasibility of the idea re mains yet to be demonstrated.
doi:10.1038/scientificamerican04261873-258a fatcat:rgiwnuy7kjdk3eodpyytdxv3n4