"A Copse. Evening"

"A Copse. Evening"
A. Y. Jackson, 1918
"I don't make hell for nobody. I'm only the instrument of a laughing providence. Sometimes I don't like it myself, but I couldn't help it if I was born smart."

1st Sgt. Milton Anthony Warden.
"From here to Eternity"

Paul Valery

"You are in love with intelligence, until it frightens you. For your ideas are terrifying and your hearts are faint. Your acts of pity and cruelty are absurd, committed with no calm, as if they were irresistible. Finally, you fear blood more and more. Blood and time."

The Wisdom of the Ages

"When a young man, I read somewhere the following: God the Almighty said, 'All that is too complex is unnecessary, and it is simple that is needed',"

Mikhail Kalashnikov
"Here lies the bravest soldier I've seen since my mirror got grease on it."

Zapp Brannigan

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Who... "Wrote The Book On Four-Wheel-Drive"?

This first has nothing at all to do with answering the question.
I just want one of these.

Ah, the age-old question.
Actually, it was never a question at all until Jeep (Fomerly, Willys/Overland, formerly American Motors, most recently [Chrysler?]. decided to Glenn Beck the history angle.

The name of "Glenn Beck" is being used here to indicate a statement, based on a world-view which is, itself, based on delusion.

Clear?

Okay, it's clear enough that Jeep didn't "write the book".
If there was such a book, it most certainly would have been written (In this country at least), by these guys - see photo at left.
Here you see a FWD Model B, near the top of a steep bit of hillside - circa mid-teens.
We'll not mention the chain around the front bumper.
Some things it's better not to know.
It's the same set-up and the same truck again in the next photo - and no tow chain (Woo-Hoo!).

The company which later became known as FWD was originally named "The Four Wheel Drive Auto Company".
The company was founded in 1909 in Clintonville, Wisconsin as the Badger Four-Wheel Drive Auto Company and the initial product line was intended to be four-by-four touring cars.
Trucks were considered early on but the initial push came during the war when a FWD touring car ended up with the British in France.
It had been hacked into a pickup then, during the course of some travel with some other, two-wheel-drive vehicles, it won the Brits over.
It seems that the other vehicles all got stuck at one time or another and the FWD faithfully pulled them all out.
The model B proved popular with the US forces as well (20,000 rigs sold to both Armies over the course of the war).

Above is one of the 250 or so surviving Model B's, this one in the military configuration.
Those cast iron and solid rubber wheels weighed 450#! The good thing is that you wouldn't need to change that often.
Anyway the company's place in the market was settled for a bit.
Below, a pair of Model B's with differing option packages.
I can't find the reference but I read (somewhere) that they continued to offer after-market products such as more powerful engines, different gear ratios, pneumatic tires well into the thirties.
I like the dump box on the one on the right - It's a double rack-and-pinion set-up.















Being that this dealership is in Wisconsin, I think I'd want a cab as well.

The company founded in 1909 by Otto Zachow and William Besserdich, survived as FWD into the '80's I believe,- making firetrucks, snow plows and the like.
It lives on as the manufacturer of Seagrave fire engines.
And William, mentioned above - the brother-in-law of Otto - went on to found another Wisconsin truck company, Oshkosh.
To wind all this up let's watch a short movie of a couple of loggers just getting the cut out, somewhere in the woods of Mother Russia.
Not much happens for 20 seconds or so.
I think the driver in the first truck had to take a killer bong rip.

I love it. He doesn't even wait to see if his buddy makes it okay. I think these guys probably do this every day.
Kind of puts things in (some sort of different) perspective.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Do ya think the two logs in the
lower RH corner were from
an earlier mishap? That video looks to be pushing the limits
of sanity...but yes way kool

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