The caterpillar track was revolutionary in the business of defense.
You can find variations of this technological advancement dating back to the 1770’s with several different inventors trying to revolutionize and patent the continuous track. For forty years, a British politician named Richard Lovell Edgeworth tried to figure out the caterpillar track and came up with a “cart that carries its own road.” In the 1830’s, British and Russian inventors seemed to be racing toward figuring out just how to perfect and (more importantly) patent the technology that was before us. The idea was to take the wheel and take the railroad and find a way where Doc Brown was correct in saying, “Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.”
In 1946, a British engineer named James Boydell came up with the Dreadnaught Wheel, which is essentially a way for wheels to grip the roads and railways, but it was far too bulky to have consistent, practical use. The caterpillar track was really going to be the progressive way to move large modes of transportation without needing manicured roads and paths. By being able to make it an all-terrain track, you were showing that very few obstacles could stop you from getting your cargo, in whatever shape, form, or use it may be, where it needed to be with even weight distribution to prevent breakdowns in structure and sinking into the ground. This sinking into the ground was a problem when there wasn’t concrete and asphalt to provide a proper layer between vehicles and dirt.
John Fowler patented the “endless railway” in 1858, but it was Russian Fyodor Blinov in 1873 that created the caterpillar-type links to further the idea of what Fowler had created. While various inventors and engineers played around with this ever-evolving method of distributing a safe and sturdy mode of freighting, it finally took hold in the late 19th and early 20th centuries as one of the most impressive avenues for military weaponry and destruction that we still see today. Continue Reading…