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The Legendary (or Infamous, as the case may be) AutoWheel - Grand Forks, BC
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member BK-Hunters
N 49° 02.665 W 118° 29.524
11U E 390965 N 5433465
Quick Description: Probably the last surviving (almost) running example of the legendary "AutoWheel".
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Date Posted: 11/30/2012 12:03:10 AM
Waymark Code: WMFTPW
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Math Teacher
Views: 1

Long Description:
You'll note the gas can in the foreground. No, that wasn't a serendipitous juxtaposition - it really IS a gasoline powered wagon wheel. It can be viewed year round at the entrance to Mariposa Greenhouses, on the northern outskirts of Grand Forks, BC.

Developed in the first half of the last third of the nineteenth century by one Augustus Ebeneezer Gottia of Honest Engine Creek, British Columbia, it was powered by a nearly cylindrical, 3 stroke, hit-or-miss engine mounted precariously in the hub. It produced about 1/30 horse power and could achieve a forward speed of over 1 1/4 miles per hour on slightly down sloping ground, provided the operator didn't drop his guiding stick. It had somewhat of a problem with up sloping ground, slowly chugging to a halt then retracing its path for some moments before falling over. Given that the engine and drive train were entirely fabricated from cast iron and grossly over-engineered, it was a prudent operator who regularly invited friends and acquaintances along when operating the AutoWheel, to aid in righting AE's invention whenever it ground to a stop, which was often.

When confronted on the subject, AE explained the AutoWheel's complete lack of power by suggesting that he had initially intended it to be a child's toy, but in the flesh, its massive weight ultimately precluded that notion.

Given AE's total financial insolvency and the the fact that he eventually noticed the essential uselessness of his invention, after a lengthy and trouble plagued manufacturing run of nine machines, AE lost interest in it and went on to other things. It is not known what became of AE or the other eight machines.

Rescued some years ago from the back of a fish monger's truck by an an antiquarian with a keen eye, this specimen patiently leans, awaiting restoration, as its engine has become more miss than hit and parts have become non-existent. It still emanates a faint odour of salmon.
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