Wolseley / Hamilton Motor Sleigh

United Kingdom (1910-1916) Antarctic Transportation Vehicle – 3 Built The interior of the continent of Antarctica was virtually unknown even into the start of the 20th century and the quest for being the first to reach the South Pole was one of the great exploration challenges at the start of the century. When it came…

Fowler B5 Armoured Road Train

United Kingdom (1899-1901) Armored Roadtrain – 4 Built The Second Boer War, fought by the British Empire against both the South African Republic and the Orange Free State from October 1899 to May 1902, was an enormous challenge for the British. Despite an enormous military advantage on paper, the British were fighting a war thousands…

Mann’s Armoured Steam Cart

United Kingdom (1901-1902) Armored Tractor – None Built At the turn of the 20th century, the British Empire was vast, and it had been embroiled in a long conflict in South Africa. This was happening at the same time as perhaps the greatest industrialization era ever known moving from an age of propulsion by animal…

Corry’s Land Ironclad

United Kingdom (1911) Landship – None Built In 1903, the author H.G. Wells wrote a short fictional story for the Strand Magazine titled ‘The Land Ironclads’. It was not, as commonly perceived, the first such idea for an armored land-warfare vehicle. James Cowen, for example, beat him to that in the UK by half a…

Ivel Motor Ambulance ‘Ivel First-Aid Motor’

United Kingdom/Dominion of Canada (1904) Armored Ambulance – 1 Built The Boer Wars had taught the British Army many lessons, often coming at a high price. One of those lessons was that they needed a better and more efficient means of hauling artillery off-road than using animals, such as teams of oxen. A report for…

Simms’ Draisine

United Kingdom (1901) Draisine – 1 Built Frederick Richard Simms (12/8/1863 to 22/4/1944) is best known in military terms for the rather silly looking ‘Quadricycle Motor Scout‘ of 1899 despite founding a very successful engineering firm in his name. He had been inspired, at the turn of the 19th century, by his knowledge, expertise, and…

Simms’ Quadricycle Motor Scout

United Kingdom (1899) Scout Vehicle – 1 Built The name Frederick Richard Simms (12/8/1863 to 22/4/1944) probably means little to anybody now as his most famous invention, his machine gun armed four wheeled bike, is commonly seen on the internet and in books usually for the purposes of humor. The man and his designs are…

Cowen’s Locomotive Land Battery or Devastator

United Kingdom (1854-1862) War Machine – Drawings and Model Only It is commonly accepted that the tank was invented by the British in WW1 as a means to break the stalemate of trench warfare. What is not well known is the number of armored vehicles designed and used which predate the appearance of a modern…

Simms’ War Car

United Kingdom (1898-1915) Armored Car – 1 Prototype Built The name Frederick Richard Simms (12/8/1863 to 22/4/1944) probably means little to anybody now. His most famous invention, a machine-gun armed four-wheeled bike is commonly seen on the internet for the purposes of humor. The man and his designs are quite real though and were no…

Pennington’s Machine Gun Carriage

United Kingdom/United States of America (1896-1900) Machine Gun Carriage – 1 Prototype Built Edward Joel Pennington (top hat) rides his Torpedo Autocar 1896. Source: Uniquecarsandparts.com.au An American legacy of failure and fraud Edward Joel Pennington (1860-1911) was an American inventor born in Indiana and rose to prominence at the end of the Victorian era. He…