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Skeleton Tank..
The AFV ASSOCIATION was formed in 1964 to support the thoughts and research of all those interested in Armored Fighting Vehicles and related topics, such as AFV drawings. The emphasis has always been on sharing information and communicating with other members of similar interests; e.g. German armor, Japanese AFVs, or whatever.
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JimWeb
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2006 12:59 pm
Post subject: Skeleton Tank..

Neill - are you aware of any engineering drawings for the Skeleton tank existing at Aberdeen?

Cool

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Jim

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Neil_Baumgardner
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2006 1:10 pm
Post subject: Re: Steam Tank..

Doubtfull... Didnt this come up with the blueprints discussion some time ago?

As far as I can tell, the only blueprints/drawings the Ordnance Museum has/had (ie the ones Dontos now has many copies of) were of vehicles actually developed by the Ordnance Corps. Most vehicles from before WWII were designed by industry (Holt, Cunningham, Christie, etc) and thus its doubtfull the Ordnance Museum had them... Now of course its quite possible the Ordnance Corps did get such drawings when they received the vehicle, and its even remotely possible they exist somewhere tucked away at APG or in the National Archives, but I seriously doubt it...

Which steam tank are you referring to? The Holt 150 Ton Field Monitor, 3 Wheeled Steam Tank? Or the Engineer Corps steam tank? If the latter, the drawings are more likely to be at Fort Leonard Wood, at the engineer museum, although still very unlikely...

Also keep in mind that while the Ordnance Museum sorta started after WWI, it really got more formalized starting under Jarrett's leadership during WWII. Thats when all the records I have seen date back to, even inventories of WWI era & interwar stuff. I havent come across anything that actually dates to the interwar period...

That being said, there is a guy on Ebay that sells a bunch of stuff that was acquired from a "US Member of an Intelligence Agency," including various clippings of tank articles & info. I have seen him sell US Signal Corps drawings of Schneider tanks for example... Its possible he may have some of this stuff...
search.ebay.com/_W0QQf...cNQ5fQ5fSI

Now one good idea would be to try to find the archives for the company that developed it... Where are the Christie, Cunningham, Holt, etc archives located? Hmm...

Neil
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JimWeb
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2006 1:46 pm
Post subject: Re: Skeleton Tank..

ach! - my minds wandering tonite I meant the Skeleton Tank.

Cool

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Neil_Baumgardner
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2006 3:18 pm
Post subject: Re: Skeleton Tank..

Well, same answer mostly. If the drawings exist anywhere, its probably in the archives of the Pioneer Tractor Company.

Neil
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JimWeb
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2006 7:29 am
Post subject: Re: Skeleton Tank..

Looks like I'll have to resort to bribery...

Anyone going Aberdeen? I need a whole slew of images taking of the Skeleton tank - with & without a measurement card in each image. whoever manages to do it will get a free life subscription to JED.

Cool

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Neil_Baumgardner
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2006 7:58 am
Post subject: Re: Skeleton Tank..

FWIW, I have determined that the Winona County Historical Society has the Pioneer Tractor Company archives (which appear to include the skeleton tank records). I have contacted them to see what they have...

That being said, they'll probably want someone to look through the archives in person, or a fee for someone else to do the research, etc.

Neil
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BenjaminLiottel
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2006 7:15 pm
Post subject: Re: Skeleton Tank..

I have been in contact with the Winona Historical Society. They have all of Pioneer Tractors records, but apparently there is no mention of the Skeleton tank in them. The only thing they were able to dig up for me were a few correspondence letters and a lot of newspaper clippings - all highly useful, but not exactly what I was looking for.

Turns out Edwin Wheelock, the designer of the Skeleton Tank, never drew up full blueprints for the vehicle. The Ordnance Department went up to Winona, and were quite upset with the lack of documentation on the vehicle. I do not believe blueprints were ever made.

Edwin Wheelock had a very bad experience with Blueprints earlier on in WWI. He claimed to have invented an "armored war tractor" and given its blueprints to the British. He claimed they unjustly used his design to develop the Mk.I tank, and that he deserved credit for designing the first "tank" - the subject of a very large prize post WWI. This really angered him, and was evident to have upset him even up into the 50's. Apparently the design was for an armored tractor, with the provision of possibly using caterpillar style tracks depending on if the terrain warranted it.

Long story short:

There are no blueprints of the Skeleton Tank - but the thing still exists, in fairly complete shape. Well, as complete as it ever was. It was always just a prototype. The pioneer Tractor Co. never finalised armament or armor - the design delivered was a mobility test-bed, with an open topped, and open bottomed, crew compartment. However, a replica of the vehicle could be made - it even has one of its original 50hp Beaver engines in it.

I wrote a lengthy article on Edwin Wheelock and the Skeleton Tank, but I am still fleshing it out - I do not consider it good enough to send to you folks quite yet.

---Liottel.
P.S. I personally believe the Skeleton Tank was the best tank concept of WWI - the vehicle itself was never fleshed out into a fully developed AFV, so one can only speculate, but the premises of its design suited the WWI environment exactly. This is my obviously biased oppinion of course - all oppinions are.
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JimWeb
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2006 11:10 am
Post subject: Re: Skeleton Tank..

Thanks Benjamin - saved me a few hours of phoning around. Looks like I'll have to construct some engineering drawings from images...

Cool

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Jim

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Dubliner
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2006 5:56 pm
Post subject: Re: Skeleton Tank..

nt


Last edited by Dubliner on Sat Mar 24, 2007 7:37 am; edited 1 time in total
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BenjaminLiottel
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2006 10:28 am
Post subject: Re: Skeleton Tank..

To get all the dimensions right, I would suggest having a correspondent travel down to Aberdeen where the Skeleton Tank has been preserved, and taking a few hundred measurments and photographs. With that information it would be fairly easy to construct some very detailed plans.

---Liottel.
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Taranov
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2006 11:50 am
Post subject: Re: Skeleton Tank..

Skeleton Tank drawings from Tankomaster.
Not sure, but looks like a copy from Tankette drawings... Rolling Eyes
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bsmart
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2006 12:00 pm
Post subject: Re: Skeleton Tank..

Jim

I took some pictures (with a ruler in them) when I was there last week. Will try and get them posted soon. It won't give you complete coverage but will be a start and we can work from there. I realized that the top is off the central box during this trip. Next time I'll take a ladder and see what I can see inside

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Neil_Baumgardner
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2006 2:26 pm
Post subject: Re: Skeleton Tank..

Oh yeah... Its open on the top & bottom. You can also crawl under it and stand inside it Wink

Remember those pics I posted a year ago or more?

Neil
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Dubliner
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2006 2:57 pm
Post subject: Re: Skeleton Tank..

nt


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Dubliner
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2006 4:19 pm
Post subject: Re: Skeleton Tank..

nt


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