Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Land Sailing Chariot

KeelyNet"A chariot, on wheels, to be impelled by the wind, was constructed, in the last century, by Stephinus, at Scheveling, in Holland, and is celebrated by many writers.

It's velocity is said to have been so great, that it would carry eight or ten persons from Scheveling to Putten, which is distant forty-two English miles, in two hours.

The body of the carriage is driven before the wind by sails and guided by a rudder.

The wheels require to be farther asunder, and the axletrees longer, than in ordinary carriages, to prevent overturning.

Carriages of this kind are said to be frequent in China; and in any wide level country, must be sometimes both pleasant and profitable.

The great inconvenience attending the machine is, that it can only go in the direction the wind blows, and even not then, unless it blows strong; so that after you have got some way on your journey, if the wind should fail, or change, you must either proceed on foot, or stand still.

The Hollanders have small vessels, somewhat of this description, which carry one or two persons on the ice, having a sledge at bottom instead of wheels; and being made in the form of a boat, if the ice break, the passengers are secured from drowning."

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