Royal Page Davidson Armored Car
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The Royal Page Davidson Armored car weighs 1,100 pounds. Its steam boiler is in the front and is connected to a six horsepower Duryea three-cylinder steam engine. On the vehicle's front frame is mounted a .223 caliber Colt automatic rapid-fire gun. A detachable bulletproof shield with a vertical opening surrounds the gun. There are three thirty-six inch wheels: one in the front and two in the rear. The wheels are pneumatic with wooden spokes. The vehicle seats four. The front seats face forward and the back seats face to the rear. There is cargo space underneath the carriage. Royal Page Davidson, son of Harlan Page Davidson who founded the Northwestern Military Academy, designed this 1,100 pound armored car vehicle in 1898 at the school's original campus in Highland Park, Illinois. Using Davidson's specifications, the Peoria Rubber and Motor Vehicle Manufacturing Company in Peoria, Illinois manufactured the armored car and utilized patents of Charles Duryea of the Charles Duryea Automobile Co. As part of the School's Manual Training Department's program, Davidson and his cadets added a Colt Automatic rapid-fire .223-caliber gun to the vehicle's front frame. The machine gun could fire 480 shots a minute, pivot 180 degrees, and had a firing range of 2000 yards. A metal bulletproof shield was built for the front to protect the driver. The fuel tank and engine were also covered with armor. Davidson's armored car was never produced for commercial sales. Nevertheless, it was the original prototype for what would become both the armored car that we know today as well as the armored tank used in warfare. The car was intended to be a scout car. How we learn about communities 16 History; 10-12 Science; 13 Science, Technology and Society; 15 Economics
|Davidson, Royal Page|
|University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign|
|University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University Library|
Northwestern Military Academy
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