Victoria Ford and her partner, Mark Lincoln, were deeply involved in a
discussion. They were a scientific team responsible for many of the
most practical advances of their age.|
'The problem', Mark said, 'is that two horses don't pull twice as fast as one. They have twice the power, but the same speed. We must either speed up horsepower or we will have to switch to artificial power'
Victoria replied. 'I think I've got an idea. First, we put the horses on a treadmill. Then, we use belts and gears to turn the wheel of a wagon. The more horses, the higher ratio we can use, and the more speed.'
Immediately they set a crew to work on this device. The result was a rather large vehicle, powered by 10 horses, that could travel 60 miles per hour.
The efficiency was increased by the development of a clutch and three-speed transmission, enabling the horses to rest while coasting, and even higher speeds over longer distances. Due to the size and weight of these vehicles, they proved most practical when run on steel tracks, either as trains or individual cars.
Technological historians credit the Ford-Lincoln equimobile with the prevention of major ecological problems. They speculate that if the equimobile had not been invented when it was, artificial power would have been developed which would have resulted in disasterous air pollution and a confusion of small vehicles crowding our cities.
As it is, the vast network of steel tracks with automatic switching systems has made transportation easy, cheap, and safe for millions. Food for the power source is a renewable resource, and the byproduct an excellent fertilizer.
And what could compare in awe-inspiring grandeur with the sight of the Ford-Lincoln transcontiental train, powered by 100 horses, hurtling across the countryside at 250 miles per hour?