The pedrail is a type of all-terrain wheel developed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by Bramah Joseph Diplock. It consists of a series of “feet” (pedes in Latin) connected to pivots on a wheel. As the wheel travels, pressure exerted by springs within it increases the number of feet in contact with the ground, thus allowing the wheel to negotiate obstacles and uneven ground.
Although Diplock abandoned development of the pedrail wheel in 1910, in favour of wheels rotating inside a moving belt, much like the modern caterpillar track, Winston Churchill – then First Lord of the Admiralty – in 1915 ordered a number of “landships” using pedrails.
Wells, H. G. The Crystal Egg and Other Stories. Edited by Cedric Watts, Wordsworth Editions, 2017.
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