Houston Land Boat




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By Dan Beard

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Fig. 47
The Sam Houston under Full Sail

While we are on the subject of wagons, we must not forget to build one of those weird wagons that are used with sails.  Here, then, is the Sam Houston

Land Boat

This sail wagon (Fig. 47) was named after General Houston because it is described here upon the request of some of the boys down in Texas; and General Houston, you remember, was the great Texan hero. 

The boys from the Lone Star State have written to me and told me about their prospering Forts of the Sons of Daniel Boone down there, "but," said they, "we have no snow or ice here, and we think that you devote too much space to winter sports for Northern boys." Of course, the Northern boys must have their winter sports, and it is the duty of the Founder of the Sons of Daniel Boone to help them out in it.

At the same time he will not neglect all those loyal scouts down South, and so he has devised the Sam Houston land boat for the open country.  This boat will do for Northern roads as well as Southern prairies. 

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Figs. 48 - 50
Diagrams Showing the Construction of a Land Boat

Build your framework as you did for the prairie schooner and the coasting wagon, as shown in Fig. 48, but, unlike Fig. 48, you must make the rear axle much longer than is shown in that diagram, and then the stern of the wagon becomes the bow of the boat (Fig. 49).

Brace the axle as shown in the last diagram, and make a bench as shown in Fig. 51 into which you step the mast.  Make a hole in the reach-board to receive the butt of the mast and one in the bench a little back of it so as to give the mast a rake, as shown in Fig. 52. 

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Fig. 52: 
Sail for Land Boat

Figs. 53, 54, and 55 show two sorts of tillers or steering apparatus, or the boat may be steered with ropes as you do with the coasting cart. E F (Fig. 50) is a block of wood made to fit over the axle to bring the surface up even with X Y of Fig. 48 so that the bench may rest upon an even surface. 

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Figs. 53-55
Details of Steering Apparatus

Fig. 47 shows the Sam Houston under full sail.  The advantage of this craft is that it can make good time on the roads, on the hard, sandy beaches of the ocean just below high tide, and is an excellent traveler on ice or any other hard surface.  If you use bicycle wheels on ball bearings you will, of course, gain greater speed.

Any one of the wagons described are as good for the sunny South as for the frozen North, and most all of the pioneer games hereafter described may be played upon the prairie as well as upon ice and snow.

In the days of Daniel Boone the old backwoodsmen were lucky if they owned a pack-horse and rich if they possessed a prairie schooner, but an automobile would have frightened them more than did the whistle of the first river steamboat that ploughed its way down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers among the shifting sand-bars, "sawyers," and snags.

We, the Sons of Daniel Boone, however, live in a new age, so it is proper and appropriate that we should have all modern out-door devices, and the next chapter tells how to build the latest, up-to-date, cup-winning pushmobile, and after you have built the pushcart land boat and prairie schooner, it will be easy to make the pushmobile, which follows in natural sequence.

The Boy Pioneers






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Last modified: October 15, 2016.