- Members of the Boston Fire Department inspect a new Knox-Martin tractor coupled to a formerly horse-drawn steam pumper.
This big Knox is a prime example of why we like pre-war vehicles so much. It’s unusual design might look quite odd to modern eyes, but it typifies the innovative thinking of the era. The tractor was powered by a water cooled 432 c. i. overhead valve 40 horse power four cylinder engine, which may have been similar to the Knox cars of the era. The single front wheel’s ability to turn to almost a full 90º in either direction allowed for a very tight turning circle, a decided advantage when maneuvering through the narrow streets of old Boston.
It is clearly a conversion of a horse drawn apparatus, as was this Christie powered unit. A second seat with button-tufted upholstery, quite visible in front of the pressure dome on the trailer, is the perch from which the horse team was driven. You can also see two other Martin tractors here on The Old Motor. Our feature photo is courtesy of the Leslie Jones Collection at the Boston Public Library.
- L to R : An article in the November, 1913 Automobile Trade Journal about the 1914 model. The Motor of February, 1912 describes some unique design features. An an illustration from the January 18, 1913 issue of “Automobile Topics”.
An interesting and graphic ad from the May, 1913 issue of “The Motor Age” (below) shows one of the many types of trailers used with Knox-Martin tractors for heavy haulage.