In 1896, the Boston Woven Hose and Rubber Company used a giant tricycle to promote “VIM” tires. Eight men propel it, and it was built completely at the company’s Cambridge port factory from plans by John Dewolfe, the mechanical expert. Several attempts have been made in the past to build giant machines, such as bicycles or tricycles, but none of them succeeded due to faulty construction. In the past, this tricycle has been used successfully at meets near Boston and has been ridden on the road for a few miles around that city.
The machine was eleven feet tall, which is the diameter of the larger wheels and tires when inflated; the cross-section of the two tires is sixteen inches. The smaller wheel or guiding wheel had a diameter of six feet and a cross-section of nine inches. The three tires were the same as the firm’s regular VIM tires, and all have their pebble tread. The machine weighed 1,453 pounds without the eight men, weighing approximately 1,120 pounds. The total weight was 2,573 pounds. Construction-wise, it was similar to the locomotive, which has, in reality, two gearboxes.