Captain Robert Scott

Early in 1909 Advance produced an engine for trials by Captain Robert Scott in Norway. This engine was a completely new design for the Northampton company.


Postcard showing Scott's motorised sledge.

It differed from their standard engine range in a number of ways, the most obvious being the inline four cylinder configuation. For the first time Advance designed an engine with mechanical inlet valves, rather than their previous automatic or 'atmospheric' inlet valve. The bore & stroke was 80 x 80mm. A Brown & Barlow carburettor and Bosch magneto ignition was employed. The five-bearing crankshaft was machined from a solid bar which was connected to large external flywheel. Once installed in the motorised sledge the flywheel was connected to a clutch engaging with a counter shaft which in turn drove through a gearbox, a large wheel with a series of transverse slats. This wheel was similar in principle to that of a paddle steamer, with the slats driving through the snow rather than water. The engine was designed to run at full RPM, without silencing to give a forward speed of three miles per hour. It was destined to run for 300 miles carrying threequarters of a ton, and was reported to have been on trial in Norway from February 1909.


Scott's Motorised Sledge Engine.

In 1910 Scott appealled to public and grammar schools for donations as he thought pupils would like to be more closely associated with his expedition. The pupils of Northampton Town and County Grammar School collected 5-12-6, the purchase price of a sledge. It was sent via head boy S.L. Smith, Scott's response is featured below:-


Scott's note to Northampton Town and County Grammar School.

The note reads:-
"Please give my best thanks to the boys for their generous help & good wishes - I will call one of the sledges 'Northampton' RS"

Scott established camp in Jan 1911 and reached the South Pole on 18th Jan 1912. He perished on his return journey on 29th March 1912. It's not thought that the motorised sledges were used, other than on their trials in Norway.