Archive for the Traction Engines Category

A Steam Dinosaur

Posted in Traction Engines on March 31, 2009 by secondmdus

This is a link to a great story about the remains of what is perhaps the world’s oldest traction engine found buried and abandoned in the depths of an old mine.


History of Steam Locomotion on Common Roads

Posted in Steam Carriages, Traction Engines on January 27, 2009 by secondmdus

Follow this link for a wonderful illustrated 1891 history on the topic of the history of steam powered devices for road use – there are over 100 period images of early road “carriages” here – great stuff for anyone interested in the history of transport, for modeling, or for steam punk storylines/ gaming, art, etc.,M1

A Curious Invention in England (1863)

Posted in Traction Engines on August 8, 2008 by secondmdus

October 18, 1863 found readers of the New York Times learning of a most interesting English traction engine then at work in a London dockyard.

It was a “… strange medley of half a dozen machines having apparently totally diverse functions.  Independently of its traction power- its main employment – it is fitted up as a steam derrick, as a fixed engine to turn the shafting in the workshops, as a capstan to haul the ships about the docks; and finally … as a very powerful steam fire engine.”

The article described the engine being used to move a boiler, move heavy timbers, lift propellers of ships for repair, and providing power to drive the machinery of the armor shop at times with the yard’s stationary engine was at rest.

The engine had special devices likened to cat’s claws on its wheels that helped it main traction when moving heavy guns up and down hill to an ordnance testing facility!