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THE 

HISTORY AND DEVELOPMENT 

OF 

STEAM LOCOMOTION 

ON 

COMMON ROADS, 



BY 



WILLIAM FLETCHER, 

Mechanical Engineer, 

Author of ** The Steam Jacket Practically Considered,^ 
108 ILLUSTRATIONS. 



London: E. & F. N. SPON, 125, Strand. 

New York: 12, Cortlandt Street. 

Ipswich : Printed and Published by S. H. Cowell. 

1891. 

All rights reserved. 

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-^0^ 



S'S-a^o-^ 



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PREFACE. 



In dealing with Steam Transport on Common Roads the 
following division of the subject is usually adopted : — 

1. Road Locomotives for the conveyance of Passengers, 

Parcels, and light goods at quick speeds. 

2. Road Locomotives for Heavy Haulage and the con- 

veyance of goods at slow speeds. 

3. Agricultural Locomotives for use on farms. 

In the present work the history of steam locomotion has 
been traced from the earliest down to modern times. The 
engines belonging to the first division being fully illustrated 
and described ; the latter portion of the book also contains 
illustrations and much practical information relating to road 
locomotives placed under the second head. 
The book is divided into seven sections : — 
Introduction. 

The Period of Speculation. 
The Period of Experiment. 
The Period of Successful Application. 
The Modern Period. 
Practical Notes on the Design and Construction of 

Road Locomotives. 
Traction Engine Law. 
The first five sections are chiefly historical, the Modern 
Period, however, contains many useful notes and tables of 
dimensions. 

This work is a far more exhaustive treatise on this subject 
than has hitherto been attempted. There is not a book in 
existence which gives anything like a complete history of 
steam locomotion on common roads. In the two or three 
books (now out of print) treating on this and kindred subjects. 

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IV. PREFACE. 

the historical notes are most meagre and incomplete, only a 
few of the pioneers are mentioned, and some of those men 
who have done the most to further the progress of steam 
locomotion on the highway have received the least recognition. 

Some individuals, question the utility of engineering history, 
but to others this class of literature always forms an interest- 
ing and profitable study. Alderman W. H. Bailey, when 
recently addressing the engineering students of the Manchester 
Technical School, recommended the study of history as being 
the quickest and surest method of getting at the wisdom of 
the past. Mr. Bailey went on to say : " What is this 
historical knowledge but the rich record of the work of the 
best and cleverest and most successful men who have worked 
in the same direction as that in which you may be engaged ? 
You can examine their difficulties, and appreciate their 
obstacles, and measure their mistakes and errors of judgment, 
and not only study their best, but also their worst work ; and 
see the wise course which would have been successful, and 
sometimes why carelessness or want of judgment led to 
failure." 

Amid the bustle and confusion of these high-pressure 
times, we, who reap the innumerable benefits which have been 
dearly bought and handed down to us by our predecessors, 
seldom stop to think of, much less to tender our thanks to 
those who have rendered such service in the past ; and it is 
well that their worthy names should be chronicled and brought 
under our notice, and the memory of their deeds not allowed 
to die. 

We not only overlook the work of our predecessors, but 
some individuals are in the habit of attributing some of the 
inventions of the less known engineers to those who are placed 
on the highest pedestals ; for instance, quite recently some of 
Murdock's inventions were attributed to the illustrious Watt ; 



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PREFACE. V. 

and now we have another speaker awarding honour to Sym- 
ington which is justly due to Murdock. Sir Wm. Thompson, 
in his address at the unveiling of the Symington Memorial 
Bust, at Edinburgh, in November, 1890, places Symington as 
the first to apply steam power to the navigation of vessels. 
He went further, and claimed for him, in the model which 
Symington exhibited in Edinburgh in 1786, priority also in 
the application of steam power to the propulsion of road or 
rail carriages — in other words, as the author of the locomotive. 
It is well known that Murdock made the first model of a steam 
road locomotive in England several years before Symington 
constructed his model. In this book, we have placed both the 
above locomotionists in their proper order. 

No apology need be offered for the publication ot the 
*' History of Steam Locomotion on Common Roads," seeing 
that no such history has heretofore been issued. 

Some of the earlier portions of the book have appeared in 
the pages of " Industries," "The Mechanical World," and " The 
Practical Engineer." 

The author is indebted to the proprietors of" The Engineer," 
" Engineering," " The Graphic," " Industries," " The Practical 
Engineer," and "The Mechanical World," for many of the 
illustrations. 

The writer acknowledges with thanks some blocks kindly 
lent by Messrs. Aveling and Porter, of Rochester ; Messrs. 
Burrell and Sons, of Thetford ; Messrs. Foden and Sons, of 
Sandbach; Messrs. J. Fowler, Messrs. Hathorn Davey and Co., 
Messrs. J. and H. McLaren, of Leeds ; Messrs. Robey and Co., 
of Lincoln ; Messrs. Tangye, of Birmingham. 

He wishes to acknowledge his indebtedness to Messrs. 
Hornsby and Sons, of Grantham, for drawing of road 
locomotive ; and also for valuable information placed at his 
disposal by Mr. Robert Edwards, of Grantham. 



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vi. PREFACE. 

The following books among many others have been 
of assistance to the writer : — 

Historical Anecdotes of the Steam Engine, 2 Vols. 
Historical Treatise on Elemental Locomotion ... 
Narrative of Experiments with Steam Carriages 
Steam Power applied on Common Roads 

Memoirs of Colonel Maceroni, 2 Vols 

The Steam Engine—a lecture by E. A. Cowper 
Report on the Trials of Traction Engines 
Memoirs of Richard L. Edgeworth, 2 Vols. 

The life of W. Murdock 

Description of Cugnot's Locomotive 

Rise and Progress of Steam Locomotion on Roads 
On the working of Traction Engines in India ... 
Aids to Locomotion (abridgments of Patents) ... 

Economy of Steam on Common Roads 

Men of Invention and Industry 

Industrial Biography 

James Nasmyth— an Autobiography 

Life of R. Trevithick, 2 Vols 

The Life of James Watt 

History and Progress of the Steam Engine ... 
History of the growth of the Steam Engine ... 
** One and All," Autobiography of Richard Tangye 

On Steam Carriages 

S team on Common Roads 

Hints to Purchasers of Traction Engines 

Saturday Magazine 

Herbert's Engineers' Encyclopaedia, 2 Vols. 
* The Mechanic's Magazine," first 12 Vols. 
" The Engineer." 
** Engineering." 

This book has been written during the leisure time in the 

intervals of business, and doubtless some of the faults of the 

work are occasioned by this circumstance. 



Stuart 


1829 


Gordon 


1832 


Hancock 


1838 


Maceroni 


X835 




1836 




1884 




1871 




1820 


Buckle 


1850 


Cowper 


1853 


Head 


1873 


Crompton 


1879 




1858 


Young 


i860 


Smiles 


1884 


Smiles 


1879 


Smiles 


1885 


Trevithick 


1872 


Muirhead 


1858 


Galloway 


1830 


Thurston 


1879 




1889 


Yarrow 


1863 


McLaren 


1890 


Burrell 


1890 




1839 



W. FLETCHER. 



Harland House, 
Ipswich, 

December y 1890. 



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CONTENTS. 



INTRODUCTION. 



Cugnot. Murdock. Symington as successful promoters of locomotion. 
Watt's crude locomotive. Trevithick's simple steam coaches. Nasmyth*s little 
carriage. Railway locomotion sixty years ago. Redivivus, on steam carriages. 
Abortive caniages not made by engineers. Good designs. Bad Workmanship. 
Constructive difficulties. Public opinion against them. Early carriages opposed 
by road authorities. Watt opposed steam locomotion. Dance's and Russell's 
carriages opposed. Geo. Stephenson on road locomotion. Foolish Acts of Par- 
liament retarded progress. Gumey's carriages. Editor of " Mechanic's Magazine ' ' 
on Gumey's * perfect ' carriages. *' Glasgow Chronicle " on Gumey's break-downs. 
Hancock's success. Maceroni. Russell's and Hill's carriages. Sir James 
Anderson's road locomotives. Rickett's carriages. Schmidt's compensating gear. 
Adamson's road locomotive. Lough and Messenger's engine. Garrett's steering 
gear. Hodges. Richard Tangye's remarks. Thompson and mbber tyres. 
Bridges Adams's spring wheels. Aveling and Porter. 

Pages I to 7. 



THE PERIOD OF SPECULATION. 

A.D. 1300, to A.D. 1769. 

Early speculations. Roger Bacon. Dr. Wilkins on flying chariots ; convey- 
ances to the moon; * castles in the air.' Archytas. Montanus. Dr. Darwin's 
prophecy. Steam balloons. Road Locomotion. Ramsey's engines for drawing 
carts. Solomon De Cans. Sir Isaac Newton's prophecy ; his road locomotive ; 
an idea for others to work out. Father Verbiest ; his experiments at Pekin. Papins 
belief; use of ratchets. Leupold's scheme. Savery. Dr. Robinson; steam 
locomotive proposals. Watt and Robinson. Darwin. Boulton's fire engine. 
Franklin. Fiery chariot. Darwin's equipage. Darwin and Boulton. Darwin 
suggests a steam carriage ; requests Boulton to become a partner. Moore's loco- 
motive. " Leed's Mercury " on Moore's invention ; three patents ; sells his 
horses. Dr. Small. Watt on the folly of inventing ; threatens to stop Moore. 



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Vlll. CONTENTS. 

The Period of Speculation— continued. 
Dr. Small's rotary engine, Edgeworth's portable raUway ; sailing carriages ; one 
hundred models. Boydell's endless railway. Edgeworth and Darwin. Edgeworth 
and Watt. 

Pages 9 to 22. 

THE PERIOD OF EXPERIMENT. 

A.D. 1770 to A.D. 1 83 1. 

Cugnot bom : makes a steam carriage. Planta's model. Cugnot's locomotive : 
makes a larger one; his high pressure engine, Cugnot's pension and death. 
Murdock ; his early years ; leaves Scotland for Soho ; his interview with Boulton : 
the wood hat ; enters the Soho firm. Murdock's locomotive experiments : frightens 
the vicar of Redruth. Mr. R. Tangye. Watt's displeasure. Symington and 
Sadler. Murdock's accident and death. Watt ; opposes road locomotion ; his 
patent specification ; wood boiler ; crude ideas ; spur gearing ; promises to make 
a model. Dr. Black. Symington ; makes a model road engine ; exhibits it at 
Edinbuigh ; abandons the subject. Millar. Sjrmington's engine for boat. Lord 
Dundas. Symington's patent. The * Charlotte Dundas.' Symington's poverty, 
annuity and death. Sadler ; makes experiments ; his rotary engine. Evan's ideas 
on locomotion : his difficulties ; builds an engine ; changes his plans ; makes mill 
engines. ' Oructor Amphibolis.' Foumess and Ashworth's steam carriage. Allen. 
Read's vertical boiler ; his steam carriage ; makes a model. Trevithick ; father 
of the high pressure engine. First road locomotive ; the Camborne locomotive ; 
the boiler too small. Trevithick and Vivian became partners ; their London steam 
carriage ; wrought-iron boiler ; spur gearing : trial trips and mishap. Trevithick's 
railway engine experiments ; his last days at Dartford, and death. Dumbell. 
Pratt. Stevens. Palmer. Tyndall. Brunton's * mechanical traveller'; propellers. 
Reynolds ; patents a locomotive. Gordon's gas apparatus ; gives attention to road 
locomotion. Large driving wheels. Gordon patents a steam carriage ; propellers ; 
his many experiments. Griffiths patents a carriage. Made by Bramah. Brown. 
Burstall and Hill's carriage ; all the wheels used as drivers ; ratchet wheel and 
spring pawl. Second patent carriage ; exhibited at Leith. James's locomotive ; 
separate from the carriage. James and Anderson ; steam carriage trials. Neville's 
steam carriage ; spring wheels. Seaward. Parker, Andrews inventor of the 
* pilot ' steering wheel ; used by Gumey and Aveling. Gough. Holland. Nasmyth ; 
makes a carriage ; successful test ; used the exhaust steam to create a draught. 
Viney. Harland patents a steam carriage ; elegant form ; his love of mechanical 
pursuits. Sir Geo. Cayley. Harland mayor of Scarborough. Rawe and Boase. 
Clive. " Saxula." Lea. Heaton. Heaton's steam carriage company. Napier. 

Pages 23 to 94. 



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CONTENTS. ix. 

THE PERIOD OF SUCCESSFUL APPLICATION. 

A.D. 1 83 1 to A.D. 1867. 

Summers and Ogle's steam carriage ; extraordinary speeds. Gumey occupies 
a prominent place ; his lectures ; constructs a locomotive ; used propellers. Sir 
Chas. Dance. Gurney's coaches run between Gloucester and Cheltenham ; opposed 
by the public ; prohibitory turnpike rates. Ward at Glasgow. Gumey's * perfect '; 
steam drags ; he petitions the House of Commons. Sir Geo. Cayley supports the 
petition. Sir Goldswothy Gumey's later inventions ; Bude light ; his death. Sir 
Chas. Dance. Dr. Church's novelties ; beautiful coach. Church built the * Eclipse ' 
railway locomotive. Yates and Smith. Field's improved boiler ; one of the 
founders of the Inst, of Civil Engineers. Millichap. Hancock invented a good 
boiler ; built a number of steam carriages ; the * Infant ' ; the * Autopsy ' ; the 
* Enterprise ' The Era was shipped to Dublin. Hancock ran carriages through the 
London streets ; steam omnibus opposed ; the London and Paddington steam 
carriage Co; Redmund's dishonesty. Hancock's last steam carriage ; Automaton 
ran 15 miles an hour; built ten carriages, in 16 years, all well made. Redmund's 
steam carriage ; a copy of Hancock's ; a complete failure. Maceroni's early 
years ; Aide-de-camp to King of Naples ; helping Gumey : entered into partner- 
ship with Squire : they patent a boiler ; make a good carriage ; run many trial 
trips. Bushy Heath. Partership dissolved. A carriage sent to France. Maceroni 
lost two carriages ; he was in great distress. Beale builds a third carriage. Deitz. 
Gibbs and Applegarth complete a steam carriage ; a curious boiler used. Watts. 
Roberts's steam locomotive; ran 20 miles an hour; met with an accident. 
Inventor of the compensating gear. Carrett Marshall. Roberts's poverty and 
death. Russell's early life ; the designer of the * Great Eastern ' ; patents a loco- 
motive ; six coaches built to his designs ; his coaches were popular ; an experienced 
engineer. Multitubular boiler. Road authorities put coating of loose stones on 
the road. An axle broke. Russell sends two coaches to London. Hill takes a 
lesson in steam carriage constmction ; makes a carriage ; uses the compensating 
gear. Ran a carriage 1 28 miles in a day. Sir James Anderson engaged in steam 
carriage constmction ; a company launched to ran his carriages. Anderson's drags 
built in Manchester and Dublin ; purposed great things ; little was accomplished ; 
he devoted 3 1 years of his life to the furtherance of locomotion. Squire. Norrberg. 
Boume. Fisher ; his steering gear. Dudgeon. Rickett makes an engine for the 
Marquis of Stafford ; builds two more engines, one sold to Earl of Caithness ; 
who rode over one of the largest and steepest hills in Scotland. Rickett sends an 
engine to Spain. Seaward. Adamson made an engine for Schmidt. Race 
between Adamson's and Boulton's steam carriages. Lough and Messenger. Bach. 
Stirling. Carrett builds an engine for Mr. Salt ; a noted caniage ; ran 15 miles an 
hour. Mr. Hodge's Fly-by-night was often in trouble. Smith. Yarrow and Hilditch, 
radius link. Lee. Hayball. Wilkinson. Tangye's carriage. Boulton, 
Goodman. Armstrong, Pages 95 to 1^0. , 

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X. CONTENTS. 

THE MODERN PERIOD. 

A.U. 1868 to A.D. 189I. 

Thompson's early life, road steamers, indianibber tyres, chain armour, 
advantages of indiarubber tyres, Wolverhampton show, great demand for 
Thompson's engines. Tennant. Todd. Fisher's parallel rods. Nairn's omni- 
bus, rope tyre wheel, the " Pioneer." Knight. Catley. Robey's engines, 
'* Advance," gearing on Thompson's engines, test of the "Advance," Thompson's 
" Pot " boiler. Ransome's first road locomotive, first ploughing engine, Kilbum 
show 1879, Ransomes make Thompson's road steamers for Indian Government, 
ran from Ipswich to Wolverhampton, ** Chenab " and omnibus, Mr. Crompton in 
charge of the " Chenab," ** Ravee " ran from Ipswich to Edinburgh and back. 
Mr. Crompton's paper 1879, no limits to speed in India. Mr Head's paper 1873. 
British engine drivers, native drivers do well. Mr. Muirhead. Ransomes' 
traction engines. Burrell's first traction engine, Boydell's endless railway, good 
workmanship, Burrells make Thompson's road steamers, three sent to Turkey, 
engine at the Wolverhampton show, road steamers with horizontal boilers, 
engine and large omnibus made by Burrell, interesting trials at Thetford. chain 
armour, improved shoes, road locomotive on springs, spring mounted traction 
engines, single crank compound engine, Windsor show 1889. Aveling's early 
engines, chain traction engines, road engine "El Buey," Oxford show 1870, 
geared engines introduced, Aveling and Greig's rubber tyre wheel, *' Steam 
Sappers," Bridges Adams's wheels, Paris Exhibition engine 1878, inside gear 
engines, crankshaft brackets, road locomotive 1890, road locomotive and dynamo. 
Fowler's ploughing machinery, Wolverhampton show, compound road loco, on 
springs, dimensions of engine. Homsby's first road engine, road locomotives, 
Burrell and Edwards' clutch gear, gearing dimensions, speed ratios. Mackenzie. 
Perkin's make a novel compound road locomotive, London Exhibition- 1873, 
something like Cugnot's, economical, noiseless, used by Yorkshire Engine Co., 
several tests carried out. Archer and Hall inventors of a road locomotive. 
McLaren latest and best road engines, one sent to India, compound on spring 
wheels, interesting test near Leeds, McLaren's omnibus for India, send three 
fine engines to France, Fourgon poste, parcel service, engines run in the night, 
dangerous roads, steam brake, gas head light, engine weighs 15 tons. McLaren 
and Boulton's patent wheel, used by Fowler, Aveling, and others, wood blocks 
bedded on felt, noiseless, do not shp, no damage done to the roads. Foden's first 
traction engine, possessed wide departures, double cylinder traction engines, 
advantages of double cylinder engines, large driving wheels, piston valves, 
balanced valves, all engines mounted on springs, compound cylinder, auxiliary 
valve, water heater, Stockport trials, Newcastle engines, advantages of compound- 
ing. Concluding remarks. All high sp>eed engines for foreign countries. Horses 
soon reconciled to the sight of traction engines. End of historical part. 

Pages 171 to 257. 

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CONTENTS. XI. 

PRACTICAL NOTES ON THE DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION 
OF ROAD LOCOMOTIVES. 

Table of dimensions of simple and compound road locomotives, cylinders, 
steam jacketed, large ports, steam dome, compound road locomotives, proportions 
of cylinder areas. Boileis, thickness of plates, heating surface and grate area per 
horse power. Box brackets, stiffening plates, steel carriages. Tender and tank, 
drawbar, spring coupKng. Driving wheels, how constructed, two types, brake 
barrel. Fore-carriage, steerage gear, box for spuds on front axle. Compensating 
gear, details of, method of locking the compensating gear, gradient i in 1 1 wheels 
slipping. Winding drum, wire rope, how used, winding drum and compensating 
^ear combined, guide rollers fixed at the bottom. Steel gearing, fast and slow 
speed ratios, Homsby's pinions. Number of coimtershafts, three shaft engines, 
four shaft engmes, advantages of each type. Crankshafts, solid keys, eccentrics 
forged on. Phosphor bronze bearings. Connecting rod, two bolts through strap, 
set pin. Link motion, shp of the die, equal cut-off at each end, large pins, 
lubrication of sHde valves, cast iron eccentric straps, flat eccentric rods. Feed 
pumps, fixed on boiler barrel, long delivery pipes, soKd plunger, ball valves, round 
flanges on pipes, water heater, injector, water lifter and hose on fore tank. Few 
holes in boiler, reduce number of details, water-filling holes. Governors, direct 
acting, eqilibrium throttle valves. Stop valve gear, displacement lubricators. 
Bored guides. Spring balance safety valves, Ramsbottom type valves. Handy 
arrangement of levers, handles, cocks, &c. Damper in chimney, joint on chimney. 
Weight on driving wheels, weight on leading wheels. Cost of haulage. 
McLaren's engines, table of effect on roads, &c. Lincoln traction engine table. 
Beauty of design, ribbed castings ugly, graceful forms to be aimed at, drawing 
office care, simphcity, efficiency not be sacrificed, improvement in design. The 
Engineer on traction engines, the design an index to the character of the engine. 

Pages 259 to 278. 

TRACTION ENGINE LAW. 
Legal restrictions, engines termed a nuisance, a license to be obtained, four 
miles an hour maximum speed allowed, man to walk in front, not allowed to cross 
bridges, crusade against traction engines, not to blow off steam, foolish regula- 
tion, to consume the smoke is impossible, regulations as to crossing bridges, 
Aveling's remarks on this subject, engines have to run iiv the night, accidents 
occasioned by this legislative enactment, Maidstone boiler explosion, damage to 
bad roads, spring engines, Shefl&eld memorial, meeting respecting narrow roads. 

Pages 279 to 288 



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xn. 



CONTENTS. 



LIST OF TABLES. 

DBSCRiPTioN. Page. 

Record of the Trip of the Ravee to Edinburgh and back . . . , 196 

Particulars of Fowler's Compound Locomotive . . . , . . 228 

Dimensions of Homsby's Gearing for Road Engine , . . , 233 

Dimensions of Foden's Road Locomotives at Newcastle . . 254 

Analysis of Waste Gases of best Engines tried at Newcastle . . 256 

Dimensions of Simple and Compound Road Locomotives . . 260 

Nett effect of McLaren's Engines on the road . . , , 275 

Dimensions of Single and Double Traction Engines by a well-known 

Lincoln Firm •• .. .. .. .. .. 276 



DIRECTORY OF LEADING MAKERS OF ROAD LOCOMOTIVES 
AND TRACTION ENGINES. 



W. Allchin. 
Cha^. Burrell & Sons. 
Richard Homsby & Sons. 
Ransomes, Sims & Jefferies. 



Aveling & Porter. 
E. Foden & Sons, 
J. & H. McLaren. 
Robey & Co. 

Pages 291 to 303. 



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LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 



Figure. 

1. Sir Isaac Newton's Locomotive, 1 680 

2. Cugnot's Steam Carriage, Side view, 1770 ., 

3. Cugnot's Steam Carriage, Plan 

4. Murdock's Model Locomotive,,! 78 1 

5. Watt's Gearing for Road Locomotive, 1784 

6. Symington's Steam Coach, 1 786 . . 

7. Read's Steam Carriage, 1790 

8. Trevithick's Model Locomotive, Side view, 1796 

9. Trevithick's Model Locomotive, End view 

10. Trevithick's Road Locomotive, Side view, 1801 

11. Trevithick's Road Locomotive, Plan 

12. Trevithick's Return Flue Boiler, 1801 

13. Trevithick's Steam Coach, Side view, 1803 

14. Trevithick's Steam Coach, Plan 

15. Brunton's Locomotive, 18 13 

16. Gordon's Road Locomotive, 1821 

17. Gordon's Steam Coach, 1824 

18. Gordon's Propellers, 1824 

19. Griffith's Steam Coach, 182 1 

20. Burstall's Steam Coach, 1824 

21. Burstall's Geari^jig 

22. Burstall's Ratchet Wheel 

23. Burstall's Steam Coach, 1827 

24. James's Engines and Boiler, Plan. 1824 

25. James's Engines and Boiler, End view 

26. James's Engine, Side view 

27. James's Steam Coach, 1829 

28. James's Steam Locomotive, 1832 

29. Neville's Spring Wheel, 1827 

30. Neville's Steam Carriage 

31. Seaward's Propeller, 1825 

32. Andrew's Pilot Wheel, 1826 

33. Andrew's Section of Boiler 

34. Napier's Steam Carriage, 1 83 1 



Page 

26 
26 

31 
26 
40 
47 
50 
SO 
53 
53 
54 
56 
56 
60 

63 
^4 
65 
67 
69 
71 
71 
73 
75 
76 
77 
78 
79 
83 
84 
85 
86 

S7 
93 



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LIST OF UAJUSTKATIO^S— continued. 
Figure. 

35. Summer's Steam Carriage, 183 1 

36. Gumey's Steam Carriage, 1828 

37. Steam versus Horses 

38. Gumey's Steam Drag, Side view, 1830 

39. Gumey's Steam Drag, Plan 

40. Church's Steam Coach, 1835 

41. Hancock's Steam Carriage, 1827 

42. Hancock's "Infant," 1831 

43. Hancock's ** Enterprise," 1833 

44. Hancock's *' Automaton" 

45. Hancock's Steam Gig, 1838 

46. Redmund's Steam Carriage 

47. Maceroni's Steam Carriage, 1833 

48. Russell's Steam Carriage, I834 

49. Russell's Steam Engine . . 

50. Early Compensating Gear 

51. Modem Compensating Gear, 1878 

52. Hill's Steam Carriage, 1841 

53. Fisher's Steering Gear, 1853 

54. Rickett's Steam Carriage, 1858 

55. Rickett's Road Locomotive and Coach, 1865 

56. Lough and Messenger's Carriage, 1858 

57. CaiTett's Road Locomotive, 1862, (Folding leaf) 

58. Garrett's Steering Fork . , 

59. Garrett's Improved Steerage, Side view 

60. Garrett's Improved Steerage, Plan 

61. Yarrow's Steam Carriage, 1862 

62. Tangyes' Road Locomotive, 1862 .. . 

63. The ** Comubia " on the Village Green 

64. Thompson's Road Steamer, 1868 

65. Thompson's Rubber Tyre Wheel, 1868. 

66. Thompson's Wheel and Armour, Side view 

67. Thompson's Wheel and Armour, Section . . 

68. Creep of Rubber Tyre 

69. Nairn's Road Wheel 

70. Robey's Road Steamer ** Advance," 1870 

71. Robey's Sectional View of " Advance," (Folding leaf 

72. Robey's Gearing, Side view 

73. Robey's Gearing, End view 

74. Thompson's *' Pot " Boiler, made by Robey, 1870 

75. Ransomes' Road Steamer and Tender (Folding leaf) 



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LIST OF lLUJSTRAT10NS—contint4ed. 
Figure. Page. 

76. Ransomes' Traction Engine . . : . . , . 199 

yy. Bunell's Road Steamer, 1870 . . . . . . . . 201 

78. Burrell's Road Locomotive, 1 87 1 .. .. ..203 

79. Burrell's Road Locomotive and Coach . . . . . . 204 

80. Burrell*s Road Locomotive (Folding leaf) . . . . . . 204 

81. Burrell's Rubber Tyre and Armour, Section . . . . 205 

82. Burrell's Rubber Tyre and Armour, Side View . . . . 206 

83. Burrell's Patent Spring Mounted Road Engine, 1890 .. 208 

84. Burrell's Spring Mounted Traction Engine (Folding leaf ) .. 20Q 

85. Burrell's Spring Mounted Traction Engine „ . . 209 

86. Burrell's Spring Mounted Traction Engine ., . . 209 

87. Burrell's Compound Cylinder, 1890 .. .. ..210 

SS. Aveling and Greig's Rubber Tyre Wheel, Side View . . 214 

89. Aveling and Greig's Rubber Tyre Wheel, Section . . 214 

90. Bridges Adams's Wheel, Section .. .. .. ..215 

91. Bridges Adams's Wheel .. .. .. 216 

92. Aveling's Inside Gearing, Plan, 1878 .. .. ..218 

93. Aveling's Inside Gearing, Section .. ., ..219 

94. Aveling's Inside Gearing, Plan, 1889 .. ..220 

95. Aveling's Road Locomotive, 1890 .. .. ..222 

96. Aveling's Road Locomotive and Dynamo, 1890 . . . . 223 

97. Fowler's Compound Road Locomotive, 1890 . . 226 

98. Homsby's Compound Road Locomotive, 1890 (Folding leaf) . . 230 

99. Burrell and Edwards' Clutch Gear, Side View .. ..231 

100. Burrell and Edwards' Clutch Gear, Plan .. ..231 

101. McLaren's Indian Road Locomotive, (Folding leaf) . . . . 236 

102. McLaren's Indian Omnibus, 1885 . . . . . . 239 

103. McLaren's French Road Locomotive. 1886 (Folding leaf) . . 240 

104. McLaren and Boulton's Wheel, 1891 .. 243 

105. Foden's Road Locomotive, 1890 .. .. .. 247 

106. Foden's Spring Mounted Road Engine, 1891 .. .. 249 

107. Foden's Compound Cylinder, Section .. ..251 

108. AUchin's Traction Engine, 1891 .. .. ... ..258 




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INTRODUCTION. 



The very early history of steam locomotion on common 
roads during the periods of speculation and experiment is 
little more than a recital of failures. Cugnot in France, and 
Murdock and Symington in England were the first promoters 
who attained any measure of success, the two latter inventors, 
however, only produced models of their road locomotives. 
Several other patentees, including the illustrious Watt, about 
this time turned their attention to this subject with indifferent 
results. Watt's chief anxiety appeared to be to prevent other 
people from constructing steam carriages, his own ideas were 
very crude ; he purposed using a low pressure wood boiler, 
the sun and planet motion, and his separate condenser, on his 
road locomotive. As soon as Trevithick approached the steam 
carriage enterprise, rapid progress was at once apparent, he 
was the first engineer who conveyed passengers by steam on 
an English highway. This celebrated genius carried into 
effect the proposals and speculations of many of his prede- 
cessors ; his locomotives were models of simplicity, and 
had Trevithick received any pecuniary aid greater success 
would have been achieved by him. He ceased to build and 
run steam carriages because of the great expense it entailed. 
Passing over many names whose works do not call for any 
remarks, we reach the date of Nasmyth's little experimental 
engine which was made for the members of the Society of 
Arts in Scotland. It is to be regretted that no particulars 
are furnished us respecting the design and constructive details 



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2 INTRODUCTION. 

of this interesting engine. The small sketch of the engine 
given in the Autobiography does not help us as it shews no 
details clearly. 

^i^^ty ^ears ago (the date of the commencement of the 
period of successful application) railway locomotion was 
attracting a good deal of attention, and road locomotion was 
at a very low ebb. Notices of steam road carriage experi- 
ments became less numerous in the journals and were set up in 
small type, while pamphlets were hurried from the press urging 
the construction of railways, and the newspapers of the period 
were crowded with long articles setting forth the progress 
made in the newly developed mode of transport. Moreover, 
some of the road locomotionists had brought an amount of 
discredit upon their cause, by foolishly attempting to rival the 
railway trains, their extravagancies tending to retard progress 
in road locomotion. The one aim of the carriage proprietors 
appeared to be to outrun each other, whereas had they been 
satisfied with a reasonable speed — say of eight or ten miles 
an hour — instead of boasting of having run twenty miles an 
hour ; and had they regarded their steam road conveyances 
as feeders to the great railway system, good would have 
resulted from their introduction in many districts. Redivivus, 
who wrote much on steam carriages before and after the 
introduction of railways said : — " There can be no rivalry 
between railways and highways ; each have their appointed 
purpose to fulfil. Railways carry cheaper and faster, but 
there is plenty of scope for the slower speed of the road 
locomotives. Let a company be formed and offer a premium 
for the best road engine, and when the best is chosen let the 
company have one made at their expense, in the best style, 
because, he says, " the poor inventors have to make shifts and 
use improper materials because of their lack of funds — are apt 
to spoil the ship for a hap'orth of tar." 

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INTRODUCTION. 3 

Some of the steam carriage promoters possessed little or 
no knowledge of the requirements of such engines, and had 
received no practical acquaintance with machinery, and, as 
might be anticipated, in attempting to solve such a difficult 
engineering problem they miserably failed. Several abortions 
of such schemes which we could name were brought out for 
a brief airing, and soon displayed some irritating traits of 
character on the highway, not unfrequently ending the per- 
formance very abruptly with a break-down. The steam 
carriage exploits were invariably witnessed by a member of 
the press, who had by invitation accompanied the sanguine 
inventor during the trip. The account of the trial formed 
a theme for a commendable article in the daily paper. 
Need we add that the writer was. 

To their virtues very kind, 
To their faults a little blind. 

These carriages, after acting their part in running one or 
two short experimental trips on a level and smooth road 
were mysteriously disposed of ; so they and their novel 
manoeuvres were speedily forgotten. Some of the early 
locomotionists produced a fairly good plan, in the working 
out of which considerable ingenuity and mechanical skill 
were displayed, but good workmanship could not be ob- 
tained ; consequently during each trial some hitch occurred 
traceable to defective workmanship. But most of the steam 
carriage projectors were not to be turned aside by trifling 
breakages, and by the application of an indomitable per- 
severance, they, out of repeated failures, eventually achieved 
a mechanical success. 

However, after surmounting constructive difficulties, and 
in possession of an engine that worked fairly well, they 
were met by a still more formidable obstacle, to which they 
one after another succumbed. 

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4 INTRODUCTION. 

Public opinion was against them ; the influential people 
who opposed railways about this time, but in vain, did their 
utmost to put a stop to steam locomotion on the highway, 
and in many cases succeeded in their design. 

The steam carriages of the early days were hooted and 
hissed at by road authorities, coach-drivers, publicans, and the 
multifarious men who delighted in horses, which perhaps 
was not to be wondered at, seeing that the interests of these 
men were at stake ; but engineers and others who ought to 
have known better, joined in the crusade against steam on 
common roads, from the celebrated James Watt, who actually 
put a covenant in the lease of his house, Heathfield Hall, 
*^ that " no steam carriage should on any pretence be allowed 
to approach the house."* 

He also discouraged ' Murdock when busy with steam 
carriage schemes. Could his prejudice against steam loco- 
motion have gone any further? Such were the facts, and 
the antagonistic spirit displayed by Watt, when penning the 
foolish provision respecting his house, is in keeping with the 
feelings evinced by succeeding generations of steam loco- 
motion obstructionists, who placed loose stones i8 inches 
deep on the Cheltenham and Gloucester Road, for the 
\^ purpose of disabling Sir Charles Dance's steam carriages, 
and thus preventing their running. The same determined 
opposition, accompanied by similar treatment, was extended 
to Scott Russeirs carriages on the Paisley and Glasgow 
road ; and an Act of Parliament was speedily passed to 
levy prohibitive tolls on steam carriages. 

Some engineers who did not actually oppose steam loco- 
motion on common roads were evidently prejudiced against 
its introduction, Geo. Stephenson for instance, said " steam 
carriages on ordinary roads would never be effective, or at 
least sufficiently serviceable to supersede horse carriages ; " he 
* *' The steam Engine " by Mr. E. A. Cowper, M.Inst.C.E. 1884. 



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INTRODUCTION. 5 

had, however, paid no attention to the question and was not 
an authority on this subject, consequently his opinion was 
at fault. 

Contemporary engineers knew that steam locomotion on 
common roads at quick or slow speeds was practicable. And 
had not foolish laws stepped in their way, we should have 
had many instances of quick travelling on our highways. 

Bearing in mind the combined forces that have barricaded 
the path of steam power on roads during its history from 
the earliest times, we cannot be astonished that its growth 
and development have been so slow. 

Among the carriage proprietors of the period of successful 
application was Gurney, whose works have received more 
praise than is their due. Dr. Lardner placed Gurney at the 
head of the list of steam carriage inventors, and other authors 
followed in his footsteps. During the time that Gurney was 
petitioning the House of Commons and the committee recom- 
mended a grant of ;^ 16,000, the Editor of " The Mechanics 
Magazine " said : — " Never was there a person who had less 
claim on the national purse. He has left steam locomotion 
where he found it." His so called " perfect " steam carriages 
had to stop we are told every few miles for repairs. 

The " Glasgow Chronicle " said : — " Gurney brought a 
steam carriage to Glasgow, but instead of coming by road 
through some great English towns he brought it per smack 
to Leith, and when he tried to travel from Edinburgh to 
Glasgow he required horses to help him up the hills." 

Undoubtedly Hancock was the most successful of all the 
steam carriage builders thus far noticed. A writer in 1835 
said : — " Gurney, Dance, Ogle, Maceroni, Russell, &c. have all 
talked much of their success, and of the wonders they have 
performed, Hancock has boasted none, and has accomplished 
a great deal ; the slow motion which he applied to his steam 

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6 INTRODUCTION. 

coaches was a great improvement, which every practical 
mechanic appreciated.'* 

Maceroni was a clever carriage builder, he was particular- 
ly unfortunate in his business, and took great delight in 
ridiculing the work of his contemporaries. 

While Gurney's and Hancock's carriages have received a 
great amount of attention from writers on this subject, 
Russell's, Hill's and Maceroni's have been nearly overlooked, 
we have tried to supply the missing links in this work. 

If Sir James Anderson had one of his powerful carriages 
built both at Manchester and Glasgow as stated in the 
journals of the period, it is surprising that so little is said 
respecting them after completion. We have undoubtedly 
some citizens in our midst who could tell us what became 
of Russell's and Anderson's steam coaches, and these persons 
could furnish us with some interesting reminiscences of 
steam carriage exploits of 50 years ago. 

After the disappearance of Anderson's carriages the enter- 
prise met with a sudden and complete check, and it appeared 
as though the road-menders had managed to stamp the 
locomotives out of existence. Fromj 840 to iSgTj io attention 
was paid to quick speed road engines until Rickett revived 
the subject, and brought out a number of good locomotives 
after 1857. 

Messrs D. Adamson and Co. made a road locomotive for 
Mr. . Schmidt, who patented the compensating gear as late 
as 1868, when the arrangement was introduced many years 
before by Mr. Roberts, used by Hill in 1834, and Carrett 
in 1862. 

Lough and Messenger's small engine was little better than 
a steam tricycle, but a successful machine of small weight. 

Mr. Garrett's steering gear was a decided improvement 
and quickly adopted by subsequent makers. This engine was 



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INTRODUCTION. 7 

practically stopped by the one-sided laws in force> which pre- 
vented H odges fr om running the machine at anythingjiigher 
than a crawling speed. The happy possessor of this loco- 
riiotive had six summonses in six \veeks. 

Mr. Richard Tangye says respecting their road locomotive ; 
" preparations were being made for doing a considerable 
business in these engines, but the * wisdom * of Parliament 
made it impossible. Thus was the trade in quick speed 
road locomotion strangled in its cradle." 

In the Modern Period we have dealt fully with the india 
rubber tyres introduced in 1867 by Mr. Thompson which 
marked the dawn of a new era in steam locomotion. We 
may say that no spring system was so effective as the rubber 
tyres, and now that we can make lighter engines, there can 
be no hindrance to the adoption of india-rubber in the form 
of tyres, or applied in other ways so as to make perfect spring 
engines. Mr. Bridges Adams's wheel as used so long by 
Messrs Aveling and Porter was a very good arrangement. 
The great cost of the rubber tyres was, we believe, the chief 
objection to their universal adoption. If the rubber manu- 
facturers can produce these tyres or segments at a cheaper 
rate, we may possibly return to their use before long. 




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CALIFO^^ 



THE PERIOD OF SPECULATION. 




In studying the history of steam transport on the highway, we 
find speculations bearing upon the subject of greater antiquity 
than is generally supposed, and contemporary with these 
proposed steam carriages there are some schemes of rather 
unlikely modes of transport. Doubtless the proposals for 
carrying passengers by steam power, either on land or water 
or through the air were looked upon by the inhabitants of the 
period as 

** Speculations wild, 

And visionary theories absurd, 
Compared with which, the most erroneous flight 
That poet ever took when warm with wine, 
Was moderate conjecturing.** 

— The application of the force of steam for propulsion on sea 
and land was very possibly anticipated 600 years ago by 
Roger Bacon, the learned Franciscan monk, who, in the age 
of ignorance and intellectual torpor wrote : — " We will be able 
to construct machines which will propel large ships with 
greater speed than a whole garrison of rowers, and which will 
need only one pilot to direct them ; we will be able to propel 
carriages with incredible speed without the assistance of any 
animal ; and we will be able to make machines which by 
means of wings will enable us to fly into the air like birds," 

While steam transport on land and water is an accomplished 
fact, yet steam flying chariots for the conveyance of passengers 
and goods through the air on the wings of the wind are as far 
from realisation to-day as ever they were. Dr. Wilkins, 
Bishop of Chester, whom Stuart describes as a person of 
" rare gifts " (and, judging by what follows, we do not doubt 



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lO THE PERIOD OF SPF.CULATION. 

the Statement), thought it not at all improbable for some of 
his posterity to find out a conveyance to the moon. He 
says : — " I do seriously, and upon good grounds, affirm it 
possible to make a flying chariot, in which a man may sit and 
give such a motion unto it as shall convey him through the 
air ; and this perhaps might be large enough to carry divers 
men at the same time, together with food for the journey. It 
is not the bigness of anything in this kind that can hinder its 
motion, if the motive faculty be answerable thereunto. We 
see a great ship swim as well as a small cork ; and an eagle 
flies in the air as well as a gnat. This engine may be con- 
trived from the same principle by which Archytas made a wood- 
en dove, and Regio Montanus a wooden eagle. I conceive it 
were no difficult matter, if a man had leisure, to show more 
particularly the means of composing it. The perfecting of 
such an invention would be of excellent use, and would be of 
inconceivable advantage for travelling, above any other con- 
veyance that is now in use, so that, notwithstanding all these 
seeming impossibilities, 'tis likely enough that there may be 
a means invented of journeying to the moon ; and how happy 
shall they be who are first successful in the attempt. Might 
not a " high pressure " be applied with advantage, to move 
wings as large as those of the " rucks " or the " chariot." The 
engineer might possibly find a corner that would do for a coal 
station near some of the castles in the air'' 

Dr. Darwin, a century later, prophesied the eventful success 
of the steam flying chariot, as well as the locomotive and the 
steamboat, in the following often quoted lines : — 

Soon shall thy arm, unconquered steam, afar 
Drag the slow barge, or drive the rapid car ; 
On on, wide-waving wings expanded bear 
The flying chariot through the fields of air, 
Fair crews triumphant, leaning firom above 
Shall wave their fluttering kerchiefs as they move, 
Or warrior bands alarm the gaping crowd 
And armies shrink beneath the shadowy cloud. 



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THE PERIOD OF SPECULATION. II 

Since Darwin, in IZQL, penned the above lines, thousands 
of minds have attempted to solve the problem of steam 
balloons. Numerous plans have been- patented — some have 
been tried — but hitherto none have succeeded. 

Leaving the visionary flying carriages, we shall now confine 
our attention to the daybreak of the less romantic and more 
matter-of-fact subject of steam locomotion on the highway. 

RAMSEY.— In 1618 Ramsey and Wildgoose took out a 
patent for "newe, apte, or compendious formes or kinds of 
engines or instruments to ploughe grounds without horse or 
oxen ; and to make boates for the carryage of burthens and 
passengers runn upon the water as swifte in calmes, and more 
safe in stormes, than boats full sayled in great Wynnes." It 
is probable that the patentees purposed ploughing by steam 
power, and, judging by what is stated in Ramsey's later 
inventions, we should imagine that steam engines were intend- 
ed for the drawing of carts, for instance : " A farre more easie 
and better waye for soweing of corne and grayne, and alsoe 
for the carrying of coaches, carts, drayes, and other things 
goeing on wheels, than ever yet was used and discovered." 

It is usual, in writing the history of the locomotive, to make 
Solomon De Caus talk to an imaginary marquis, of naviga- 
ting ships, as well as of moving carriages, and of working other 
miracles'by steam power. But this conversation has been 
proved by Muirhead to be a mere fable. 

NEWTON. — It is curious that Sir Isaac Newton, in one of 
his books, said that it would be necessary that a new mode of 
travelling should be invented. He prophesied that the time 
would arrive when owing to the increase of knowledge, we 
should be able to travel at the rate of fifty miles an hour. 
These remarks were ridiculed at the time, but have been more 



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12 THE PERIOD OF SPECULATION. 

than realised. Moreover, the world is indebted to the same 
illustrious personage for the first idea of propulsion on land by 
steam power, for in his "Explanations of the Newtonian 
Philosophy," written in 1680, he suggested the little locomo- 
tive shown by the accompanying engraving (Fig. 1), " which 
will be recognised as representing the scientific toy which is 
found in nearly every collection of illustrative philosophical 
apparatus." It consists of a spherical generator B ; the driver 
sitting at A controls the escape of the steam by the lever E, 
and the cock F ; the fire beneath the boiler is seen at D ; 
the whole is mounted on light wheels, so as to move easily on 
a horizontal plane, and upon opening the cock F, steam would 
issue violently out of the nozzle C, shown pointing backwards, 
and by its reaction the carriage would be driven in the 
opposite direction, and propelled forward as indicated by the 
arrow. It would be very interesting to know whether Sir 
Isaac Newton ever made a model of his proposed locomotive ; 
doubtless " he merely threw out the idea for other minds to 
work upon." 

In Muirhead's " Life of Watt " it is mentioned that the Ahh6 
Hue, in giving an account of Father Verbiest, a missionary 
among the Chinese, who died in 1688, says : " It is highly 
probable that he anticipated the great discovery of modern 
times, the motive power of steam." In his learned work 
entitled " Astronomia Europaea " there is a curious account of 
some experiments that he made at Pekin, with what we may 
call steam engines. " He placed an aeolipile upon a car, and 
directed the steam generator within it upon a wheel to which 
four wings were attached ; the motion thus produced was 
communicated by gearing to the wheel of the car. The 
machine continued to move with great velocity as long as the 
steam lasted ; and, by means of a helm, it could be turned in 
various directions." 



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14 THE PERIOD OF SPECULATION. 

PAPIN. — In a letter of Papin's to Leibnitz, dated 25th 
July, 1698 : " Believing as I do," says Papin, " that this inven- 
tion — (the steam engine which he was then at work on) — may 
be applied to several other purposes than that of raising 
water, I have made a little model of a carriage which is 
driven by this force ; but I think that the inequalities and the 
curves of roads will make it very difficult to bring the inven- 
tion to perfection." 

Papin, in his work published at Capel in 1699, suggested 
the use of ratchets to convert the motion of a piston into a 
circular motion ; but it does not appear that he had any idea 
of a locomotive, although some of his successors have made 
use of ratchet gearing on their steam carriages, as we shall 
show in due course. 

Leupold's scheme for a steam carriage, mentioned in 
" Theatrum Machinarum," was simply a passing thought, and 
probably the subject was never matured. 

SAVERY. — Capt. Savery is credited with having given 
attention to the subject of steam locomotion, but we find that 
he merely hinted that his engine might be very useful in 
ships, but that he cared not to meddle with the matter, and 
left it to the judgment of those who were acquainted with 
such affairs. He has no claim to be classed among the 
inventors of steam locomotion. 

Nearly a century elapsed after Sir Isaac Newton promul- 
gated his steam carriage without any further progress being 
made in the subject ; but towards the end of the i8th century 
the steam engine was being rapidly applied to a number of 
useful purposes. Therefore, we need not wonder that many 
inventors turned their attention to the adaptation of steam 
power to the propulsion of carriages on common roads. 



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THE PERIOD OF SPECULATION. 15 

ROBINSON. — Dr. Robinson, in 1759, proposed the appli- 
cation of steam power for driving carriages to James Watt, 
who wrote as follows : — " My attention was first directed to 
the subject of steam engines by the late Dr. Robinson, then a 
student in the University of Glasgow, afterwards Professor of 
Natural Philosophy in the University of Edinburgh. He, in 
1759, threw out the idea of applying the power of the steam 
engine to the moving of wheel carriages, and to other 
purposes, but the scheme was soon abandoned on his going 
abroad." 

It has been truly stated that Watt, at the time of the above 
conversation, was more ignorant than his companion of the 
principles which were involved in the construction of the 
steam engine, and this suggestion of Robinson's may have 
had some influence in determining Watt to pursue his 
research ; thus setting in operation that train of thoughtful 
investigation and experiment, which finally earned for him his 
splendid fame. Although Watt was giving his time and 
attention to the study of the steam engine, yet he allowed the 
project of steam locomotion to slumber for twenty-five years 
before taking any action in the matter. 

DARWIN. — Six years after Dr. Robinson's proposal, 
Benjamin Franklin (then Agent in London for the United 
Provinces of America), Matthew Boulton, of Birmingham 
(subsequently Watt's partner), and Dr. Erasmus Darwin, of 
Lichfield, were in correspondence relative to steam as a motive 
power. It appears that Boulton had made a model of a fire 
engine, which he sent for Franklin's inspection ; and *' though 
the original purpose for which the engine had been contrived 
was the pumping of water, it was believed to be practicable to 
employ it as a means of locomotion. Franklin was too much 
occupied by grave political questions to pursue the subject ; 

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l6 THE PERIOD OF SPECULATION. 

but the sanguine and speculative mind of Erasmus Darwin 
was inflamed by the idea of the * fiery chariot/ and he pressed 
his friend Boulton to prosecute the contrivance of the necessary 
steam machine. Erasmus Darwin was, in many respects, a 
remarkable man. In his own neighbourhood, he was highly 
esteemed as a physician, and by the most intelligent readers of 
his day, he was greatly prized as a poet. The doctor was 
accustomed to write his poems with a pencil on little scraps of 
paper while riding about among his patients in his sulky. The 
vehicle, which was worn and bespatted outside, had room within 
it for the doctor and his appurtenances only. On one side of 
him was a pile of books, reaching from the floor to nearly the 
front window of the carriage, while on the other was a hamper 
containing fruit, &c., with which the occupant of the carriage 
regaled himself during his journey. Lashed on to the place 
usually appropriated to the boot was a large pail for watering 
the horses, together with a bag of oats and a bundle of hay." 
Such was the equipage, says Dr. Smiles, of a fashionable 
country physician of the last century. As he drove through 
the country in his sulky, his mind teemed with speculations 
on all subjects : though his speculations were not always sound, 
they were clever and ingenious, and, at all events, they had the 
effect of setting other minds thinking, and speculating on 
science and methods for its advancement. It would appear 
that the doctor even entertained a theory of managing the 
winds by a little philosophic artifice. His scheme of a steam 
locomotive was of a more practical character. This idea, like 
so many others, first occurred to him in his sulky. " As I was 
riding home yesterday " — he wrote to his friend Boulton in 
the year 1765 — " I considered the scheme of the fiery chariot, 
and the longer I contemplated this favourite idea, the more 
practicable it appeared to me. I shall lay my thoughts before 
you, crude and undigested as they appeared to me, and by 

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THE PERIOD OF SPECULATION. 17 

these hints you may be led into various trains of thinking upon 
this subject, and by that means (if any hints can assist your 
genius, which, without hints, is above all others I am acquainted 
with) be more likely to approve or disapprove. And as I am 
quite mad of the scheme, I hope you will not shew this paper 
to anyone. These things are required : (i) a rotary motion ; 
(2) easily altering its direction to any other direction ; (3) to 
be accelerated, retarded, destroyed, revived, instantly and 
easily ; (4) the bulk, the weight, the expense of the machine 
to be as small as possible in proportion to its weight." In this 
letter Darwin gives numerous sketches, and suggests that the 
steam carriage should have three or four wheels, and be driven 
by an engine having two cylinders open at the top, and the 
steam condensed in the bottom of the cylinder, on Newcomen's 
principle, which was the engine of his day, used chiefly for 
pumping water from mines. The steam was to be admitted 
into the cylinders by cocks worked by the person in charge of 
the steering wheel, the injection cock being actuated by the 
engine itself. " And if this answers in practice as it does in 
theory," he thought " the machine could not fail of success.*' 
Darwin's ideas were very crude, but he was most anxious to 
put his thoughts into practice, requesting Boulton to become a 
partner with him in the profit, expense and trouble, as he was 
determined to build a fiery chariot, and if it answered, get a 
patent. Boulton does not appear to have taken the scheme 
up, consequently the doctor allowed the matter to lapse. Dr 
Smiles from whom we have quoted the above says : — " It is 
clear that even though Boulton had taken up and prosecuted 
Darwin's idea, which he did not, it could never have issued in 
a practicable or economical working locomotive." 

MOORE. — Francis Moore, a linen draper, in March, 1769, 
invented a new machine or engine, made of wood, iron, brass 

D 

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1 8 THE PERIOD OF SPECULATION. 

copper, or other metals, and constructed upon peculiar prin- 
ciples, and capable of being wrought or put in motion by 
fire, water, or air, without being drawn by horses, or any other 
beast, or cattle ; and which machines, or engines, upon re- 
peated trials, he has discovered would be very useful in 
agriculture, carriage of persons and goods, either in coaches, 
chariots, chaises, carts, wagons, or other conveyances, and 
likewise in navigation, by causing ships, boats, barges, and 
other vessels to move, sail, or proceed, with more swiftness or 
despatch. From a letter which appeared in the Leeds Mercury 
for nth April, 1769, referring to this new engine to go without 
horses, for which Moore had obtained His Majesty's patent, 
we learn that the ingenious inventor had sold all his own 
horses, and by his advice many of his friends had done like- 
wise, because the price of that noble and useful animal would 
be so affected by his invention, that their value would not be 
one-fourth of what it was then. 

Inventors are usually very sanguine, but Mr. Moore was 
exceptionally hopeful, or he would not have sold his own 
horses ; he displayed his faith in his invention in a practical 
manner, and he must have possessed considerable influence 
to have enabled him to persuade his friends to follow his 
example. The steam carriage is one of the many expedients 
invented for getting rid of the horse, and Moore was 
under the impression that the universal adoption of his 
engines would work a revolution, and enable farmers to 
dispense with horse power for drawing loads. These results, 
so long ago anticipated by Moore, have been to some extent 
realized, and the " iron horse " is doing the heavy haulage on 
our highways, ploughing land, threshing the grain, &c. Moore 
made repeated trials with his steam carriage, and took out 
three distinct patents relating thereto, one in March, the 
second in June, and the third in July of 1769; but as no 

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THE PERIOD OF SPECULATION. I9 

drawings accompanied the patent specifications, we are unable 
to give any details respecting his inventions. Dr. Small, of 
Birmingham, in writing to Watt, who was then in Glasgow, 
alluded to Moore^s invention as follows : " A linen draper 
at London, one Moore, has taken out a patent for moving 
wheel carriages by steam. This comes of thy delays. I 
daresay he has heard of your inventions." Watt, in reply to 
Dr. Small, says : " If linen draper Moore does not use my 
engine to drive his chaises, he cannot drive them by steam. 
If he does I will stop him. I suppose by the rapidity of his 
progress and puffing, he is too volatile to be dangerous." 

Watt then reverts to the folly of inventing, and imagines 
Moore hiring 2,000 men, setting them to work on his steam 
carriages, and making a fortune ; but Moore's fortune was not 
made by the manufacture of road locomotives. We read that 
he was rich and sanguine ; and Dr. Small recommends Watt 
to ask an exorbitant price if Moore writes for permission to 
use his engine. Watt received no royalty from Moore, and 
had no occasion to stop his steam carriages, as they soon 
ceased to attract any further attention. 



SMALL. — Dr. Small, after scolding Watt for his negligence, 
then tries to persuade him to give attention to this subject, 
and, with this object in view, gives him the result of his own 
reflection. " I have thought " adds the doctor, on Sth 
November, 1769, "of a very easy method of constructing 
your steam wheel (rotary engine), and of a most easy and 
obvious method of moving carriages by a reciprocating engine 
providing a tolerably tight piston can be found. The weight 
of the machine for a post chaise will not be more than 300 lbs., 
water and all, and it will be contained in a very small 
compass." 




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20 THE PERIOD OF SPECULATION. 

EDGEWORTH.— Although Darwin allowed the subject 
of a steam chariot to lapse as far as he was concerned, yet we 
learn that he succeeded in inflaming the mind of his young 
friend Richard Lovell Edgeworth, and induced him to direct 
his attention to the introduction of improved means of loco- 
motion by steam power. In August, 1768, Dr. Small inform- 
ed Watt that Mr. Edgeworth, a gentleman of fortune, young, 
mechanical, and indefatigable, had taken a resolution of 
moving land and water carriages by steam, and had made 
considerable progress for the time he had employed himself in 
that line. " He knows nothing " added Dr. Small, " of your 
peculiar improvements, but seems to be in a fair way of 
knowing whatever can be known on such subjects." Mr. 
Edgeworth patented in 1770, a portable railway or artificial 
road, to move along with any carriage to which it is applied. 
The invention consisted in making " portable railways to wheel 
carriages, so that several pieces of wood were connected to the 
carriage, which it moved in regular succession in such a 
manner that a sufficient length of railway was constantly at 
rest for the wheels to roll upon, and that when the wheels had 
nearly approached the extremity of this part of the railway 
their motion laid down a fresh length of rail in front, the 
weight of which in its descent assisted in raising such part of 
the rail as the wheels had already passed over ; and thus the 
pieces of wood which were taken up in the rear were in 
succession laid in front, so as to furnish constantly a railway 
for the wheels to roll upon." Mr. Edgeworth has had 
hundreds of persons who have imitated his schemes, and 
revived the portable railway again and again. Mr. Boydell 
was the one who approached the nearest to success ; his 
wheels were largely adopted, and appeared to give fair 
satisfaction ; but they were too complicated and cumbersome, 
and the wear and tear was something ruinous, causing them to 

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THE PERIOD OF SPECULATION. 21 

be soon discarded. Notwithstanding the numerous failures, this 
is still a favourite subject with inventors, and we are at the 
present day occasionally called upon to examine some of 
these ridiculous schemes. Steam carriages will run well on 
proper roads, but they are not intended to travel over 
swamps, and it is scarcely likely that any application of a 
patent railway will make them succeed where proper roads 
do not exist. 

Mr. Edgeworth read a paper before the Society of Arts on 
Railroads, for which he was awarded the society's gold medal. 
In this paper he proposed four iron railroads to be laid down 
on one of the great roads out of London — two for carts and 
heavy vehicles passing in either direction, and the other two 
lines to be used for lighter traffic, gentlemen's carriages, post 
chaises, all to be drawn by horses. The post chaises, he 
thought, might travel at eight miles an hour, and the stage 
coaches at six miles an hour. In 1802, he suggested the use 
of Watt's stationary engines, fitted with winding gear for 
drawing the trains by ropes or chains. Mr. Edgeworth 
revived the sailing carriage scheme, and, after having patent- 
ed one, he carried out a number of experiments ; but like his 
predecessors, he soon found the wind to be a very unsuitable 
power. Sometimes there was no wind, at others it blew from 
the wrong quarter, and when it so happened that it blew strong 
in the right direction, his carriages appeared to fly along the line. 

In Vol. I. of Edgeworth's Memoirs it is stated : "Even the 
method of locking carriages, in turning, invented by Dr. 
Darwin and myself, had been employed in a sailing carriage, 
described in the * Machines Approuvdes' of the French Royal 
Academy." Mr. Edgeworth tells us that he spent forty years 
in experimenting with his portable railway, without being 
able to gain the necessary strength and lightness desired. 
He says : " As an encouragement to perseverance, I assure 

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22 THE PERIOD OF SPECULATION. 

my readers that I have made considerably over one hundred 
working models upon the portable railway system in a great 
variety of forms " ; and, although he had not been able to 
accomplish his object, yet he was satisfied that the scheme 
was' feasible. " The experience which I have acquired by this 
industry has overpaid me for the trifling disappointments I 
have met with, and I have gained far more in amusement than 
I have lost by unsuccessful labour. Indeed, the only morti- 
fication that affected me was my discovering, many years 
after I had taken out my patent, that the rudiments of my 
whole scheme were mentioned in an obscure memoir of the 
French Academy." Now in Vol. III. of the "Machines 
Approuvees par TAcademie Royale des Sciences," there is a 
description of a sailing carriage, which, in the act of turning^ 
rests upon four points of support, like the carriage invented 
by Dr. Darwin and Mr. Edgeworth ; and in the same volume 
there . is an account of a truck, or low carriage, for heavy 
weights, provided with small rollers, or wheels which travel 
upon an endless chain of rollers. These are the descriptions 
referred to. Mr. Edgeworth continued to take pleasure in 
mechanical matters until he was far advanced in life. He 
proposed making a cast iron tunnel for crossing the Menai 
Straits instead of the plan Mr. Rennie had then proposed of a 
bridge. When an old man of seventy, he wrote to James 
Watt, 7th August, 1813 : "I have always thought that steam 
would become the universal lord, and that in time we should 
scorn the post horses." Dr. Smiles says : — " Four years later 
he died, and left the problem which he had nearly all his life 
been trying ineffectually to solve, to be worked out by 
younger men. Dr. Darwin, his co-worker, had long before 
preceded him into the silent land. Down to his death in 
1802, Edgeworth had kept up a continuous correspondence 
with Watt on his favourite topic." 

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CUGNOT.— It is interesting to relate that the first 
steam locomotive engine which actually carried passengers 
on common roads, was made by an ingenious French mechanic 
Nicholas Joseph Cugnot, a native of Void, in Lorraine^ 
where he was born in 1729. In his youth, Cugnot served 
in Germany as an engineer. He published several works 
on military science, and served in both the French and 
German armies. The invention of a light gun procured 
him the notice of the Comte de Saxe, to whom, Stuart 
says, in 1763 he exhibited a model of a carriage to be 
moved by a steam engine, instead of horses. No mention 
is made, however, of this model of 1763 in General Morin's 
exhaustive paper in the Comptes Refidus for 14th April, 
1851. Cugnot afterwards lived at Paris, and through the 
recommendation of the Comte, obtained the patronage of 
the Duke de Choiseul, then Minister of War. After his 
retirement from the army, he was enabled, at the public 
expense, to construct a steam carriage to run on common 
roads, which was tried at the Arsenal in 1769, in the 
presence of the Duke de Choiseul, General Gribeauval 
First Inspector-General of Artillery ; Count Saxe, and 
other distinguished personages. It was mounted upon 
three wheels, the leading wheel being driven by an engine 
whose two pistons acted upon it alternately. During the 
time that Cugnot was making his steam carriage, a Swiss 
officer named Planta showed the Duke de Choiseul a model 

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24 THE PERIOD OF EXPERIMENT. 

of a similar machine ; but, being commissioned by General 
Gribeauval to examine Cugnot's machine, and having 
found it in every way superior to his own, he relinquished 
the idea of making a carriage on his plans. During the 
first run, Cugnot's machine carried four persons, and 
travelled at the rate of two and a quarter miles an hour. 
The boiler, however, being too small, the carriage could 
only run for fifteen or twenty minutes before the steam 
was exhausted, and it was necessary to stop the engine 
for nearly the same time, to enable the boiler to raise the 
steam to the maximum pressure, before it could proceed 
on its journey. Thurston says : " This machine was a 
disappointment, in consequence of the inefficiency of the 
feed pumps."* Few trial runs have been made with road 
locomotives without some accident having to be chronicled 
in the proceedings, and Cugnot's engine was no exception 
to the rule. Very early in its career, it displayed its 
power by knocking down a stone wall which happened to 
be in its way. This casualty naturally caused unfavour- 
able impressions to be formed respecting it ; those who 
witnessed the test said that its use was attended with 
some uncertainty, and urged that unless its motion were 
placed under proper control, it could not be of use in 
practice. Considering the time of its appearance, this 
first attempt was remarkable, and the trial of the pioneer 
road locomotive cannot be regarded as an unsuccessful 
one. No sooner had the machine emerged from the 
workshop, than the idea occurred to some that, provided 
it could be made more powerful, and its mechanism 
improved, it might be used to drag cannon into the field 
instead of using horseb for this purpose. Consequently, 
Cugnot was ordered by the Minister of War to proceed 
with the construction of an improved and more powerful 

♦"History of the Growth of the Steam Engine." (Thurston, 1879.) 

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THE PERIOD OF EXPERIMENT. 2$ 

machine, which was finished and ready for trial during the 
latter part of the year 1770, having cost 20,000 livres. 
The actual machine is still preserved in an old church 
attached to the Conservatoire des Arts et Metiers, in 
Paris, and is in an excellent state of preservation. The 
carriage and its machinery are substantially built, well 
finished, and show exceedingly creditable work in every 
respect. It is, without exception, the most venerable 
and interesting of all the machines extant connected with 
the early history of locomotion. Figs. 2 and 3 show 
a side elevation and plan, of Cugnot's improved steam 
road locomotive. <^It consisted of two parts — one of a 
carriage on two wheels intended for the load, furnished 
with a seat for the steersman ; the other of the engine 
and boiler, supported on a single driving wheel 4ft. 2in. 
diam., this front part taking the place of the horse. The 
two parts are united by a movable pin. A toothed quad- 
rant, fixed on the framing of the fore part, is actuated 
by spur gearing on the upright steersman's shaft in close 
proximity to the seat, by means of which the conductor 
could cause the carriage to turn in either direction, at an 
angle of from 15*^ to 20^. \ The front part, as will be seen, 
carries the round copper boiler, having a furnace inside, 
provided with two small chimneys, the two single acting 
brass cylinders, 13 in. diam. communicating with the boiler 
by the steam pipe, fitted with a four-way cock, and the 
other machinery for communicating the motion of the 
pistons to the driving wheel. On each side of the driving 
wheel, ratchet wheels are fixed, and as one of the pistons 
descends, the piston rod draws with it a crank, the pawl of 
which, working into the ratchet wheel, causes the driving 
wheel to make a quarter of a revolution. By means of 
suitable gearing, the same movement also places the piston 

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Fig. 2 & 3. 




Fig. 6. 



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THE PERIOD OF EXPERIMENT. 2/ 

on the other side in a position for making a stroke, and 
turns the four-way cock, so as to open the second cylinder to 
the steam and the first cylinder to the atmosphere. The 
second piston then descends, causing the leading wheel 
to make another quarter of a revolution, and restoring 
the first piston to its original position. In order to make 
the vehicle run backwards, the pawl being arranged to 
act either above or below, it was merely necessary to 
make it act on the upper side (changing the position of 
the spring which pressed upon it) ; then, when the engine 
was started, the pawl caused the driving wheel to turn a 
quarter of a revolution in the opposite direction with 
every stroke of the piston.* It will be noticed that 
Cugnot's carriage was, more than a century ago, actuated 
by a simple and ingenious form of high pressure engine. 
Several successful trials were made with the new locomo- 
tive in the streets of Paris, exciting no small degree of 
interest. Unhappily, the machine met with an accident 
during one of its journeys, which brought the trials to an 
untimely end. Running upon three wheels only, with 
the weight of the boiler and engine overhanging in front, 
it was by no means a steady machine, and in passing 
along a street in Paris at the rate of three miles an hour, 
near where the Church of the Madeleine now stands, 
when turning a corner it overbalanced itself, and fell over 
with a crash. It was consequently locked up, to keep 
it out of further mischief, and poor Cugnot was also 
imprisoned. The merit of Cugnot was, however, duly 
recognised, and he was granted a small pension, which 
continued to be paid to him until the outbreak of the 
Revolution. He then suffered the keenest privations, 

• A more detailed description of Cugnot 's locomotive is given in a paper 
read by E. A. Cowper, Esq., C.E., before the * Institution of Mechanical 
Engineers,' in 1853. Dr. Smiles also gives some particulars of this relic and 
its inventor in " The Engineer^^* 21st December, f866. 

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28 THE PERIOD OF EXPERIMENT. 

such as have been the fate of too many inventors, who, 
like Cugnot, were unfortunately half a century ahead 
of their contemporaries. Napoleon eventually restored 
Cugnot's pension, and thus soothed his declining years. 
He died in Paris on the lOth October, 1804, at the 
advanced age of seventy-five. 

MURDOCK. — Among those who have contributed 
largely towards making steam locomotion on common roads 
an accomplished fact, a prominent place is occupied by 
William Murdock, Messrs. Boulton & Watt's ingenious and 
esteemed assistant, who was born August, 1754. During 
his early years he worked for his father, in the mill on the 
farm, and assisted in the preparation of mill machinery at 
Bellow Mill, near Old Cumnock, in Ayrshire ; between them 
they constructed a wooden horse, worked by mechanical 
power, on which young Murdock travelled about for miles 
around the neighbourhood ot his native place, to the 
amazement of the inhabitants of the district. Having often 
heard of the inventions of Watt, he determined to seek 
employment at the famous works at Soho ; and, in order 
to carry out this intention, he left Scotland in 1777, in the 
twenty-third year of his age. Upon his arrival at the 
works he gained an interview with Mr. Boulton, who, after 
asking a few questions, gave him no encouragement, telling 
him they had no vacancy, as trade was slack, and was 
bidding him good speed to some other shop. Just as the 
footsore and shabbily dressed millwright was turning 
sorrowfully away, Boulton was struck with the peculiar 
appearance of the hat Murdock wore, and suddenly called 
him back. 

" That seems to be a curious sort of hat," said Boulton, 
looking at it more closely ; "what is it made of"? " Timmer, 

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THE PERIOD OF EXPERIMENT. 29 

sir," said Murdock modestly. " Timmer? Do you mean to 
say it is made of wood ? " " Deed it is, sir." " And pray 
how was it made ? " "I just turned it in the lathie." " But 
its oval man, and the lathe turns things round." " Aweel ! 
I just gar*d the lathie gang anither gate to please me. Td 
a long journey afore me, and I thocht to have a hat to 
keep out water, and I hadna muckle siller to spare, and I 
made me ane." Boulton looked at the young man again. 
He had risen a hundred degrees in his estimation. Murdock 
was a good-looking fellow — tall, strong, and handsome —with 
an open intelligent countenance. Besides, he had been able 
to turn a hat for himself with a lathe of his own con- 
struction. This, of itself, was a sufficient proof that he was 
a mechanic of no mean skill. " Well ! " said Boulton at last, 
" I will enquire at the works, and see if there is anything 
we can set you to. Call again, my man." " Thank you sir," 
said Murdock. When he called again he was put upon a 
trial job. Such was the beginning of Murdock's connection 
with the celebrated firm of Boulton & Watt. 

Being found a satisfactory workman he was engaged for 
two years at fifteen shillings per week. He applied him- 
self diligently and conscientiously to his work, and gradually 
rose from grade to grade, until he became a most trusted 
co-worker and adviser in all his employers' mechanical 
undertakings. Murdock, doubtless, had heard of Watt*s 
proposed methods of applying the steam engine to the pro- 
pulsion of carriages on common roads ; and while Watt 
was discussing matters of detail respecting his carriage with 
Boulton, their ingenious workman was busily employing his 
leisure hours, while residing at Redruth, in 178 1, in the con- 
struction of a m^del locomotive to his own ideas, the result 
being the beautifully simple little high pressure non-con- 
densing engine we are all so familiar with, which was 

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30 THE PERIOD OF EXPERIMENT. 

doubtless, the first successful locomotive ever made in 
England. This engine of liliputian dimensions was ready 
for trial in 1784. The first experiment was made in 
Murdock*s house at Redruth, when the locomotive success- 
fully hauled a waggon round the room, the single wheel, 
placed in front of the engine, fixed in such a position as to 
enable it to run round a circle. 

Dr. Smiles says : — " Another experiment was made out of 
doors, on which occasion, small though the engine was, it 
fairly outran the speed of its inventor. One night, after 
returning from his duties at the mine at Redruth, Murdock 
went with his model locomotive to the avenue leading to the 
church, about a mile from the town. The walk was narrow, 
straight, and level. Having lit the lamp, the water soon 
boiled, and off started the engine with the inventor after it 
Shortly after he heard distant shouts of terror. It was too 
dark to perceive objects, but he found, on following up the 
machine, that the cries had proceeded from the worthy vicar, 
who, while going along the walk, had met the hissing and 
fiery little monster, which he declared he took to be the Evil 
One in propria persona ! '* * 

Fig. 4 represents Murdock*s interesting little locomotive, 
from which it will be seen that it comprises a flat board, at 
one end of which is a wood upright, carrying one end of the 
beam. The cylinder is |in. diam., with a stroke of piston of 
2 in., and placed underneath the opposite end of this beam, to 
which is likewise attached the connecting rod for actuating 
the crank on the axle of the pjin. diam. driving wheels. The 
double cylindrical slide valve is worked by a tappet motion, 
the beam striking the shoulders of the valve spindle, and 
forcing it up and down alternately at each end of the stroke, 
and the steam is exhausted through the hollow spindle of the 
valve, passing out near the top. The disc seen round the 

* Invention and Industry. — Dr. Smiles, (884, 

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32 THE PERIOD OF EXPERIMENT 

vertical pivot of the steering wheel is a lead weight, apparent- 
ly put on to keep the front of the engine down, and make it 
answer more easily to the steerage wheel, which works in a 
swivel frame, to allow the engine to turn in a small circle. 
The boiler is made of copper, with the flue passing obliquely 
through it, as shown in section on the drawing, and heated by 
a spirit lamp. The fact of one of the driving wheels only 
being fixed on the axle accounts for the carriage travelling in 
zigzags. This interesting little relic was made by Murdock's 
own hands, and repeatedly shown by him to friends at his 
house at Handsworth, up to the time of his death. 

Mr. Richard Tangye in " One and All " says : — " The 
model has been continuously in the possession of the 
Murdock family till 1883, when it was purchased from 
Murdock's great grandson by Messrs. Richard and George 
Tangye, and lent by them to the Melbourne Exhibition 
in 1889, where it was exhibited alongside Symington's 
model. It is now in the Birmingham Art Gallery." 

It is still in good working order, although over one 
hundred years old, and when under steam is capable of 
attaining a speed of 6 to 8 miles an hour. Watt was very 
displeased when he heard of Murdock's experiments with 
the road locomotive, because he feared that it might have 
the effect of withdrawing his mind from his business, and 
causing him to give less attention to the interests of the 
firm ; for, at that time, Murdock was an indispensable 
member of' their staff, capable of undertaking the most 
difficult task connected with the mining engines and machinery 
erected by Boulton and Watt ; he was also a general favourite 
among the miners. Watt accordingly wrote to Boulton, 
recommending him to advise Murdock to give up his loco- 
motive engine scheme ; but if he could not succeed in that, 
then, rather than lose Murdock's services. Watt proposed that 

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THE PERIOD OF EXPERIMENT. 33 

* he should be allowed an advance of ;^ioo to enable him 
to prosecute his experiments, and if he succeeded within a 
year in making an engine capable of drawing a post chaise, 
carrying two passengers and the driver at four miles an hour, 
it was suggested that he should be taken as partner into the 
locomotive business, for which Boulton and Watt were to 
provide the necessary capital."* This proposition was never 
carried out. Again, in 1786. we find Watt expressing his 
regret that Murdock was "busying himself with the steam 
carriage," and further on in the letter he says, " I wish 
William could be brought to do as we do, to mind the 
business in hand, and let such as Symington and Sadler 
throw away their time and money in hunting shadows." 
Murdock applied himself to the business, but continued to 
speculate about steam locomotion on common roads, he being 
persuaded of its practicability, but refrained from embodying 
his ideas in a more complete form. 

"In 1815, while Murdock was engaged in erecting an 
apparatus of his own invention for heating the water for the 
baths at Leamington, a ponderous cast-iron plate fell upon his 
leg above his ankle, and severely injured him. He remained 
a long time at Leamington, and when it was thought safe to 
remove him, the Birmingham Canal Company kindly placed 
their excursion boat at his disposal, and he was conveyed 
safely homeward. So soon as he was able, he was at work 
again in the Soho factory. In the midst of repeated in- 
ventions and experiments, Murdock was becoming an old 
man. Yet he never ceased to take an interest in the works at 
Soho. In his latter years his faculties experienced a gradual 
decay, and he died peacefully at his house at Sycamore Hill, 
on the 15th of November, 1839, in his eighty-fifth year, and 
his remains were accompanied by several old and attached 
friends and the Soho workmen, to their last abode in 

E * Invention and Industry. — Dr. Smiles 1884. 

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34 THE PERIOD OF EXPERIMENT. 

Handsworth Church, and are there laid near those of Mr. 
Boulton and Mr. Watt.*'* 

WATT. — In dealing with the early days of steam trans- 
port on common roads, we are anxious to award the 
amount of credit justly due to each promoter in pro- 
portion to the services rendered — according honour to 
whom honour is due. It is very well known that Watt 
all through his life opposed rather than aided steam loco- 
motion on common roads, and yet, by some authors, if 
Watt is not credited with the invention of the steam 
carriage, he is looked upon as the inventor of the practical 
means for effecting locomotion on land by steam. He was 
repeatedly urged by his friends to turn his attention to 
the subject, but without effect. Dr. Small and other 
correspondents were continually sending him their ideas 
upon the subject, with a view to coax him to work out 
the problem. Watt was displeased with Murdock for 
spending his leisure hours in the construction of a 
successful locomotive ; he threatened to stop Moore from 
making steam carriages ; and, in 1786, he caused Sadler 
to discontinue any further experiments in the application 
of the steam engine to the driving of wheel carriages. 
Watt displayed a dog-in-the-manger spirit ; he could not 
or would not make a steam carriage himself, so appeared 
determined to let no one else succeed ; he even confessed 
that the specification of his steam carriage was very 
defective, but it would only "serve to keep other people 
from similar patents." Dr. Smiles, in his " Men of Invention 
and Industry," says that Watt, " when only twenty- three 
years of age, at the instigation of his friend Robinson, made a 
model locomotive, provided with two cylinders of tin plate ; but 
the project was laid aside and never again taken up by the 

♦Dr. Smiles, also Mr. Buckle's paper read before the " Institute of Mechanical 
Engineers," entitled, **The Inventions and Life of William Murdock." 



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THE PERIOD OF EXPERIMENT. 35 

inventor." This model locomotive is not mentioned by Muir- 
head in his "Life of Watt," and we have reasons for questioning 
the accuracy of the statement. We believe Watt's plans 
were never sufficiently matured to enable him to carry 
them into effect, and, judging from his writings, we imagine 
he was, at the end of his career, no nearer the construction of 
a steam carriage, than when he embodied his ideas on the 
subject in his patent specification. We shall now briefly refer 
to Watt's ideas on steam locomotion, as contained in the well 
known specification, No. 1432, dated August, 1784. He says : 
" My seventh new improvement is upon steam engines which 
are applied to give motion to wheel carriages, for removing 
persons or goods from place to place." For the sake of light- 
ness the boiler was to be made of wood, or of. thin metal 
sheets strongly hooped, of cylindrical or globular form. The 
fire was contained in a vessel within the boiler. He proposed 
the use of one or two cylinders, the pistons of which were 
moved by the steam in their ascent and descent. The 
exhaust was to be either discharged into the atmosphere by a 
regulating valve, or else conducted into an air condenser, 
formed of thin plates, or pipes of metal having their outsides 
exposed to the wind, or cooled by a bellows or fan driven by 
the engine ; this condenser adding to the power of the engine 
and economising the condensed steam, which would otherwise 
be lost. Motion was to be communicated from the pistons to 
the intermediate shaft by means of his sun and planet wheels ; 
and Watt very sensibly proposes the use of spur gearing, 
for communicating the power from the intermediate shaft to 
the main axle, by means of which he readily introduces 
pinions and wheels of various sizes for obtaining different 
travelling speeds ; any pair of these wheels being put into 
gear by a clutch of simple construction, to which we shall 
refer shortly. The carriage, intended for two persons, would 

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36 THE PERIOD OF EXPERIMENT. 

require an engine having a cylinder /in. in diam., with a 
stroke of I2in., making sixty strokes per minute, the steam 
pressure to be " equal to supporting a pillar of mercury 3oin. 
high." Although Watt promised to construct a model loco- 
motive in accordance with the specification, yet he never 
fulfilled the promise, his time apparently being more than fully 
occupied with other work ; moreover, his mind was unable to 
embrace the idea that steam locomotion would ever be accom- 
plished. A few days after filing his specification, Watt wrote 
to Boulton, and entered more minutely into the details of his 
proposed steam carriage, wherein he gives a sketch of the spur 
gearing we have favourably mentioned above. Fig. 5 repre- 
sents this gearing, from which it will be seen that three 
different sized wheels are keyed fast on the shaft, which 
receives the motion from the sun and planet gearing. These 
wheels are made to gear with others running loosely on the 
main axle, any pair of which can be made to drive the carriage 
faster or slower (according to the nature of the roads to be 
traversed, or the loads to be drawn), by means of a clutch or 
feather sliding along the axle, and made to fit into the bosses 
of the wheels. When the clutch is made to engage with one 
pair of these wheels, motion is imparted through the train of 
gearing from the intermediate shaft to the main axle. It will 
be seen that the sliding key or clutch must be disengaged 
from one wheel before it is made to interlock with another. 
This idea of Watt's is a decided advance upon all previous 
methods of communicating motion from the crank shaft to 
the axle, it being the plan adopted on all the road locomotives 
of the present day. In the same letter he proposes to make 
the carriage run at four miles an hour ; the driving wheels are 
to be 4ft. diam., and the crank shaft is to make twenty revolu- 
tions to one of the main axle. The proper place for the 
engine. Watt thought, was behind the carriage. Another 



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THE PERIOD OF EXPERIMENT. 37 

plan, something after Cugnot's, was proposed, of having two 
inverted cylinders with toothed racks instead of piston rods, 
which were to be applied to two ratchet wheels on the main 
axle, and to act alternately. " I am partly of opinion," says 
Watt, " that this method may be applied to advantage yet, 
because it needs no fly, and has some other conveniences." 
In October, 1786, Watt writes to Dr. Black, and intimates 
that he will carry out some experiments with wheel carriages 
moved by his steam engine ; but he entertains small hopes of 
their ever becoming useful. During the same year, in writing 
to Boulton, it would appear as though Watt had a steam 
carriage in hand ; but soon afterwards the carriage schemes 
were allowed to lapse altogether. It will thus be seen that 
Watt s ideas on this subject were very crude, and had he 
attempted to put his ideas into practice, we fear the machine 
would have been a failure, with its low pressure wooden 
boiler, air condenser, and sun and planet wheels ; * but it is 
well known that Watt retained, up to the period of his death, 
the most rooted prejudices against the use of high pressure 
steam. He says ; " I soon relinquished the idea of construct- 
ing an engine on this principle, from being sensible it would 
be liable to some of the objections against Savery*s engine, 
viz., the danger of bursting the boiler," and also that power 
would be lost without the use of a vacuum. He, therefore, can 
only be said to have proposed steam locomotion on common 
roads, and it is undoubtedly true that Watt never built a 
steam carriage. 

SYMINGTON. — William Symington, the engineer, who is 
generally acknowledged to be the inventor of the first success- 

* *' We have seen that great, if not msurmoun table difficulties are overcome 
by the simple apparatus of a high pressure engine ; but how a condensing engine 
would have succeeded, when encumbered with its load of condensing apparatus, 
requires no veiy extraordinary discernment to discover.*' — " History and Progress 
of the Steam Engine," by Galloway. 

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38 THE PERIOD OF EXPERIMENT. 

ful Steam boat, was born at Leadhills, in Scotland, in 1763 
His father was a practical mechanic, who superintended the 
engines and machinery of the Lead Mining Company at 
Warlockhead, where one of Boulton and Watts' pumping 
engines was at work. Young Symington, like Murdock, was 
placed under his father's tuition in the north country work- 
shop, and, like Murdock also, he gave early proof of his 
ingenuity. He appears at the age of twenty-one to have 
conceived the idea of applying the steam engine to the pro- 
pulsion of carriages ; his father and he worked together to 
carry the idea into effect, and by the year 1786 they succeeded 
in completing a working model of a road locomotive. So 
efficiently did the model work, that those who saw the 
machine expressed such favourable opinions respecting it 
that the difficult problem of moving carriages on the highway 
by steam power appeared to be within measurable distance of 
being solved, and Symington was warmly urged to carry his 
experiments to a practical issue. Mr. Meason, the manager ot 
the lead mine, " was so pleased with the model, the merit of 
which principally belonged to young Symington, that he sent 
him into Edinburgh, for the purpose of exhibiting it before 
the professors of the University, and other scientific gentle- 
men of the city, in the hope that it might lead in some way to 
his future advancement in life." Moreover, Mr. Meason, who 
proved to be his patron and friend, allowed the model to be 
exhibited at his own house, and invited many persons of 
distinction to inspect it, and he liberally offered to defray any 
expense which might be incurred in carrying the invention 
out in practice. The state of the roads, and the difficulty 
which at that time existed of procuring water and fuel, 
afforded sufficient reasons to induce Symington to conscien- 
tiously abandon the scheme, which through these causes, he 
believed, would only have produced disappointment to his 



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THE PERIOD OF EXPERIMENT. 39 

kind advisers, ^y referring to the illustration of Symington's 
locomotive, Fig. 6, it will be seen that it consisted of a carriage 
with a locomotive behind, supported on four wheels, the front 
wheels being arranged with steering gear. A cylindrical 
boiler was used for generating steam, which communicated by 
a steam pipe with the two horizontal cylinders, one on each 
side of the firebox of the boiler. When steam was turned 
into the cylinder, the piston made an outward stroke ; a 
vacuum was then formed, the steam being condensed in a cold 
water tank placed beneath the cylinders, and the piston was 
forced back by the pressure of the atmosphere. The piston 
rods communicated their motion to the driving axle and 
wheels through rack rods, which worked toothed wheels placed 
on the hind axle on both sides of the engine, and the alternate 
action of the rack rods upon the tooth and ratchet wheels 
with which the drums were provided, produced the rotary 
motion. Symington stated that a material advantage obtained 
by the mode here employed of applying the power of the 
engine, was that it always acted at right angles to the axle of 
the carriage. The boiler it will be seen was fitted with a lever 
and weight safety valve, and as a whole, the arrangement of 
the engine and carriage displays much ingenuity ; but we fear 
that the rack rods would have proved unsatisfactory, while the 
travelling speed must have been very slow indeed. Syming- 
ton's road locomotive was allowed to slumber, never to have 
an awakening, while the inventor turned his attention to the 
propulsion of vessels by steam. Mr. Miller, of Dalswinton, 
in 1787, was making experiments with pleasure boats pro- 
pelled by paddles worked by manual power, and he com- 
plained to Symington of the fatigue caused to the men 
by working the capstan. Symington at once suggested 
the adoption of the steam engine for the purpose, and was 
commissioned by Miller to construct a small steam engine for 

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THE PERIOD OF EXPERIMENT. 4I 

this pleasure boat, which was finished during the latter part 
of the year 1788. Many experimental trips were made with 
this boat, which steamed at the rate of five miles an hour 
to the delight of Miller and his numerous friends. On the 
approach of winter the engine was removed from the boat 
and placed in the library at Dalswinton, and is now in the 
South Kensington Museum, it having been aptly termed 
"the parent engine of steam navigation." The year after- 
wards a larger boat was fitted with an engine made by 
Symington with a cylinder 18 inches diameter, which on trial, 
after sundry alterations had been effected, made seven miles 
an hour. Miller abandoned steam navigation after expend- 
ing ;£'30,ooo in experiments. In 1801, Symington, patronised 
by Lord Dundas of Kerse, started a steam boat on the Forth 
and Clyde Canal for the purpose of towing boats which was 
a complete success, and is now regarded as ^^ first practical 
steam boat ever built. The engine employed in the * Charlotte 
Dundas' was made in accordance with Symington's patent 
taken out in 1801, described as a steam boat engine without 
a working beam. A Watt's double acting horizontal cylinder 
being connected to a crank on the paddle shaft at the stern 
of the vessel. 

The Duke of Bridgewater gave Symington an order for 
eight boats like the * Charlotte Dundas ' to be used on his 
canal. The death of the Duke, however, prevented the 
contract from being carried into effect. Poor Symington 
now shared the fate of many other inventors, he had no 
capital of his own to work upon, and he could not persuade 
any capitalist to come to his aid, and " fortune appeared to 
run steadily against him." Dr. Smiles says : — " The rest of 
his life was for the most part thrown away. Towards the 
close of it his principal haunt was London, amidst whose vast 
population he was one of the many waifs and strays. He 



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42 THE PERIOD OF EXPERIMENT. 

succeeded in obtaining a grant of ;£'ioo from the Privy Purse 
in 1824, and afterwards an annuity of £$0, but he did not 
live long to enjoy it, for he died in March, 1831, and was 
buried in the churchyard of St. Potolph, Aldgate, where there 
is not even a stone to mark the grave of the inventor of the 
first practicable steam boat."* Since the above was written, 
an effort has been set on foot for erecting a suitable memorial 
to William Symington, which will doubtless be carried out. 
We allow our benefactors while living to suffer the keenest 
poverty, and to atone for such cruel conduct we rear statues 
to their memory when dead. 

SADLER. — James Sadler, of Oxford (whose name Watt 
coupled with Symington's as that of " hunters of shadows "), 
invented a rotary engine, and afterwards patented a double- 
cylinder engine, a combination of Cartwright's and Watt's 
engines. In 1786, Sadler was making some experiments in 
applying the steam engine to the driving of wheel carriages. 
Upon Watt hearing of this, notice was forthwith given to 
him to the effect that " the sole privilege of making steam 
engines by the elastic force of steam acting on a piston 
with or without condensation, had been granted to Mr. Watt 
by Act of Parliament, and also that, amongst other improve- 
ments and applications of his principle, he had particularly- 
specified the application of steam engines for driving wheel 
carriages, in a patent which was taken out in the year 1784/' 
As we can find no . record ot Sadler's steam carriage, it is 
most likely that Watt's caution had the effect of putting a 
5top to further experiments in this direction. Watt was 
unable to build a steam carriage himself, but he was very 
anxious that no one else should. Sadler's rotary engine is 
illustrated and described in " Stuart's History of the Steam 
Engine," 1824. 

* The Engineer t 2 1st December, 1866. 

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THE PERIOD OF EXPERIMENT. 43 

EVANS. — Oliver Evans, a mechanic, who has been 
designated the Watt of America, was born at Newport, 
Del., in 1755. He was apprenticed to a wheelwright, and 
soon exhibited considerable ingenuity and perseverance, 
coupled with a strong desire to acquire knowledge. In 
1772, he endeavoured to discover some means of pro- 
pelling land carriages without employing animal power ; 
many of the methods before his time, and subsequently 
tried, presented themselves to his mind, such as the wind, 
treadles with ratchet wheels, cranks, &c., worked by men ; 
but none of these appliances appeared worthy of practice. 
His attention was drawn, however, to the possible use of 
steam for this purpose by the following incident : — " One 
of my brothers," he says, " had one day been in company 
with a neighbouring blacksmith's boy, who, for amusement, 
had stopped the touch hole of a gun barrel, then put in a 
small quantity of water, and ramming down a tight wadding, 
after which he put the breech end into the smithy firej when 
it discharged itself with as loud a report as if it had been 
loaded with gunpowder." Evans tried at once to harness 
this (to him, newly discovered power) to the propulsion of 
his carriages, but without any sign of success, until a book 
describing the old atmospheric engine came into his 
possession, and to his astonishment he found that the steam 
was only used to form a vacuum. Following up the subject 
with increased ardour, he soon invented his well-known 
non-condensing engine, in which the power was derived 
exclusively from high-pressure steam, and proposed the use 
of this engine for the propulsion of waggons. In 1786, 
Evans petitioned the Legislature of Pennsylvania for the 
exclusive right to use his improvements in mill machinery, 
and to make and use his proposed steam waggons in that 
State. The Committee heard him patiently while he 

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44 THE PEROD OF EXPERIMENT. 

described his inventions in flour milling ; but when he 
referred to steam waggons, they believed him to be some- 
what deranged, because he spoke of machines which they 
thought were impracticable. The Board granted the privileges 
he prayed for, respecting the improvements in flour milling 
machinery, but they quietly ignored his steam carriage 
schemes altogether. A similar petition was presented to 
the Legislature of Maryland, and Evans fortunately had 
a friend on the Committee, who ably pleaded his cause, by 
stating that no one in the world had thought of moving 
carriages by steam, and by granting the request, no one 
could be injured, and there was a prospect of something 
useful being produced. He therefore obtained the exclusive 
right to make and use his steam carriages for fourteen years 
in that State, commencing from May, 1787. 

But after scaling one difficulty, Evans was soon overtaken 
with others ; the right of manufacture had been granted him, 
but no one believed in his carriage schemes, which were 
condemned by all those from whom he had expected to 
receive encouragement. For four years Evans travelled from 
place to place, showing his drawings to manufacturers, and 
capitalists ; but he failed to find a single person willing to 
speculate in his carriage experiments, or assist him in putting 
his ideas into practice. In the year 1 801, Evans says : — " Never 
having found a person willing to contribute to the expense, or 
even to encourage me to risk it myself, it occurred to me that 
I had not yet discharged my debt of honour to the State of 
Maryland, by producing the steam waggons ; I determined* 
therefore, the next day to set to work and construct one." 
He hired workmen, and had made considerable progress in 
the steam carriage to be driven by his non-condensing engine, 
when he suddenly changed his plans, thinking that it would 
he more profitable to adapt his engine to the driving of mills, 



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THE PERIOD OF EXPERIMENT. 45 

He built an engine having a cylinder 6in. diam., and i8in 
stroke of piston, which he applied to drive a plaster mill with 
success. Although he allowed the construction of mill engines 
to supplant his steam waggons, yet he predicted their eventual 
success, by stating that his engines would propel waggons on 
common roads with profit ; and that the time would come 
when people would travel in stages moved by steam engines 
from one city to another, almost as fast as birds can fly. 
Evans' engines were now successfully employed for a variety 
of uses, yet men refused to believe in his steam carriages, and 
he, being very anxious to shew the practicability of his 
notions, determined to mount upon temporary wheels and 
axles a large flat bottomed craft he had on order for the Board 
of Health of Philadelphia for dredging purposes ; he then 
placed one of his engines in the boat, and applied the power 
of the engine to the wheels, and slowly propelled this odd 
looking machine, which he named the " Oructor Amphibolis," 
from his works, over a mile and a half of rough roads, to the 
river side, where the wheels were removed, and the boat was 
launched. The same engine was then applied to the paddle 
wheel at the stern, and drove the craft by water to its destina 
tion. The first carriage driven by steam in America was 
therefore, the curious looking "Oructor Amphibolus" of 1805, 
which, as its name indicates, was fit for land or water. Evans 
wrote a standard treatise on the steam engine, and another on 
millwrighting, and he continued to build steam engines to the 
end of his life — 19th April, 1819. A long description ot 
Evans' undertakings, with an illustration of his non-condens- 
ing engine, is given in ** Galloway's History of the Steam 
Engine," and Thurston gives an illustration of the dredging 
barge being transported on its temporary wheels driven by the 
steam engine, in his " History of the Growth of the Steam 
Engine." 

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46 THE PERIOD OF EXPERIMENT. 

FOURNESS.— In 1788 R. Fourness and J. Ashworth took 
out a patent for an engine specially designed for driving 
" travelling carriages of every denomination, or giving circular 
motion without the assistance of a fly wheel, and without 
being burdened with cold water for condensing the steam to 
produce a vacuum in the steam cylinders, or having the 
machine complicated by the apparatus necessary" to the 
management and regulation of the condensing water. The 
drawing in the specification of the patent shows the engine 
and boiler mounted upon the hinder part of a frame, supported 
by two pairs of road wheels. Motion is communicated from 
the pistons of the three inverted open ended cylinders to the 
crank shaft ; one or more spur wheels are keyed upon the 
crank shaft, gearing into others on the driving axle, for giving 
the various speeds on the road. Steam is admitted to the 
cylinders through a " rotative cock," into the barrel of which 
is introduced three branches for the three cylinders. The 
cock is worked by a wheel upon it, which receives motion 
from the engine. A similar arrangement is adopted for 
dealing with the exhaust, which escapes into a tank for heating 
the feed water, previous to its being pumped into the boiler. 
The boiler is provided with a safety valve. Only one of the 
hind wheels is keyed to the main axle for driving, to allow the 
carriage to turn corners easily. We are not aware that the 
inventors ever carried their ideas into effect. The appearance 
of the carriage is somewhat similar to that of Cugnot's. 

ALLEN. — The Earl of Caithness, in i860, read a paper 
on steam carriages for common roads, before the British 
Association for the Advancement of Science, in which he 
mentions a steam carriage invented by Thomas Allen, of 
London, in 1789, to carry goods and passengers. No mention 
appears to be made of this inventor by any other writer, and 

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THE PERIOD OF EXPERIMENT. 



47 



no account can be found of his schemes having ever been 
matured. 

READ. — Nathan Read, the inventor of the vertical multi- 
tubular fire box boiler now in general use, was born at Warren, 
Massachusetts, in 1759. He was a student of medicine, and 
afterwards a manufacturer of chain cables and other iron 
work for ships. In the year 1788, he invented the well-known 
vertical boiler, which is, as he intended it should be, strong, 
light, compact, as well as safe, suitable for use in steam boats 
and for steam carriages.* He spent considerable time in 
constructing and experimenting with steam boats ; but he 
does not appear to have met with any success. While busily 
engaged in his attempts to introduce steam navigation, he 
designed, and in 1790 obtained a patent for, a steam carriage 
as illustrated by Fig. 7. The carriage is mounted upon four 




Fig. 7 

travelling wheels ; the hind axle has two ratchet pinions 
keyed upon it, which are caused to revolve by a rack arrange- 
ment attached to each piston rod, by means of which the 

. * Thurston, in his *' History of the Growth of the Steam Engine," gives 
sectional views of this boiler at page 245. Besides using a series of vertical water 
tubes, extending from the fire box crown to the water bottom, Read also employed 
hanging end closed, or " Field " tubes. 

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48 THE PERIOD OF EXPERIMENT. 

carriage is propelled. The boiler is placed in the centre of 
the carriage over the driving axle, and supplies the two 
horizontal cylinders with steam, two cocks being inserted m 
the steam pipes for shutting off the steam from either or both 
the cylinders. The steerage arrangement is shown, two 
chains being secured to the front axle, and actuated by the 
vertical spindle, hand wheel, &c., in the usual manner. The 
most interesting feature about the locomotive is the arrange- 
ment of the exhaust pipes, which the inventor specified 
should point backwards, so that the reaction of the exhausting 
steam issuing from the four bent nozzles, as shown should 
help the carriage forward. Read made a model road loco- 
motive in accordance with his patented plan, which was 
exhibited during the time that he was seeking assistance in 
the furtherance of his schemes in road locomotion and 
navigation by steam power. It is probable, however, that he 
did not pursue the subject any further than merely making 
a model. Nathan Read was for some time member of 
Congress, and during the latter part of his life he filled 
several influential offices. He died at Belfast, Maine, in 1849, 
at the age of 90 years. 

TREVITHICK. — It is no wonder that the progress made 
in steam locomotion has been so slow, when we remember 
that the individuals who have mainly sought to further 
the subject have possessed very little mechanical know- 
ledge ; physicians, for example, a linen draper, a groom, a 
missionary, wheelwrights, and a chain maker, have each 
in turn tried their hands at steam carriage construction, 
and, as may be expected, with anything but satisfactory 
results. But, when engineers like Cugnot and Murdock 
handled the subject, progress was at once apparent. 
Trevithick, however, was the mechanic who did more to 

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THE PERIOD OF EXPERIMENT. 49 

bring steam locomotion on common roads to a successful 

issue than all his predecessors, and if he had received 

pecuniary assistance, greater success would doubtless have 

been achieved. As it was, he carried into practice the 

proposals of Robinson, and fulfilled the predictions of 

Darwin, Edgeworth, and Oliver Evans. Trevithick was 

one of the greatest inventors who ever lived ; he has been 

termed the " father of the high pressure engine." In his 

earliest engines he embodied numerous details which have 

been in constant use to this day ; for example, he heated 

the feed water by passing the exhaust steam, on its way 

to the chimney, through tubes round which the feed 

water circulated, and he turned the exhaust into the 

chimney to increase the draught. Trevithick made the 

first road locomotive which conveyed passengers on an 

English highway. Cugnot had, twenty years previously, 

carried passengers on his carriage through the streets of 

Paris ; but there was no comparison between these two 

locomotives. Trevithick's designs displayed a marked 

advance on all previous types, and his engines were 

eminently successful. The only reason that we can assign 

for their non-adoption was the inventor's lack of funds ; 

he could not afford to continue running the carriages at 

his own expense. Richard Trevithick was born in the 

parish of lUogan, Cornwall, April 13th, 1771. Shortly 

after his birth, his family removed to Camborne. We 

cannot enter into any particulars respecting his early years 

while at school, or while employed at Stray Park Mine ; but 

we take this opportunity of correcting a misstatement made 

by Dr. Smiles in one of his excellent books* which has been 

copied by several modern writers on the steam engine.f 

♦ Life of George Stephenson. f Thurston, in his "History of the 

Growth of the Steam Engine," says : " Trevithick was naturally a skilful 
mechanic, and was placed by his father with Watt's assistant, Murdock, who 
was superintending the erection of pumping engines in Cornwall." 

F 

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THE PERIOD OF EXPERIMENT. 



Smiles says : " Trevithick was a pupil of Murdock*s, and 
learned from him the knowledge of the steam carriage," 
which is not correct, as Trevithick was only thirteen years 
of age when Murdock made his locomotive, and very pro- 
bably the little model was never seen by Trevithick. As far 
back as 1796, Trevithick made models of steam locomotives, 
which were frequently exhibited to his friends at his house at 
Camborne, and made to run round the table. The boiler 
and the engine were in one piece ; hot water was poured into 
the boiler, and a red hot iron was inserted into a tube 
beneath, which caused steam to be raised, and the engine 
set in motion. In another model the boiler was heated 
by a spirit lamp. But the most interesting model is the 
one now in the Kensington Museum, probably made in 
1798, and illustrated in Figs. 8 and 9. " It is a perfect 




3kii!>i"aIrH4f:i 



specimen of a high pressure engine, with cylindrical boiler 
adapted to locomotive purposes," and served as a guide to 
those who manufactured engines for Trevithick in later 
years. The boiler is made of copper, cylindrical in form. 



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THE PERIOD OF EXPERIMENT. 5 1 

with a flue in which was placed a red hot iron for raising 
steam, so as to avoid smoke. The vertical cylinder is let 
into the boiler, and with it is cast the shell of the four- 
way cock, and the pipe for conducting the steam to the top 
and bottom of the cylinder. The four-way steam cock 
was worked by a rod from the cross-head. The two side 
connecting rods are attached to this cross -head at the top, 
and actuate the two crank pins fixed in the driving wheels. 
One pf these driving wheels has a spur wheel cast with it, 
which drives a pinion on the fly wheel shaft, as shown. Tlie 
front wheel works in a swivel frame, and can be fixed in any 
position for causing the engine to run in a circle. Two legs 
are attached to the under side of the boiler, which can be 
screwed out so as to raise the wheels off the ground, and the 
model then works as a stationary engine. The safety valve is 
kept down by a simple spring. " The illustrations and 
description of this working model shadow forth the usefulness 
of the high pressure steam engine of the present day in many 
of its leading features. The non-necessity for condensing 
water, the cylindrical boiler, the simple form of crank, the 
absence of mason work for the engine or boiler flues, and its 
portability and power of locomotion, so nearly met all the 
requirements as to entitle it to the designation, * the first high 
pressure locomotive.' " J Trevithick commenced to make his 
first road locomotive in Tyack's workshop, at Camborne, in 
November, 1800. An old account book gives some interesting 
particulars relating to its construction. .Several workmen 
were employed by Trevithick in repairing and improving his 
mining engines and pumping machinery, and they apparently 
filled up their time in fitting up and putting the little loco- 
motive together, the workshop being provided with two 
smiths' hearths and a small hand lathe. The castings were 
X Life of R. Trevithick. 1872. 



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52 THE PERIOD OF EXPERIMENT. 

made at Harvey's foundry, Hayle, and considerable difficulty 
was experienced in getting the parts to fit together. Some of 
the larger turning work was done at Captain Andrew Vivian's 
workshop. The boiler plates, the steam pressure gauge, and 
other details came from Coalbrookdale. This pioneer steam 
road locomotive was completed and ready for testing on 
Christmas Eve of 1801, and was brought out of the smith's shop 
on to the highway close by. Considerable interest had been 
taken by some of the inhabitants during its construction, and, 
very naturally, these persons were anxious to witness the trial. 
The following account of the first trial was made by one of 
the onlookers, who was of the same age as Trevithick, and 
who resided at Camborne until 1858 : " I knew Captain Dick 
Trevithick very well. I was a cooper by trade, and when 
Trevithick was making his steam carriage I used to go every 
day into John Tyack's shop at the Weith, close by here, where 
they put her together. In the year 1801, upon Christmas Eve, 
towards night, Trevithick got up steam, out on the high road, 
just outside the shop. When we saw that Trevithick was 
going to turn on steam, we jumped up as many as could, may 
be seven or eight of us. 'Twas a stiffish hill going up to 
Camborne Beacon, but she went off like a little bird. When 
she had gone about a quarter of a mile, there was a rough 
piece of road, covered with loose stones. She didn't go quite 
so fast, and as it was a flood of rain, and we were very much 
squeezed together, I jumped off*. She was going faster than I 
could walk, and went up the hill about half a mile further, 
when they turned her, and came back again to the shop." 
The next day the engine steamed to Captain Vivian's house 
for him to see it. A few days subsequently, Trevithick and 
Vivian started off* for Tehidy House, where Lord Dedunstan- 
ville lived, some two or three miles from Camborne. The 
former was driving and stoking the engine, the latter was 

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Steering. Just as they were turning a curve in the road, and 
passing through an open water course across the road, the 
steering handle was jerked out of Vivian's grasp, and the 
engine turned over, but in spite of this slight casualty they 
eventually reached the end of their journey. Several other 




Fig. 10. 




Pig. 11. 

trials were carried out, which we need not describe. Trevi- 
thick's first passenger steam road locomotive is illustrated in 
Figs. ID and ii. The locomotive was extremely simple 
compared with the engines of that time. Watt's improve- 



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54 



THE PERIOD OF EXPERIMENT. 



ments of the last fifty years were discarded, viz., the air pump, 
condenser, parallel motion, beam, sun and planet wheels, &c. 
The boiler was cylindrical in form, the shell was made of cast 
iron, intended for a working pressure of 6olb. of steam ; the 
return flue was made of wrought iron. Fig. 12 shows a 




Fig. 12. 



section of the boiler. The vertical cylinder was let into the 
boiler. The exhaust steam, after having done its work in the 
cylinder, was conducted into the chimney to create a blast, 
causing an intensely hot fire, and in its passage it heated the 
feed water. The boiler was provided with a safety valve ; a 
fusible plug was fitted in the crown of the flue, and the feed 
pump was worked from the cross head. The bellows shown 
in the side view were not used after the first trial. The four- 
way cock for admitting steam to the top and bottom of the 
cylinder was actuated by tappets connected with the cross- 
head ; a lever and handle were also provided, so that the 
stoker could start or stop the engine. The side rods worked 
on to cranks keyed on to the driving axle ; a lever for steering 
was conveniently placed near the stoking end of the boiler. 
The following account respecting the trial of the Camborne 
steam carriage appeared in a Falmouth paper : " In addition 
to the many attempts that have been made to construct 
carriages to run without horses, a method has been lately 
tried at Camborne that seems to promise success. A carriage 
has been constructed containing a small steam engine, the 
force of which was found sufficient, upon trial, to impel the 



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, THE PERIOD OF EXPERIMENT. 55 

carriage, containing several persons, amounting to a total 
weight of 30 cwt, against a hill of considerable steepness, 
at the rate of four miles an hour ; and upon a level road of 
eight or nine miles an hour." The only drawback appeared 
to be that the boiler was too small, and despite the use of the 
steam blast in the chimney, steam could not be kept up for 
long when the carriage was under way. Trevithick and 
Vivian then became partners, during the last days of 1801, 
and started off to London to secure a patent for high pressure 
steam engines for propelling carriages on common roads, &c., 
which was granted on the 24th March, 1802. The Camborne 
locomotive was much superior to anything that had previously 
been attempted ; but Trevithick's London steam carriage of 
1803, being carried out in accordance with the patent specifi- 
cation, showed a still greater im'provement. " It was not so 
heavy; and the horizontal cylinder, instead of the vertical, 
added very much to its steadiness of motion ; while wheels of 
a larger diameter enabled it the more easily to pass over 
rough roads which had brought the Camborne one to a stand- 
still." The boiler was made entirely of wrought iron, and the 
engine was attached to it, as shown clearly in the illustrations 
Figs. 13 and 14. The cylinder was inserted in the boiler 
horizontally, close behind the driving axle. A forked piston 
rod was used, which, in those days, was a mechanical 
novelty, the ends working in guides, so that the crank axle 
might be brought near to the cylinder. Spur gearing and 
couplings were used on each side of the carriage for com- 
municating motion from the crank shaft to the main driving 
axle. The driving wheels were about I oft. diam., and made 
of wood. The framing was of wrought iron. The coach was 
intended to seat eight or ten persons, and the greater 
part of the weight came on the driving axle. The coach 
was suspended upon springs. The London steam carriage 

r c^vvi \v:-ViA Digitized by Google 



56 



THE PERIOD OF EXPERIMENT. 



was put together at Felton's carriage shop in Leather 
Lane, and after its completion, Vivian one day ran the loco- 
motive " from Leather Lane, Gray's Inn Lane, on to Lords' 
Cricket Ground, to Paddington, and home again by way of 
Islington, a journey of ten miles through the streets of 
London." Several trips were made in Tottenham Court 




J^^T^^^^=^^; 



Pig. 13. 




Pig. 14. 

Road and Euston Square. One day they started about 
four o'clock in the morning, and went along Tottenham 
Court Road, and City Road, and on for four or five miles, 
travelling at the rate of eight or ten miles an hour. Vivian 
was steering, and Trevithick was stoking, and they talked 
of a trip to Cornwall on the way, but on account of careless 



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THE PERIOD OF EXPERIMENT. 57 

Steering the locomotive ran too close to a wall, and tore 
down six or seven yards of palings, to the great annoyance 
of the owner. They at once returned to the coach factory 
after this mishap. On one occasion, this steam coach ran 
through Oxford street at a good speed, amid much cheering ; 
no horses or vehicles were allowed on the road during the 
trial. Trevithick spent nearly three years on road locomotive 
experiments in Cornwall, and through the streets of London. 
These trials emptied the pockets of the inventor and his 
partner, consequently the coach was removed, and the engine 
was sold for driving a hoop rolling mill, which it continued 
to do successfully for many years. Trevithick afterwards 
employed his energies in the construction of locomotives to 
run on railways, with the very best results. Respecting 
Trevithick's last days, Smiles says : *' The year after the 
date of his last patent for using superheated steam, he was 
living at the little village of Dartford, in Kent, employed on 
some of his inventions in the workshop of Mr. John Hall, 
when he was seized by the illness of which he died on the 
22nd April, 1833. He was lodging at the time at the Bull 
Inn ; but at his death it was found that he had not only 
outlived all his earnings, but was in debt to the innkeeper. 
He would, therefore, probably have been buried at the 
expense of the parish but for his shopmates at Hall's factory, 
who raised a sum sufficient to give the * great inventor ' a 
decent burial, and they followed his remains to the grave 
in Dartford churchyard, where he lies without a stone to 
mark his resting place. Such was the end of one of the 
greatest mechanical benefactors of our country." 

DUMBELL. — In 1808, John Dumbell patented a peculiar 
engine, which, among other purposes, was intended for draw- 
ing carriages and waggons on common roads. The steam 

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58 THE PERIOD OF EXPERIMENT. 

acted on a series of vanes, or fliers, within a cylinder, " like 
the sails of a windmill," causing them to rotate together with 
the shaft to which they were fixed. The motion of this shaft 
was transmitted by suitable gearing to the driving wheels 
of the carriage. The inventor proposed to raise steam by 
permitting water to drop upon a metal plate, kept at an 
intense heat by a fire, which was forced by a pair of bellows. 
This was a rotary engine. Numerous inventors, Watt among 
the rest, have tried to apply the steam wheel, as they termed 
the rotary engine, for the purpose of driving a steam carriage ; 
but none of them accomplished their object 

PRATT. — Major Pratt, in 1810, proposed to propel 
carriages by means of any motive power mounted upon the 
carriage frame. Endless chains working over pulleys had 
arms pivoted to them ; these arms, at the ends, carried spikes. 
The motion of the chains drove the spikes into the ground, 
and caused the carriage to be slowly driven along. 

STEVENS. — ^John Stevens, of American steam boat fame, 
in 18 12, published a pamphlet urging that railroads and 
steam carriages should be preferred to canals and canal 
boats. He asserted his belief that a speed of forty or fifty 
miles an hour might be obtained, but that probably in 
practice only thirty miles an hour would be the speed. The 
speeds given refer to railroads only. 

PALMER. — The endless railway was first proposed by 
Edgeworth, in 1770, and, judging by the patent records, 
it is destined to be revived again, at repeated intervals, 
till the end of time. W. Palmer, in 18 12, suggested the 
use of endless chains or rollers, as substitutes for the wheels 
of carriages. 



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THE PERIOD OF EXPERIMENT. 59 

TINDALL. — In 1814, Thomas Tindall, of Scarborough, 
patented a steam engine intended for driving all sorts of 
carriages for the conveyance of passengers, for ploughing 
land, mowing grass and corn, or for working thrashing 
machines. The carriage was supported on three wheels, 
the front one being the steering wheel. On the hinder 
part of the carriage was mounted a steam engine of most 
peculiar construction, driving by means of spur gearing, 
four pushers or legs, which, coming in contact with the 
ground, drove the carriage forward. The engine could 
also be made to act upon the two hind wheels for ascending 
hills, or for drawing heavy loads. It was also proposed to 
assist the engine by a species of windmill, driven partly 
by the action of the wind, and partly by the exhaust steam 
from the engine. 

BRUNTON.— Trevithick, as far back as 1800, requested 
Mr. Gilbert to come with him, and witness the fact that 
carriages could be propelled by causing their wheels to 
turn round ; and the two friends removed the horse from 
the carriage when on a stiff hill, and by exerting their 
strength on the spokes of the wheels, caused the carriage 
to progress. Furthermore, Trevithick proved, by repeated 
experiments carried out with the steam carriages we have 
described, that the adhesion between a pair of good 
driving wheels and a good road, was quite sufficient to 
propel a carriage eight miles an hour on the level road, 
and three or four miles up a steep hill. Yet W. Brunton, 
of Pentrich, in 181 3, obtained a patent for the "mechanical 
traveller," shown by the illustration herewith (see Fig. 15), 
for overcoming the supposed difficulty of insufficient adhesion. 
Brunton's invention was an ingenious method of accom- 
plishing the locomotion of the engine, on an ordinary road. 



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THE PERIOD OF EXPERIMENT. 



without the aid of the adhesion of the wheels. It consists 
of a curious combination of levers, the action of which 
nearly resembles that of the legs of a man in walking, 
whose feet are alternatively made to press against the 
ground, and in such a manner as to adapt themselves to 
the various inequalities of the surface. Fig. 15 shows a 
side view of the engine. The boiler was of the cylindrical 
type, with a flue passing through it. The cylinder was 
placed on one side of the boiler ; the piston rod, projecting 
out behind horizontally, was attached to the leg A B, at 
A, and to the reciprocating lever A C, which is fixed at C 




Pig. 15. 

At the lower extremity of the leg, feet were attached, 
by a joint at B. These feet, to lay a firm hold upon the 
ground, were furnished with short prongs, which pre- 
vented them from slipping, and were sufficiently broad to 
prevent them injuring the road. By referring to Fig. 15, 
it will be seen that when the piston rod moved outwards 
it would push the leg A from it, in a direction parallel to 
the line of the cylinder ; but as the leg A B is prevented 
from moving backwards by the end B being firmly fixed 
upon the ground, the reaction is thrown upon the carriage, 



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THE PERIOD OF EXPERIMENT. 6l 

causing it to move forward until the piston reaches the 
end of its stroke. Upon the reciprocating lever A C is 
fixed, at 1, a rod 123, sliding horizontally backwards 
and forwards upon the top of the boiler. At the end of 
this rod 2 3 is fixed a rack, which works into a spur 
pinion lying horizontally upon the top of the boiler. On 
the opposite side of this spur wheel is a similar rack, and 
as the wheel turns round the racks are moved in opposite 
directions, as one leg is forced outwards the other leg 
is drawn towards the engine ready for a fresh stroke. 
Whenever, therefore, the piston is at the end of the 
stroke, and one of the legs is no longer of use to propel 
the engine forward, the other, immediately on the motion 
of the piston being changed, is ready, in its turn, to act 
as a fulcrum for the action of the moving power, to secure 
the continual progressive motion of the engine. The feet 
are raised from the ground during the return of the legs 
towards the engine, by straps fastened at F F, and passing 
over friction sheaves described in the patent specification. 
The inventor gives an account of an experiment made with 
one of these engines, from which we quote the following 
particulars.* The boiler was of wrought iron, 3ft. in 
diameter, and Sjft. long ; the stroke of the piston was 2ft., 
the length of the step was 26in. The machine only travelled 
at the rate of two miles an hour, and exerted the power of 
six horses in hauling a load. The motion must have been 
very jerky. Brunton's " mechanical traveller " may be 
regarded as a specimen of great ingenuity, but it could 
never have worked satisfactorily. 

REYNOLDS.— Joseph Reynolds, in 1816, took out a 
patent for a steam locomotive, to be used for the conveyance 

♦ "Repertory of Arts," Vol. XXIV. 



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62 THE PERIOD OF EXPERIMENT. 

of passengers on ordinary roads, or for drawing agricultural 
implements. The chief point of novelty in this engine con- 
sisted of the mode of suspending the boiler on trunnions, 
and arranging the steam pipes so that the boiler might always 
be kept in a horizontal position when the engine was 
travelling up or down hill. The locomotive was carried at 
the front end by a single steering wheel, the greater part of 
the weight being sustained by the two broad driving wheels 
or rollers. Motion was communicated to each driving wheel 
separately by spur gearing from the engine crank shaft, and 
by an arrangement of bevel gearing the driving wheels could 
be made to revolve in opposite directions for turning in a 
very small space. The double cylinder engine was bolted 
to wood framing above the boiler, and the motion of the 
pistons was communicated through heavy wood connecting 
rods to the crank shaft. Two or more travelling speeds were 
provided, and suitable clutch gear for throwing any of the 
pinions out of gear ; brakes were also fitted to the driving 
wheels. 

GORDON. — As far back as 1819, David Gordon, in con- 
junction with W. Murdock, of Soho, made calculations and 
carried out experiments for the purpose of using compressed 
air as a motive power for propelling common road loco- 
motives. Gordon was the inventor of a portable gas 
apparatus, and impressed with the great importance of 
locomotion, originated a society of gentlemen, with the 
ultimate intention of forming a company for the purpose of 
running a mail coach and other carriages by means of a high 
pressure engine, or of a gas vacuum or pneumatic engine, 
supplied with portable gas. Alexander Gordon (son of 
D. Gordon), in his interesting work on " Elemental Loco- 
motion,'* states that " the committee of the society had only 



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THE PERIOD OF EXPERIMENT. 



63 



a limited sum at their disposal, nor were there to be more 
funds until a carriage had been propelled for a considerable 
distance at the rate of ten miles an hour." David Gordon 
saw that he had been too sanguine about the gas vacuum, 
and tried to prevail upon the committee to make use of a 
steam engine, but evidently without success. He then appears 
to have turned his attention to steam locomotion, for in 
August, 1821, he took out a patent for improvements in 
wheel carriages. Fig. 16 represents the type of locomotive 
proposed by Gordon ; it consists of a small steam engine, 
similar in design to Trevithick's, placed inside a drum 9ft. in 




Fig. 16. 

dianci. and 5ft. wide. The internal circumference of this drum 
was provided with a series of spur rings, into which were 
made to gear the spur wheels of a locomotive steam engine. 
The use of very large wheels to form an endless railway for 
common road locomotives has been repeatedly suggested 
since D. Gordon's specification was published. In referring 
to this engine, A. Gordon states that he had heard of a large 
drum having been used with advantage for the transport of 
heavy goods over a swamp in South America. A quantity of 
iron plates, which were too heavy to be carried otherwise, 
were rolled into the shape of a large cylinder and riveted 



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64 



THE PERIOD OF EXPERIMENT. 



together ; the inside of the roller was packed with the 
materials to be conveyed, and as the party advanced this 
huge cylinder was rolled along with them. Having arrived at 
their destination, the rivets were cut off, and the plates were 
applied to their intended purpose. We need hardly remark 
that an engine made upon Gordon's plan would not injure the 
roads, but would rather improve them. In 1824, D. Gordon 
patented a steam carriage similar in construction to the 
illustration (Fig. 17), which shows a side view of the carriage 
as actually made. It was mounted upon three wheels, each of 
which had a separate axle. The single wheel in the front 




gave an increased facility in turning. In the body of the 
carriage, connected with the piston rods of the double cylinder 
engine, was a six-throw crank, to which the propellers were 
attached, and by the revolution of the crank were successively 
forced against the ground in a backward direction, then drawn 
up again. The rods were made of tubes for the sake of light- 
ness, and at the ends of these rods feet are shown, which were 
made rough on the under side for giving sufficient adhesion 
to the surface, without digging it up. In order to turn a 
corner it was only necessary to raise the three propellers on . 
one side and allow the others to act, this being readily 



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THE PERIOD OF EXPERIMENT. 



65 



effected. Fig. 18 shows the action of the propellers very 
clearly. The large crank on the left hand shows, at A, C, E. 
the three throws of the driving crank on one side of the 
carriage, and the small crank on the right, the same of the 
lifting crank. The figures, B, D, F show the situation of the 
three throws on the opposite side of the carriage. It will now 
be seen that the propeller marked A is, by the position of the 
crank, just being lifted from the ground, while that marked B, 




Fig. 18. 

which is on the opposite side, would, had the foot been shown, 
be just commencing its operation ; then, C on the near side 
falls into the position of B and A ; then, D on the other side 
follows, and in like manner E and F. It may be remarked 
that the lifting rods were hollow, and each had a small solid 
rod in its interior pressed out by a spiral spring, so that these 
lifting rods were lengthened when the feet got into a hollow 
place in the road, and shortened if the feet struck on a stone 
^or other projection between the track of the wheels. In the 
experiments carried out with this locomotive on the common 
road the mode of propulsion answered fairly well, but the 
speed obtained was not satisfactory. In his first trials, Gordon 



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^ THE TEKIOD OF EXPERIMENT. 

found the power insufficient. He afterwards fitted one of 
Gurney's light boilers in the hinder part of the carriage, 
though even after this improvement had been added the 
experiments were disappointing, and Gordon was convinced 
that the application of the power to the wheels was the 
proper mode of propulsion, and, consequently, his project was 
abandoned, after six or seven years had been spent in invent- 
ing, constructing, and carrying out experiments with four 
distinct carriages. 

GRIFFITHS.— In 1821, Julius Griffiths, of Brompton, 
patented a steam carriage, intended to be used expressly for 
the conveyance of passengers on the highway ; the specifica- 
tion states that the ideas therein expressed were partly com- 
municated by foreigners. The carriage was constructed by 
the celebrated Joseph Bramah, and although no public trial 
appears to have been undertaken, yet the carriage was 
repeatedly tested in Bramah's yard, where it remained for 
three or four years. It failed to realise the expectations of 
its promoters on account of a very defective boiler ; but 
A. Gordon says: ***The engines, pumps, and connections 
were all in the best style of mechanical execution, and had 
Mr. Griffiths' boiler been of such a kind as to generate 
regularly the required quantity of steam, a perfect steam 
carriage must have been the consequence." While the loco- 
motive remained in the maker's yard it was inspected by the 
many steam carriage schemers of the period, and hence some 
of the details and mechanical combinations served as useful 
hints to succeeding mechanicians in similar undertakings, and 
were afterwards embodied in their steam carriage proposals. 
Fig. 19 gives a side elevation of Griffiths' carriage which has 
been termed the " first steam coach constructed in this country 
* ''Elemental Locomotion," 1832. 



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THE PERIOD OF EXPERIMENT. 



67 



expressly for the conveyance of passengers on common roads/' 
The two vertical working steam cylinders, the boiler, con- 
denser, and other details were suspended to a wood framing 
at the hinder part of the carriage, as shown in the engraving. 
The coach was of the ordinary kind, suspended on springs. 
The engine driver had a seat behind, where he could attend to 
the stoking, and start and stop the engine. The boiler 
consisted of a series of horizontal water tubes, ijin. diam. and 
2ft. long, the flanges of which at each end were bolted to the 
vertical tubes forming the sides of the furnace ; it was, how- 
ever, deficient in steam room, and primed badly. A small 
water tank was strapped to the wood framing in front of the 




Fig. 19. 

driving wheels, and a force pump supplied the boiler with 
water therefrom. The steam, after it had done its work in the 
cylinder, was conducted to an air condenser consisting of a 
number of flattened thin metal tubes exposed to the cooling 
influences of the air. " The power of the engines was 
communicated from the piston rods to the driving wheels of 
the carriage through the means ol sweep rods, the lower ends 
of which are provided with driving pinions and detents, which 
operate upon toothed gear fixed to the hind carriage axle." 
The object of this mechanism, which is of foreign invention, 
says Luke Hebert, *' is to keep the driving pinions always in 

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68 THE PERIOD OF EXPERIMENT. 

gear with the toothed wheels, however the engine and other 
machinery may vibrate, or the wheels be jolted upon uneven 
ground." In order that the boiler, engine, and other working 
parts might not suffer from the violent vibrations experienced 
when passing over rough roads, they were suspended to the 
wood framing by chain slings, having strong spiral springs 
introduced between them, as shown in the drawing. The 
carriage was steered by means of the usual mechanism, shown 
at the forward end. 

BROWN. — In 1823 Samuel Brown patented a locomotive 
for common roads, and three years later fitted up a 
carriage propelled by his patent gas vacuum engine, on 
which he ascended Shooter's Hill to the satisfaction of 
numerous spectators. The Canal Gas Engine Company 
was formed for applying this engine to the propulsion of 
vessels either on canals or navigable rivers, and several 
experiments were carried out on the Thames ; but the great 
expense of working such an engine caused it to be laid aside» 
and the company was soon dissolved. 

BURSTALL and HILL.— In 1824 a patent was granted 
to T. Burstall, of Edinburgh, and J. Hill, of London, for 
a locomotive engine. A side elevation of the carriage as 
actually constructed is shown in Fig. 20. The boiler was of 
peculiar design, when seen in section ; the shell was formed 
of cast iron, and the inner portion of the boiler consisted 
of shallow trays or receptacles for containing a small 
quantity of water to be converted into steam. The 
object of the patentees was to make the boiler a store of 
heat. "They proposed to heat it from 2SO''F. to eoo^'F., 
and by keeping the water in a separate vessel, and only 
applying it to the boiler when steam was wanted, they 
accomplished that desideratum of making just such a 



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70 THE PERIOD OF EXPERIMENT. 

quantity of steam as was wanted ; so that when going- 
down hill all the steam and heat might be saved, to be 
accumulated and given out again at the first hill or piece 
of rough road, when, more being wanted, more will be 
expended."* The boiler was very much larger than it 
appears in the side view (Fig. 20), as the furnace extended 
across the full width of the carriage. The gases were 
conducted through a square flue running round the 
outside of the boiler shell, and leading into the large 
chimney which rose from the centre. The boiler was 
suspended on springs, and the pipes for conducting steam 
from the boiler to the cylinders were made of copper, bent 
in the form shown, so that the vibration of the boiler and 
the rest of the machinery should not break any of 
the joints. The feed water cistern shown beneath the 
longitudinal driving shaft was made of sheet copper, air 
tight, and strong enough to sustain a pressure of 6olb. per 
square inch. Two air pumps were worked by the beams 
for forcing air into the reservoir, so that this pressure 
would drive the water through a convenient pipe from the 
tank into the boiler, at such time and in such quantity 
as might be required. The two cylinders were each 7in. 
diam., steam being admitted above and below the pistons 
by suitable valves. The stroke was I2in., and when 
working at high pressure the engine was said to indicate 
10 h.p. The exhaust steam was let off into an inter- 
mediate receiver, so that the noise could be lessened. The 
two vibrating beams were connected at one end to the 
piston rod, and at the other end to rocking standards 
carried on the top of the boiler shell. At about a fourth 
of the length of the beam were the two connecting rods 
driving the cranks on the hind axle, the cranks being 
* ♦* Edinburgh Philosophical Journal.'* 



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THE PERIOD OF EXPERIMENT. 7 1 

placed at an angle of 90^ from each other. All the 
wheels of the carriages were used as drivers when ascend- 
ing hills, drawing other vehicles behind, or traversing rough 
roads. This was effected by means of a pair of mitre 
wheels placed on the hind axle driving a longitudinal shaft, 
which in its turn drove the front axle through bevel wheels 
(shown more clearly in Fig. 21) whether the front axle was 
in the lock or not. None of the wheels were keyed direct to 
the axles, but the bosses of the driving wheels were provided 
with ratchets, discs, and spring pawls inside ; these ratchet 
wheels drove the travelling wheels when the axles revolved, 
and at the same time allowed the outer wheel, when the 





Pig. 21 Pig. 22. 

carriage described a curve to travel faster than the inner 
one, and still be ready to receive the impulse of the 
engine as soon as the carriage returned to a straight 
course. Fig. 22 shows the ratchet wheel and spring pawl. 
When it was necessary to back the coach the pawl and 
the ratchet wheel had to be locked ; but Burstall and 
Hill patented another method of performing the same 
operation. The wheel naves were cast with a recess in 
the centre, in which was fitted a double bevel clutch, the 
inside of the boss being cast to correspond ; and by a 
simple lever these clutches were made to drive when going 
forward or backward. Considerable ingenuity was displayed 



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72 THE PERIOD OF EXPERIMENT. 

in the details and arrangement of this carriage ; but through- 
out the repeated experiments made with it in London, 
no real success was achieved, in spite of many lengthy 
alterations being carried into effect between the trials. The 
utmost speed attained was from three to four miles an hour 
on an enclosed piece of ground, failure being altogether 
due to the boiler, upon which much money was expended. 
Mr. Hebert, the editor of the " Repertory of Patent 
Inventions," when referring to Burstall and Hill's carriage, 
suggested that the great impediment to the application 
of steam carriages to common roads was their enormous 
weight. This averaged about 8 tons, and if the usual loads 
put on an eight-horse waggon be added to this no common 
road then made would support such a weight ; and he hinted 
that it would be well for the patentees of this carriage to 
contrive means for lessening the weight by having the engine 
and boiler quite distinct from the carriages used for convey- 
ing the passengers or merchandise, like the plan pursued on 
the railways. Passengers were afraid of sitting near the 
boiler, and in warm weather the great heat was very objec- 
tionable ; whilst the jar of the machinery working close to 
the inmates of the coach was an additional reason for making 
the engine and boiler form an " iron horse," to be connected 
to the carriages by couplings, and not to be self contained, 
like Burstall and Hill's steam carriage. A further patent for 
improvements in steam carriages was obtained by Burstall 
and Hill in 1826, and in the following year they completed a 
carriage embodying these improvements, which was exhibited 
in Leith and Edinburgh, and in front of the Bethlehem 
Hospital, London ; but it was soon abandoned, and no 
particulars appear to have been chronicled respecting the 
design of this engine. Burstall and Hill, probably acting 
upon the advice given by Mr. Hebert, constructed in 1827 



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THE PERIOD OF EXPERIMENT. 



73 



a working model of a steam carriage, which is shown in 
Fig. 23. In this a simple vertical boiler was used on a 
separate carriage placed behind the engine and the 
coach. The model was one-fourth full size, and was 
exhibited at work in Edinburgh, and afterwards in London. 
The length of the model was 5ft. 6 in., and its height 
ift. loin., corresponding to a length of 22ft., and a height of 
7ft. 3in. The boiler was of the ordinary vertical conical 
type, the inside fire box and the shell being made of copper ; 
it was intended for a working pressure of 251b. of steam per 
square inch, and was tested up to a very high pressure. A 




Fig. 23. 

double cylinder high pressure engine was placed in the hind 
part of the body of the coach ; the cylinders were 3in. diam., 
with a stroke of 3in. The full sized engine at 251b. pressure 
would develop 10 h.p. The cylinders were placed vertically, 
the piston rods working in guides, and the connecting rods 
actuated the cranks on the ends of the main driving axle 
outside the wheels. An ordinary force pump was used in 
this case for feeding the boiler, and the exhaust steam was 
led into the chimney to create a blast. The coach was of 
the usual construction, intended to carry six passengers 



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74 THE PERIOD OF EXPERIMENT. 

inside and twelve passengers outside. The weight of the 
full sized carriage without fuel and water would be about 
3 tons, and this weight equally distributed on six broad tyred 
wheels would not injure the roads. The carriage was steered 
in a sinnple manner. *' The proportion of the locomotive was 
accurately preserved in all its parts, and exhibited a faithful 
representative of the carriage to be used on the road (if 
successful), so that it afforded a measure (though not a very 
correct one) of possible performances."* The model was 
made to travel round a circular and very uneven platform 
of deals 17ft. diam., with a speed equal to seven or eight 
miles an hour. An incline i8ft. long, rising one in eighteen, 
was fixed, and the engine ran up with ease and rapidity. 
The steam carriage was subjected to the roughest usage by 
being run over tools of various descriptions laid in the way, 
and it was asserted that this model ran in the space of eight 
days 250 miles without needing the glands to be re-packed 
or any repairs. It is to be regretted that this promising 
model never gave rise to actual working engines, as these 
would doubtless have succeeded. Had Burstall and Hill's 
first carriage been fitted with a more simple type of boiler 
it would most likely have also done well. 

JAMES. — W. H. James, of Thavies Inn, Holborn, whom 
Luke Hebert designates a gentleman of superior mechanical 
talents, in 1823 patented a tubular steam boiler designed 
expressly for road locomotives. The year following he intro- 
duced a steam carriage which possessed several points of 
novelty. Fig. 24 gives a plan. Fig. 25 a sectional end 
elevation, and Fig. 26 a sectional side view. It will be 
observed that a double cylinder engine is employed to drive 
each hind wheel. These cylinders are small in diameter, 
* Galloway on the Steam Engine. 



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THE PERIOD OF EXPERIMENT. 



75 



and the pistons were worked by steam at a pressure of 20olb. 
per square inch. The object of the patentee in employing 
separate engines to each driver was to give each wheel an 
independent motion, so that the power and speed might be 
varied at pleasure for turning corners, the outer wheel 
travelling over a much greater space than the inner wheel. 
By a suitable arrangement of cocks in the steam pipe, to 
which the front axle was connected, the amount of steam 




Fig. 24. 

admitted to each engine was automatically controlled. When 
the front wheels were in such a position that the carriage 
proceeded in a straight line an equal amount of steam was 
admitted to each pair of cylinders, but when the front wheel 
was in the lock the engine driving the outer wheel received 
a greater amount of steam, and thus developed more power 
and travelled faster than the inner wheel. Hebert describes 
it as being **so efficient that the carriage could be made to 
describe every variety of curve ; he has seen it repeatedly 



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76 



THE PERIOD OF EXPERIMENT. 



make turns of less than lOft. radius.*** The whole of the 
machinery was very ingeniously mounted upon laminated 
carriage springs, the advantages of which are well under- 
stood. This was effected by causing the engines and their 
frame work to vibrate altogether upon the crank shaft as a 
centre, at the same time connecting these engines to the 
boiler by means of hollow axles moving in stuffing boxes. 
The arrangement of springs, the engine frames, and steam 







Fis. 25. 

pipe may be seen from Fig. 26. Each engine has two 
cyhnders of small diameter and long stroke ; to these 
separate engines steam is supplied from the boiler by means 
of the main pipe, which moves through steam tight stuffing 
boxes to the slide valve boxes by small pipes, as shown. 
The slide valves are worked by eccentrics on the engine 
shafts in the usual manner, and the exhaust steam conducted 
into the chimney. It will be noticed that James adopted 
the wise course of making the locomotive quite distinct from 

* Register of Arts.'* 1829. 



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THE PERIOD OF EXPERIMENT. 



n 



the carriage intended for passengers, and on the whole the 
engine we have described was certainly a decided advance, 
compared with any of its immediate predecessors, and judg- 
ing from the drawings it should have proved a success. 
Owing to pecuniary difficulties he was not able to build a 
carriage upon the lines we have described, but he was in the 
meantime busily engaged in designing high pressure tubular 
boilers for road locomotives, &c. At length, however. Sir 
James Anderson, Bart, of Buttevant Castle, Ireland, con- 
nected himself with James in the construction of steam 




Fig. 26. 

carriages, and in March, 1829, they carried out some experi- 
ments with a steam coach as shown by Fig. 27, the engine 
of which was very similar to that illustrated in Figs. 24, 25, 
and 26. This weighed nearly three tons, and the first trials 
were made round a circle of i6oft. in diameter; in every 
experiment some defect being discovered and altered. At 
last the engine was brought out and loaded with fifteen 
passengers, and was propelled several miles on a rough 
gravel road across Epping Forest, with a speed varying 
from twelve to fifteen miles an hour. Steam was supplied 
by two tubular boilers, each forming a hollow cylinder, 
4ft. 6in. long. It should here be observed, says Hebert,t 
f In the Appendix to Galloway's Treatise on the Steam Engine, 1830. 



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79 



" tliat the tubes of which the boilers were composed were 
common gas tubes, one of which split, thus letting the 
water out of one of the boilers and extinguishing its fire. 
Under these circumstances, with only one boiler in opera- 
tion, the carriage returned home at the rate of about 
seven miles an hour, carrying more than twenty passengers, 
at one period indeed, it is said, a much greater number ; 
showing that sufficient steam can be generated in such a 
boiler to be equal to the propulsion of between 5 tons 
and 6 tons weight. In consequence of this flattering 




Fig. 28. 

demonstration that the most brilliant success was attain- 
able, the proprietors dismantled the carriage and commenced 
the construction of superior tubular boilers with much 
stronger tubes." 

Shortly after the trials conducted by Sir J. Anderson and 
W. H. James across Epping Forest with the steam carriage 
made in accordance with James* patents of 1824 and 1825, 
they commenced to build another steam carriage, which was 
ready for use in November, 1829. Fig. 28 may be taken as a 
representation of the outside appearance of this fresh venture, 
but the internal details were of different design. This engine 



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8o THE PERIOD OF EXPERIMENT. 

was not intended to carry any passengers, but to be 
employed for drawing carriages behind. Four tubular boilers 
were used, the total number of tubes being nearly two 
hundred. These boilers were enclosed in a space 4ft. wide, 
3ft. long, and 2ft. deep. The steam from each boiler was 
conducted into one main steam pipe liin. in diameter, and 
the communication from any one of the boilers could be cut 
off in case of leakage. Four cylinders, each 2^in. bore and 
gin. stroke, were arranged vertically in the hind part of the 
locomotive, and two of them acted upon each crank shaft as 
before, giving a separate motion to each driving wheel. The 
exhaust steam was conducted through two copper tanks for 
heating the feed water to a high temperature, and thence 
passed to the chimney. The steering gear consisted of an 
external pillar containing a vertical shaft, at the upper end of 
which small bevel gearing was used, giving motion to the 
vertical shaft, whose bottom end carried a pinion gearing into 
a sector attached to the fore axle. A large lamp is shown in 
the illustration for lighting the road for the steersman. The 
motion of the crank shafts was in this case communicated to 
the separate axles of the driving wheels by spur gearing with 
two speeds, changeable at will and as the state of the road 
required. In numerous experiments made with this carriage, 
in which Hebert had an opportunity of riding, he says, " the 
greatest speed obtained upon a level on a very indifferent 
road was at the rate of fifteen miles an hour," and it never 
ran more than three or four miles without breaking some of 
the steam joints, the workmanship of the day not being good 
enough for a steam pressure of 30olb. to the square inch. 
We quote the following from the Mechanics* Magazine of the 
14th November, 1829 : " A series of interesting experiments 
were made throughout the whole of yesterday with a new 
steam carriage belonging to Sir James Anderson, Bart., 

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THE PERIOD OF EXPERIMENT. 8l 

and W. H. James, Esq., on the Vauxhall, Kensington, 
and Clapham roads, with the view of ascertaining the 
practical advantages of some perfectly novel apparatus 
attached to the engines, the results of which were so 
satisfactory that the proprietors intend immediately establish- 
ing several stage coaches on the principle. The writer 
was favoured with a ride during the last experiment, when 
the machine proceeded from Vauxhall Bridge to the Swan 
at Clapham, a distance of two and a half miles, which 
was run at the rate of fifteen miles an hour. From what 
I had the pleasure of witnessing, I am confident that this 
carriage is far superior to every other locomotive carriage 
hitherto brought before the public, and that she will easily 
perform fifteen miles an hour throughout a long journey, 
The body of the carriage, if not elegant, is neat, being the 
figure of a parallelogram. It is a very small and compact 
machine, and runs upon four wheels." 

W. H. James patented another steam carriage in August 
1832. An illustration of this is given in Fig. 28, which 
shows a wide departure in the working parts from his earlier 
engines. The two high pressure cylinders were fixed near the 
top corner over the boiler, and the pistons actuated, by means 
of long connecting rods, a crank shaft placed near the front 
top corner of the carriage. The shaft carried three chain 
wheels of different diameters, and these communicated 
motion to three similar wheels placed on a counter shaft fixed 
directly under the crank shaft. The chain wheels being of 
diflFerent diameters three distinct travelling speeds were 
provided for, since any pair of chain wheels could readily be 
put into gear, by means of clutches actuated by foot levers 
placed beneath the steersman. It will be seen from the 
illustration that motion was communicated from the counter 
shaft to the driving axle by means of a pitch chain and 

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82 THE PERIOD OF EXPERIMENT. 

suitable chain wheels. " A bar on the fore carriage was 
connected by chains to rods working cams, which threw in 
and out of gear ratchets on the bosses of two of the chain 
wheels communicating motion to the driving wheels The 
effect of this arrangement was that on the fore carriage being 
turned from side to side to steer the engine, the driving 
wheels on one side were thrown out of gear." The fire was 
blown by bellows placed under the steersman's seat, worked 
by the engine. The boilers were of the water tube type, and 
very complicated. A double acting force pump was ar- 
ranged to produce a circulation of water through the boiler. 
The locomotive carried a large water tank communicating by 
tubes with the boiler. A surface condenser was placed in the 
bottom of the carriage. The details of this locomotive were 
not nearly so well arranged as in those previously made by 
James. The method of disconnecting the driving wheels 
when turning comers could not have worked satisfactorily. 
We are not sure that a carriage was ever built in accordance 
with the patented plans of 1832, as Sir James Anderson 
appears to have fallen into pecuniary difficulties about this 
time, according to Maceroni. 



NEVILLE. — In 1823, James Neville, of Shad Thames, 
London, took out a patent for a steam boiler intended for 
steam carriages, and in 1827 patented an improved road 
locomotive, the chief object of which appears to have been to 
provide the periphery of the driving wheels with spikes to 
prevent them from slipping. One of the first spring wheels 
is embodied in Neville's specification. He says : " When the 
steam carriage is intended to run up very steep inclines, I 
attach, if necessary, plates of elastic steel." These plates 
(shown in Fig. 29) were i8in. long, and made rough on their 



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THE PERIOD OF EXPERIMENT. 



83 



outside surface by projecting steel studs. They were made 
the full width of the tyre, and fixed by countersunk bolts, so 
that the springs when not compressed formed tangents to the 
circumference of the wheel, as shown in the illustration. 




Fis. 29. 

Their elasticity enabled them to assume the circular form 
of the tyre, as they ascended with the wheel from the ground ; 
at the same time their extended surface occasioned greater 
resistance, and prevented the wheels from slipping when 
ascending steep hills. Fig. 30 shows a plan of Neville's steam 
carriage, from which it will be seen that two oscillating 
cylinders were placed horizontally beneath the carriage : the 
piston rod ends were attached to the double cranked axle, no 
connecting rods or guide bars being necessary. The carriage 
could be propelled by the engines working directly, or if hills 
had to be surmounted, rough roads to be traversed, or heavy 
loads to be hauled, a countershaft was provided with spur 
gearing to transmit the power, suitable clutches being pro- 
vided for quickly bringing this gearing into action when 
required. The boiler employed is one patented in 1826. 



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s; 

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THE PERIOD OF EXPERIMENT. 85 

SEAWARD— In 1825 J. and S. Seaward, of the City 
Canal Iron Works, London, patented a method of propelling 
road locomotives, by means of a wheel or wheels connected 
by a swinging frame to the crank shaft of a steam engine, as 
shown in the sketch Fig. 31. The propelling wheels could 



a\so be fixed in circular grooves, so that they might rise and 
fall to accommodate themselves to the inequalities of the 
toad over which they travelled. The weight of the engine 
was to be carried upon separate wheels. The tyres 
of these propellers had projecting teeth or indented surfaces, 
to give them a hold on the ground or cause them to "bite" 
and prevent them from slipping. Seaward's propelling 
wheels have been repeatedly revived, and patented in 
modified forms. These latter schemes will be noticed in 
due course, but we may state in passing that there cannot 
be two opinions respecting the injurious effect of such spiked 
wheels upon the roads, seeing that rotary diggers are 
exactly similar in principle. 

PARKER.— T. W. Parker, of Edgar County, Illinois, in 
1825, made a large working model of a steam carriage of 
simple construction, and very light. It was mounted upon 

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86 THE PERIOD OF EXPERIMENT. 

three wheels, the leading wheel as well as the two hind 
wheels, 8ft. in diameter, being driven by a double cylinder 
engine. The carriage was examined by many persons, and 
no fault appears to have been found with its action. 

ANDREWS.— F. Andrews, of Stamford Rivers, in Essex, 
patented some improvements in steam carriages in 1826. 
He appears to have been the inventor of what is termed 




Pig. 82. 

the " pilot " steering wheel, a plan which Gurney appro- 
priated two years after the patent was sealed. It will be 
noticed that Gurney's steam carriage of 1828 was fitted 
with pilot steering. Thomas Aveling re-patented this 
form of steerage about i860, and there are traction engines 
in existence at the present time fitted with fore carriages 

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THE PERIOD OF EXPERIMENT. 



87 



of such design. The pilot steerage consisted of a single 
disc running between two shafts, which were connected 
to the leading axle, and as the disc was turned by the 
steersman's lever to the right or left hand, the front 
wheels followed in the same direction. Fig. 32 shows 
clearly this type of steerage. Another novelty claimed 
by Andrews was the use of cylinders working on trun- 
nions, the piston rods of which acted directly on the 
crank shaft. The oscillating cylinders were placed in a 
horizontal position, so that they were quite unaffected by 
the motion of the springs. These cylinders were used by 




Fig. 33. 

Neville in his steam carriage (see Fig. 30), but Andrews 
was the designer. Neville says in his patent specifica- 
tion : ** I do not confine myself to any particular form of 
steam engine, neither do I think a detailed description of 
such engines necessary." Fig. 33 gives a sectional view 
of Andrews's steam carriage ; the furnace is shown at the 
bottom, and the products of combustion pass along under- 
neath the bottom of the boiler, and return to the front 
of the boiler through the flue, thence into the chimney. 



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88 THE PERIOD OF EXPERIMENT. 

which is not shown. The cranked axle was encased in a 
tube passing through the water space of the ^boiler, the 
opening being large enough to allow the crank to pass 
through. The boiler was hung upon framing, and sup- 
ported on springs. Mr. A. F. Yarrow, in his paper on 
** Steam Carriages," 1862, says : " Andrews's steam carriage, 
like many others, proved unsuccessful, owing to the failure 
of the boiler." 

GOUGH. — Nathan Gough, of Salford, is the next in- 
ventor to be noticed. He patented some steam carriage 
arrangements possessing merit, but as no carriages appear 
to have been built to his plans, we cannot stay to describe 
them. 

HOLLAND.— T. S. Holland took out a patent in 1827 
for a curious method of producing a locomotive action for 
steam carriages. 

NASMYTH. — The following account of a steam carriage 
made by Mr. James Nasmyth is quoted from his autobio- 
graphy, edited by Dr. Smiles.* " About the year 1827, 
when I was 19 years old, the subject of steam carriages to 
run upon common roads occupied considerable attention. 
Several engineers and mechanical schemers had tried their 
hands, but as yet no substantial results had come of their 
attempts to solve the problem. Like others, I tried my 
hand. Having made a small working model of a steam 
carriage, I exhibited it before the members of the Scottish 
Society of Arts. The performance of this active little 
machine was so gratifying to the Society^ that they requested 
me to construct one of such power as to enable four or six 

♦James Nasmyth, Engineer, an Autobiography S. Smiles, LL.D,, 1885. 



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THE PERIOD OF EXPERIMENT. 89 

persons to be conveyed along the ordinary roads. The 
members of the Society, in their individual capacity, sub- 
scribed £60, which they placed in my hands as the means 
for carrying out their project. I accordingly set to work 
at once, and completed the carriage in about four months, 
when It was exhibited before the members of the Society 
of Arts. Many successful trials were made with it on the 
Queensferry Road near Edinburgh. The runs were generally 
of four or five miles, with a load of eight passengers sitting 
on benches about 3ft. from the ground. The experiments 
were continued for nearly three months, to the great satis- 
faction of the members. I may mention that in my steam 
carriage I employed the waste steam to create a blast or 
draught, by discharging it into the short chimney of the 
boiler at its lowest part ; and I found it most effective. I 
was not at that time aware that George Stephenson and 
others* had adopted the same method ; but it was after- 
wards gratifying to me to find that I had been correct as 
regards the important uses of the steam blast in the chimney. 
In fact, It is to this use of the waste steam that we owe the 
practical success of the locomotive engine as a tractive power 
on railways, especially at high speeds. The Society of Arts 
did not attach any commercial value to my road carriage. 
It was merely as a matter of experiment that they had 
invited me to construct it. When it proved successful they 
made me a present of the entire apparatus. As I was 
anxious to get on with my studies, and to prepare for the 
work of practical engineering, I proceeded no further. I 
broke up the steam carriage, and sold the two small high 
pressure engines, provided with a strong boiler, for £6^^ a 
sum which more than defrayed all the expenses of the 

* The blast pipe was introduced by Trevithick in his first steam road locomotive, 
some years before George Stephenson used it. 

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90 THE PERIOD OF EXPERIMENT. 

construction and working of the machine. James Nasmyth 
died 6th May, 1890, aged 82 years. 

VINEY. — Colonel James Viney, Royal Engineers, patented 
a boiler in 1829, which was intended for steam carriages. 
The boiler was arranged with two, three, four, or six con- 
centric hollow cylinders containing water, between which 
the fire from below passed up. There was shown an annular 
space for water, and an annular space or flue for the ascend- 
ing fire, alternately; the water being placed between two 
fires. It does not appear that this boiler was ever tried. 

HARLAND.— Dr. Harland, of Scarborough, in 1827 in- 
vented and patented a steam carriage for running on 
common roads. " A working model of the steam coach 
was perfected, embracing a multitubular boiler for quickly 
raising high-pressure steam, with a revolving surface con- 
denser for reducing the steam to water again by means of 
its exposure to the cold draught of the atmosphere through 
the interstices of extremely thin laminations of copper plates. 
The entire machinery, placed under the bottom of the 
carriage, was borne on springs; the whole being of an 
elegant form. This model steam carriage ascended with 
ease the steepest roads. Its success was so complete that 
Dr. Harland designed a full -sized carriage; but the demands 
upon his professional skill were so great that he was pre- 
vented going further than constructing the pair of engines 
the wheels, and a part of the boiler, all of which remnants, 
Dr. Smiles tells us, * are still preserved as valuable links in 
the progress of steam locomotion.' "* Dr. Harland had a great 
love for mechanical pursuits. He spent his leisure time in 
inventions of many sorts ; and, in conjunction with the late 

♦ "Men of Invention and Industry," by S. Smiles, LL.D., 1884. 

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THE PERIOD OF EXPERIMENT. 9I 

Sir George Cayley of Brompton, he kept an excellent 
mechanic constantly at work. Dr. Harland was thrice 
Mayor of Scarborough, and a Justice of the Peace for the 
borough. He died in 1866. 

RAWE AND BOASE. — In 1830, a patent was issued to 
Rawe and Boase, of Albany Street, London, for improve- 
ments in steam carriages. 

CLIVE.— Mr. Clive, of Chell House, Staffordshire, took 
out a patent in 1830 for improvements in the construction of 
locomotives, consisting chiefly of two proposals, according to 
which the driving wheels were to be made from 5ft. to loft. 
diam., according to circumstances, and the throw of the 
cranks was to be increased to from i8in. to 24in. Clive 
wrote many articles on steam carriages under the signature 
of ** Saxula '' in the Mechanics' Magazine, In 1843 he writes 
as under : — *' I am an old common road steam carriage pro- 
jector, but gave it up as impracticable ten years ago, and I 
am a warm admirer of Col. Maceroni's inventions. My 
opinion for years has been, and often so expressed, that 
it is impossible to build an engine sufficiently strong to run 
even without a load on a common road, year by year, at the 
rate of 15 to 20 miles an hour. It would break down. 
Cold iron at that speed cannot stand the shock of the 
momentum of a constant fall from stones and ruts of even 
an inch high." 

LEA. — The following letters relating to the work of 
Lea appeared in the Mechanics' Magazine during the 
latter part of the year 1830 : " I beg to mention that a 
mechanic named Lea, of Hoxton, has constructed a small 
model of a steam carriage capable of accomplishing every- 

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92 THE PERIOD OF EXPERIMENT. 

thing that a horse can do, on any road or in any season, 
and it differs in its principle from every steam travelling 
apparatus yet before the public." (Signed " W. Turner, Old 
Hoxton.") To this letter " Saxula " replied as follows : 
" I request Mr. Turner to propose to Lea the following 
test : Ascertain whether his steam carriage will ascend, 
even with difficulty, on plain wheels, an incline of one in 
three. If it fail to do this, and the wheels turn constantly 
round without moving at all — and it is not the first 
competitor that has failed — he may be assured that his 
locomotive, although on a new principle, is not built on 
the true principles of locomotion." 

H EATON.— W. G. & R. Heaton> of Birmingham, built 
several carriages under a patent taken out in 1830. The 
mechanism adopted was very complicated, and the patentees 
acknowledged that none of the separate details were novel. 
They merely claimed the combination constituting the 
general structure. Their boiler and steering gear were like 
those of James's, and their mode of driving resembled Trevi- 
thick's. In August, 1833, Messrs. Heaton placed a steam 
drag on the road between Worcester and Birmingham, but 
some part of their machinery unfortunately broke in ascend- 
ing the Lickey Hill. After having the damage repaired, 
they started again on the same road. " Attached to the 
engine was a stage coach, carrying fifteen passengers 
weighing i ton 15 cwt. They picked up five more pas- 
sengers shortly after starting, and arrived at Northfield, a 
distance of nearly seven miles, in 56 minutes. Having taken 
in water, they started, and proceeded to ascend the Lickey 
Hill, a rise of one in nine, and even one in eight in some 
places ; many parts of the hill were very soft, but by putting 
both wheels in gear they ascended to the summit, 700 yards 

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93 



in nine minutes. After proceeding to Broomsgrove, the drag 
and carriage returned, and on descending the steepest part of 
the hill they proved their power by stopping suddenly. This 
hill is one of the worst upon any turnpike road in England."* 
In 1833 a company was formed in Birmingham for the 
purpose of constructing and running one of Messrs Heaton's 
carriages, subject to the condition of keeping up an average 
speed of ten miles an hour. After repeated trials during 
1834 with a new carriage, Messrs. Heaton dissolved their 
contract with the company, candidly declaring their inability 
to do more than seven or eight miles an hour.f 

The following appeared in the Birmingham Journal^ 12th 
April, 1834: — "We are authorised by * Heaton's Steam 
Carriage Company ' to state that the results of experiments 
have not proved satisfactory, and they will call a meeting of 




Fig. 34. 

the shareholders to take into consideration a letter from Mr. 
Heaton on the subject. After spending upwards of ;£"2,ooo 
in endeavours to effect steam travelling, Messrs. Heaton 
honourably retire from the field, stating that the wear and 
tear were excessive at 10 miles an hour ; the carriage was 
heavy, and wasteful in steam, hence their reasons for giving 
up." 

♦Young's *• Steam on Common Koads.** 

fMaceroni's ** Steam Power Applied to Common Roads. 



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94 THE PERIOD OF EXPERIMENT. 

We are sorry that Heatons discontinued running their 
carriages, which did well at slower speeds, as the company 
they had formed would have accepted the carriages at a speed 
of eight miles an hour. 

NAPIER. — Messrs. Napier, of London and Glasgow, in 
183 1, took out a patent for a steam locomotive, constructed 
as shown in Fig. 34. The boiler was of the horizontal type, 
placed beneath the carriage, to which the two steam cylinders 
were bolted. The crank shaft, which was placed in front of 
the steering wheel, had a chain wheel keyed upon it, which 
communicated motion from the crank shaft to the driving 
axle as shown. Several chains were to be used if necessary. 
The boiler and engine were bolted together and secured to 
the under framing of the carriage, the upper portion being 
mounted upon spiral springs. 




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SUMMERS AND OGLE.— In 1831, Summers and Ogle 
built two steam carriages which are noted for having attained 
extraordinarily high speeds on common roads. Their boilers 
were similar to those used on American fire engines, and 
were worked at a pressure of 2501b. per square inch. The 
fuel used was soft and good coke, which produced no smoke. 
The first carriage was fitted with two steam cylinders, each 
7iin. diam. and i8in. stroke. The carriage was mounted 
upon three wheels, the drivers being 5ft. 6in. diam. Fig. 35 




Fig. 85. 

gives an outline sketch of this carriage, from which it will be 
seen that the passengers were placed in the front and middle 
of the vehicle, the boiler being placed behind the body of 
the carriage. The exhaust steam was not turned into the 
chimney, but the fire was blown with a fan driven by the 
engine. Their second carriage was very similar in con- 
struction, but the boiler was transferred from one vehicle to 



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96 THE PERIOD OF SUCCESSFUL APPLICATION. 

the other, and three steam cylinders were used, each 4in. 
diam. with I2in. stroke. Summers and Ogle, in their evi- 
dence before a committee of the House of Commons, gave 
the following particulars of their trials. The greatest velocity 
they ever obtained was thirty-two miles an hour ; they went 
from the turnpike gate at Southampton to the four-mile stone 
on the London road, a continued elevation, with one slight 
descent, at the rate of twenty-four and a half miles per hour, 
loaded with people. Their first steam carriage ran from 
Cable-street, Wellclose Square, to within two miles and a half 
of Basingstoke, when the crank shaft broke, and they were 
obliged to put the whole machine into a barge on the canal 
and send it back to London. This same machine had pre- 
viously run in various directions about the streets and out- 
skirts of London. With their improved carriage they went 
from Southampton to Birmingham, Liverpool and London, 
with the greatest success. The following is an abbreviated 
account of one of their trials from the Saturday Magazine^ 
October 6th, 1832: "I have just returned from witnessing 
the triumph of science in mechanics, by travelling along a 
hilly and crooked road from Oxford to Birmingham in a 
steam carriage. This truly wonderful machine is the inven- 
tion of Captain Ogle, of the Royal Navy, and Mr. Summers, 
his partner, and is the first and only one that has accom- 
plished so long a journey over chance roads, and without 
rails. Its rate of travelling may be called twelve miles an 
hour, but twenty or perhaps thirty down hill if not checked 
by the brake, a contrivance which places the whole of the 
machinery under complete control. Away went the splendid 
vehicle through that beauteous city (Oxford) at the rate of 
ten miles an hour, which, when clear of the houses, was 
accelerated to fourteen. Just as the steam carriage was 
entering the town of Birmingham, the supply of coke being 

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THE PERIOD OF SUCCESSFUL APPLICATION. 97 

exhausted, the steam dropped ; and the good people, on 
learning the cause, flew to the frame, and dragged it into 
the inn yard." The carriage weighed 3 tons with coal 
and water, but without passengers, of which as many as 
twenty were sometimes carried. 

GURNEY. — Many of the steam carriage schemes thus far 
dealt with, judging at least from appearances, gave little 
promise of success, the promoters in numerous instances 
being persons of no mechanical experience. Others 
deserved to succeed on the score of meritorious design. The 
arrangement of some of these vehicles presented many 
valuable features, but owing to structural defects and poor 
workmanship, even these more promising steam carriages did 
not work satisfactorily, the boiler being generally one of the 
causes of failure. We have now, however, arrived at a 
period in the history of steani locomotion when success was 
practically achieved ; common road carriages were in suc- 
cessful operation, and many carriages were being built for 
regular passenger service in various parts of the country. 
Among those who laboured in the steam carriage industry 
when success was realised. Sir Goldsworthy Gurney occupies 
a prominent, though not by any means the foremost place, 
since he was not so successful as Hancock, and other of his 
contemporaries. Some authors have ignored all the honest 
work connected with the introduction of steam locomotion 
on common roads, that has been performed by the thirty or 
more labourers whose inventions we have described, and who 
lived previous to Gurney's day. They have consequently 
placed Gurney in a too exalted position ; for instance, Dr. 
Lardner says {The Stea7n Engine) : " First and most 
prominent in the history of the application of steam to the 
propelling of carriages on turnpike roads stands the name of 



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98 THE PERIOD OF SUCCESSFUL APPLICATION. 

Sir Goldsworthy Gumey." As Gurney's inventions have 
been so often described, it will only be necessary for 
us to briefly sketch hi.^ career. He was born at 
Trevorgus, in Cornwall, in 1793. In 1822 Gurney stated 
in a public lecture on chemical science, " That elementary 
power was capable of being applied to propel carriages 
along the common roads with great political advantage, and 
that the floating knowledge of the day placed the subject 
within our reach." He soon afterwards constructed a little 
locomotive, which worked successfully with ammoniacal gas, 
and the results of his experiments were so satisfactory that he 
turned his attention to steam carriages. In 1825 he patented 
and made a very crude steam locomotive, impelled by legs 
similar to, but not nearly so well arranged as Brunton's and 
Gordon's arrangements, previously illustrated in these pages. 
In his experiments with this engine he ascended Windmill 
Hill, near Kilburn, and although many road locomotives had 
been constructed before Gurney's day, by which it was shown 
that propellers were altogether unnecessary (the wheels being 
found not only sufficient for propelling the carriages on level 
roads, but also for ascending hills), Gurney refused to believe 
in the tractive power of wheels, and provided his next carriage 
with levers to assist in propelling the carriage when the 
driving wheels slipped. A trip by steam between London 
and Edgeware, about nine miles from the carriage factory, 
was effected by this arrangement. In 1826 he constructed a 
coach about 20ft. long, which would accommodate six inside 
and fifteen outside passengers ; the driving wheels were 5ft., 
diam., and the leading wheels 3ft. 9in. diam. ; and two 
propellers were used, which could be put in motion when 
the carriage was climbing hills. Gurney's patent boiler 
was used for supplying steam to the 12 h.p. engine. 
The total weight of the carriage was about a ton and 



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99 



a half. This locomotive went up Highgate Hill to 
Edgeware, and also to Stanmore, and went up both Stan- 
more Hill and Brockley Hill. In ascending these hills the 
driving wheels did not slip, so that the legs were not needed. 
After these experiments the propellers were removed. In 
1828 Gurney built a steam carriage, in which a number of 
patented improvements were embodied. Fig. 36 shows this 
steam carriage "which was propelled by the adhesion of 
one wheel, though means were provided for driving with 
both if required." He made many trips with this carriage, 
running to Barnet, and experimenting for eighteen months 




Pig. 36. 

in the neighbourhood of London. It is reputed that he went 
to Bath and back, but one authority says that the coach 
broke in going, and was hauled into Bath by horses. Some 
repairs were effected in Bath, and during the return journey 
the carriage ran from Melksham to Cranford Bridge, a dis- 
tance of eighty- four miles, in ten hours, including stoppages. 
This carriage, containing so many improvements, has been 
illustrated in numerous works on the steam engine, but we 



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THE PERIOD OF SUCCESSFUL APPLICATION. 



know that it was the least successful of all Gurney's 
attempts.* Fig. 37 shows the external appearance of the 
carriage by permission of the proprietors of The Graphic, 
In 183 1 Sir Charles Dance commenced to run steam 




Fig. 37. 

carriages of Gurney's make between Gloucester and Chel- 
tenham. These carriages ran for four months four times 
a-day, and during this period 3000 passengers were carried 
nearly 4000 miles. They performed the distance (nine 
miles) in fifty-five minutes on an average, and frequently did 
it in forty-five. *' There were sometimes delays," owing to 
leaky boiler tubes, which prolonged the time, but no accident 
happened to any person. These carriages or ** steam drags" 
are shewn in Gordon's Elemental Locomotion (1832), and are 
sensibly built engines. As will be seen from the illustrations, 

* Maceroni says; " At a sale in 1834 a couple of those celebrated steam 
carnages, all but new (with a separate engine to work the pumps and blower), 
were sold fur a mere trifle." 



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Fig. 38 gives a side elevation, and Fig. 39 a plan of the steam 
drag, the locomotive was distinct from the carriages in- 




Fig. 38. 




Fis. 39. 

tended for passengers ; the double cylinder engine was 
placed under the body of the " drag,**" and worked directly 
on to the cranked hind axle. The slide valves were actuated 



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102 THE PERIOD OF SUCCESSFUL APPLICATION. 

by eccentrics, and the steam pressure employed was /olb. 
per square inch. Sir Charles Dance says : " Obstacles are 
always thrown in the way of a new invention, particularly 
if it is likely to produce important results, by those 
who expect their interests will be affected by its success." 
Thus it was that country gentlemen, trustees of roads, 
farmers, coach proprietors, coachmen, post boys, &c., opposed 
Gurney*s steam carriages, and on the 22nd June, 183 1, large 
heaps of stones were laid across the road, four miles from 
Gloucester, about i8in. deep; whilst struggling over this 
obstruction the axle was broken. Prohibitory turnpike 
rates ultimately turned these carriages off the road. In 
May, 183 1, Mr. Ward made several trips in and about 
Glasgow with one of Gurney*s carriages, but these trips 
were not so satisfactory as the owners could have wished. 
During a trip made with this steam carriage between 
Glasgow and Paisley the boiler burst, injuring some of 
the spectators. At the petition of Gurney, the House of 
Commons appointed a Select Committee to investigate the 
subject of steam locomotion on common roads. Many 
witnesses were examined during the three months that 
the committee sat. The evidence adduced was in favour 
of steam carriages. 

About the year 1832 Sir Goldsworthy Gurney had ceased 
to build steam carriages at his own expense ; he had just 
completed two " perfect " steam drags with other people's 
money, and refused to run them unless more money could be 
raised to build a third. He was very busy at this time 
attempting to float a company to introduce and run his 
improved carriages. One project was mooted of forming a 
joint concern of all the steam carriage proprietors, viz., 
Hancock, Maceroni, Redmund, and others, but this idea failed 
also. Gurney then petitioned the House of Commons to 



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THE PERIOD OF SUCCESSFUL APPLICATION. IO3 

sanction a grant for the expenses he had incurred in attempt- 
ing to introduce steam carriages, and to repay the heavy losses 
he had sustained through these numerous experimental trips. 
Sir George Cayley supported the prayer of the petition in 
Parliament. " He considered Mr. Gurney a very ill-used 
man. On the faith of our patent laws, Mr. Gurney had 
given up, to pursue this noble invention, a lucrative pro- 
fession. Five years toil, and an expense of ;^30,ooo, 
brought it into practical use ; yet he is now deprived of 
receiving any remuneration — not from any want of success 
in his experiments, not from any failure in his carriage, but 
by Act of Parliament : by our act and deed has he been 
wronged, and by our act and deed ought he to be, and I 
trust will be, redressed." A select committee of the House 
of Commons recommended a grant of ;^ 16,000 and the 
repeal of the injurious Turnpike Acts. The Chancellor of 
the Exchequer refused the grant. The Steam Carriage Bill 
was twice referred to a select committee, had passed the 
House of Commons but was thrown out by the Lords. 
Mr. Gurney says : " When the repeal did not pass, I sold 
all my materials for manufacturing, and gave up my factory? 
feeling that injury had been done to me." 

After Mr. Gurney quitted the steam carriage business he 
turned his attention to many other useful subjects — the pro- 
duction of the Bude light, the ventilation of mines, &c. — and 
in most of them he succeeded. The Bude light was tried 
for the first time in street illumination on the loth January, 
1842, at the crossing in Pall Mall at the bottom of Waterloo 
place. It is said to have illuminated the whole of the open 
space, in which stands the Athenaeum Club, very powerfully, 
and to have caused the gas lamps to look as dim as the oil 
lamps did when gas was introduced. Gurney likewise de- 
vised the well-known stove which goes by his name. By 



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I04 THE PERIOD OF SUCCESSFUL APPLICATION. 

these inventions his name was kept prominently before the 
public, and we are enabled to trace his career down to the 
time of his death, which occurred in March, 1875, at his 
residence in Cornwall * 

DANCE. — Sir Charles Dance, after removing Gurney's 
steam coaches from the 'Cheltenham and Gloucester road, 
came to London, and caused one of the carriages to be re- 
paired and rendered more powerful by Messrs. Maudsley and 
Field. A patent was also taken out for a boiler in their joint 
names. In September, 1833, short experimental trips were 
made with the improved steam drag and omnibus attached, 
which travelled at sixteen miles per hour. A few days after- 
wards Sir Charles Dance left London for Brighton with the 
omnibus in tow, loaded with fifteen passengers, and covered 
the distance of fifty-two miles in five and a half hours, the 
return journey being performed in less than five hours. 
About the middle of October the steam drag and omnibus, 
says Young, " were put upon the road between Wellington 
Street, Waterloo Bridge, and Greenwich, where it con- 
tinued to run for a fortnight, with a view of showing the 
public in London what could be done in this direction. 
The proprietor had no intention of making it a permanent 
mode of conveyance, and therefore kept the company as 
select as he could by charging half a crown for tickets each 
way." 

CHURCH. — Dr. Church, of Birmingham, introduced a 
number of novelties pertaining to steam locomotion on 
common roads in 1832 and 1835. His patent specifications 
were very extensive and elaborate ; the improvements con- 
sisted first, in the construction of the framing of the carriage 
which supports the bodies of the vehicle, and encloses the 

* The Engineer^ 12th March, 1875. 

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THE PERIOD OF SUCCESSFUL APPLICATION. IO5 

machinery by which it is impelled, and the manner of con- 
necting the ribs for the purpose of giving great strength 
from a comparatively small weight of material ; secondly, 
in the peculiar construction of the boilers, furnaces, and 
flues, by which a sufficient quantity of water may be con- 
verted into steam ; and thirdly, in the construction of the 
running wheels of the coach, designed particularly to pre- 
vent concussions as they pass over inequalities on the 
surface of the road. The wheels were made with elastic 
rims that bent into " flatted curves " as they came in 
contact with the ground, thereby preventing the wheels 
from sinking or sliding round. The frame work of the 
vehicle was made of iron, and the boiler consisted of a 
series of vertical tubes, into each of which was introduced 
a pipe which was secured at the bottom of the boiler 
tube ; the interior pipe constituted the flue, which first 
passed in through a boiler tube, and was then bent like 
a syphon, and passed down another until it reached as 
low or lower than the bottom of the fire place, whence it 
passed off into a general flue in communication with an 
exhausting apparatus. The wheels were elastic, the tyres 
being made of several successive layers of broad wood 
hoops, covered with a thin iron tyre. These elastic 
tyres were connected to the naves by spring spokes, very 
similar in construction to some modern traction engine 
wheels. Two oscillating steam cylinders were suspended 
on the steam and exhaust pipes over the crank shaft. The 
crank shaft and driving axles were connected together by 
chain wheels and chains, the wheels being made of dif- 
ferent sizes for varying the speed by means of clutch 
boxes and levers conveniently arranged. The London and 
Birmingham Steam Carriage Company was formed in 
Birmingham with a large capital for the purpose of in- 

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THE PERIOD OF SUCCESSFUL APPLICATION. 



troducing Church's steam carriage. Large sums of money 
were advanced by the Company to Church, in the con- 
fident conviction that he would bring out a practical steam 
carriage. After various attempts. Dr. Church at length 
produced the steam coach shown by the illustration*, Fig. 40, 
the multitudinous combinations and the workmanship of 
which, says a competitor, were very scientific and beautiful. 
In 1835, this engine was brought out for public trial, and 
started from the factory with forty passengers, and proceeded 




Fig. 40. 

at a rapid rate tor a considerable distance, but in turning 
round, the hind part struck the footpath and damaged some 
detail connected with the boiler ; it was deemed unsafe to 
work it further, so the engine was hauled back to the works. 

A few days afterwards the Birmingham Gazette said " The 
attention of many persons was attracted to Church's beautiful 
engine running on the Coventry Road, six miles out and six 
* By permbsion of the Proprietors of The Graphic, 



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THE PERIOD OF SUCCESSFUL APPLICATION. 107 

miles home, over heavy roads ; " three miles were run on the 
level road at the rate of 1 5 miles an hour. Dr. Church, like 
most of his contemporaries, was not satisfied with a moderate 
speed, and consequently his carriage failed because it was 
impossible that such a complicated machine as he built 
would run at the rate of 1 5 to 20 miles on any common 
road without constantly breaking down. 

A few months after the trip recorded above, the London 
and Birmingham Steam Carriage Company were advertising 
that all the difficulties of running steam carriages upon gravel 
roads were now overcome, and would be done to great 
profit to those engaged in it. It was wisely suggested that 
instead of puffing and advertising, the company should put a 
carriage on the road at once for passenger traffic between 
Birmingham and London ; but this scheme was never 
practically accomplished ; the carriages were constantly 
brought out, and as constantly failed. Previous to the 
opening of the London and Birmingham Railway, Dr. 
Church built the " Eclipse," the first four-wheel tank railway 
engine ever made. It was used as a ballasting engine on the 
above railway during its construction in 1838. He does not 
appear to return to the subject of steam on common roads. 
The only record we can find concerning Church after this 
date is that he sailed for America in 1861. 

YATES AND SMITH.— On the ist of July, 1834, a 
steam carriage, on a new principle, invented and made by 
Messrs. Yates and Smith, started from their factory, Colchester 
Street, Whitechapel, London, on its first trial. It ran up 
Whitechapel Lane, along High Street, and returned down 
Red Lion street and Leman Street to the factory, at the 
rate of 10 or 12 miles an hour. The exhaust pipe joint 
broke when running over the rough paving. When repaired 

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I08 THE PERIOD OF SUCCESSFUL APPLICATION. 

the makers took the carriage for a trip on the Brighton Road. 
The engines were of the vibrating type, working in horizontal 
framing. The coach was similar to an ordinary stage coach. 

FIELD. — After Sir Charles Dance had removed his steam 
coaches from the Gloucester and Cheltenham Road, he took 
one of them to Lambeth to be repaired by Messrs. Maudsley, 
Sons, and Field, the well-known marine engineers. The re- 
sult was a patent taken out in the joint names of Sir Charles 
Dance and Mr. Joshua Field, for an improved boiler. Many 
journeys were made with this improved carriage, Mr. Field 
often accpmpanying Sir Charles Dance to Marlborough, 
Brighton, and other places. Mr. Field constructed a steam 
carriage which made an excursion in July, 1835, the pas- 
sengers consisting of baronets and a select party. In the 
course of its journey, it went up Denmark Hill, and did the 
distance, nine miles, in forty-four minutes. It also ran several 
times to Reading and back, at the rate of 12 miles an hour. 
Mr. Cubitt, C.E., was one of the party who subscribed to- 
wards the building of Mr. Field's steam carriage, and he 
says that it was a success mechanically, but was far from 
being economical. 

Mr. Field was one of the six gentlemen who founded the 
Institution of Civil Engineers. He died at the age of TJ 
years, in August 1S63. 

MILLICHAP. — In reply to a correspondent's letter to one 
of the engineering papers in 1837, G. Millichap, of Birming- 
ham, says : " If your correspondent will take the trouble to 
call at my house I shall be happy to show him a locomotive 
carriage in a state of great forwardness, intended decidedly 
for common roads." 



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THE PERIOD OF SUCCESSFUL APPLICATION. 109 

This engine was on an entirely new principle, but we have 
no record of a public trial, so we are led to infer that the 
carriage was not a practical success. 

HANCOCK.— Walter Hancock, of Stratford, London, was 
the most successful of all the steam carriage schemers, and to 
give anything like a detailed account of the many carriages 
built by him would occupy more time and space than is 
available ; we must, therefore, be content to give a briet out- 
line of his career during the twelve years that he devoted to 
the subject. In 1824, Hancock invented a novel form of 
engine, which he thought was very suitable for steam 
carriages, because of its simplicity, lightness, and compara- 
tive cheapness. A regular reciprocating motion was obtained 
by the alternate filling and discharging of india-rubber re- 
ceivers, and this motion was given a rotary form by a crank 
in the usual manner. A 4 h.p. engine of this design was 
employed at the inventor's manufactory at Stratford, and 
worked well. Hancock also made a model steam carriage, 
and afterwards one on a larger scale ; but only to discover, 
after many trials, that his engine was practically useless for 
steam carriage purposes. In 1827, he invented his well 
known boiler, which tended more than anything else to make 
his steam carriages in after years so successful. This boiler 
consisted of a number of flat chambers 2in. wide, ranged side 
by side, with about fin. space between each chamber. The 
sides of these chambers were covered with bosses, arranged so 
that the bosses of one chamber touched the bosses of the 
next chamber, thus forming abutments, and at the same time 
increasing the heating surface ; the whole boiler was braced 
together by strong bolts and stays. The steam pressure used 
was loolb. per square inch. The boilers were 2ft. square, and 
3ft. high. Being satisfied with his boiler, Hancock next 

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THE PERIOD OF SUCCESSFUL APPLICATION. 



determined to build a steam carriage, using an engine of 
the ordinary construction. The carriage is shown in Fig. 41 ; 
it was supported on three wheels, and was intended to carry- 
four passengers. The propelling force was obtained from a 
pair of oscillating cylinders working the double cranked axle 
of the leading wheel, which was arranged to swivel for steer- 
ing. This carriage was far from being satisfactory, and was 
subjected to numerous alterations ; but in spite of its defects 
it ran many hundreds of miles in experimental trips, from the 
manufactory at Stratford, " sometimes to Epping Forest, at 
other times to Paddington, and frequently to Whitechapel. 





, Fig.4L 

On one occasion it ran to Hounslow, and on another to 
Croydon. In every instance it accomplished the task as- 
signed to it, and returned to Stratford on the same day 
on which it set out. Subsequently this carriage went from 
Stratford, through Pentonville, to Turnham Green, over 
Hammersmith Bridge, and thence to Fulham. In that 
neighbourhood it remained several days, and made a number 
of excursions in different directions, for the gratification of 
some of Hancock's friends, and others who had expressed a 
desire to witness its performance."* In 183 1 Hancock 
commenced running his steam coach " The Infant " regularly 

* Hancock's *• Narrative of Twelve Years' Experiments," 1838. 



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Ill 



for hire between Stratford and London, see Fig. 42. Before 
it was placed on the station it was tried in every possible way. 
The possibih'ty of a steam carriage ascending steep hills had 
been doubted by many, and to remove if possible all scepticism 
on the subject, Hancock fixed a day for taking his carriage up 
Pentonville Hill, which has a rise of one in eighteen to twenty, 
and invited a numerous party to witness the experiments. 
He says : " A severe frost succeeding a shower of sleet had 
completely glazed the road, so that horses could scarcely keep 




Pig. 42. 

their footing. The trial was made therefore under the most 
unfavourable circumstances possible ; so much so, that 
confident as the writer felt in the powers of his engine, his 
heart inclined to fail him. The carriage, however, did its duty 
nobly. Without the aid of propellers or any other such 
appendages (then thought necessary on a level road) the hill 
was ascended at considerable speed and the summit successfully 
attained, while his competitors with their horses were yet but 
a little way from the bottom of the hill." Hancock's improved 
carriage was brought out during the latter part of 1832, in 
which the oscillating cylinders were abandoned, fixed cylinders 
taking their place. This carriage took a trip to Brighton and 



\ c 



Isv ^'" 



-^p-. 






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112 



THE PERIOD OF SUCCESSFUL APPLICATION. 



back, accompanied by Gordon and other scientific gentlemen, 
eleven in all. It ran at the rate of nine to fifteen miles an hour 
on the level road, and six miles an hour when ascending hills. 
In 1833, the "Autopsy'' and the "Enterprise" were built. 
The " Autopsy " ran for hire between Finsbury Square and 
Pentonville, and continued to do so daily, without accident 
or intermission, for nearly four weeks. From August to 
November of 1834, Hancock ran the "Era" and the 
" Autopsy " for hire daily between the City, Moorgate, 
and Paddington, and during this period he carried nearly 
four thousand passengers, often running at a speed of twelve 
miles an hour. 




Fig. 43. 

Hancock was the only steam carriage proprietor who had 
ventured to run a locomotive along the crowded streets of 
London at the busiest periods of the day. These hard roads 
were a severe test for the wheels and the gearing. The motion 
of these carriages was easy ; they made no noise, and produced 
no smoke, and did not frighten horses. The "Era" was 
eventually shipped to Dublin, where it arrived safely in 1835, 
It ran through the principal streets and most crowded 
thoroughfares in Dublin with the most perfect success. On 
one occasion it ran three times round Stephen's Green at the 
rate of 18 miles an hour. In May, 1836, Hancock put the 



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THE PERIOD OF SUCCESSFUL APPLICATION. II3 

whole of his carriages on the Paddington road, and ran them 
daily without any intermission for upwards of five months, 
during which time they traversed 4,200 miles, made 525 
trips from the city to Islington and back, 143 to Paddington 
and back, and 44 to Stratford and back : and the number of 
times he passed through the City came to more than two 
hundred. For five weeks he ran a carriage twice a day to the 
Bank. The following list of steam carriages built by 
Hancock, in the order of their construction, and the number 
of persons they were respectively calculated to accommodate, 
exclusive of the steersman, engineer, and fireman, will 
be of interest: — Experimental carriage, four outside; 
" Infant " (trunnion engines), ten outside ; improved carriage 
(fixed engines) fourteen outside ; " Era," Greenwich, sixteen 
inside, two out ; " Enterprise," fourteen inside ; " Autopsy," 
nine inside, five out ; " Erin," eight inside, six out ; German 
drag, six outside, rest in carriages drawn ; " Automaton," 
twenty-two outside. The first time the " Automaton " was 
brought out upon the road it took a party to Romford and 
back at the rate of ten to twelve miles an hour. Young 
says : ** On one occasion it performed (when put to the top of 
its speed, and loaded with twenty full grown persons) a mile 
on the Bow road at the rate of twenty-one miles an hour ! " 

The Enterprise is represented by Fig. 43. It was built 
for the London and Paddington Steam Carriage Company, 
and commenced to run for hire under Mr. Hancock's 
personal superintendence between the city and Paddington 
for sixteen successive days, doing two or three journeys a 
day " to prove its capability of proceeding through crowded 
thoroughfares without inconvenience or liability to accident 
to the persons in the coach or others." 

Mr. Hancock says, respecting these preliminary trips : " It 
is not intended to run this carriage more than about a 
J 

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114 THE PERIOD OF SUCCESSFUL APPLICATION. 

week longer ; partly because it was only intended as a 
demonstration of its efficiency, and partly because my own 
occupation will not admit of my personal attention to the 
steering, which I have hitherto performed myself, having 
no other person at present to whose guidance I could, with 
propriety, entrust it." The Enterprise ran from Cottage 
Lane, City Road to Paddington, and from Paddington to 
London Wall, and back to Cottage Lane, nine or ten miles, 
in less than an hour, exclusive of stoppages, performing the 
trips in an exceedingly satisfactory manner, and the carriage 
was more under the control of the driver than the best 
driven horse coach ; it ascended Pentonville Hill with ease 
at six miles an hour. This steam omnibus, of course, 
was opposed by the drivers of horse vehicles. We quote 
the following from one of the daily papers : " In watching, 
as I have done, the early operations of the new steam coach 
the Enterprise, on the Paddington Road, I have been pained, 
though not surprised, to see the malignant efforts of some of 
the drivers of the horse conveyances to impede and baffle the 
course of the new competitor. They must be taught not to 
endanger the lives of the passengers, who have entrusted 
themselves to their guidance, by a wanton courting of 
collision with a vehicle so vastly more weighty, more strong, 
and more powerful than their own frail vehicles, and feeble, 
staggering beasts of draught. One of these infatuated men, 
to-day, crossed about the path of the steam coach, palpably 
with a mischievous design, which was only rendered abortive 
by the vigilance and prompt action of Mr. Hancock." 

The London and Paddington Steam Carriage Company 
behaved very shabbily to Hancock. He had built the 
carriage to their order, had run it for several weeks over the 
course to test its powers at his own expense. Mr. Redmund, 
the engineer for the company, was satisfied with its perform- 



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IIS 



ance after it had been running a week, and wrote a flattering 
report to the directors and shareholders respecting it. After 
the Enterprise had been delivered to the company, Mr. 
Hancock expected to receive directions to proceed with two 
more carriages upon the same plan, as per contract entered 
into by the company. " Various pretexts were, however, 
resorted to for delay, which subsequent proceedings proved 
were merely employed by the engineer as feints to conceal a 
design which for dishonesty has seldom been exceeded." 
During a delay which lasted for nearly six months, when 
a voluminous correspondence took place, Mr. Redmund 
had meanwhile taken the Enterprise to pieces, and was 
making a carriage of his own on the same lines. This we shall 
refer to in due course. Mr. Hancock at length caused the 




Fig. 44 

Enterprise to be put together and returned, and thus ended the 
unprofitable and unpleasant business. We must briefly refer 
to the last and perhaps the best steam carriage built by Mr. 
Hancock in 1838, which is illustrated by Fig. 44. It will be 
seen from the illustration that the engine was of the vertical 
type, placed about the centre of the carriage. C is the 
cylinder ; the crank shaft works in bearings fixed to each side 
plate, on which is keyed a chain pulley, while a similar pulley 
of larger diameter was fitted to the driving axle ; a strong 
pitch chain communicated the motion from the crank shaft 



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Il6 THE PERIOD OF SUCCESSFUL APPLICATION. 

to the axle ; the up and down motion of the axle, which 
was hung on springs, not interfering with this method of 
driving. The boiler was situated at the back of the con- 
veyance, the stoker's place being in the middle of the 
carriage. T represents a water tank and seat for two 
passengers. The steering arrangements are clearly shown 
by the illustration. The action of the little locomotive was 
most creditable to its builder. 

In May, 1838, Mr. Hancock and two friends rode through 
the principal streets of the city in this steam carriage, caused 
it to run round the open space in front of the Guildhall, turn 
in any direction, run at any speed desired by its conductor, to 
the delight of a number of onlookers, after which Hancock 
threaded his way through the crowd of carts, omnibuses, cabs, 
and other vehicles in Cheapside, Leadenhall Street and other 
busy thoroughfares, stopped at the bank for a few minutes 
where Hancock alighted, leaving his friends in charge of the 
gig. One of the bank porters pompously ordered the 
gentlemen to " move on," but having had no experience with 
machinery they were placed in a dilemma, so they were 
obliged to confess their inability to comply with the order, to 
the great amusement of the bystanders. When its master 
arrived the locomotive moved off in good style and returned 
to Stratford. On the 22nd of June, Hyde Park presented an 
unusually gay appearance in consequence of a crowd of 
fashionable people being assembled to witness the trial of this 
little favourite steam carriage, which ran about among the 
splendid equipages for three or four hours without the 
slightest failure. Mr. Hancock guided it, caused it to turn in 
its own length, repeatedly stopping and starting it, then ran a 
distance at the rate of twelve miles an hour. The nobility 
who had met for the purpose of seeing it were delighted ; their 
horses, too, were not frightened, because it was noiseless, and 

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117 



it emitted no smoke or steam. In the early part of 1839, 
Hancock stated by advertisement that he had prepared his 
largest steam carriage, the Automaton, see Fi^. 45, for traffic, 
and was ready to enter into engagements with responsible 
parties to run on any turnpike roads. An old inhabitant of 
Stratford, in June, 1839, said : " 1 have repeatedly noticed the 
performance of Hancock's carriages from the first of his 
experiments up to his present state of perfection in steam 
locomotion on common roads. A few days ago the Automaton 
ran from Stratford, through Ilford, and thence back through 




Pig. 45. 

Stratford to the city, at fifteen miles an hour. Meeting the 
procession of the Lord Mayor and other city authorities going 
to hold a Court of Conservancy at the Swan Inn, Stratford, 
Hancock headed the procession to their destination, and in 
front of the house caused the carriage to perform a number of 
short trips and masterly evolutions, carrying at one time no 
less than thirty- two of the conservancy jury, quite to everyone's 
satisfaction." 

The last trip we shall record is a novel one, performed as 
late as July 1840. A cricket club borrowed the Automaton 
of Mr Hancock to convey eleven of the Stratford Club and 



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Il8 THE PERIOD OF SUCCESSFUL APPLICATION. 

twenty-one visitors to the Forest. The run was a pleasant 
one, the carriage went properly with thirty-two people on 
board, although there were seats provided for only 22 
passengers. The game was played, the Stratford team won, 
and returned to the factory gate at the rate of fifteen miles an 
hour. Numbers of persons who went to see the match 
occupied their time in viewing the conveyance that brought 
the players to the field, rather than the players themselves ; 
but this personal neglect was good humouredly put up with by 
the club. Mr. Ogle says : Mr. Hancock, for want of support, 
was obliged to withdraw his carriages from the most difficult 
road in England, viz., the new road from the Bank to 
Paddington. Hancock says : " I entered upon that road, and 
continued running daily, solely with a view to demonstrate the 
practicability of so doing in the teeth of high authority to the 
contrary." 

We now take leave of Mr. Hancock, the most successful 
locomotionist of those times, who, during sixteen years 
experience, built ten different carriages, each of which was 
creditably designed and made ; and the later ones, as we have 
seen, were most successful. And the wonder is, how it 
happened that mere speculators, in several instances, who 
never made a steam carriage that would run the shortest 
distance without a breakdown, managed to float companies 
for the purpose of introducing their locomotives, which were 
not a success, while Hancock and Maceroni, the former a 
modest and retiring man, the latter rather boastful, both of 
whom built carriages far surpassing any of their contem- 
poraries, were most unfortunate in their connection with the 
companies they were instrumental in forming for helping 
forward the steam locomotion movement. Sir Frederick 
Bramwell says : " It is quite Certain that in respect of quietude 
of travelling, and in the way of not being an annoyance to 

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THE PERIOD OF SUCCCESSFUL APPLICATION. II9 

Others upon the road, Hancock's coaches of fifty years ago far 
exceeded anything of the present day. It may be asked why 
it was that if they were so meritorious in an engineering point 
of view, they did not continue to run ? This is a difficult 
question to answer. Hancock always endeavoured to show 
that they paid, but it is believed that he was a better engineer 
and inventor than commercial man. Be this as it may 
however, it is unhappily the case that after many years of 
effort he gave up the endeavour." 

REDMUND.— Mr. D. Redmund, City Road, London, while 
employed as engineer to the London and Paddington Steam 
Carriage Company, acted very dishonourably in secretly 
taking Hancock's new carriage, the Enterprise, to pieces, so 
that he could take dimensions and copy the design of the 
parts, to be embodied in a carriage he was making. He had 
previously patented a steam boiler, consisting of a series of 
vertical parallel chambers, an imitation of Hancock's patent. 
The manner of driving, the position of the engine, and even 
the external appearance, resembled the Enterprise closely. 
The driving wheels were of ornamental design, the subject of 
a separate patent, the cast iron spokes were of hollow section. 
They appeared to be the only part of the carriage not stolen 
from others, for Hebert says, " The steering arrangement was 
like Ackerman's patent of 18 16." Before Redmund had 
finished his carriage, or had made any experiments, he 
boastfully advertised that he was willing to furnish loco- 
motives to run on common roads at any required speed. 
When his steam carriage was announced as being ready for 
trial, the editor of the Mechanics' Magazine said, " We shall 
soon be able to judge whether he was justified or not in his 
confidence displayed in the advertisement." Redmund 
intimated that the private trials of his carriage were satis- 

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THE PERIOD OF SUCCESSFUL APPLICATION. 



factory, but publicity is the only test in such matters. But 
nothing was heard of Redmund's performances in public 
with his steam carriage, which he had named the Alpha. It 
was suggested that it might prove the Omega of his efforts 
in the steam engine line, and such turned out to be the case. 
The Alpha was a complete failure, and Redmund's project 
met with the fate it deserved. Fig. 46 shews the external 
appearance of Redmund's steam carriage. 



. fct 




Fig. 46. 

MACERONI. — Colonel Maceroni was one of Hancock's 
successful contemporaries, and among steam carriage pro- 
moters he occupies a very prominent position. Maceroni's 
father was an Italian merchant, residing in England, and for 
several years he occupied a quasi country house in the 
suburbs of Manchester, where in 1788 Francis Maceroni was 
born. We cannot afford the space to give any particulars of 
his early days or his many adventures. In 18 14 he was living in 
Italy, and became aide-de-camp to the King of Naples. From 
1825 to 1828 we find Maceroni helping Gurney, in London, to 
overcome the monetary difficulties associated with his early 
and somewhat faulty steam carriages ; but, feeling convinced 
that Gumey's efforts would never succeed, in 1829 Maceroni 
abandoned the steam carriage business and went to Con- 
stantinople. Having returned to England in 1831, "Mr. J. 
Squire came to me," says Maceroni,* " and informed me that 
* "Memoirs of the Life and Adventures of Col. Maceroni,** 1838. 



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THE PERIOD OF SUCCESSFUL APPLICATION. 121 

he had built a steam carriage, which performed very well, 
and asked me to join him in the undertaking. Finding 
the little carriage much superior to any that Gurney had 
made, but unfortunately fitted with a somewhat defective 
boiler, I undertook to join in the construction of another on 
my plan, for which a valid patent could be obtained, but I 
was without much money, having, through the * fortunes of 
war/ returned from Turkey with even less than I went out 
with. However, I mentioned my dilemma to a gentleman, 
the like of whom there are too few in this world, who pro- 
vided me with the funds for taking convenient premises, 
purchasing lathes, tools, and establishing a factory on the 
Paddington Wharf. I placed Mr. Squire in the house 
on the works as foreman, and we set to work on an 
enlarged scale." In 1833 Colonel Maceroni and Mr. Squire 
jointly patented an efficient multitubular boiler, which was 
composed of eighty-one upright cylindrical tubes, disposed 
in nine rows, in the middle of which was the fire place. 
The tubes were all connected by horizontal tubes at the 
bottom and the top, the lower being a water communication, 
and the upper a steam communication. To prevent the 
formation of clinkers, and to preserve the fire bars from 
being rapidly burnt out, they were formed of hollo^y tubes, 
through which water circulated to the upright tubes of the 
boiler. The steam was conducted from the top of the tubes 
to a steam dome, from which the engine was supplied. The 
flame and heated matters were diffused around the whole 
series of tubes, and produced rapid generation of steam. 
The working pressure was i5olb. After completing this 
admirable boiler. Colonel Maceroni constructed a steam 
carriage, of which Fig. 47 is a representation. Mr. Gordon 
describes the carriage as " a fine specimen of indomitable 
perseverance," and he states that it not uncommonly 

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122 THE PERIOD OF SUCCESSFUL APPLICATION. 

travelled at the rate of from eighteen to twenty miles an 
hour. The engines were placed horizontally underneath 
the carriage body, the boiler was arranged at the back, 
and a fan was used to urge the combustion of the fuel, 
the supply of which was regulated by the engineman, 
who had a special seat behind. The passengers were 
placed in the open carriage body, and their seats were 
formed upon the tops of the water tanks. There were 
two cylinders 7Jin. in diameter, the stroke being I5|in. 
The diameter of the steam pipe was 2iin., and that of 
the exhaust pipe was 2 Jin. Colonel Maceroni's first 
steam carriage attracted much attention. From the com- 
mencement of his trials, he invited public investigation 
and publicity, and at a later date he writes : " My workshop 
doors, at 19, Wharf, Paddington, were open to every visitor ; 
and even from our very first experimental movements, I 
invited the editors of newspapers, engineers, and other 
authoritative and scientific persons to inspect our progress, 
and ride on the carriage any day, every day, and as often as 
would suit their pleasure or convenience." He asked the 
representatives of the Press to note the mile stones with 
watch in hand, and state the facts and make such observa- 
tions as they thought proper ; and from these voluminous 
reports we will mention a few particulars of these interesting 
trials. **On October 4th, 1833, Colonel Maceroni and Mr. 
Squire, accompanied by eight other persons, took a trip in 
their new patent steam carriage, from Paddington Green to 
Edgware. The average speed was sixteen miles an hour. 
The return journey, a distance of 7| miles, was performed 
in a little over thirty minutes. The carriage has gone to 
Windsor in two hours." " It appears to be the simplest and 
most compact steam carriage that has yet been tried in 
public."* " It is capable of carrying twelve or fourteen per- 
* The Trtie Sun, 5th October, 1833. 

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THE PERIOD OF SUCCESSFUL APPLICATION. 1 23 

sons fourteen miles an hour, with perfect safety, on a turnpike 
road. It has been guided with ease and perfect security 
through Fleet Street and Cheapside at the most crowded time 
of the day." We also quote the following particulars, which 
were published in the Morning Chronicle^ 14th October, 1833 : 
" This steam carriage has plied daily for some weeks between 
Paddington and Edgware, without meeting with any accident. 
Since it was started, it has travelled a distance of upwards of 
seventeen hundred miles ; yet, in the whole of that time, it 
has not needed any repairs." Colonel Maceroni once took a 
trip to Harrow-on-the-Hill, the distance of nine miles being 
completed in fifty-eight minutes. The hill was ascended with 
ease at the rate of seven miles an hour, and during no part of 
the journey was the full power of steam put on. For several 
weeks in the early part of 1834 the carriage was running daily 
from Oxford Street to Edgware. Afterwards several trips 
were made to Uxbridge, when the roads were in the worst 
possible condition, and nevertheless the journey from the 
Regent's Circus, Oxford Street, to Uxbridge, a distance of 
sixteen miles, was often performed in a little over an hour. 

The following account of a trip to Watford appeared in 
"Turner's Annual Tour," in 1834: " Drawn out of a hut on 
Bushy Heath by the appearance of an unusual commotion 
amongst the inhabitants of the village, we saw a steam coach 
which stopped there. The apparition of a vehicle of this 
kind, in such a place, was unaccountable. Bushy Heath 
forms the plateau of a mountain, which is the highest point of 
land in Middlesex, and, although so far inland, serves as a 
landmark for vessels at sea. The access to it, from the London 
side, is by a difficult and steep road. Being accosted by 
Colonel Maceroni, in whom we were glad to recognise an old 
acquaintance, he informed us that the journey had been 
performed with ease, adding that it was his intention to 
proceed to Watford. 

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124 



THE PERIOD OF SUCCESSFUL APPLICATION. 



Now, if the road from Edgware to Bushy Heath was steep 
and difficult, the descent from Bushy Heath to Watford was 
much worse. We told our friend that he might go by steam 
to Watford, but that we were quite certain that he would not 
return by the same means of locomotion. Nevertheless, at 
his pressing instance, we consented to hazard our own person 
in the adventure. We set off, amidst the cheers of the 
villagers. The motion was so steady that we could have read 
with ease, and the noise was no worse than that produced by 
a common vehicle. On arriving at the summit of Clay Hill, 
the local and inexperienced attendant neglected to clog the 
wheel until it became impossible. We went thundering down 
the hill at the rate of thirty miles an hour. Mr. Squire was 




Pig. 47. 

steersman, and never lost his presence of mind. It may be 
conceived what amazement a thing of this kind, flashing 
through the village of Bushy, occasioned among the in- 
habitants. The people seemed petrified on seeing a carriage 
without horses. In the busy and populous town of Watford 
the sensation was similar — the men gazed in speechless 
wonder ; the women clapped their hands. We turned round 
at the end of the street in magnificent style, and ascended 



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THE PERIOD OF SUCCESSFUL APPLICATION. 12$ 

Clay Hill at the same rate as the stage coaches drawn by five 
horses, and at length regained our starting place." 

Maceroni had made two steam carriages, the first was 
intended to carry eleven persons, see fig. 47, and the excellent 
boiler worked at i5olbs. pressure per square inch. The 
second carriage was larger, and designed for carrying sixteen 
persons and ample room had been provided in this carriage 
for passengers' luggage. 

In 1834 Maceroni and Squire dissolved partnership in the 
steam carriage business, after which Maceroni became very 
short of money, and allowed Asda, an Italian Jew, to take 
both the carriages to the Continent, he having promised to 
pay Maceroni;^ 1,500 for a share in the patents taken out in 
France and Belgium. Asda solemnly stipulated that one of 
the carriages should be returned to England in six weeks. 
One carriage was running well in Brussels, long reports 
having appeared in the Belgian journals, stating that the per- 
formances justified all the expectations which had been form- 
ed respecting it. 

Another carriage was doing equally well in Paris. The 
following account appeared in the Journal de Paris in 
February, 1835 : "The steam carriage brought to perfection 
in England by Colonel Maceroni, ran along the Boulevards 
as far as the Rue Fauburg du Temple. It turned with the 
greatest facility, ran the whole length of the Boulevards back 
again, and along the Rue Royale, to the Place Louis XV. 
This carriage is very elegant, much lighter, and by no means 
so noisy as the one (Mr. Deitz's) we saw here some months 
ago, and it excited along its way the surprise and applause 
of the astonished spectators. All the hills on the paved 
Boulevard were ascended with astonishing rapidity. One of 
our colleagues was in this carriage the whole of its running 
above described, and he declares that there is not the least 



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126 THE PERIOD OF SUCCESSFUL APPLICATION. 

heat felt inside from the fire, and' that conv^ersation can be 
kept up so as to be heard at a much lower tone than in most 
ordinary carriages. The king took a ride in this carriage, 
and gave Asda a valuable present, who falsely styled himself 
the inventor, constructor, and sole proprietor of the carriages. 
A rich party of capitalists paid Asda ;£'i6,ooo for the patent, 
of which poor Maceroni never received a shilling. All his 
tools and effects at the factory were taken by his creditors, 
and Maceroni was on the verge of starvation. In 1837 he 
attempted to form a company to construct and run steam 
carriages built under his directions, but the matter fell 
through, because he had no carriage to exhibit to those 
who had never seen either of those of which he had been 
so cruelly robbed. A year later another attempt was made 
to float a company, but without success. He made the 
following appeal, which, however, did not apparently meet 
with a practical response from the public : " If any party will 
provide the necessary funds to construct a couple of steam 
carriages according to my patent, I will engage, under any 
penalty or conditions that can reasonably be proposed, to run 
one of the same carriages from London to Birmingham and 
back to London within the time that it shall take any other 
steam carriage at present in existence simply to arrive at the 
same place. Both carriages to start at the same time. 
Ample guarantee will be given for the due and immediate 
construction of the carriages, which shall remain the property 
of the money provider, under fair and understood conditions." 
However, in 1841, "The General Steam Carriage Com- 
pany '' had commenced to construct carriages in accordance 
with Maceroni's patents. Mr. Beale, of Greenwich, made 
the first carriage. The following report of the trip is given : 
" Having been accustomed to drive some of the best 
appointed fast coaches, I was invited to accompany a 

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THE PERIOD OF SUCCESSFUL APPLICATION. 12/ 

party of gentlemen on an experimental trip with Colonel 
Maceroni's steam locomotive. It started from Beale's 
Works, East Greenwich, and proceeded through Lewis- 
ham to Bromley, a distance of eight miles, performing 
the journey in half an hour ; we returned at the same 
rate. So confident was Beale in the performance of the 
engine that he determined to try Blackheath Hill, which was 
ascended in gallant style with a load of 17 passengers. We 
proceeded over Blackheath to the top of Shooter's Hill at the 
speed of 14 miles an hour, decending the hill, and reached the 
factory at a quick rate. Several shareholders were delighted." 
Maceroni had agreed to supply the carriages at ;^8co each to 
the Company. Mr. Beale's bill was ;^ 1,1 00 for his first loco- 
motive, having charged over ;£"200 for alterations and running 
some hundreds of miles on experimental trips. The Com- 
mittee refused to pay this unreasonable amount, and Beale 
would not let the carriage go out any more. The quarrel 
was between the Board of Directors and the manufacturing 
engineer, but Colonel Maceroni was the greatest sufferer, 
because everything he had was seized by his creditors, his 
furniture, books, models, and he was now in great distress. 
Beale, in one of his letters, said : — " I believe Colonel 
Maceroni has done more than any other man in the kingdom 
towards steam locomotion on common roads, and if his 
scheme were properly supported it would succeed, and be of 
vast utility to the community." Towards the end of 1841 
Maceroni offered for sale the patent rights of his steam boiler, 
which had been proved, by daily journeys on the most hilly 
roads. It had, during 18 consecutive months, propelled a 
steam carriage at the rate of 12 miles an hour, making little 
noise, and emitting no smoke. The patent had seven years 
to run, but in that time the advertisement went on to say, a 
great fortune might be made on common roads." Maceroni 

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128 THE PERIOD OF SUCCESSFUL APPLICATION. 

was a constant contributor to the Mechanics' Magazine from 
1830 to 1840, but we fail to find a single line from his pen 
after his patent boiler advertisement had appeared, except a 
letter to the Editor in 1843, shewing that Squire's steam 
boiler, just then patented, was really an infringement of his 
patent boiler. Colonel Maceroni was most unfortunate in 
every transaction connected with steam locomotion * He 
built two of the best road carriages ever made, and his labours 
have been entirely ignored by many writers on this subject. 

A correspondent residing at Luton in 1840 said: "There has 
been so little written respecting steam road locomotion that 
I feared the matter was likely to fall through altogether. But 
I came across a gentleman whom I knew to have made ex- 
periments with a small steam carriage, who showed me two 
handsome and powerful carriages in his factory. One 
was complete, and had been out several times ; the other 
was very nearly finished. The large one, with two cylinders, 
each 8 inches in diameter and 18 inches stroke, was intended 
to carry twenty passengers. The smaller one was built for 
conveying fifteen passengers. No expense had been spared 
to render them in every way a success." In addition to 
these engines, a large omnibus ready to attach to either of 
them had been constructed. We are unable to give the 
name of the maker of these carriages. 

Colonel Maceroni about this time refers to some newly- 
designed road locomotives as follows : " There are three or 
four productions now being tried upon the Vauxhall Bridge 
and Finchley roads, but in mercy to the inventors I will not 
mention names, having seen their performances, which, like 
so many others, bring common road steam carriages into 
utter contempt. 

* The Cambridge Press in 1839 said : " We have been long expecting Colonel 



Maceroni's steam carriage on the road from London to Cambridge, but we are 
weary of waiting.'* Maceroni (like Trevithick and 
builders) was continually hampered for want of funds. 



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THE PERIOD OF SUCCESSFUL APPLICATION. 1 29 

DEITZ. — Mr. Deitz had run an engine about the streets 
of Paris previous to Maceroni's having been taken there, and 
in 1840 the engine was described in the reports of the 
Academy of Sciences and Academy of Industry in Paris» 
from which we quote a few particulars. The carriage had 
eight wheels, two of which were larger than the other six, 
and gave the impulsion. The six smaller wheels rose and 
fell according to the irregularity of the road, and at the same 
time assisted in bearing the weight of the carriages. The 
wheels were bound with wood tyres, having cork underneath. 
Deitz's locomotive was merely a drag ; the passengers were 
drawn in a separate carriage. The engine was of 30 horse 
power, and travelled at a speed of ten miles an hour. 

GIBBS AND APPLEGARTH.— In 1831 Mr. Gibbs gave 
evidence before the Committee of the House of Commons 
upon steam locomotion on common roads, in which he stated 
that he was building a steam carriage, and had travelled more 
than one hundred miles on Sir Charles Dance's coaches on 
the Gloucester and Cheltenham Road, in order to gain an 
experience that would be of service to him in his project, and 
to note the behaviour of the locomotives in passing over the 
rough roads and in mounting steep inclines. In the early part 
of 1832 Gibbs completed a steam drag. The chief characteristic 
of this locomotive, which was intended for drawing the 
passenger carriages behind it, was the boiler, with a spirally 
descending flue placed behind the driving wheels. In 
September, 1832, Gibbs and Applegarth patented a superior 
steam carriage with a tubular boiler and oscillating engine 
cylinders. Two spur pinions on the crankshaft of different 
diameters geared into two wheels on the main axle, either pair 
of which could be geared together and clutched to the driving 
axle for running the engine at two speeds. The power from 

K 

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I30 THE PERIOD OF SUCCESSFUL APPLICATION. 

the axle was transmitted to the driving wheels through friction 
bands, arranged on the bosses of the wheels, so that one or 
both wheels could be coupled to the axle. Friction driving 
bands similar to those introduced by Gibbs and Applegarth 
were used on some traction and steam ploughing engines until 
quite recently. Very little is said respecting the trials of the 
above engines ; special mention is made by Gordon in 
reference to the boiler with the spiral downtake, which was 
said to be a good steamer. 

WATTS. — About this time a locomotive was built by Mr. 
Watts, engineer, Norwich, for running from Norwich to 
Yarmouth, which answered, we are told, exceedingly well. 

ROBERTS.— Mr. Roberts, of the celebrated firm of Sharp, 
Roberts, and Co., engineers, Manchester, constructed a road 
locomotive, which was subjected to a public trial in December, 
1833, which, while it served to reveal a few constructive 
imperfections easily removed, tended to establish the soundness 
of the principle on which the carriage was constructed. The 
second trip took place in March, 1834. The carriage 
started from the works in Falkner Street, under the guidance 
of Mr. Roberts, with forty passengers. It proceeded about a 
mile and a half up Oxford Road, where, owing to the 
apprehension of a deficiency of water, a sudden turn was 
made, which was attended with some difficulty, as the road 
was narrow ; it then proceeded back to the works, where it 
arrived without accident. The maximum speed on the level 
was nearly twenty miles an hour. Hills were mounted 
easily No doubt existed of the engine being speedily put in 
complete and effective condition for actual service. We regret 
to say that during another experimental trip in April, 1834, 
an accident occurred to this locomotive, which was reported 
to have been more serious than it actually was. Maceroni 

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THE PERIOD OF SUCCESSFUL APPLICATION. I3I 

grossly exaggerates the accident by stating that " the boiler 
burst in the streets of Manchester, severely wounded several 
persons, and set fire to an apothecary's shop."* It appears 
that the engine had travelled more than a mile from the works, 
when it was found that the pump on the engine did not work 
properly. The water in the boiler being dangerously low, the 
fire was quickly drawn ; the boiler was filled with water to the 
proper level from a wayside pond, and the fire re-lighted. Mr. 
Roberts directed the carriage to be turned round, and it soon 
commenced its journey home, carrying from forty to fifty 
persons. It proceeded at a fair rate until it arrived near the 
corner of Rusholme Lane, where some of the boiler tubes gave 
way, and the steam escaping, blew the firebars down, and 
scattered the coke about in all directions, breaking several 
squares of glass in three shop windows near, slightly hurting 
a man and a boy who were hanging on behind the carriage. 
No one was seriously injured and none of the crowd of 
passengers were hurt. The carriage was removed to the 
works, drawn by four horses. 

Several writers on steam road locomotion have accorded the 
credit of the invention of compensating gear to Mr. F. Hill, 
of Deptford, but it is our pleasure to be able to show that Mr. 
Roberts, the celebrated Manchester engineer, was the inventor 
of the compensating gear, which he used on the steam 
carriage we have just described. This compensating or 
differential gear is a device that superseded claw clutches, 
friction bands, ratchet wheels, and other complicated 
arrangements for obtaining the full power of both the driving 
wheels, and at the same time allowing for the engine to turn 
the sharpest corner without any difficulty. This compensating 
arrangement, introduced by Mr. Roberts nearly sixty years 
ago, is now universally adopted on modern traction engines. 
* ** Steam Power on Common Roads." Maceroni, 1835. 

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132 THE PERIOD OF SUCCESSFUL APPLICATION. 

We give an illustration of this gear in a subsequent article. 

Dr. Smiles, in his delightful book, " Industrial Biography," 
says that in 1839, Mr. Roberts invented an arrangement for 
communicating power to both driving wheels at all times, 
whether turning to the right or left. 

Mr. Carrett used the gear on a little locomotive which 
he exhibited at the London Exhibition of 1862, and from 
an accurate description of the gear given by him, he admits 
that Roberts was the inventor. It is to be regretted that 
no particulars appear to have been given respecting the 
design of Roberts's interesting road locomotive. Emanating 
as it did from a famous engineering works, it doubtless 
far excelled in arrangement and workmanship the steam 
carriages produced by contemporary makers. 

Mr. Roberts died in straitened circumstances in March, 
1864, at the age of seventy-five years. One writer says 
Mr. Roberts " helped others in their difficulties, but forgot 
himself. Many have profited by his inventions without 
even acknowledging the obligations they owed to him. 
They have used his brains and copied his inventions, and 
the inventor is all but forgotten. It is lamentable to think 
that one of the most prolific and useful inventors of his 
time should in his old age have been left to fight with 
poverty." As is our usual method of treating our bene- 
factors, we allowed Mr. Roberts to live in obscurity and 
die in want, and after his sufferings were ended a memorial 
was reared to his memor}'. 

RUSSELL.— Mr. John Scott Russell (the well-known 
designer and builder of the Great Eastern) in early life 
took great interest in steam locomotion. He made a 
small steam carriage which ran about the neighbourhood of 
Greenock successfully. In later years when residing in 

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133 



Edinburgh, he patented a steam locomotive intended for the 
conveyance of passengers on common roads. Six of these 
coaches were built under his patents and to his designs, by 
the Grove House Engine Works, Edinburgh, for the Steam 
Carriage Company of Scotland. 

In April, 1834, this company established a line of steam 
coaches for the conveyance of passengers between Glasgow 
and Paisley, which plied hourly for many months with the 
greatest regularity and success. The distance between the 
two places was a little more than seven miles, and the trip 




was run in 40 to 45 minutes. Mr. Russell's coaches were 
very popular with the travelling part of the community, and 
were repeatedly overcrowded, 30 to 40 persons finding places 
on a vehicle and its tender, constructed to carry six inside 
and twenty outside passengers. These carriages have been 
briefly referred to by two or three writers on this subject, 
but they have not been illustrated and described in any 
recent work on steam locomotion ; in fact, these coaches 
have been practically omitted by previous writers, and in 



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134 THE PERIOD OF SUCCESSFUL APPLICATION. 

order to supply the missing link in the history of steam on 
roads, we devote a considerable amount of space to their 
description. 

Mr. Scott Russell, as an experienced engineer, designed 
his coach with great care. Fig. 48 shows a side view of 
the carriage, while Fig. 49 gives an end view of the engine 
to an enlarged scale. The- general appearance was far 
superior to many of its competitors, and we are told that " it 




was fitted up in the style and with all the comfort and 
elegance of the most costly gentleman's travelling carriage." 
The boiler was of the multitubular type, with the furnace 
and the return tubes on the same level, and similar to a 
marine boiler. The improvements introduced by Russell 
consisted in constructing the boiler in such a manner that it 
should everywhere consist of opposite and parallel surfaces, 
or as nearly so as circumstances allowed, and connecting 
these surfaces together by means of stays of small diameter, 
placed at distances proportioned to their direct cohesive 



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THE PERIOD OF SUCCESSFUL APPLICATION. 1 35 

strength, and to the degree of pressure to be resisted ; the 
plates were much thinner than usual, so that the heat was 
transmitted quicker ; the copper plates were one-tenth of an 
inch thick. The stays were only one-quarter of an inch in 
diameter, there being thirteen hundred of them used. Mr. 
Russell said that the boiler was safe, because he thought the 
moment the pressure exceeds the maximum, the weakest of 
the stays will give way ; and one rod giving way will instantly 
let out the whole of the water in the boiler, take off the 
pressure, extinguish the fire, and prevent all chances of ex- 
plosion. But we regret to find that Russell's ideas respecting 
the safety of his boiler were not realised in practice, as we 
shall see presently. The whole weight of the carriage was 
supported on springs. The engine had two vertical cylinders, 
twelve inches diameter and twelve inches stroke. The piston 
rods worked through the top cylinder covers, and were 
connected by crossheads to two side connecting rods ; the 
rods from each cylinder worked on to a separate crank shaft, 
as shown by Fig. 49. Each cylinder had four ports, which 
were alternately opened and closed by slide valves, actuated 
by eccentrics keyed on the crank shafts ; one pair of these 
ports were for the admission of steam, and the other for the 
exhaust. On each crank axle was fixed a spur pinion 
gearing into a wheel on the main driving shaft — ratio, two to 
one ; the crank shaft and the driving axle being coupled 
together by sun and planet straps, which kept the toothed 
wheels properly in gear. The engine was mounted upon 
laminated springs, so beautifully arranged that each spring in 
its flexure described, at a particular point, such a circle as 
was also described by the main axle in its motion round the 
crank shaft ; thus any irregularities in the road in no way 
interfered with the proper working of the spur gearing. The 
exhaust steam was turned into the chimney to create a blast. 

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136 THE PERIOD OF SUCCESSFUL APPLICATION. 

The water and coke were carried on a separate tender on 
two wheels, coupled to the rear of the engine ; at different 
stations on the road spare tenders were kept in readiness, 
filled, and were quickly connected to the coach. This tender 
was mounted upon springs, and provided with seats back and 
front for passengers. India-rubber tubes conducted the water 
from the tank to the two brass feed pumps on the engine. 
Three persons were required to be in attendance — a steers- 
man on the front seat, an engineer on the back seat outside 
above the engines, the stop valve and cocks being within his 
reach ; he could also tell the height of the water in the boiler, 
and the amount of steam pressure. The stoker stood on the 
foot-plate in front of the boiler. These coaches were ad- 
mirably worked out, and were said to be a " triumphant 
success " after they had run regularly for four months. Rus- 
seirs coaches shared the same fate in Scotland that Sir 
Charles Dance's did in England. They had not been running 
many months before the road trustees at the Glasgow end, in 
order to cause an obstruction, put a thick coating of loose 
stones on the road, but the steam carriages ploughed through 
it. More men were then employed by the determined ob- 
structionists to put another thick layer of stones on the top, 
so that the road was all but impassable. Ordinary road 
carriages were injured thereby, and heavy carts were obliged 
to desert the road, and go round by a different and much 
longer route. After the steam coaches had travelled over this 
accumulation of road material for some time one of the 
wheels broke, and the carriage was nearly overturned. The 
whole weight of the vehicle rested on the boiler, and caused 
it to burst, and five of the passengers were killed. 

The Court of Session, in consequence of this accident, in- 
terdicted the whole set of carriages from running, for the time 
at least. The editor of the Mechanics^ Magazine said this was 

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THE PERIOD OF SUCCESSFUL APPLICATION. 1 37 

a fine specimen of Caledonian wisdom ! Why not clear the 
Clyde of steamers, because accidents happen with steamers 
as well as with carriages? The Steam Carriage Company 
brought an action for damages against the trustees of the 
turnpike road for having compelled them to give up the run- 
ning of the carriages on the Glasgow and Paisley road by 
'* wantonly, wrongfully, and maliciously accumulating masses 
of metal, stones, and rubbish on the said road, in order to 
create such annoyance and obstruction as might impede, 
overturn, or destroy the steam coaches belonging to the 
plaintiffs." 

Russell's steam coaches were no longer used in Scotland, 
but two of them were sent by steamer to London, and were 
often engaged in running with passengers between London 
and Greenwich, or Kew Bridge. Several trips were made to 
Windsor. They were eventually offered for sale, and to show 
their powers they started every day at one o'clock from Hyde 
Park Corner to make a journey to Hammersmith. But they 
remained unsold, and we hear nothing further respecting them. 

Mr. J. Scott Russell, however, was actively employed in 
shipbuilding, his name being a " household word " in every- 
thing pertaining to steam navigation. He was a Fellow of 
the Royal Society, vice-president of the Institute of Naval 
Architects, and a Member of Council of the Institute of Civil 
Engineers. A contemporary, in speaking of Mr. Russell's 
death, which occurred as recently as 1882, said, respecting 
the coaches we have illustrated : " The springs of his steam 
carriages, and the manner in which the machinery adapted 
itself to the irregularities of the road, were triumphs of 
engineering." 

HILL.— Mr. F. Hill, of the Deptford Chemical Works,' 
must be classed among the successful steam road locomo- 

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138 



THE PERIOD OF SUCCESSFUL APPLICATION. 



tionists. We meet with him first in 1839 among the dis- 
tinguished passengers who accompanied Mr. Hancock in one 
of his latest trips with the Automaton from London to 
Cambridge and back. 

Mr. Hill was doubtless taking a lesson in steam carriage 
construction during the journey. In after years he devoted 
much time and attention to the subject, and was very suc- 
cessful in his carriage experiments. In 1840, Mr. Hill made 
repeated trips to Sevenoaks, Tunbridge Wells, &c., with 
satisfactory results. He also ran on the Brighton road, up 
steep hills, with the carriage fully loaded, at twelve miles an 
hour, and on the level at sixteen miles an hour. We find 

I 




Pig. 50. 

that Mr. Hill used the compensating gear among his steam 
carriage improvements, a device invented by Mr. Richard 
Roberts, of Manchester. 

One of the difficulties attending the construction of steam 
carriages was the connection of the driving wheels with the 
machinery, so as to obtain the full adhesion of the wheels, 
and at the same time to allow facility in turning sharp 
corners. James, as we have noticed, fixed each driving wheel 
upon a separate axle. Hancock and others employed only 
three wheels in their carriages, and applied the power to the 
front wheel, which ran in advance of and between the tracks 



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THE PERIOD OF SUCCESSFUL APPLICATION. 



139 



of the other two. The most common plan, however, was to 
have only one wheel keyed to the driving axle, while the 
other was connected when required by a sliding clutch, which 
was anything but a convenient arrangement. Rut in the 
patent compensating gear used by Roberts, Hill and others, 
shown in Fig. 50, all these objectionable plans were obviated ; 
and this simple and efficient gearing, introduced sixty years 
ago, is in regular use on every road engine built at the 
present time.* Upon examining the illustration it will be 
seen that so long as the driving wheels continue to run in a 




Fig. 51. 

straight line, the tubes do not revolve upon the axle, but turn 
round with it, and carry round the wheels as if they were 
fixed to the axle ; but when any deviation from the straight 
line takes place, the wheels, while advancing with the axle, 
revolve more or less upon the axle in contrary directions, so 
that the advance of the outer driving wheel exceeds that of 
the inner wheel by as much as the length of the outside curve 
exceeds that of the inner curve, and thus skidding is pre- 
vented by this ingenious arrangement. Fig. 51 shows the 

* Mr. John McLaren, A.I.C.E., in a paper entitled, '* Steam on Common 
Roads." read before the Institute of Civil Engineers in November. i8qo, says: 
The compensating gear was first employed in White's dynamometer, and 
published in his *• Century of Inventions,*' 68 years ago. 



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I40 THE PERIOD OF SUCCESSFUL APPLICATION. 

compensating gear as applied to a modern road locomotive ; 
here one bevel wheel is bolted to the right hand side travel- 
ling wheel boss, while the other is keyed on the axle, and 
the left hand side driving wheel is likewise keyed to the 
axle. The full power of the engine is transmitted through 
the two bevel pinions, and both travelling wheels act as 
drivers, whether going in a straight line or not. 

In August, 1841, the General Steam Carriage Company 
was formed for working Hill's patents. It was urged by the 
promoters that the demand for additional accommodation on 
some roads really existed, because it was desirable that road 
locomotion should counteract the exorbitant charges made 
by the gigantic railway monopoly for conveying goods short 
distances. The company state in their prospectus "that 
while they confidently believe the improved steam coach 
which they have engaged and propose to employ in the first 
instance to be the most perfect now known in England, they 
do not bind themselves to adhere to any particular invention, 
but will avail themselves of every discovery to promote steam 
coach conveyance." Instead of making short and showy trips 
on good suburban roads, Mr. Hill selected for his curriculum 
those roads which, from the peculiar difficulties they presented, 
were likely to point out every variety of provision that need 
be made, or circumstances that were to be guarded against. 
The Windsor, Brighton, Hastings, and similar roads, had been 
traversed with uniform success. Perhaps no more satis- 
factory performance could be cited of a common road steam 
carriage making a trip to Hastings and back, a distance of 
128 miles, which was performed in one day, it being 
accomplished in half the time occupied by the stage 
coaches. The Editor of the Mechanics' Magazine said : 
*' We accompanied Hill, about a year ago, in a short run 
up and down the hills about Blackheath, Bromley, and 



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THE PERIOD OF SUCCESSFUL APPLICATION. 



141 



neighbourhood ; and we had again the pleasure of accom- 
panying him in a deh'ghtful trip, on the Hastings Road, as far 
as Tunbridge and back. The manner in which his carriage 
took all the hills, both in the ascent and the descent, proved 
how completely every difficulty on this head had been 
surmounted 5 Quarry Hill rises i in 13, River Hill, said by 
coachmen to be the worst hill in the country, rises i in 12." 
We illustrate Hill's steam carriage by figure 52. It will be 
seen from the engraving that the whole of the coach and 
machinery were erected upon a strong frame mounted upon 
substantial springs ; the hinder part was occupied by the 




Fig. 52. 

boiler, furnace, and water tanks, with a place for the engineer 
and stoker. In front of these was a coach body capable of 
holding six people inside, three on the box, and the con- 
ductor in front. The front part of the carriage was suspended 
upon springs also, making the motion delightfully easy and 
agreeable. The carriage was propelled by a pair of loin 
cylinders and pistons, lying horizontally beneath the 
carriage, which acted upon two gin. cranks, which were 
coupled to the main axle through the compensating gear 
already referred to ; the two 6rt. 6in. diameter driving wheels. 



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142 THE PERIOD OF SUCCESSFUL APPLICATION. 

had the full power of the engines passed through them, yet 
in case of any differential velocity required by either wheel 
when turning corners, the compensating bevel wheels revolved 
and thus allowed the engine to turn about any way. The 
weight of the boiler when empty was 23 cwt. When filled it 
held about sixty gallons of water, and one hundred gallons 
more were contained in the tanks which surrounded it. The 
quantity of water taken in at each of the stations (which were 
arranged as nearly as possible in eight-mile stages) was 
about eighty gallons. The total weight of the carriage, 
including water, coke, and twelve passengers, was less than 
four tons. When working on heavy and rough roads the 
steam pressure was seventy pounds per square inch, but on 
good roads sixty pounds was amply sufficient. The average 
travelling speed was sixteen miles an hour ; on a level 
road the speed of twenty miles an hour has been realised. In 
long journeys, however, on public roads, the speed was 
regulated more by the casual obstructions arising from the 
ordinary traffic than by the power of steam. Mr. Hill's 
long experience proved to him that passengers could be con- 
veyed by steam coaches at half the expense, and at double 
the speed of the stage coaches. 

ANDERSON.— Sir James Anderson, Bart, of Buttevant 
Castle, Ireland, as far back as 1827 was engaged in the 
steam carriage enterprise in connection with Mr. James, of 
Holborn, the former, doubtless, finding the money to enable 
James to patent his inventions and carry out many experi- 
ments, until Anderson fell into pecuniary difficulties, which 
caused a dissolution of partnership, which was shortly 
followed by the discontinuance of James's experiments. But 
ten years afterwards we find the Baronet of Buttevant Castle 
engaged in steam carriage construction on a grand scale on 

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THE PERIOD OF SUCCESSFUL APPLICATION. 143 

his own account. In 1838 he says: "I have spent two 
apprenticeships to this undertaking, and have expended 
i^ 30,000 on experiments." 

Sir James Anderson first of all patented a boiler suitable 
for steam . carriages, which we are told was a poor copy of 
Hancock^s boiler. Maceroni says : " Sir James Anderson's 
plagiarism on Hancock's boiler will bring steam road travel- 
ling into contempt." While Hancock says ; " The flat 
chambers, as arranged, cannot succeed, and really are an 
infringement of my patent ; " but he says, " the boiler is sure 
to fail, SO he need take no further trouble respecting it." 

A joint-stock company was launched, having for its object 
the introduction of Sir James Anderson's steam carriages on 
common roads, termed the Steam Carriage and Wagon 
Company. The prospectus intimated that several steam 
drags were in course of construction in Dublin and in 
Manchester, which, when completed, were to convey goods 
and passengers at double the speed and at half the cost of 
horse carriages. Sir James Anderson says : " I produce and 
prove my steam drags before I am paid for them, and I keep 
them in repair ; consequently, neither the public nor the 
company run any risk , the first steam carriage built for the 
company is nearly completed. It will speak for itself." His 
friends said he had failed in twenty-nine carriages to succeed 
in the thirtieth. In the MecAanics Magazine, June, 1839, a 
Dublin correspondent writes : " I was fortunate enough to get 
a sight of Sir James Anderson's steam carriage, with which I 
was much pleased. It had just arrived from the country, and 
was destined for London in about three weeks. The engine 
weighs 10 tons, and will, I dare say, act very well. I shall 
have an opportunity of judging that, as the tender is at Cork. 
It has a sort of diligence, not joined, but to be attached to 
the tender, making in all three carriages. I talked a great 

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144 THE PERIOD OF SUCCESSFUL APPLICATION. 

deal about it to one of his principal men, who was most lavish 
in its praises, especially as regards the boiler." In July, 1839, 
it was announced by the papers that the vessel, having Sir 
James Anderson's steam carriage on board, sailed from 
Dublin for London, and was hourly expected, and upon 
arrival the carriage would be put together as quickly as 
possible, and submitted to such a trial as the directors of the 
Company shall direct. In August, the long expected carriage 
had at last arrived, and was undergoing the finishing touches 
of a London engineer, previous to its essay at locomotion 
on the roads of the metropolis. Meanwhile Hancock's 
" Automaton " was kept in readiness to compete with the 
long-vaunted powers of the machine of the Knight of Buttevant 
Castle. Colonel Maceroni was also preparing to take the 
road with his never-failing fountain of vapour. So we may 
judge that the result of the competition was awaited with 
interest, but the event does not appear to have taken place. 
In 1840, Mr. J. Rogers says: "Several steam carriages are 
being built at Manchester and Dublin, under Sir James 
Anderson's patents, and one has been completed at each place. 
At Manchester the steam drag had been frequently running 
between Cross Street and Altrincham, and the last run was 
made at the rate of twenty miles an hour, with four 
tons on the tender, in the presence of Mr Sharp, of 
the firm of Sharp, Roberts and Company, of Manchester, 
and others." The Mornifig Herald for 30th June, 1840, 
contained a long account of the doings of these steam 
drags, from which we gather the following particulars : An 
experimental trip of Sir James Anderson's steam drag for 
common roads took place on the Howth Road, Dublin. 
It ran about two hours, backing, and turning about in 
every direction — the object being chiefly to try the various 
parts in detail. It repeatedly turned the corners of the 



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THE PERIOD OF SUCCESSFUL APPLICATION 145 

avenues at a speed of twelve miles an hour, the steam 
pressure required being only forty-six pounds per square 
inch. No smoke was seen, and little steam was observed. 
The whole machinery was ornamentally boxed in, so that 
none of the moving parts were exposed to view, and it 
was found that the horses did not shy at this carriage. 
The directors of the company were to assemble at 
Manchester, in order to witness a trial of the steam 
carriage constructed there, after which a meeting was to 
be called at Dublin for the purpose of forming a company 
in conjunction with one already established in England, 
for opening up a communication by means of these drags 
between the chief towns in Ireland, as soon as a few of 
the steam carriages were finished. It was proposed that 
the united company should in the first instance, in 
conjunction with the railway trains from London, run 
from Birmingham to Holyhead, the passengers to be 
thence conveyed to Dublin by steamer ; from Dublin to 
Galway the steam drags were to be employed ; and 
thence to New York per vessel touching at Halifax ; 
thus making Ireland the stepping-stone between England, 
Nova Scotia, and the United States of America. It will be 
seen that Sir Jas. Anderson purposed great things with his 
steam carriages, but judging from the paucity of the 
literature dealing with his public trials, we fear that 
little practical running was accomplished. 

Want of success, however, does not appear to have 
caused him to relax his energies, for in addition to the 
carriages we have referred to, many more schemes were 
proposed and patented, the latest bearing the date of 1858, 
showing that Sir James Anderson, Bart, devoted no less 
than thirty-one years of his life to the furtherance of 
steam locomotion on common roads. 

L 

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146 THE PERIOD OF SUCCESSFUL APPLICATION. 

SQUIRE. — In 1843, a tubular steam boiler intended for 
common road carriages was patented by Mr. Squire, whom it 
will be noted was ten years before in partnership with Colonel 
Maceroni. The steam boiler was the matured result of ex- 
periments in which the inventor had for several years been 
engaged, to introduce steam travelling on common roads. It 
is illustrated in the Mechanics^ Magazine^ vol. 39. 

We have now arrived at a period in the history of steam 
on common roads where an immense gap occurs in the 
narrative. From 1840 to 1857 no new steam carriages were 
constructed, or, if any were made, no particulars of their 
design or record of their trials have been chronicled. A 
correspondent in the Mechanics' Magazine, in 1843, says : 
** Norrgber, of Sweden, a locksmith and an ingenious 
mechanic, made a steam carriage which ran between 
Copenhagen and Corsoer, carrying thirty passengers, the 
engine being of eight horse power." Mr. John Bourne, in 
his work entitled " Recent Improvements in the Steam 
Engine," refers to an arrangement proposed by himself in 
1843, whereby the power of the engine of a common road 
locomotive might be communicated to the wheels without 
interfering with the free action of the springs ; and he says : 
"Ever since 1847, when I first went to India, I have con- 
tinued to urge the employment of suitable locomotives upon 
the great roads of that country." 

It is true that agricultural locomotives were being developed 
during this period, but the passenger carriages appear to 
have been driven off the roads by the road commissioners, 
who levied heavy tolls upon pleasure steam carriages 
passing through the tollgates. A Leeds correspondent in a 
newspaper, in 1848, says : " The demand for such a toll will 
put a stop to any engineering project relating to road 
locomotion, even were the invention ever so plausible." 

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THE PERIOD OF SUCCESSFUL APPLICATION. 1 47 

FISHER. — Mr. J. K. Fisher, of New York, in 1840, 
designed a small steam carriage similar in appearance to a 
railway locomotive, but he was advised by engineers not 
to pursue the subject further, as the English engines on 
much better roads had failed. In 1853 he built a small 
steam carriage, which had driving wheels Sft. in diameter, 
and two steam cylinders 4in. in diameter, by lOin. stroke. 
The boiler was composed of a number of water tubes 
placed around the fire ; this carriage attained a speed of 
fifteen miles an hour on good pavements, but was much 
too light and fragile for rough roads. 

From 1859 to 1861 many trips were run with Mr. 
Fisher's steam carriages, some of them running twelve 
miles an hour without excessive wear. In his later engines 
he introduced several novelties. The first was the parallel 
connections between the crank shaft and the driving axle. 
The axle was held in place by radius rods, which were jointed 
at one end to the axle, at the other end to the crank-shaft 
carriages. The effect of this parallel connection was to prevent 
the connecting rods from causing the carriage to rock and 
pitch, as they would inevitably cause it to do if they acted on 
the guide bars at one end and on the wheel at the other 
— the guide bars being on springs, and the wheels on the 
road, and the connecting rods acting obliquely. It is 
understood that the bending of the springs by the action 
of the engines was one of the principle difficulties of the 
early steam carriages ; and many of them were unable to 
have their engines suspended on easy springs, excepting 
those worked by driving chains like Hancock's. 

Fig. S3 shows the steering gear used by Fisher, from 
which it will be seen that a screw was placed across the 
front part of the carriage carrying a nut, to which the end 
of an elongated reverted pole was jointed, as shown. The 

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148 THE PERIOD OF SUCCESSFUL APPLICATION. 

screw was turned by bevel gearing, one wheel being keyed 
to the end of the screw, and the other keyed to the steerage 
rod, the opposite end of this rod having a lever placed within 
easy access of the footplate. The engines could be steered 
with facility, the screw worked well, and was less liable to 
be jerked out of position than the pinion formerly used for 
this purpose. For light steam carriages running on smooth 
roads, a simple tiller or guiding wheel was found sufficient, 
but on rough roads was very fatiguing to the hands. Mr. 
Fisher's carriages were driven by direct-acting engines, one 
cylinder on each side of the smoke-box, similarly ai ranged 
to an ordinary railway locomotive. His engines were a 



Fig. 53. 

mechanical success, but from the public he met much 
discouragement. It is true he had no prohibitory tolls to 
pay, and none of the road trustees were base enough to 
copy the example set by the British authorities, who placed 
about eighteen inches of loose stones on two highways for 
the purpose of stopping Dance's carriages on the Gloucester 
road, and Russell's on the Glasgow road. 

DUDGEON. — Mr. Richard Dudgeon, of New York, 
built a small locomotive for common roads in 1857. It 

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THE PERIOD OF SUCCESSFUL APPLICATION. J 49 

had two steam cylinders, each 3111. diameter and i6in. stroke. 
This little engine drew a light carriage at ten miles an 
hour on gravel roads, but it was unfortunately destroyed 
by fire at the New York Crystal Palace in 1858. 

RICKETT. — As we have already said, little or no 
progress was made in England in steam passenger loco- 
motion between 1840 and 1857. Inventors were actively 
engaged in railway locomotive improvements, the atmospheric 
railway gaining a good share of attention. Steamboat 
propulsion was, during this period, developed very rapidly. 

The first to revive the subject of steam passenorer carriages 
was Mr. Thomas Rickett, of Castle Foundry, Buckingham, 
who completed a road locomotive, which was tested in March, 
1858. This engine was capable of traversing any road, 
and could be steered with precision. 

An engine made for the Marquis of Stafford commenced 
to run during the latter part of 1858, and was fairly 
successful. Fig. 54 shows this engine, which was carried 
on three wheels, the two driving wheels behind and one 
steering wheel in front. The main framing of the engine 
was formed by a pair of longitudinal iron tanks. The 
boiler was fixed at the back ; the steam cylinders were 
placed horizontally, one on each side of it, a seat for 
three passengers being provided in front between the 
forward end of the boiler and the steering wheel. The 
crank shaft, as ivill be seen from the illustration, was 
placed beneath the seat, the piston rods being coupled on 
to it in the usual manner. On one side of the crank 
shaft a small chain wheel was keyed, while a similar 
wheel of larger diameter was keyed on the driving axle, 
motion being communicated from the former to the latter 
by means of an endless pitch chain, as shown. The relative 

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00 

lO 
00 



H 

< 

< 

OQ 

00 

I' 



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THE PERIOD OF SUCCESSFUL APPLICATION. ISI 

sizes of these two wheels were as I to 2j. The driving 
axle was placed as nearly under the boiler as possible, 
and worked in axle boxes fitted with springs. Behind 
the boiler was a foot-plate, coal bunker, and seat for stoker. 
One driving wheel was secured to the axle, the other 
running loose except when thrown into gear by a clutch. 
The carriage was steered by means of a lever connected 
with the fork of the front wheel, which latter passed 
through a guide in order to allow for the action of the 
spring. The driver, besides having the steering under his 
control, was provided with the reversing lever and brake 
handle, which gave him all necessary command over the 
carriage. The cylinders were 3in. diameter and gin. 
stroke ; the working steam pressure was loolb. per square 
inch. The driving wheels were 3ft. diameter. The boiler 
was of the internal flue and return-tube type, and made 
of steel. The weight of the carriage when fully loaded 
was only 30 cwt. On good level roads it ran about twelve 
miles an hour. The Engineer for 7th March, 1859, says: 
" Lord Stafford and party made another trip with the 
steam carriage from Buckingham to Wolverton. His 
lordship drove and steered, and although the roads were 
very heavy, they were not more than an hour in running 
the nine miles to Old Wolverton. His lordship has 
repeatedly said that it is guided with the greatest ease 
and precision. It was designed by Mr. Rickett to run ten 
miles an hour. One mile in five minutes has been attained, 
at which it was perfectly steady, the centre of gravity being 
not more than 2ft. from the ground. A few days after- 
wards this little engine started from Messrs. Hayes's Works, 
Stoney Stratford, with a party consisting of the Marquis 
of Stafford, Lord Alfred Paget, and two Hungarian noble- 
men. They proceeded through the town of Stoney Stratford 



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152 THE PERIOD OF SUCCESSFUL APPLICATION. 

at a rapid pace, and after a short trip returned to the 
Wolverton railway station. The trip was in all respects 
successful, and shows, beyond a doubt, that steam locomotion 
for common roads is practicable." 

Mr. Rickett built two more engines, substituting spur 
gearing in place of the pitch chain. One of these carriages 
was sold to the Earl of Caithness. The cylinders were 
placed near the passengers* seat, the crank shaft being at the 
chimney end, near to the main axle, to suit the gearing. 
The bearings of the driving axle carried the springs, and 
worked in guides set at an angle from the perpendicular, 
but at right angles to a line drawn connecting the centres 
of the two axles, so that the motion of the springs did 
not materially affect the gearing. There were two sets 
of spur wheels and pinions, giving proportionate speeds of 
ten and four miles an hour, so that in ascending hills or 
traversing rough roads, by throwing in the slow gear, the 
actual tractive force was multiplied two and a half times. 
This carriage was intended to carry three passengers, who 
sat in the front, the stoker being behind. The weight of the 
carriage, fully loaded, was 50 cwt* 

This locomotive was found to travel exceedingly well, and 
on good roads attained high rates of speed. The Earl of 
Caithness, in the carriage just described, travelled from 
Inverness to his seat, Borrogill Castle, within a few miles 
of John o* Groat's House. He writes as follows : — ** I may 
state that such a feat as going over the Ord of Caithness 
has never before been accomplished by steam, as I believe 
we rose one thousand feet in about five miles. The Ord 
is one of the largest and steepest hills in Scotland. The 
turns in the road are very sharp. All this I got over 
without trouble. There is, I am confident, no difficulty in 

♦ Yarrow, on Steam Carnages, 1862, 

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153 



driving a steam carriage on a common road. It is cheap, 
and on a level I got as much as nineteen miles an hour/' 
The Earl of Caithness brought the trial to a successful 
result, and ere long steam travelling upon the high roads 
will be availed of to a large extent. Thus wrote the 
Engineer^ but steam passenger travelling on roads has 
developed very slowly. 

"In 1861," we read that "Lord Stafford, now the Duke 
of Sutherland, had a vertical boiler applied to his carriage,'* 
which could not have been any improvement upon Rickett's 
return-tube horizontal boiler. In 1864, Mr. Rickett supplied 
an engine for working a passenger and light goods service in 




Fie. 55. 

Spain, intended to carry thirty passengers up an incline of 
I in 12, at ten miles an hour. The steam cylinders were 
Sin. diameter, bolted to side frames ; the driving wheels were 
4ft. diameter. The front of the engine was carried upon a 
pair of leading wheels placed 2ft. 6in. apart. The boiler 
could be worked up to 200lb. pressure if required. 

We have seen that Mr. Rickett used chain gearing on 
his earliest engine. His later engines were provided with 
spur wheels ; but he abandoned any form of gearing and 
made his last engines direct-acting. In November, 1864, he 
says: "The direct-acting engines mount inclines of i in 10 
easily ; whether at eight, four, two, or one mile an hour. 



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154 THE PERIOD OF SUCCESSFUL APPLICATION. 

on inclines with five tons behind them, they stick to their 
work better than geared engines." 

Fig. 55 shows a road locomotive and passenger coach 
constructed by Mr. Rickett, in 1865, similar to the set 
sent to Spain. The engine would draw a load of 4 
tons, at ten to fifteen miles an hour. The steam cylinders 
were Sin. diameter and 22in. stroke. The driving wheels 
were 4ft. diameter ; the weight of the engine was 6 tons. 

These later engines, like the illustration, were simple in 
construction, without any cog gearing ; they were made 
almost entirely of wrought iron and steel, and were 
thoroughly well built. 

SEAWARD. — In 1859, Messrs. Seaward and Company 
built an engine to run between London and Leeds, 
which worked well and ran at a good speed, but from the 
" oppressive burden of the absurd and disgraceful tolls, it 
was impossible to carry out the intention with any chance 
of remuneration to those engaged in the enterprise."* The 
matter remained in abeyance for some time, but was 
eventually abandoned. 

ADAMSON. — Messrs. Daniel Adamson and Co., of 
Dukinfield, near Manchester, early in 1858 constructed a 
common road locomotive for Mr. Schmidt, which worked 
very satisfactorily. The boiler was of the ordinary 
locomotive multitubular type, 2ift in diameter, and 5ift. 
long, and intended for a working pressure of 150 lb. per 
square inch. The engine weighed 56 cwt., and was 
supported on three wheels. The tank underneath contained 
70 gallons of feed water, and the engine was designed for 
* Young, *♦ Steam on Common Roads," i86r. 

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THE PERIOD OF SUCCESSFUL APPLICATION. 1 55 

running at eight miles an hour. A steam cylinder, of 6in. 
diameter, was attached to each side of the locomotive. 
These cyh'nders actuated a pair of driving wheels, 3ft. 
6in. in diameter. Underneath the front of the carriage a 
single wheel was employed for steering. 

Many trials were conducted by Mr. Schmidt in various 
parts of the country. The following race is recorded in 
the technical papers for August 30th, 1867. On Monday 
morning in accordance with previous arrangement, two 
road steam carriages — one made by Mr. I. W. Boulton, 
of Ashton - under - Lyne ; the other made by Messrs. 
Daniel Adamson and Co., of Dukinfield — started from 
Ashton-under-Lyne, at 4.30 a.m., for the show ground at 
Old Trafford, a distance of over eight miles. The larger 
engine, made by Messrs. Adamson, was a very well- 
constructed engine, but the smaller one passed it during 
the first mile, and kept a good lead of it all the way, 
arriving at Old Trafford under the hour, having to run 
slowly through Manchester. The running of both engines 
was considered very good. On arrival at Old Trafford 
they tested their turning qualities. 

Mr. Schmidt sent this road locomotive to the Havre 
Exhibition, in 1868, and in accordance with his request a 
trial of its powers was made by French engineers, and 
M. Nicole, director of the exhibition. Mr. Schmidt con- 
ducted the engine himself, and to it was attached an 
omnibus containing the commissioners. The engine and 
carriage traversed several streets of Havre, and mounted 
a sharp incline. A very satisfactory report was drawn up 
by M. Ed. Croppi, and sent to several of the journals. 
Other trips were made to several villages in the neigh- 
bourhood of the exhibition, all of which were of a very 
creditable character. 

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THE PERIOD OF SUCCESSFUL APPLICATION. 



LOUGH AND MESSENGER. — In 1858, Messrs. 
Lough and Messenger, of Swindon, designed and erected 
the h'ttle steam road locomotive, illustrated by Fig. 56. This 
engine, after two years constant running at 15 miles an 
hour on level roads, and 6 miles an hour up inclines of 
I in 20, was pronounced a perfect success. In the makers' 
opinion, direct-acting engines were preferable for simplicity's 
sake ; hence the engine illustrated had two cylinders, 
each 3iin. diameter and 5in. stroke, working direct on to 
the crank axle. The driving wheels were 3ift. diameter, 




Fig. 56. 

and the leading wheels 2ft. diameter. The vertical boiler 
was fixed on the framing, slightly raking. It was worked 
at i2olb. pressure. The tanks held 40 gallons of feed 
water. The boiler was fed by the following means : A 
small cistern is shown, fixed above the boiler, having 
communication by a simple pipe from the tanks below. A 
delivery pipe entered the boiler near the bottom, and a 
steam pipe from the boiler was carried into the top of the 
cistern and each pipe was fitted with a cock. The air 



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THE PERIOD OF SUCCESSFUL APPLICATION. 1 57 

was expelled from the cistern, and filled with steam, 
which was accomplished by opening the cocks in the 
steam and supply pipes, and blowing through into the 
tank. The steam cock was next shut, as a consequence 
of which a vacuum was formed in the cistern, and water 
rushed up from the tank and filled the cistern. Ihe 
supply cock was next shut, and upon the steam cock 
being opened, the water fell by its own gravity into the 
boiler. The total weight of the locomotive was only 8 cwt. 
Extreme lightness, compared with the power given out, 
was its chief characteristic. An experienced engineer 
considered this to be one of the best road locomotives 
ever turned out. 

BACH. — Mr. Bach, engineer, Birmingham, built a small 
passenger locomotive in 1859, but we are unable to give 
any particulars of it. 

STIRLING. — Mr. Stirling, of Kilmarnock, in 1859, 
designed a road steamer, in which several neat devices 
were embodied. All the five travelling wheels were mounted 
upon springs. A single wheel was used as a driver, and 
an adjustable arrangement used for causing more or less 
weight to rest upon this wheel. The leading and trailing wheels 
were arranged to swivel in concert, in opposite directions, by 
means of right and left hand worms and worm wheels, 
whereby a double efTect was obtained, and the carriage was 
made to move in a curve of much less radius than is obtain- 
able with the ordinary steering arrangements. 

CARRETT.— Mr. W. O. Carrett, of the firm of Carrett, 
Marshall, and Co., Sun Foundry, Leeds, made a noted steam 
pleasure carriage for Mr. George Salt, of Saltaire, which was 

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158 THE PERIOD OF SUCCESSFUL APPLICATION. 

exhibited at the Royal Show held in Leeds, 1861, and 
likewise at the London Exhibition, 1862 (see Fig. 57). It 
had two steam cylinders, 6in. diameter and 8in. stroke. The 
boiler was of the locomotive multitubular type, made of 
Low Moor iron. The joints were flanged and welded. It 
had a copper firebox, and there were 58 copper tubes, 2in. 
diameter. The boiler was 2ft 6in. diameter, and 5ft. 3in. 
long, giving looft. of heating surface, and intended for a 
working pressure of 1 5olb. per square inch, the test pressure 
being 300lb. Clark's steam jet for preventing smoke was 
adopted. The locomotive was mounted upon three wheels, 
provided with springs. The two driving wheels behind 
were 4ft. diameter, made of steel, with cast-iron bosses. 
The leading wheel was 3ft. diameter. We shall refer to 
the steering gear and special method of attachment to the 
front wheel presently. The boiler was fed by an injector, 
as shown, as well as an engine pump. There were seats 
on the carriage for nine persons, including the steerer and 
the stoker. The travelling speed was 1 5 miles an hour ; 
and the weight of the carriage, fully loaded, was 5 tons, 
about four-fifths of which was carried by the two driving 
wheels, and one-fifth on the steering wheel. Motion was com- 
municated from the crank shaft to the driving axle through 
spur gearing in the proportion of five to one. The 
driving wheels were loose on the main axle, and each 
was secured upon a hollow shaft revolving upon the main 
central one ; the latter was driven by gearing from the 
first motion, and carried a pair of central revolving bevel 
couplings on the inner end of the pipe shaft. The bevel 
couplings, being free to revolve, became bevel wheels only 
when there was any differential velocity required to the 
driving wheels ; and thus with both wheels free and always 
driven, the carriage could turn about in all directions. 

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THE PERIOD OF SUCCESSFUL APPLICATION. 1 59 

Mr. W. O. Carrett, after giving the clear description of 
the compensating gear used on his little locomotive, 
acknowledged Mr. R. Roberts, of Manchester, as the inventor. 
There was one point respecting the steering gear worthy of 
note. The leading wheel, besides being held in its place, 
says Mr Yarrow, " by a vertical forked spindle, which passed 
through guides, had a parallel motion which transmitted 
any strains taken by the wheel and given out at the axle 
to a fixed pin or fulcrum on the frame." Thus the brunt 
of obstacles on the road was taken quite independently, 
and the steering was left free from any injurious strain. Fig. 



A— !M-^ 




Pig. 58. 

58 shows the usual method of connecting the front wheel. 
The wheel is held in position by a forked spindle, which 
passes through the guide at the top, which was firmly fixed 
to the frame ; above the guide were the spring and guiding 
lever. Any obstruction to the forward motion of the carriage 
had a tendency to break the fork spindle at A B. 

Figs. 59 and 60 show the improved method referred to. 
The wheel in this case is held in position between a forked 
spindle, but the axle on which the steering wheel revolves 
is extended on each side, to the ends of which are coupled 
two links, which connect the front axle and a lever together. 

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THE PERIOD OF SUCCESSFUL APPLICATION. 



This lever moves on a pin fixed firmly to the framing of the 
carriage. It will be seen that the wheel can be turned to 
the right or to the left on the fork spindle as a centre, quite 
unaffected by the links, which maintain the distance between 
the axle and the lever under all circumstances the same, and 
thus the front upright fork spindle is relieved from the 
injurious strain which we have seen in the former case had a 




Figs. 59 & 60. 

tendency to break the fork at A B.* The following appeared 
in Engineerings 8th June, i866 : "This steam carriage, made 
by Carrett, Marshall, and Co. (see Fig. 57), was probably 
the most remarkable locomotive ever made. True, it did 
little good for itself as a steam carriage, and its owner at 
last made a present of it — much as an Eastern prince 

♦ Yarrow on Steam Carriages. 



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THE PERIOD OF SUCCESSFUL APPLICATION. l6f 

might send a friend a white elephant — to that enthusiastic 
amateur, Mr. Frederick Hodges, who christened it the 
Fly-by-Night, and who did fly, and no mistake, through the 
Kentish villages when most honest people were in their 
beds. Its enterprising owner was repeatedly pulled up and 
fined, and to this day his exploits are remembered against 
him." Hodges ran the engine 800 miles ; he had six sum- 
monses in six weeks, and one was for running the engine 
thirty miles an hour. It was afterwards converted into a 
self-moving fire engine. But the Fly-by-Night was a good 
job, and deserved a worthier career. 

SMITH. — Messrs. Smith Bros., of Thrapstone, had a 
small self-moving engine at the Smithfield Show in 1861, 
driven by chain gearing. 

YARROW AND HILDITCH. — Messrs. Yarrow and 
Hilditch, of Barnsbury, near London, showed a steam 
carriage at the London Exhibition, of 1862, made by 
Mr. T. W. Cowan, of Greenwich, which is illustrated by 
Fig. 61. It was designed to carry thirteen passengers, 
including a steersman and a stoker. A vertical multitubular 
boiler was employed, 2ft. diameter and 3ft. gin. high, made 
of steel. It was fitted with a perforated steam pipe round 
the top to reduce the chance of priming. The main frame 
of the carriage was made of ash, 4iin. deep, lined with 
wrought-iron plates on each side, Jin. thick. To the 
outside of the bottom sill were fitted two iron foundation 
plates, to which the cylinders and other parts were bolted. 
The cylinders were slightly inclined, as shown, coupled to 
cranks outside the driving wheels ; they were 5 in. diameter 
and gin. stroke. The driving wheels were 3ft. diameter, 
both keyed to the main axle and placed inside the framing ; 



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THE PERIOD OF SUCCESSFUL APPLICATION. 163 

on the outside of the wheels came the axle bearings 
carrying the springs, and beyond them were keyed the 
over-neck cranks. The advantages claimed for this 
arrangement of parts were, "that the gauge of the hind 
wheels, being considerably reduced, did not necessitate 
throwing the inner wheel out of gear when turning curves ; 
and, secondly, that direct action was obtained without 
having the axle cranked, which past experience has shown 
to be highly objectionable, as the continuous jolting very 
soon broke them." 

In order to keep the axle in its right position, a radius 
link was employed in preference to axle box guides (we 
have mentioned elsewhere that the radius link was one of 
Fisher's inventions), as, by its use, far less friction was 
caused, and the distance between the shaft and the 
cylinder was unaltered, and the action of the slide valves 
was unaffected by the vertical play of the springs. One 
end of the link was connected to the axle bearings, and 
the other to a provision on the foundation plate. The 
working parts were covered to protect them from dust. 
All the parts of the engine were made as light as possible, 
steel and malleable cast iron being freely used. When 
fully loaded the carriage weighed 2j tons, the greater 
portion of which was borne by the driving axle. The 
carriage performed well on the road. 



LEE. — Mr. Lee, of Leicester, sent a three-wheel road 
locomotive to the London Exhibition of 1862. The driving 
wheels were 6ft. diameter, the cylinders 4J in. diameter 
and gin, stroke. Motion was transmitted from the crank 
shaft to the main axle by spur gearing, in the proportion 
of eight to one. 



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l64 THE PERIOD OF SUCCESSFUL APPLICATION. 

HAYBALL. — A quick-speed road locomotive was made 
by Mr. Charles T. Hayball, of Lymington, Hants, in 1864. 
The whole of the machinery was mounted upon wrought- 
iron framing, 4in. deep, and |in. thick, and supported by 
three wheels. The two driving wheels had an inner and 
an outer tyre, and the space between the two hoops was 
filled up with wood to reduce noise and lessen the 
concussion. The two steam cylinders were bolted to the 
top of the frame, each 4iin. diameter and 6in. stroke. 
A vertical boiler, 2ft. 2in. diameter, and 4ft. high, working 
at 1501b. pressure, was used. The ratio of the gearing 
was 10 to 33. The crank shaft was placed above the 
main axle, both being fixed in a sliding bracket, keeping 
the shafts the right distance apart to suit the gearing, 
both sliding up and down owing to the action of the 
springs. The carriage ran up an incline of one in 12 at 
16 miles an hour, and travelled 4 miles in 14 minutes up 
hill and down with 10 passengers on board. Hayball says 
" he has run 700 miles without a derangement, and 
travelled up an incline a quarter of a mile long, i in 
10 and I in 12, and when nearly at the top he turned 
at right angles." When loaded with 12 passengers the 
carriage weighed under two tons. A bar was fixed in 
front of the vehicle f >r removing large loose stones on 
the road out of the way, a device of questionable utility. 

WILKINSON.— In 1862, Mr. Wilkinson, of Ashford, 
Kent, possessed a small steam carriage with two direct 
acting cylinders each 4|in. diameter and I2in. stroke. 
The driving wheels were 5ft. diameter. Steam of i2olb. 
pressure was supplied by an ordinary vertical boiler. 

TANGYE. — Messrs. Tangye, of Birmingham, in 1862, 
constructed the road locomotive as per Fig. 62. 

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THE PERIOD OF SUCCESSFUL APPLICATION. 1 65 

The illustration (kindly lent by Messrs. Tangye) shews 
the engine so clearly that little descriptive matter is needed. 
The centre of the carriage afforded ample space for seating 
six or eight persons, whilst three or four more could be 
accommodated in front, one or two of whom performed the 
duties of driver and steersman. The stoker was of course 
stationed at the boiler behind. The driver who sat in front 
had full control of the stop valve and reversing lever, so 
that the engine could be stopped, or reversed by him as 
occasion required, whilst by means of a very powerful and 
well arranged foot brake at his command, he was able to 
bring the carriage to a standstill in an incredibly short time 
and distance. The management of the whole engine was so 
simple that the most unskilled persons might have under- 
taken it without the slightest fear of accident. The speed 
of 20 miles an hour could be readily attained, and the 
engine with its load ascended the steepest gradients with 
perfect ease and safety. 

The body of the carriage was made of iron and supported 
on steel springs of great flexibility, the motion over the 
roughest roads being smooth and easy. The length of the 
carriage was 16 ft, and the width S ft. 9 in. The two 
cylinders were 5| in. diameter and 11 in. stroke. The 
cylinders were neatly lagged, and with the guides were pro- 
tected by an iron casing as shown in the illustration Fig. 62, 

The driving and steering wheels were each 39 in. diameter, 
and 2 in. on the face, made of wood and strongly tyred with 
iron. The whole vehicle was remarkably compact and 
simple in construction, and the working parts were few in 
number and not liable to derangement. The vertical boiler 
had a copper firebox, and contained 100 brass tubes enabling 
steam to be raised in a few minutes. 



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THE PERIOD OF SUCCESSFUL APPLICATION 167 

No inconvenience was felt from the heat of the boiler by 
persons seated in the body of the carriage, it being partly 
surrounded by the feed water tank, the steam was dried before 
entering the cylinders by passing through a conical coil of 
pipes in the smoke-box. When burning coal, a small jet of 
steani was employed to introduce air above the fire, and was 
found to be very effectual in preventing smoke. The loco- 
motive carried sufficient fuel and water for a journey of 
20 miles. 

From Mr Richard Tangye's interesting autobiography 
recently published, we quote the following respecting this 
atcam carnage: — "* About 1862 the subject of providing 
' feeders ' m country places for the main lines of railway 
came again into prominence. Branch lines had been proved 
to be unremunerative from their great cost in construction ; 
and amongst other systems proposed was that of light, quick- 
speed locomotives for carrying passengers, and traction 
engines for the conveyance of heavy produce and other 
^oods. We detennined to construct a locomotive of the 
former clasSi and succeeded in making a very successful 
example^ with which we travelled many hundredb of miles. 
The carriage occupied no more space than an ordinary 
phaeton ; when travelling at over 20 miles an hour, the 
engine was easily managed and under perfect control. 
Fig. 63 shows the ^ Cornubia * on the village green.* 

" Great interest was manifested in our experiment, and it 
soon became evident that there was an opening for a 
considerable business in these engines, and we made our 
preparations accordingly, but the * wisdom * of Parliament 
made it impossible. The squires became alarmed lest their 
horses should take fright ; and although a judge ruled that a 

* This block (kindly lent by Mr. Richard Tangye) is one of the illustrations 
specially prepared for the autobiography One and All. 




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1 68 



THE PERIOD OF SUCCESSFUL APPLICATION. 



horse that would not stand the sight or sound of a loco- 
motive, in these days of steam, constituted a public danger, 
and that its owner should be punished and not the owner 
of the locomotive, an Act was passed providing that no 
engine should travel more than four miles an hour on the 
public roads. Thus was the trade in quick speed locomotives 
strangled in its cradle, and the inhabitants of country districts 
left unprovided with improved facilities for travelling." In 
no single instance did Messrs. Tangye*s carriage cause an 
accident attributable to horses. At one time a countryman 




Fig. 63. 

tumbled out'of his cart from fear that his horse might bolt, 
but the latter was wiser than his master, for he stood quite 
still. 

BOULTON.— Mr. Thomas Boulton, in August, 1867, says : 
*' I ran a small road locomotive constructed by Mr. Isaac 
W. Boulton, of Ashton-under-Lyne, from here through 



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THE PERIOD OF SUCCESSFUL APPLICATION. 169 

Manchester, Eccles, Warrington, Preston Brook, to Chester, 
paraded the principal streets of Chester, and returned home, 
the distance being over ninety miles in one day without a 
stoppage except for water. I believe this to be the longest 
continuous run on record ever accomplished by any road 
locomotive within twenty-four hours." But in this Mr. 
Boulton was mistaken. We have stated in a previous article 
that Hill ran from London to Hastings and back in one day, 
a distance of one hundred and twenty-eight miles. Boulton 's 
engine had one cylinder 4|in. diameter, and gin. stroke. The 
boiler was worked at one hundred and thirty pounds pressure 
per square inch. The driving wheels were 5ft. in diameter. 
The driving and the single steering wheels were provided 
with springs. 

Two speeds were obtained by means of two trains of spur 
gearing between the crank shaft and the counter shaft, the 
motion of the counter shaft was transmitted to the axle by a 
pitch chain ; the ratios of the gearing were 6 J to i, and 1 1 to i. 
During the trip recorded above, six persons were carried all 
the distance, and sometimes there were eight and ten pas- 
sengers. This is the little engine which ran a race with Mr. 
Adamson's locomotive, recorded in a previous chapter. 

GOODMAN. — A small road locomotive was made about 
this time by Mr. Goodman, of Marshall street, Southwark, 
London. It was worked by a pair of direct-acting engines, 
coupled to the crank shaft in the usual manner. A chain 
pinion on the crank shaft transmitted motion to the main 
axle through an endless pitch chain, working over a chain 
wheel of larger diameter on the driving shaft. The steering 
gear was arranged like Carrett, Marshall, & Co.'s engine, so 
that the jerks or strain on the steering fork were reduced to 
a minimum. The smoke from the boiler was conducted by a 

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I70 THE PERIOD OF SUCCESSFUL APPLICATION. 

flue placed beneath the carriage, and issued out behind. This 
neat little conveyance ran ten to twelve miles an hour. 

ARMSTRONG.— Sometime in 1868, Mr. Armstrong, of 
Rawilpindee, Punjab, India, made a neat little steam car- 
riage, having two steam cylinders, each 3in. diameter, and 
6in. stroke. A trunk was used, so as to do away with slide 
bars. A separate stop valve was fitted to each cylinder. 
The boiler was I5in. diameter, 3ft. high, and was worked at 
loolb. steam pressure per square inch. The carriage travelled 
at twelve miles an hour on the level road, and up an incline of 
one in twenty at the rate of six miles an hour. The driving 
wheels were 3ft. diameter. The engine had been running 
more than a year when the above particulars were forwarded 
by Mr. Armstrong to The Engineer, 




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MODERN PERIOD. 



THOMPSON, — We have now arrived at a period when 
steam road locomotion was rapidly developed. Engines of a 
special type for either fast or slow speeds were made in 
great nunnbers, and sent to all quarters of the globe. Much 
of this progress was due to the inventive ability and 
indomitable energy of Mr. R. W. Thompson, C.E , of 
Edinburgh, who not only had a considerable number of 
these road steamers made at Leith under his personal 
superintendence, but, because of the briskness of the trade 
which quickly sprang up, three or four firms took up the 
manufacture. 

Mr. R. W. Thompson was born at Stonehaven in 1822. 
Early in life he was sent to the United States of America 
to be made a merchant of, but he disliked the calling, and 
returned to England when sixteen years of age. He spent 
two years of his life making experiments in chemistry and 
electricity, interspersed with engineering schemes. He was 
next apprenticed to engineering, at Aberdeen and Dundee, 
filling up his spare moments during this period in inventing 
a rotary engine, &c. 

After serving his apprenticeship during which he made 
rapid progress, he was employed by the Stephensons. In 
1844 he commenced business on his own account. Two 
years later he conceived the idea of applying indiarubber 
tyres to ordinary conveyances. We read in vol. xlv. of 
the Mechanics^ Magazine^ that noiseless tyres had been 

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172 MODERN PERIOD. 

applied to a brougham which was running in the London 
parks, the invention of Mn Thompson. Indiarubber at 
that time was scarce and badly made, so the invention 
brought in poor returns. Moreover, the powerful railway 
companies in due course adopted the tyres to the platform 
handcarts, and paid him no royalty. Thompson sent in a 
plan for the 185 1 Exhibition, which received some attention ; 
and a fountain pen of his invention was sold inside the 
exhibition. 

In 1862 he had settled in Edinburgh. The portable crane 
was one of his most useful inventions. A traction engine 
being required for use in Java, from whence Thompson had 
recently returned, he commenced to design one in harmony 
with his own ideas, which resulted in his invention of the 
indiarubber tyres for the wheels, and the "pot" boiler, in 1867, 
which made his name famous. Although numerous inventors 
had cherished the idea of applying indiarubber or other soft 
substances, covered with leather, &c., to the tyres of road 
locomotives, before 1867, they having no doubt received the 
inspiration from his noiseless tyres in 1846, yet he was the 
first to put the idea into practical shape. 

In December, 1867, a small road locomotive having a 
" pot " boiler and vulcanised rubber tyres to the wheels was 
being tested, and the newspapers pronounced the engine to 
be " in advance of everything which had preceded it." The 
steam cylinder was 5 in. diameter, and 8 in. stroke. The 
engine was mounted upon three wheels, all of which were 
fitted with rubber tyres, the driving wheel tyres being 12 in. 
wide and 5 in. thick. Numerous trials were run with this 
engine, drawing a large omnibus behind, at the rate of 
10 to 12 miles an hour. It was said: "Mr. Thompson 
intends to run the engine over to Glasgow by the road, for 
shipment to Java, where it is to be used for travelling 

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MODERN PERIOD. 



173 



between two towns, about 40 miles apart, taking in tow a 
large omnibus full of passengers, or trains of wagons, at the 
speed which has already been acomplished in the trials which 
have been made in the neighbourhood of Edinburgh." We 
illustrate by Fig. 64 one of Thompson's road steamers, 
made in 1868 by Messrs. Tennant and Co., of Leith, for use 
in the Island of Ceylon. 

From the illustration it will be seen, the horizontal engine 
and vertical pot boiler were mounted upon a wrought-iron 




Fig. 64. 

frame of channel iron, presenting a neat and compact appear- 
ance. This engine was subjected to some severe trials 
previous to its shipment for Ceylon. We are unable to afford 
the space to give particulars of a tithe of the trips made by 
Mr. Thompson with his road steamers. However, in 1869 
some trials were made with two 6-horse engines, under Mr. 
Thompson's directions, which exhibited their tractive power 
and speed in a remarkable manner. " One of the 6 ton road 
steamers was harnessed to four wagons of pig iron — weight 







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174 MODERN PERIOD. 

of iron and wagons, 34 tons — which it drew without an effort 
or any stoppage from the foot to the top of Granton Road, 
a distance of a quarter of a mile, with inclines of one in 
eighteen. Arrived at the top, it turned with its train and ran 
back to its starting point It may be pointed out that the 
drawing of 34 tons, besides the engine's own weight, up one 
in twenty, is equal to drawing 100 tons or more on a level 
road. The other road steamer was attached to an omnibus 
which conveyed a party of gentlemen from Granton to Leith- 
The distance is two and three-quarter miles, and the journey 
was performed at the rate of over eight miles an hour, that 
being the highest speed at which it was deemed safe to run 
through a town." This road steamer had been built specially 
for omnibus traffic, and was exceedingly light and compact 
One morning a road steamer was taken down on to the sea 
sands at Portobello, and ran up and down there at the rate of 
ten miles an hour, the rain pouring all the time in torrents. 
A road steamer was employed at Aberdeen to draw a 1 5 ton 
boiler on a 5 ton wagon through some of the streets at three 
miles an hour. An engineer writes : " It is certainly a feat 
for a 5 ton engine to drag out a 20 ton load and climb 
gradients of one in twenty with single gear. We had all 
Aberdeen turned out as we passed. It was an unusual sight 
to see the infant * Hercules ' in front of the great boiler, 
30 feet long and 7 feet in diameter, bowling along with it like 
a plaything at its tail, whilst the plaything itself shook the 
houses again as it danced over the rough causeway." 

It would be amusing to quote the foolish statements made 
respecting the unprotected vulcanised rubber tyres ; indeed 
a great deal of harm was done to the cause of indiarubber 
tyres by the inconsistent statements of some of their 
promoters, who invested them with almost marvellous 
capabilities. One advocate remarked that because the soft 



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MODERN PERIOD. 



175 



tyres resembled the feet of the elephant and the camel, which 
have large soft cushions in hard hoofs, and as no other 
animal can bear so much walking over hard roads as they 
can accomplish, therefore these tyres would pass over newly- 
broken road metal, broken flints, and all kinds of sharp 
things without leaving a mark on the rubber. And we were 




Fig. 65. 

repeatedly informed that the tyres were not affected by heat, 
cold, or moisture, and were durable beyond all conception ; 
and yet, in the face of all this claimed durability, no end of 
schemes were being proposed and patented for protecting the 
surface of the tyres from injury. As one writer nicely puts it, 
when noticing one of the methods of attaching metal shoes 



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176 MODERN PERIOD. 

round the tyres : " Considering how much has been said 
concerning the everlasting properties of the indiarubber tyres, 
it is curious that so much ingenuity should be expended in 
affording them protection." 

In January, 1870, Mr. Thompson sent out an eight hoise 
road steamer to India, which, though not a success (says Mr. 
Crompton), proved that the rubber tyres were not affected by 
climate, and that the engine was handy and manageable. 
Four larger engines were eventually Ordered by the Indian 
Government of which particulars follow. At the Royal 
Show at Oxford, July, 1870, two road steamers with india- 
rubber tyres were shown, running about the ground, 
'* twisting, turning — we are inclined to say waltzing — and 
disporting themselves generally in a manner suggestive of 
what a pair of gigantic steam kittens or other frolicsome 
animals might do. One engine was tried without the steel 
chain armour around the wheel tyre, and on the strain 
being thrown on one wheel the tyre on that wheel snapped 
right across."* 

Fig. 65 shows a section of Thompson's original rubber 
tyred wheel, which was constructed of wrought iron plates, 
strengthened by angle iron and diagonal stays, with low 
flanges on each side to keep the tyres in place. The peri- 
phery of the wheel was polished, and then drilled all over 
with fin. holes. The elastic tyre was made a little less in 
diameter than the wheel, and being stretched in order to get 
it on the wheel, had a tendency to contract, which helped to 
keep it in its place. The boss or nave of the wheel was made 
of cast iron. The wheel ran with the indiarubber in contact 
with the ground. To prevent the wheels from slipping on 
soft and damp roads, the chain armour was introduced. Fig. 
66 shows a part side elevation of a rubber-tyred wheel with 

* Engineerings Vol. lo. 



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177 



the chain armour applied. Fig. 6^ shows a section of the 
same wheel. This species of armour consisted of steel plates 
or shoes, joined together by flat links of malleable cast iron, 
and was a constant source of annoyance in practice, owing to 
the breakage of the link pins, and the difficulty of keeping 





Fig. QQ. 



Fig 67. 



the tyre in its place unless the shoes were very tight. When 
an indiarubber tyre is working without shoes, at a speed of 
8 miles per hour, there is a much greater amount of india- 
rubber on the leading side than on the following side of the 
wheel. On the leading side the excess of indiarubber ac- 



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178 



MODERN PERIOD. 



commodates itself by 'bagging out/ as shown by Fig. 68* 
while in the rear it is in a state of tension, and tightly grips 
the iron wheel. From this action the indiarubber tyre is 
continuously working round with a reverse motion to that of 
the drum. The rate of this motion depends upon the tight- 
ness with which it was originally stretched, its density, its 
thickness, and the weight of the wheel. If the wheel is light- 
ly loaded, the tyre will scarcely move, while if it is heavily 




Fig. 68. 

compressed, a great portion of it is rolled out towards the 
front," and the amount of the reverse action becomes very 
great. Under ordinary circumstances the tyre will move once 
round the [drum in from 30 to 40 revolutions. It is evident 
that friction must take place in the indiarubber tyre, from 
its contrary rotation round the iron drum, and also from the 
continuous change of form it undergoes. 

* Mr. Head's Rise and Progress of Steam Locomotion on Common Roads. 



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MODERN PERIOD. 179 

It is self evident from the above remarks that indiarubber 
tyres, to be successful, should be relieved of all driving strain. 

In spite of the bad name, and whatever drawbacks the 
indiarubber tyres may possess, it is impossible to ignore the 
following facts, which must be placed to their credit. They 
act as an excellent spring, and are placed where the spring 
should be situated — that is, in the nearest point to the road, 
thus saving the engine from a great amount of wear and tear 
and rough usage. They are perfectly noiseless. Owing to 
their flexibility they always possess a regular amount of sur- 
face of adhesion, which on paved roads is almost indispensable. 
The injury to the road may be said 'to be ;///, for there has 
never been any complaint from the road authorities of any 
damage done by them ; and they are one of the means de- 
vised for enabling a road locomotive to travel over the high- 
way at a sensible speed, say 7 to lo miles an hour. Another 
advantage of the rubber tyre is mentioned by Mr. John Head. 
" On good macadam its resistance is more than that of the 
rigid wheel, and on a rough or newly-metalled road, owing to 
its great surface, it does not sink below the tops of the stones, 
while the rigid wheel consumes a great amount of power from 
sinking into the surface of the road with a crushing and 
grinding action." The great cost of the rubber tyres had, no 
doubt, much to do with their ultimate disuse. The failure of 
the indiarubber tyre at the trials at the Royal Show, at 
Wolverhampton, in 1871, owing to the slippery state of the 
land after the excessive rains, is very well known. " The clay 
was spurted up from under the wheels, and entered between 
the indiarubber and the rim of the drums, and so lubricated 
the parts that there was a revolution of the iron rim within 
the indiarubber." Thompson's tyres answered well for regu- 
lar road purposes. The experiments carried out by Mr. 
Crompton, in India, proved : "(i) That upon the level roads 

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l8o MODERN PERIOD. 

of India, traction engines can be relied on to work a service of 
trains with great regularity and at a fair speed, and that 
passengers can be conveyed at eight miles an hour. (2) That 
the rubber tyres, as used in such running, are of great service 
in reducing the cost of the ordinary engine repairs, and in 
giving uniformity of adhesion, without in the least degree 
damaging the surface of the roads." 

Such was the demand for Thompson's road steamers 
between 1870 and 1873, that Messrs. Tennant and Co., of 
Leith, could not make them fast enough. Engines of this 
type were made by Messrs. Robey and Co., of Lincoln ; 
Messrs. Ransomes, Sims, and Head, of Ipswich ; Messrs. 
Charles Burrell and Sons, of Thetford; and others, particulars 
of which follow. Thompson's pot boiler was not a success ; 
it was abandoned in favour of the Field vertical, or locomotive 
multitubular type of boiler. The indiarubber tyres, with 
suitable protection, continued to be used until the time of 
Mr. Thompson's death, which occurred on the 8th of March, 
1873, he being in his 51st year. Although his two chief 
inventions were not a thorough success, yet he paved the way 
for other schemers, and by his efforts steam locomotion on 
common roads was rapidly advanced. 

TENNANT. — Messrs. Tennant and Co., of Leith, made a 
large number of road steamers for Mr. Thompson. Some of 
these, intended for passenger service, are already referred to ; 
but they also made a considerable number of engines for 
heavy haulage purposes, one of which is illustrated in Mr. 
John Head's paper **On the Rise and Progress of Steam 
Locomotion on Common Roads," 1873. 

TODD.— In 1869, Mr. Todd, of Leith, made a neat little 
road locomotive mounted upon springs, having two steam 

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MODERN PERIOD. l8l 

cylinders, each 2J in. diameter and 4 in. stroke. The two 
drivt'ng wheels were 4 ft. diameter ; the engine would run one 
hundred miles in ten hours. 

Three years later Mr. Todd designed and constructed a 
special road locomotive to run mails and passengers at high 
speeds, in such places abroad where there were good main 
roads, between important stations not connected by railways. 
The engine was carried on two driving wheels, having springs, 
6 ft. centres, and two leading wheels, each mounted upon 
volute springs. The steel springs were likewise supplemented 
by rubber washers, so that no trace of vibration remained. 
The boiler was of the locomotive multitubular type, intended 
for working at 180 lb. pressure. Two cylinders, 10 in. 
diameter and 10 in. stroke, were connected to the crankshaft 
in the usual manner : spur gearing having a ratio of four to 
one connected the crankshaft and a countershaft together, 
motion being transmitted from a disc on the countershaft to 
the main axle by side coupling rods. Fisher's parallel rods 
were also used for connecting the axle boxes of the counter- 
shaft shaft and the main axle together. By this arrangement 
the axle can bear any amount of vertical play without the 
working spur gearing being at all affected. All the wheels 
had solid wood discs and iron tyres. The engine would, on 
a suitable highway, take a load not exceeding seven tons a 
distance of one hundred miles in ten hours. Mr. Todd offers 
the following remarks respecting the rigid wheels : " It has 
been stated that it is impossible to run a rigid-wheeled engine 
twenty miles an hour on an ordinary macadamised road. 
The statement is simply not correct, for this has frequently 
been done. A rigid wheel carrying four tons, with a 50 in. 
bearing spring and rubber washers, runs with smoothness on 
macadam at twenty miles an hour ; and again, another rigid 
wheel] also loaded with four tons, and fitted with two volutes 

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1 82 MODKRN PERIOD. 

and rubber washers, runs as smoothly at twenty miles an 
hour on a good road as an ordinary railway carriage. The 
fact is, rigid wheels have got a bad name as being rough to 
ride on, simply because they are almost universally used in 
road locomotives without any springs at all, or at best with 
springs so stiff as to almost prevent any motion of the axle ; 
and thus the wheels are blamed for what is most obviously 
the fault of the designer." In 1872, Mr. Todd constructed a 
steam omnibus for running between Leith and Edinburgh. 

NAIRN. — In 1870, Mr. Nairn, of Leith, designed a steam 
omnibus for service in Edinburgh ; it had one leading and two 
driving wheels, fitted with willow wood on the faces to deaden 
noise. Three cylinders, each Si in. diameter and 10 in. stroke 
were coupled direct to the driving axle, which was placed well 
forward to relieve the weight on the steering wheel ; the 
carriage was mounted upon springs 4 ft. 6in. long, and rubber 
washers. A Field boiler, 2y in. diameter and 6 ft. high, was 
used, the funnel from which ran along the top of the *bus 
The boiler was sufficiently large, so as to dispense with the 
exhaust blast in the chimney. The waste steam was allowed 
to escape into a box, which made it noiseless. The omnibus 
weighed seven tons, and seats were provided for eighteen in- 
side and thirty- two outside passengers. With fifty persons 
on board, the engine ascended a hill, one in sixteen, at eight 
miles an hour, and ran on the level road at sixteen miles an 
hour. An Edinburgh *bus proprietor took up this machine, 
and drove a heavy trade for a time. 

During the same year Mr. Nairn built a very neat-looking 
road steamer of eight horse power, mounted upon three 
wheels, each trailing wheel being driven through the medium 
of a friction brake lined with wood. These brakes, it was 
urged, only required once tightening in a hundred miles run. 

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MODERN PERIOD. 



183 



These friction brakes were adopted so as to dispense with 
compensating gearing. The engine could be manoeuvred 
easily. A Field vertical boiler was used on this engine, 
supplying steam to two cylinders, each 6J in. diameter and 
10 in. stroke ; two speeds of steel gearing. The two driving 
wheels were 5 ft. 6 in. diameter and 18 in. on face, a section of 
which is shown by Fig. 69, on this page. It will be seen that 
the tyre was made of hemp and coir rope. He sometimes 
used cork and flat pit ropes coiled round a drum or wheel, 
and protected by shoes on the outer surface. '* It was found 
in practice that when the rope was coiled loosely enough to 




Fig. 69. 



flatten at the tread of the wheel to the same extent as. india- 
rubber, the resistance became very great through the tyre 
being soft and not elastic, and the rope was soon destroyed. 
If the coils were wound round as tightly as possible, the tyre 
became almost rigid, and the wheel was not more efficient 
than an iron one." 

In 1 871 Mr. Nairn brought out his self-contained steam 
omnibus, the * Pioneer.' Three cylinders were coupled to 
a pair of 40 in. diameter driving wheels. The funnel 
from the boiler passed backwards under the seats of the 
outside passengers, and emerged behind over the conductor's 

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XjI^ 



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AN- 



184 MODERN PERIOD. 

head. The main axle was mounted on flat bearing springs, 
supplemented by indiarubber washers 4 in. thick. During 
the summer of 1871, the 'Pioneer' ran for hire between 
Edinburgh and Portobello, a distance of three miles, and 
from eleven to twelve runs were made per day. Seats 
were provided for fifty passengers, and when fully loaded the 
omnibus weighed ten tons, travelled at twelve miles an hour, 
was under perfect control, and was successful. An engineering 
writer says : " Having travelled on business from Edinburgh to 
Portobello, I have had frequent opportunities of observing the 
working of this steam omnibus, and it is doing exceedingly 
well. No horse-drawn *bus is more under control than this 
one ; its safety and capabilities of doing excellent work are 
beyond cavil, and invite investigation. Its general construction 
is a great step in advance.** Nairn, like the rest of the 
locomotion ists was more than once summoned before the 
magistrates and fined for breaking the unreasonable road 
locomotive laws. In 1872, Mr. Nairn was having a road 
locomotive built to his design by Messrs. J. and T. Dale 
of Kirkcaldy, for shipment to New Zealand. 

KNIGHT.— Mr. J. H. Knight, of Weybourne House, 
Famham, had a little steam carriage made in 1868 ; it was 
capable of carrying three passengers at a speed of 8 miles an 
hour on good roads, while it easily mounted the hills in the 
neighbourhood of Farnham. The carriage was propelled by 
two cylinders, each 5 in. diameter and 12 in. stroke, the power 
being transmitted from the crank shaft to the driving axle by 
chain gearing, the ratio of which was four to one. The vehicle 
was mounted on four wheels ; the two driving wheels were 4 ft. 
diameter. The leading wheels 2 ft. 8 in. diameter. The 
carriage was supplied with a brake, a donkey pump, and a 
feed water heater. 

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MODKkN IMiklOl). 185 

CATLEY. — A very neat steam wagonette was made by 
Mr. Catley, of York, in 1869. The two cylinders were 2fin. 
diameter, and 5 Jin. stroke. Spur gearing with a ratio of three 
to one was used for transmitting the motion of the crank 
shaft to the main axle. The driving wheels were 4ft. diam- 
eter ; one wheel was keyed to the axle, the other wheel was 
loose on the shaft, which caused the carriage to turn the 
sharpest corners easily. A vertical boiler, I ft. 6in. diameter 
and 3ft. high, was mounted over the driving axle, and a 
pressure of I20lbs. per square inch was used. Four pas- 
sengers could be carried at a fair speed. The weight of the 
wagonette empty was I5cwt.; it was mounted on good springs, 
fitted with a brake within easy reach of the steersman, and 
nicely equipped for service. Two water tanks contained a 
supply of feed for a five mile run, while coal enough could be 
taken for a 20 mile journey. 

ROBEY. — Soon after the introduction of Thompson's 
rubber tyres, the orders for road steamers, both for heavy 
haulage purposes in Great Britain, and fast speed travelling 
in foreign countries, came to hand so rapidly that Messrs. 
Tennant and Co., were unable to meet the demand. Messrs. 
Robey and Co., of Lincoln, were one of three well-known 
firms who took up the manufacture of these engines for Mr. 
Thompson. In 1870 the Lincoln firm made a large road 
steamer, called the 'Advance,' for Woolwich Arsenal, fitted 
with rubber tyres and " pot " boiler. 

Fig. 70 shows the engine clearly, while Fig. 71 gives 
a sectional elevation of the road steamer to a large 
scale. The engine was of the vertical type, having two 
cylinders, each 7f in. diameter and 10 in. stroke ; the 
crankshaft was 3 in. diameter, the countershaft was 
driven by spur gearing from the crankshaft as shown. 

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1 86 



MODERN PERIOD. 



This gearing was keyed fast to both shafts, so the 
countershaft was always running when the engine was in 
motion, the pump being driven from this shaft. For 




Fig. 70. 



obtaining two traveUing speeds, both the crankshaft and 
the countershaft were fitted with spur pinions sliding 
on fixed keys, either of which could be made to gear 

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MODERN PERIOD. 



187 



with a spur ring on the road wheel. As this arrangement 
of gearing was adopted on all Thompson's engines, we 
give diagrams to illustrate it. See Figs. ^2 and 73. It 
will be obvious that if the pinions on the crankshaft 




Fig. 73. 

are in gear with the travelling wheels, the engine will travel 
at a fast speed, and when the countershaft drives, the 
slow speed is obtained. For turning sharp corners, one 



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l88 MODERN PERIOD. 

of the pinions could be readily thrown out of gear. The 
driving wheels were 6 ft. diameter, and the leading wheel 
4 ft diameter ; the rubber tyres were 5 in. thick. An 
interesting test was carried out with this engine in December, 
1870, as follows : — "The first experiment was to show the 
adaptability of the road steamer for passenger traffic, and 
for this purpose a break and an omnibus were attached at 
Messrs. Robey's works in Canwick Road, and, with a load 
of 45 passengers, proceeded at a smart pace — not less than 
six miles an hour — along the level and slighter inclines 
making two sharp curves, and running over a very awkward 
short and steep hummock, formed by the iron bridge over 
the Witham, in the route to the Lindum Hill, the steepest 
gradient on which — i in 9 — it did at a speed of between four 
and five miles. The * Advance ' then turned on the hill-top 
with its train in a circle, the inner diameter of which was 
about 18 feet. The run down the hill, which is a full half- 
mile, was made at times at a great speed, the crowd of 
sight-seers all running to keep up with it. At other times 
the engine was checked and brought almost to a stand 
upon gradients of every degree of severity up to the extreme 
one. 

After the return to the works the carriages were unhooked, 
and a train of two four-wheeled trucks, weighing three tons 
each, and carrying loads of two tons of deals, in all ten tons 
attached. With this the 'Advance* proceeded along the 
macadamised turnpike road, up the Canwick Hill, the heaviest 
gradient of which is one in eight. The purpose of this ex- 
periment was to show the capacity of the Steamer for drawing 
heavy loads on ordinary roads, and the test was a severe one, 
in consequence of the surface coating of slippery mud. The 
hill nearly three quarters of a mile on the rise, was handsomely 
got up at the rate of two and a half miles, the engine with its 

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MODERN PERIOD. 189 

train — in all 46 ft. in length — turning within circles of the 
following dimensions: Exterior diameter of engine track 24 ft. 
6 in., and exterior diameter of truck tracks 30 ft. The 
journey down hill was again literally at the run, the trucks 
having each a slipper on one wheel ; the speed kept up in the 
descent was quite six miles, the control and steering being 
perfectly kept in hand by Mr. Stanger, the instructor of 
engine-driving at Woolwich and Aldershot, who took charge 
personally throughout the day, and handled the engine in a 
masterly manner. The 'Advance' started with this load at 
1.45 p.m., and was stopped at the works on the return at 2.15 
p m., the journey including two stoppages, one to put on and 
one to adjust the slipper skids, occupying exactly half an 
hour. Part of the distance was over newly-metalled road, of 
which, however, the wheels made not the least disturbance — 
it being one of the characteristic features of these engines that 
they do no damage whatever to the roadways, and, indeed, 
they do not injure grass lands, as was convincingly shown in 
the runs which were next made in the large meadows ex- 
pressively known locally as the " Cow Paddle," but otherwise 
the South Common. This land, lying low, was exceedingly 
spongy, and the * Advance' in places sunk at times from 
three to four inches in some of the soft places. The purpose, 
indeed, of the third experiment was to show the capacity of 
the Road Steamer for going over soft land, and the " Cow 
Paddle" was an undoubted test of this qualification. A 
measured mile was stumped out, and the engine run round 
the course, doing the whole distance in seven minutes, not- 
withstanding one-third was over ground so soft and wet that 
the engine worked over that portion with an average sinking 
of at least two inches. Several very short turns were made 
by the * Advance ' upon this grass land at sharp speed, in 
one case the inner diameter of the wheel tracks being only 

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I90 



MODERN PERIOD. 



seven feet, measured across the second or innermost spiral. 
In making another circle the 'Advance' passed over a 
hollow ten inches deep in seven feet of length, one wheel 
sinking into the soil five inches below this ; and yet there 
was no arrest, not even instantaneous, in the progress of the 
engine. A speed of nine miles an hour upon such ground as 
this is a wonderful accomplishment, and the steadiness with 
which the * Advance ' worked upon ground of the most un- 
even nature shows clearly the great value of these machines 
for the roughest locomotive work. The indiarubber tyres are 
guarded by an outside band of steel plates, i8 in. broad and 
5 in. deep, with intervals of li in. between them. At almost 
all times there were four of these plates bearing firmly on the 
ground through the elasticity of the rubber, so that the 
surface adhering to the roadway was generally 24^ in. by 
18 in., or about 2} square feet superficial. The traction 
power, in comparison with that of ordinary rigid wheels, is 
thus clear at a glance.*' 

In July, 1 87 1, another road steamer was made to draw two 
large omnibuses, filled with passengers, from Lincoln to 
Grantham, and the trip was in every way satisfactory. This 
engine and the omnibuses were made for Greece, and after 
their arrival at their destination, in 1872, they were again put 
to the test ; the conveyances were loaded with seventy 
passengers, the engine hauling this load up an incline of one 
in seventeen at the rate of three miles an hour, and on the 
level road at eight miles an hour. 

Mr. Thompson's ** pot " boiler as made by Messrs. Robey 
and Co. for their road steamers is shewn in section by Fig. 74. 
" The boiler consists of a vertical steel shell, t of an inch 
thick, 2 ft 9i in. diameter and 7 ft. 9J in. high. Within this 
is placed a fire-box 2 ft. 3in. diameter. Within the fire-box 
"s suspended the copper * pot,' 2 ft. inside diameter, con- 



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Pig. 74 



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192 MODERN PERIOD. 

nected with the fire-box in the following manner : The * pot ' 
has a straight neck, as shewn, 4 in. long and gi in. diameter. 
The fire-box has a very similar neck into which the * pot » 
fits easily. This neck is lightly bored out. On the neck of 
the ' pot ' is secured a brass ring, outside which goes a second 
brass ring. The * pot ' is put into place from the inside, and 
the second ring is then secured to it by a number of half- 
inch bolts. The lower edge of the second ring and the 
upper edge of the fire-box ring are turned, and a ring of 
indiarubber is interposed between the two, and kept in place 
by making the surfaces slightly conical. The upper portion 
of the boiler is traversed by tubes 3 ft. 4 in. long and 2J in. 
in diameter. 

We may here mention that Messrs. Robey and Co. were 
successful makers of road locomotives many years before 
Mr. Thompson's engines were built by them, but these early 
engines were chiefly designed for agricultural purposes, this 
being still an important branch of their large business. 

RANSOMES. — The manufacture of Thompson's road 
steamers was undertaken by Messrs. Ransomes, Sims, and 
Jefferies in 1871. This renowned firm was established in 
1789. The year before last was the centenary year of the 
Orwell Works. In passing, we may here briefly note the 
origin of the farm locomotive. The agricultural locomotive 
was born in the Eastern Counties. Messrs. Ransome, in 
Suffolk, and Messrs. Burrell, in Norfolk, were the first 
two firms to commence the regular manufacture of road 
locomotives in England. Several other firms in the early 
days made a great display, but their lights were soon 
extinguished and their names are now well nigh forgotten ; 
but the above-mentioned well-known firms have maintained 
a position in the front rank in this industry, and to-day 



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MODERN PERIOD. 1 93 

are classed amongst the successful makers of locomotives 
for traversing common roads. At the Royal Agricultural 
Show at Bristol in 1842, Messrs. Ransome exhibited their 
first farmers' road locomotive, the engine and boiler were 
placed on a four-wheel carriage arranged to be self-moving, 
the power of the engine being transmitted to one of the 
driving wheels by means of a pitch chain. The Judges 
of the Show among other remarks said : — " The engine 
travelled along the road at the rate of four to six miles 
an hour, and was guided and manoeuvred so as to fix 
it in any particular spot with ease, it turned also in a 
small compass." The above was the first traction engine 
ever seen at an agricultural show. Again at the Royal Show 
at Norwich, in 1849, Messrs. Ransome exhibited a neat 
little traction engine mounted upon springs with the two 
cylinders placed beneath the smoke-box. This engine was 
capable of running at the rate of five to six miles an hour, 
but the farmers were prejudiced against self-moving engines 
in those days. Not only were Ransomes the pioneers of steam 
locomotion on common roads ; but they likewise made the 
first self-moving ploughing engine for Messrs. Fowler, which 
was shown at the Royal Show at Salisbury in 1857. This 
patriarchal engine was exhibited in the museum of old and 
new machinery, which constituted an interesting feature of the 
ever-to-be-remembered and disastrous show of the Royal 
Agricultural Society, at Kilburn, in 1879. From the fore- 
going remarks giving the barest sketch of the origin of the 
agricultural locomotive, it will be admitted that Messrs. 
Ransomes' firm was a most likely one to be entrusted with 
the manufacture of the high-speed engines for Mr. Thompson. 
These road steamers ** had scarcely been tried and found 
successful when the Indian Government, with praiseworthy 
alacrity, purchased a small one of Mr. Thompson, with a view 
o 

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194 MODERN PERIOD. 

of testing its adaptability to passenger and goods traffic in 
that country." This engine was placed under the superin- 
tendence of Mr. Crompton, M.Inst.M.E., and although this 
engine was not a success, yet it proved that the rubber tyres 
were not affected by the climate, and on the whole Mr.. 
Crompton's experiments were so satisfactory to the Director- 
General of the P. O. in India, that at his recommendation in 
August, 1870, Mr. Crompton was sent to England to superin- 
tend the construction of four larger engines. These were 
built by Messrs. Ransomes, Sims and Head, of Ipswich. 
One of the stipulations of the contract between Mr. 
Thompson and the Indian Government, when the former 
tendered for the supply of four high-speed road steamers, was 
that one engine at least should, as a test, travel a distance of 
several hundred miles, drawing behind it a load. The object 
of this was to learn as much as possible of their behaviour 
when put to severe continuous work. With this view, the 
first completed engine, the " Chenab," was sent by road from 
Ipswich to the Royal Show at Wolverhampton, 1871. The 
results of the trial, though satisfactory as far as the engine 
proper and the rubber tyres were concerned, were vitiated by 
the failure of the boiler, which could not be kept steam tight 
and otherwise gave endless trouble. At the Royal Show at 
Wolverhampton, after the various traction engines had been 
tested by running over a hilly course marked out on the Barn- 
hurst farm, it was decided to further test the capabilities of the 
engines by a run of considerable length upon the high road. 
Instructions were given on 6th July to the exhibitors to make 
the journey from the show yard to Stafford, a distance of 16 
miles. In addition to the five engines, the property of the 
exhibitors, which made this journey to Stafford, there was 
another Thompson engine, manufactured* by Messrs. Ran- 
some, which also performed the journey. This was the 

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MODERN PKKIOD. 1 95 

"Chenab," which towed behind it an omnibus of a very 
unusual appearance : it was carried on a single pair of india- 
rubber tyred wheels placed in the centre. Its horizontal 
position was preserved by means of a long neck, containing 
at its outer end a nut, through which passed the vertical draft- 
pin of the engine. This pin was a screw, and by turning it 
the nut could be raised or lowered, so as to level the omnibus. 
The draw bar of the omnibus was elastic. Not only was 
there accommodation within the omnibus for passengers, but 
on its roof, there were four rows of seats for passengers, 
protected by a canopy. The sensation afforded by riding in 
the omnibus, although very peculiar, was by no means un- 
pleasant. The "Chenab" was in charge of Mr. Crompton, 
who very kindly placed it at the disposal of the judges to 
accompany the competition engines on the run to Stafford. 
As much as eight miles an hour was accomplished by the* 
" Chenab " on some parts of the road ; but the engine was 
suffering the whole time from a deficiency of steam.* There 
is an amusing report of this run to Stafford and back in 
The Engineer^ 14th July, 1871 ; from which we gather that 
the boiler was dosed occasionally by Mr. Crompton with red 
lead and oatmeal to stop the leaks, the engine had to be 
continually stopped to raise steam, and the Thompson's 
patent " pot " boiler was in many respects a failure. During 
the return journey from Stafford the copper blast nozzle was 
melted off, totally disabling the engine, which had to be put 
up for the night about five miles from Wolverhampton. Mr. 
Crompton retired for the night in the omnibus, and the men 
on the omnibus. The Engineer's correspondent decided to 
walk to Wolverhampton, and as he tramped along his dark 
journey he filled up his time in composing complimentary sen- 
tences respecting the ill-behaved *pot' boiler. On the comple- 

♦ Report of the Trials of Traction Engines at Wolverhampton, 187 1. 

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196 MODKRN PERIOD. 

tion of the second Indian Government engine, the * Ravee/ the 
Field boiler of which gave excellent results when put through 
a series of trials with wood fuel on the Ipswich race-course, 
Mr. Thompson, before giving his final consent to the adoption 
of the Field-type of boiler in the remaining three engines, 
desired Mr. Crompton to put it through as exhaustive a trial 
as that undergone by the " Chenab," in order that the weak 
points might be found out (if any) of the Field system, and 
furthermore note the efifect of a continuous high speed on the 
engine and the rubber tyres, this high speed having been un- 
attainable with the defective boiler of the " Chenab." Three 
of the engines, according to the order, were to have been 
fitted with the " pot " boiler and one with the Field boiler ; 
but all the four were fitted with the Field boiler. The 
" Ravee " made the celebrated double journey between 
Ipswich and Edinburgh .in October, 1871. The following 
particulars are recorded of the trip. The total weight of 
the engine and omnibus was about 19 tons. 

Total fuel consumed in lbs. ... 
Total water evaporated in lbs. 

Total distance in miles 

Time actually travelling 

Engine standing under steam 

Average speed in miles per hour 

Gross load in tons 

Mile tons 

Lbs. of coal per ton per mile 

Lbs of water per ton per mile 

Lbs of water evaporated per 

lb. of coal ... 4729 57 

" By the return journey the men had ample experience in 
working the engine, and the 425 miles took nine days, giving 
47 miles as the average distance per day, and a speed of 



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Ipswich to 
Edinburgh. 


Edinburgh to 
Ipswich. 


29,148 


25,312 


137,850 


144,300 


422-5 


424 


77 h. 26 m. 


61 h. 13 m. 


72 h. 23 m. 


42 h. 3 m. 


5*45 


69 


19 


20 


8027-5 


8480 


3-631 


2-98 


1717 


17*01 



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DE 



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'97 



i 



DER, 




ling; 
miles 
miles 

's its 
, and 
• one, 
The 
ibout 
hour 
Pield 
f and 
•d an 
suit 
son's 
had 
pted 
reled 
ibed. 
and 
hout 
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part. 
; the 
hese 
^eral 
:ines 
the 
The 
pile 
ural 
lows 

1873- 



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MODERN PERIOD. 1 97 

about seven miles per hour for the time actually running ; 
but on the last day the average speed was about ten miles 
an hour, whilst occasionally a speed of from 1 5 to 20 miles 
per hour was maintained for short distances."* 

Fig. 75 gives a drawing of the " Ravee," which shows its 
construction clearly. The cylinders were 8 in. diameter, and 
10 in. stroke ; geared either three and three-quarters to one, 
or twelve to one, on to driving wheels 6 ft. diameter. The 
engine made 1 50 revolutions per minute, which gave about 
ten miles per hour for the fast speed, and three miles per hour 
for the slow speed. The boiler was of the vertical Field 
system as shewn in section, the grate area was 1 1 sq. ft, and 
the heating surface was 177 sq ft. The blast nozzle had an 
adjustable cone, that the opening might be varied to suit 
either wood or coal. All the rbad wheels had Thompson's 
indiarubber tyres, with linked shoes ; the leading wheels had 
supplementary elliptical springs, so that the front end adapted 
itself easily to the inequality of the road. The two-wheeled 
omnibus for carrying 65 passengers we have already described. 
These Indian Government locomotives had a large tank and 
stowage for wood so that they might run 15 miles without 
stopping. They were built for carrying mails and passengers 
between two stations in the Punjab, about 70 miles apart. 
In 1879, Mr. Crompton read a most valuable paper before the 
Institute of Mechanical Engineers, on the working of these 
traction engines in India. Mr. Crompton says : — " several 
experiments with trains of wagons drawn by traction engines 
have been made in India, but the writer only describes the 
one which was carried out under his superintendence. The 
conditions of carriage which rule in our great Indian Empire 
are difficult and peculiar. Owing to the fact that agricultural 
produce forms the greater part of the freight carried, it follows 

♦ ** Rise and Progress of Steam Locomotion on Common Roads." Head, 1873. 

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198 MODERN PERIOD. 

that all channels of communication are fully worked for a 
brief period following harvest time, while for the rest of the year 
the capital employed lies idle and unremunerative. There is 
no legal limitation to speed in India. The Grand Trunk road 
is laid out with easy and regular gradients, its metalled surface 
is smooth and well formed and consolidated. Hence it was 
not unreasonable to expect that, if higher speed traction 
engines could be made successful anywhere, they would be so 
under such favourable conditions." * 

In many points these expectations were fully realized 
by Mr. Crompton. A high speed was obtained without 
excessive wear and tear ; very regular running and timing 
were observed ; a large number of passengers were con- 
veyed cheaply and safely, and goods were carried at a 
cheaper rate than by any land carriage other than rail. 
We are unable to give any particulars of the trials carried 
out in India as our space is limited. Those who wish 
to follow the subject further should procure Mr. Crompton's 
valuable paper. In concluding this notice of Messrs. 
Ransomes' Road Steamers, we ought to mention the fact 
that Mr. Crompton was obliged to reduce the weight of the 
engines from 14 tons to 9 tons, because the former weight 
was too much for the timber bridges of the Trunk Road ; 
and, moreover, the excessive weight of the engines ruined 
the rubber tyres. In India, the separate tenders on four 
wheels carried 500 gallons of water and the wood fuel, 
thus reducing the total weight of the engines by 5 tons. 
Fig. 75 shows the road steamer and separate tender.T Mr. 
Crompton, in speaking of the " Chenab," said : — " Once a 
driving wheel came off, twice her train became uncoupled, 
and finally her British driver got drunk and drove the 
engine off the road, with the result of turning her nearly 

* " On the Working of Traction Engines in India. Crompton, 1879." 
t Kindly supplied by the Proprietors of Engineering. 



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199 



upside down. It was a tedious job to repair her after this 
last accident, but after the repair, she worked for nine weeks, 
running night and day, covering nearly 2,000 miles without 
coming into the repair shop!' Just a line about the native 
drivers of whom Mr. Muirhead spoke so favourably. Mr. 
Crompton says : — " Some would say that natives could not 
be trusted with an engine that had to be steered, and with 
the lives of passengers. All he could say was (and we 
wish English traction engine drivers to note his remarks) that 
when he had European drivers he had narrowly escaped 
having two terrible accidents, the engines being very nearly 
driven over the parapets of a bridge ; that was entirely owing 




Pig. 76. 

to the great curse of drink. The native Mohammedan 
drivers do not drink ; they drove well and steadily and 
could be thoroughly depended upon." Messrs. Ransome 
made several road steamers of the same type as the one 
tested at the Wolverhampton Show, 1871, called the " Suther- 
land," but as these engines were constructed entirely for farm 
purposes we need not describe them. Messrs. Ransomes, 
Sims, and Jefferies manufacture traction engines and road 
locomotives, both simple and compound, in which are 
embodied all recent improvements. 



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2CX) MODERN PERIOD. 

Fig. 76 shews Messrs. Ransomes' agricultural locomotive 
a large number have been supplied to customers in England 
and abroad, which are giving the greatest satisfaction. They 
are very simple in construction, and easy to manage. 

BURRELL.— Messrs. Chas. Burrell and Sons, of Thetford, 
Norfolk, were one of the earliest makers of road locomotives ; 
they commenced the manufacture of traction engines fitted 
with Boydell's endless railway wheels in 1856, and from that 
early period down to the present time, they have occupied a 
leading position in this branch of engineering. We have 
for many years closely watched the progress made by Messrs. 
Burrell in the design and construction of all types of road 
engines, and can fully endorse the statement made by The 
Engineer some time ago, who said : " Messrs. Burrell 
exhibited much fertility of invention in varying the design 
of their road locomotives for different classes of work." And 
as a proof of the soundness of their construction and 
workmanship, a few years ago the writer saw a traction 
engine of their make under repair after being in constant 
service foi 22 years, and this engine was expected to do 
duty for some years to come after the repairs were com- 
pleted. Messrs. Burrell commenced the manufacture of 
Thompson's road steamers early in 1 871, and previous to 
the date of the Royal Show they had delivered four of 
these engines to customers, three of the first being sent 
to Turkey, all of which were of the same size and design 
as the one exhibited and tested at Wolverhampton, shewn 
by Fig. TJ, This road steamer had two cylinders, each 
6 inches diameter, and 10 inches stroke. The boiler was 
of the " pot " description, the two driving wheels were 5 
feet diameter outside the rubber tyres, which were surrounded 
by a chain of steel shoes, the single steering wheel was 

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MODERN PERIOD. 



20 1 



3 feet diameter ; the steering wheel fork spindle passed 
upwards through a boss in a strong dome shaped casting, 
and was worked by a worm wheel keyed on it, driven by a 
worm on the horizontal steering handle. The cylinders were 




-^^^^-"^^^ 



Fig. 77. 



inverted, and gave motion to a two-throw wrought iron crank- 
shaft, containing between the throws the four eccentrics for 
the link motion, these eccentrics were forged solid with the 
crankshaft. " At each end of the shaft there was a sliding 



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202 MODERN PERIOD. 

pinion to gear into a spur wheel, bolted on to the inner side 
of the driving wheels. These pinions, when in gear, gave 
the quick speed for travelling. The crankshaft, by means 
of a spur pinion and wheel, drove the second motion shaft 
which extended across the engine, and carried at its two 
ends two pinions, which could be slid into gear for the 
slow speed with the spur gear of the driving wheels. This 
arrangement of gearing is illustrated by Fig. 72, given under 
Messrs. Robey's name. The sliding pinions on the crank- 
shaft and the countershaft were controlled by levers, fixed 
on the ends of shafts which extended lengthways of the 
engine : those for the quick speed pinions were solid, and 
lay within the shafts for the slow speed. These latter shafts 
were hollow. The four handles were conveniently placed 
two on each side of the driver, and there was an ingenious 
arrangement of stops by which the driver was secured 
against inadvertently endeavouring to put the one speed 
into gear before the other was taken out. It will be seen 
that this disposition of handles sufficed for throwing out one 
wheel when turning sharp curves, as well as for putting in and 
out the quick and slow gear."* The whole of the working parts 
were enclosed in a sheet iron case. The boiler was intended 
to work at 130 lb. steam pressure, and the Judges of the 
Royal Agricultural Society said that the steaming of the 
boiler during the trial was very irregular. 

During the earlier part of 1871 Messrs. Burrell and Sons 
wisely discarded the use of the ' pot * boiler, which gave so 
much trouble, and adopted the locomotive form of boiler. 
The design of the engine was entirely rearranged to suit 
the altered type of boiler. Fig. 78 shows this engine, the 
first of which was made for the Turkish Government, and 
it was pronounced by TAe Engineer " as one of the best 

* Report of the Judges on the traction engine trials at Wolverhampton. 

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MODERN PERIOD 



203 



designed road locomotives up to that time constructed." 
Mr. John Head, in his paper read before the Institute of 
Civil Engineers,! also said that this engine " was an excellent 
specimen of careful design and workmanship." The horizontal 
engine was placed on the top of the locomotive boiler, the 
cylinders being fixed nearest the fire-box end of the boiler. 
The driving axle, coal bunker, feed water tank, and boiler 




Pig. 78. 

were all mounted upon a wrought -iron frame, as shown and 
carried by the four rubber-tyred travelling wheels. The two 
driving wheels were 6 feet diameter, the axle being situated 
about midway of the boiler barrel ; the two leading wheels 
were 4 ft. diameter and placed close together. A single vertical 
pin rose from the front axle and was surrounded by a steel 
helical spring ; the steering was effected by a worm and 
worm-wheel in the usual manner. By the illustration, Fig. 78, 
it will be seen that the fire-box of the boiler travelled fore- 

t Rise and Progress of Steam Locomotion on Common Roads. 



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204 



MODERN PERIOD. 



most, the fire-hole being at the side of the fire-box nearest 
the reader. An arrangement consisting of worm and wheel, 
pinion and rack, seen in the engraving, was fixed to the frame 
for raising or lowering the fire-box of the boiler when 
ascending or descending inclines. The two steam cylinders 
were each 7^ in. diameter and 10 in. stroke. The engine had 
two speeds of steel gearing, the main spur gearing from the 
countershaft to the axle was provided each side of the engine. 
The gearing ratios were proportioned for running at four 
and eight miles an hour. It will be noticed that the greater 
part of the working details of the engine was neatly boxed 




Pig. 79. 

in. This engine was intended by Messrs. Burrell to have 
competed in the traction-engine trials of the Wolverhampton 
Show, but it was not finished in time, it was however ex- 
hibited at the show proper and attracted a great deal of 
attention. An engine of the same improved design was 
made by Messrs. Burrell for working passenger service in 
Greece, in connection with a large well-constructed omnibus 
intended to carry 50 persons as shown by Fig. 79. This 
road locomotive, it will be seen, is similar in design to the 
one we have just described and illustrated, except that the 



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MODERN PERIOD, 



205 



chimney was fitted with an American spark catcher, and an 
awning was erected over the engine driver and steersman. 
The omnibus was mounted on four wheels, unlike the ones 
used by Messrs. Ransome for service in India, because it 
was thought that some objectionable features were avoided 
by using the old and approved type of 'bus * There was 
accommodation in the omnibus for passengers, and on the 
roof likewise, which was protected by a canopy. Another 
engine of similar design was sent to Russia. Fig. 80 shews 




Pig. 81. 

this engine, from which it will be seen that the two cylinders 

were placed at the chimney end, each 6 in. diameter and 

10 in. stroke. The driving wheels were 5 ft. diameter, fitted 

with rubber tyres and BurrelFs improved chain-armour or 

protecting shoes, shewn by Figs. 81 and 82 — the leading 

wheel was 3 ft. 6 in. diameter. The travelling speeds were 

two and five miles an hour. The working steam pressure 

was 130 lbs. per square inch. 

Figs. 81 and 82 shew Messrs. Thompson and Burrell's 

• It would appear from Mr. Crompton's Paper, read before the Inst, of 
Mechanical Engineers, in 1879, on ♦* Rubber-Tyred Traction Engines," that the 
two-wheel 'busses had been replaced by four-wheel ones of a smaUer type. 



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MODERN PEklOn. 



improved shoes. It will be seen that the steel plates touched 
each other outside the tyre, and were tapered at the ends, each 
shoe being turned down so as to clip the angle iron ring on 
both sides, as shewn in the large scale section, Fig. 8i. These 
shoes were a great improvement on Mr. Thompson's original 
ones, and answered well in practice. 

In September, 1 871, some interesting trials were carried out 
by Messrs. Burrell and Sons, at Thetford, with two of the 
passenger road locomotives we have illustrated and described. 
The engines tried were the twelve horse power for Crete in 
Turkey, and the eight horse power for Russia, and the large 




Fig. 82. 

omnibus already illustrated. The trials were witnessed by 
Colonel Risa Rey, and Colonel Mehemed Bey, of the Turkish 
Service, and others. The large road engine, weighing loi tons, 
had the following load coupled up to it, two waggons loaded 
with pig iron, a portable engine, and a coprolite mill on wheels; 
the whole, weighing nearly 37 tons gross, the engine drew up 
and down the streets of the town at 5 miles an hour. In one 
place an incline of i in 18 was mounted without the slightest 
sign of any slipping ; the engine would have drawn another 
5 tons easily. The train was accompanied by an 8 horse 



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MODERN PKRIOD. 20/ 

power road locomotive for Russia. In the evening the 12 
horse power traction engine was brought out again and attached 
to the omnibus. Men and boys swarmed over the *bus like 
bees, the engine drew the load up hill and down, in the 
neighbourhood of Thetford, at the rate of 9 miles an hour, 
and in some places attained the speed of 12 miles an hour 
The boiler was constructed for a working pressure of 150 lbs. 
per square inch. 

The eight-horse power engine was then attached to the 
bus, and ran back to St. Nicholas Works faster than horses 
could go in regular service. After witnessing these trials 
the writer in The Engineer said : — '* No difficulty whatever 
exists in applying steam on common roads to the purposes 
of passenger traffic." Messrs. Burrell and Sons made a 
considerable number of these well-designed road locomotives 
for quick speed travelling in foreign countries, and a goodly 
number were made for farm purposes in Great Britain, in 
which case, the cylinders were placed near the chimney, like 
Fig. 80, and the crankshaft with the clutch forks and the fly 
wheel for driving fixed machinery were placed at the fire-box 
end within reach of the driver. We need hardly say that 
the reputation of the Thetford firm is more than maintained 
by the well proportioned, and very efficient traction engines 
turned out by them at the present time. Their two 
latest patented improvements consist, first, of a method of 
mounting spur-geared road locomotives on springs, and 
second, of an arrangement of cylinder on the compound 
principle whereby a single throw crankshaft may be used. 

Fig- 83 shews their road locomotive fitted with the spring 
arrangement and all their latest ideas. 

For a long time Messrs. Burrell have kept the important 
problem of mounting traction engines on springs con- 
stantly before them, and more than thirty years ago 

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MODERN PERIOD. 



their chain traction engines were mounted upon spiral 
springs fitted into the axle boxes, many of these engines 
are still in use. It is well known that the mounting of 
chain road locomotives upon springs is a very simple matter, 
but the application of springs to a spur-geared traction 
engine is a more difficult one, hence some of the plans 
hitherto introduced have been much too complicated to be of 
real service. It is not only necessary to arrange the details so 
that the up and down motion of the main axle, when passing 
over rough roads, shall not affect the pitch circles of the spur- 




Fig. 



driving gear, or interfere with the proper action of the 
compensating apparatus ; but it is equally important that the 
springs should be free to act, without being influenced by the 
transmission of the power through the gearing. The patent 
spring arrangement was introduced by Messrs. Burrell at the 
Newcastle-on-Tyne Show of the R.A.S.E., 1887, and has been 
fitted to 60 engines during the last three years, and given great 
satisfaction. The range of the springs is sufficient to allow 



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(■. XJNIVFKtSITT 



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^Fie. 86. 



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MODERN PERIOD. 20g 

the engine to be driven at high speeds over ordinary highways. 
We are informed that, as the speed of the engine is increased, 
the vibration appears to be reduced, and the engine runs as 
smoothly as a carriage. Fig. 84 is a transverse section. 
Fig. 85 is a part longitudinal section of the Patent-Geared 
Traction Engine, mounted upon springs, while Fig. S6 is an 
end view of the gimbal or universal joint. These illustrations 
are so clear that very little description is needed. 

In Fig. 84, A is the crankshaft, from which motion is com- 
municated to the countershaft B by means of pinions gearing 
into the spur-wheel C. The spur-wheel C revolves upon a 
fixed steel tube D, and is connected to the countershaft B by 
means of the universal joint E, The other end of the 
countershaft is carried in the bearing F, free to move up and 
down in the box G The bearing F is connected by the link 
H to the axle box J (which is free to slide up and down in 
the guides S secured to the horn plates X) so that they both 
rise and fall together as the engine rides up and down upon 
the springs L. The pinion M and the spur-wheel N are 
prevented from altering the distance between their centres, 
and so getting out of gear by the link H, and have also 
sufficient clearance at the sides of the teeth to allow of any 
sideway motion caused by the action of the engine on the 
springs. The axle-box K is also free to slide up and down 
in the guides S, its motion in no way altering the distance 
between the centres of the gearing. As shown in Fig. 84 the 
steel tube D is carried quite across the engine and bolted to 
the box G, which is also of steel and fastened to the horn- 
plate X, thus forming a solid bearing for the spur-wheel C 
and a substantial stay to the horn-plates X, and effectually 
preventing them being twisted or buckled by the strains 
thrown upon them. The volute springs LL can readily be 
adjusted by tightening up the nuts under them, or can be 

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MODERN PERIOD. 



quickly changed if necessary without taking any other parts 
of the engine to pieces. The front of the engine is carried 
upon one spring which is fitted in the fore-carriage casting, 
and can be easily adjusted by removing a cap in the smoke- 
box. 

We will now describe Messrs. Burrells* single crank system 
of compound cylinders. Fig. Sy shows the front part of 
a road locomotive fitted with the compound cylinders, which 




Pig. 87 



was introduced at the Windsor Show of the R.A.S.E., 1889. 
The high pressure cylinder is placed diagonally over the 
low pressure cylinder, and the piston rods of both are 
connected to one long crosshead, which is equal in length to 
the distance between the two centres of the cylinders. This 
crosshead has inside flanges bearing against the edges of the 
motion bars, and thus presents a large surface for wear, and 
takes up any cross strain. The steam after leaving the 
smaller cylinder passes directly into the low pressure 



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MODERN PERIOD. 211 

cylinder, all clearances being filled up as closely as possible. 
The slide valves of both the high and low pressure cylinders 
are coupled together and driven by one link motion, so 
that beyond having two extra glands to pack, there are no 
more parts requiring attention than in the ordinary high 
pressure engine with one cylinder. Both pistons are always 
moving together at the same velocity, so that the flow of 
the steam through the cylinders is uniform, and immense 
power is developed in starting a load. Engines thus fitted 
are as easily handled as single cylinder engines. By this 
neat arrangement the full benefit of the compound system is 
secured, thus effecting a saving of 30 per cent, in fuel, and 
without any complication. Not only is there a saving in 
fuel, but the saving of wear and tear to the boiler also 
is most important, the work upon the boiler being lighter, 
and consequently the heat in the fire-box much less. This 
is owing to the low pressure at which the exhaust steam 
is discharged up the funnel. Compound engines work more 
noiselessly on this account, and are less liable to frighten 
horses upon the roads than single cylinder engines. The 
value of both these improvements is greatly enhanced owing 
to the fact that they can be applied to existing engines. 

AVELING. — Messrs. Aveling and Porter, of Rochester, 
have during the last thirty-two years devoted themselves 
almost exclusively to the manufacture of traction engines 
ploughing engines, and steam road rollers, and during this 
period their name has been associated with numerous 
valuable patents relating to this branch of engineering. In 
1858, the late Mr Thomas Aveling designed and patented an 
arrangement for making portable engines self-moving, he 
applied a driving chain for communicating the power from 
the crankshaft to the axle, and in other ways modified the 

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212 MODERN PERIOD. 

construction of Messrs. Clayton and Shuttleworth's engines, 
so that they would propel themselves from farm to farm, and 
haul a thrashing machine behind them. Judging by the 
testimonials given in Messrs. Aveling's catalogues of thirty 
years ago, many a portable engine was altered so as to do 
without horses, to the delight of the owners whom, we need 
scarcely add, after having one engine fitted with the loco- 
motive gear and front steerage, lost no time in ordering the 
necessary castings for altering the rest. In some of the 
traction engines of these early times, a horse was placed in a 
pair of shafts for steering the engine along the road, but Mr. 
Aveling arranged a very simple steering gear, illustrated on 
a previous page in this book. In i860, Messrs. Aveling 
shewed a chain traction engine at the Canterbury Show of 
the R.A.S.E., and at the London Exhibition, 1862. Refer- 
ring to both these exhibits we quote the following from the 
firm's catalogue for 1863 : " In the Exhibition of 185 1 there 
was not one traction engine, and it was the general belief 
that none could be contrived to answer any commercial 
purpose. In the 1862 Exhibition nine of these engines were 
shown in the eastern annex. At the Royal Show at 
Canterbury, in i860, Mr. Aveling exhibited a self-propelling 
engine — this was regarded with indifference by the officers 
of the society, and was catalogued with the miscellaneous 
articles." The Engineer^ in 1862, said " Mr. Aveling*s traction 
engine is the best, we think, that has yet been produced/' In 
1864 one of these road engines, named " El Buey," made for 
the Traction Engine Company of Buenos Ayres, hauled a 
load of 28 tons up Star Hill, at Rochester, which incline is 
305 yards long, and rises one in twelve the whole distance ; 
the engine also drew a train of 22 tons over soft ground in 
the locality of the Common, crossing a ditch 4J ft. wide and 
2 ft. deep. 

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' MODERN PERIOD. 213 

We should be delighted to follow up the history of Messrs. 
Aveling and Porter's many improvements, but we will briefly 
refer to an engine exhibited at Oxford, in 1870, and then 
leave the agricultural types to notice the quick-speed road 
locomotives. 

Up to 1870 all the Rochester firm's engines were of the 
chain type, but the little five-horse power engine, shewn at 
the Royal Show at Oxford, was driven entirely by gearing, 
and steered from the foot-plate. In this engine the ordinary 
cast-iron crankshaft brackets were dispensed with, the plates 
of the fire-box sides being carried upward and backward to 
serve the same purpose, and fitted with suitable bearings, 
while a neat cross casting served to render them perfectly 
steady. 

About this time Mr. Thompson's road steamers were being 
made by Messrs. Hurrell and others, fitted with rubber-tyred 
wheels, as previously described. We mentioned under Mr 
Thompson's name that the indiarubber was not a suitable 
material for taking any driving strain, it should only be used 
as springs. Fig. 68 shews the creep of the rubber tyre. 
Now, Messrs. Aveling and Greig's patent rubber-tyre wheel 
of 1870 was introduced to rectify this defect. 

Figs. SS and 89 shew this wheel in section, from which it 
will be seen that the indiarubber is attached to the tyre of 
the wheel in segments, by a process patented by Messrs. 
Sterne and Co. The great advantage of this plan was, that 
if a segment got damaged it could easily and quickly be re- 
moved, and replaced by a spare segment at moderate cost. 
To avoid all possibility of slip in wet weather, and on clay 
soils, Mr. Aveling introduced the steel angle-iron crossbars» 
arranged so as to take the traction, without neutralising the 
benefit derived from the elastic action of the rubber. As the 
rubber yielded, affording the flexible broad bearing on the 

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214 



MODERN PERIOD. 



road, which was the secret of the success of the Thompson 
engine, the steel straps could slide between the intermediate 
guides. The rubber was thus protected ; and from severe ex- 




Fiff. 88. 







Pig. 89. 



periments carried out by Messrs. Aveling, the wheels tyred in 
this manner proved a success. 



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MODERN PERIOD. 



215 



In 1 87 1, Messrs. Aveling and Porter commenced to build 
high-speed road engines, specially equipped for military 
purposes, called " Steam Sappers " — engines of this type 
have been purchased by the French, Italian, and the English 
Governments. One was tested at the Wolverhampton Show 
of the R.A.S.E., having a cylinder 7J in. diameter and 10 in. 
stroke. The gearing ratio was seventeen to one. This 




Fig- 90. 

engine was fitted with Mr. W. Bridges Adams's spring 
driving wheels, which are represented by the following 
illustrations : Fig. 90, shews a section of the wheel. Fig. 
91 shews a pair of these wheels very clearly — one 
complete, and the other with one of the angle-iron rings 
removed so as to show the indiarubber blocks between 



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MODERN PERIOD. 21/ 

the inner and the outer tyres. The spokes of the wheel 
are riveted to a strong tee-iron ring which forms the 
inner tyre, while outside this there is a hoop of sufficient 
strength, stiffened by an angle-iron ring, placed near each of 
the outer edges of the tyre, and provided on its face with the 
usual diagonal strips for giving the wheel increased adhesion. 
Between the inner tyre of tee-iron and the outer ring just 
described are inserted blocks of indiarubber, which are kept 
in place sideways by the angle-iron rings. These inner and 
outer tyres are connected by a drag-link clearly shown by 
the engravings, which prevents any friction taking place on 
the rubber blocks. This wheel is simple and has proved 
durable, but the cost of the indiarubber was too great to 
compensate for the advantages gained. Messrs. Aveling have 
continued to build road engines suitable for running at a 
speed of five or six miles an hour with light loads, and slower 
when hauling heavy loads, as used by various Governments. 
These military engines or " steam sappers " have been of 
Messrs. Aveling^s standard types, slightly modified to suit the 
requirements, and they have given the utmost satisfaction. 

We must now describe the fine road locomotive introduced 
in 1878, one of which was shown at the Bristol Show of 
the R.A.S.E., and another at the Paris Exhibition of that 
year. One of the chief features of the engine was the 
arrangement of the gearing inside the bearings, and not 
on the overhanging ends of shafts outside the bearings. 
Everyone acquainted with the working of gearing subject 
to very heavy strains will know how to appreciate this 
improvement ; the bearings are more fairly worn, and the 
gearing is maintained rigidly in truth. Another important 
gain in the arrangement patented by Mr. Aveling, is, that 
at the same time small pinions and large spur wheels are 
alike dispensed with, the employment of an intermediate 

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2l8 



MODERN PERIOD. 



shaft, securing the reduction of speed between the crank- 
shaft and the driving wheels. The slow gear ratio being 26 
to I. This engine was fitted with Messrs. Aveling's patent 
crankshaft brackets, which are formed out of the side plates 
of the fire-box extended upwards and backwards, carrying the 
crankshaft, countershaft, and driving axle bearings in one plate. 



r 




Fig. 92. 

The driving wheels are 7 ft. in diameter, and 16 in. wide 
on face, and are constructed of a specially strong section of 
tee iron. The winding drum on the hind axle is capable 
of holding 100 yards of f in. diameter wire rope, the com- 
pensating gear wheels are of large size. The boiler was 
intended for a working steam pressure of 150 lbs. per square 
inch, the fire-box stays being pitched four inches apart. 



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MODERN PERIOD. 



219 



Fig. 92 gives a plan of the gearing, while Fig. 93 
shews a transverse section through the hind part of the 
engine. From these views it will be seen that the whole 




of the crankshaft and countershaft gearing is arranged to 
work between the wrought iron brackets, and the fly-wheel is 



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220 



MODERN PERIOD. 



fixed close to the crankshaft bearing. The pinions for the 
two speeds are keyed fast upon the crankshaft, instead of 
sliding on " feathers," the arrangement for altering the speed 
is shown in plan Fig. 92. The intermediate shaft is fixed, 
and serves as a stay to the side plates, and the sliding 




Fig. 94. 



sleeve, which carries the spur wheel and the fast and slow 
speed pinions, revolves on it. The two crankshaft pinions 
are of the same size, and the intermediate spur wheel gears 
with one or the other, as required. 



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MODERN PERIOD. 221 

When the parts are in the position shewn in the plan, the 
engine is in its fast gear ; but if the sleeve be moved to the 
right, the other crankshaft pinion comes into gear ; also 
the right hand sleeve pinion gears into the right hand spur 
wheel upon the countershaft, and the engine is in slow 
speed. The engine is stronger, narrower, more compact 
in consequence, and the wear and tear most certainly reduced. 

Without staying to refer to many details of interest, we 
pass on to notice another arrangement of gearing exhibited 
by Messrs. Aveling and Porter on one of their traction engines 
at the Smithfield Show, 1883. Fig. 94 shows this arrange- 
ment of inside gear, kindly supplied by the proprietors of 
Engineerings from which it will be seen that the crank- 
shaft carries two pinions a and b keyed fast on it The 
intermediate shaft is fixed, and on it turn the two wheels 
c and d and the long pinion ^, the two wheels just named 
being cast together and bolted to the pinion. In the 
positions shown in the engraving the engine is in slow 
gear, the pinion b on the crankshaft engaging with the 
wheel d on the intermediate shaft By means of the clutch 
and lever shown, however, the wheels and pinion c d and 
e can be slid to the left along the intermediate shaft so 
'as to make the wheel c gear into the pinion ^, and thus 
get a faster motion, the pinion c being of such a length 
that it remains in gear with the wheel f. 

Fig. 94 also shews Messrs. Aveling and Porter's cast-iron 
plate bracket for carrying the crankshaft, fixed intermediate 
shaft and countershaft bearing. It will be seen that these 
cheeks are secured to the outside of the fire-box side plates, 
and have flanges provided for bolting the transverse plates to 
them, making a sound and thoroughly mechanical job. 

It is impossible to speak too highly of the well-designed 
and latest pattern road locomotive shewn by Fig. 95. The 






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bb 
S 



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224 MODERN PERIOD. 

cylinder is thoroughly steam jacketed, and placed as near 
the smoke-box as possible, The side plates of the fire-box 
shell are carried upwards and backward for taking the four 
bearings of the various shafts. The first and second motion 
gearing is placed inside the bearings as before. An extra 
tank is provided beneath the boiler barrel, connected by a 
pipe with the tank under the foot-plate. The working parts 
of the engine are neatly boxed in, and the fly-wheel is of 
the disc pattern so as not to frighten horses. The driving 
wheels, compensating gear and draw bar are all exceedingly 
strong, and intended for rough usage and continuous road 
haulage work. Messrs. Aveling and Porter's road loco- 
motive and dynamo are shewn by Fig. 96 — engines of this 
type were sent to Suakim for military purposes. 

FOWLER. — Another celebrated and well-known firm 
engaged in the manufacture of road locomotives is Messrs. 
John Fowler and Co., of Leeds, who have during the last 
thirty years or more, made the construction and use of 
traction engines their special study, having in this lengthened 
period carried out the most extensive and exhaustive ex- 
periments quite regardless of expense. 

In passing we may mention that Messrs. Fowler occupy a 
pre-eminent position as manufacturers of steam ploughing 
machinery, as their prize list will show. We have only 
space to name some of the leading improvements this 
eminent firm has effected in road locomotion. At the 
Wolverhampton Show of the R.A.S.E., in 1871, Messrs. 
Fowler exhibited two twelve horse-power road locomotives 
containing some interesting features, one of these engines 
was fitted with Aveling and Greig's wheels, with indiarubber 
tyres in segments, as described under Messrs. Aveling's 
name. (See Figs. 88 and 89.) One of these engines was 

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MODERN PERIOD. 22$ 

mounted on three rigid wheels, the front wheel turned in a 
ring, supporting the weight of the forward part of the engine 
either by a number of balls or by rollers, the fore-carriage 
thus formed being steered by means of a worm, worm-wheel 
and pitched chain. This engine was provided with a single 
cylinder, completely steam jacketed and lagged, and 
combined with a spacious dome, the safest and simplest 
remedy against priming ; steam was taken from the smoke- 
box end of the boiler, the driest part of the steam space. 
The fire-box shell side plates were carried up to support the 
shafts in the well-known manner introduced by Messrs. 
Aveling and Porter. A tank under the boiler barrel was 
provided, while all the moving parts were cased in to avoid 
frightening horses. In 1878, Messrs. Fowler introduced a 
simple arrangement of inside gearing — Aveling and Greig's 
patent. But the two chief points Messrs. Fowler have for years 
incessantly aimed at are, first : the perfecting of the compound 
cylinder system to road locomotives ; and second : mounting 
the engines on an effective arrangement of springs. These 
two problems have been successfully solved. The peculiar 
advantages of both improvements are very well known and 
appreciated. 

We now pass on to notice Messrs. John Fowler's recent 
type of compound road locomotive mounted upon springs, as 
illustrated by Fig. 97. 

By the use of a low pressure cylinder working in con- 
junction with a high-pressure cylinder, the greatest possible 
amount of expansion is obtained, and almost all the power in 
the steam is used before it is discharged into the atmosphere, 
the pressure of the exhaust steam being only 8 lbs., which is ' 
just sufficient to create a draught necessary for the combustion 
of the fuel. These engines will do the same amount of work 
with 30 per cent, less fuel and water than the ordinary engines 
Q 

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MODERN PERIOD. 22/ 

in every-day use. For example, where an ordinary engine 
consumes, say 6 cwt. of coal for a day's work, a compound 
engine will only require 4 cwt., and with the same quantity 
of water to start with, the compound engine will travel at 
least one-third greater distance than the ordinary high- 
pressure engine. In consequence of the steam passing from 
these engines into the atmosphere at the low pressure of 8 lbs., 
the noise caused by the exhaust, and all dangers from sparks 
are avoided, and the engine rendered much less objectionable 
to horses than the ordinary single-cylinder engine. The 
crankshaft and second-motion shaft are supported by the fire- 
box shell side plates, which are carried upwards, and strongly 
stayed by cross plates. 

The injurious strain of the engine on the boiler is thus 
reduced to a minimum, and the weakening effects of bolting 
the brackets on the boiler avoided. The bearings are ac- 
curately fitted into recesses cut in these plates, and are also 
securely riveted to them. By this arrangement all the strain 
is taken by the plates themselves, the rivets merely hold the 
bearings in their places, and prevent any danger resulting 
from them giving way. 

To combine the greatest possible strength with the 
requisite lightness, the boiler is entirely constructed of steel. 
The fire-box has a round instead of a flat top ; and there is 
no danger from sediment accumulating on the top of the 
fire-box. All the longitudinal seams are double riveted, 
plates planed on the edges, and the flanging done by 
hydraulic pressure. The boilers are strongly stayed through- 
out, to work at a pressure of 150 lbs. per square inch, and 
tested to 250 lbs. per square inch, and are equal in strength 
and workmanship to the best locomotive boilers. The draw 
bar is so arranged that the whole of the pull is taken by the 
boiler side plates, and the tank relieved of all strain. 

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228 MODERN PERIOD 

This engine shewn by Fig. 97 is mounted on springs. 
Messrs. Fowler refer to the spring arrangement as follows 
" The want of springs on traction engines, especially those 
used for running on hard and rough roads, has long been felt, 
and has proved a hindrance to their extended use. It has 
limited their speed, and increased the wear and tear. After 
experimenting for many years to find some means of 
allowing the shafts on which the gearing runs, to vary their 
relative positions without altering their relative distances 
apart, and thus to allow the play of the springs carrying the 
engine and boiler, we have now succeeded in doing this by 
firmly fastening two shafts parallel to each other, but 
allowing one of them to move round the other. By this 
means the pinion moves round the wheel it is driving, and 
allows the springs to move freely.**' 

By the spring arrangement Messrs. Fowler claim these 
advantages : Rigid driving wheels ; rigid gearing ; the 
tractive power taken by the horn blocks and not by the 
springs ; no extra wearing parts ; the jar on the road reduced 
to a minimum ; less wear and tear on the roads ; little or no 
noise ; no vibration (very essential when passing through 
towns) ; cost of repairs reduced at least one-half. 

The following table gives the dimensions of the engine we 
illustrate, fitted with compound cylinders : — 
COMPOUND ROAD LOCOMOTIVE. 



Diameter of Cylinders 


6^ in. and 11^ in. 


Stroke 


12 m. 


Diameter of Fly Wheel 


4 ft. 6 in. 


Width of Fly Wheel 

Diameter of Driving Wheels 


6 in. 


7 ft. 


Width of Driving Wheels 


16 in. 


Diameter of Leading Wheels 


4 ft. 6 m. 


Width of Leading Wheels 


9 m. 


Fast Speed on the Road 


3 to 5 miles. 


Slow Speed on the Road 


I i to 2 miles. 


Revolutions of Engine per minute 


150 


Working Pressure per square inch 


140 lbs. 



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MODERN PERIOD. 229 

HO RNSBY.— Messrs. R. Hornsby and Sons, of Grantham, 
commenced the manufacture of traction engines about 1864. 
Their first road engines were made to the plans patented by 
Messrs. Hornsby, Bonnall and Astbury, dated July, 1863. 
This patent engine had two cylinders placed between side 
plates, and fixed beneath a locomotive multitubular boiler. 
The cylinders were arranged with trunks, or hollow piston- 
rods, passing through both ends of the cylinder covers. The 
small ends of the connecting rods were attached in the 
middle of the trunks, on the centre line of the pistons. 
No slide bars were required, and good long connecting 
rods could be adopted, and at the same time allow the 
cylinders to be pretty close to the crankshaft. The cylinders 
were placed beneath the smoke-box, and by this arrange- 
ment of engine, the cylinders, crankshaft, gearing, and 
countershaft could be nicely accommodated beneath a short 
boiler barrel. Carriages for the two above-named shafts 
were fixed to the deep side plates (railway locomotive 
fashion). Motion was communicated from the crankshaft to 
the countershaft by spur gearing ; and from the counter- 
shaft to the driving axle by a pitch chain of novel construc- 
tion. The main axle was placed across the fire-box front, 
beneath the fire-hole door, and mounted on volute springs in 
a similar manner to some of the modern plans. The 
working parts of the engine were all neatly boxed in, to 
protect the wearing surfaces from the dust. The engine 
was provided with a fly-wheel on the crankshaft, brake on 
the axle, and the engine presented a neat and trim appear- 
ance. One of this type was sent to Natal. 

During later years Messrs. Hornsby have entered ex- 
tensively into the manufacture of traction engines, for farm 
and other purposes, on the simple or the compound principle. 
We may briefly name the following good points relating to 

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230 MODERN PERIOD. 

their narrow-gauge traction engines. The brackets are all 
bolted to wrought-iron plates, which are riveted to the boiler, 
avoiding the risk of leakage. The driving pinions are fitted 
on solid keys on the crankshaft, so that badly fitted keys are 
avoided. The engines are made unusually narrow in width 
by an improved arrangement of the gearing. We shall refer 
to Burrell and Edwards's clutch gear presently. The brake 
disc is cast with the left-hand road wheel, so that it cannot 
be rendered useless by the driving pins coming out. When 
the engines are used for driving machinery from the fly- 
wheel, the belt may be carried in either direction, this is, past 
the smoke-box, or past the tender, running quite clear. 

Messrs. Hornsby and Sons make road locomotives either 
simple or compound, and by their courtesy we are enabled to 
show their most recent type, as per Fig. 98. The illustration 
represents their six-horse power nominal coQipound road 
locomotive. The cylinders are 5 in. and 8 in. diameter, and 
12 in. stroke. The driving wheels are 6 ft. diameter and 14 in. 
on face, and the leading wheels are 4 ft. diameter and 9 in. 
wide. An engine of this size and type was recently fitted by 
Messrs. Hornsby with Messrs. Aveling and Porter's Patent 
Spring Wheels, which were a complete success. Our readers 
will remember that these wheels consist of an inner ring or 
tyre attached to the spokes, and suspended within an outer 
ring or tyre by springs suitable to resist either a tension or 
compression. The springs are held by worm pieces screwed 
into the coils, and carrying eye-bolts at each end, one bolt is 
attached to each spoke, and the other eye-bolt of each spring 
is attached to the outer tyre. When the wheels are used as 
drivers the springs are all under tension or compression. 
Fig. 98 shows an engine mounted on the wheels of the 
ordinary construction. Returning to the description of our 
illustration the slow gearing ratio is 22*6 to i ; the fast 

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MODERN PERIOD. 



231 



gearing ratio is 1275 to i. The engine is fitted with Messrs 
Burrell and Edwards's* patent clutch gear. Fig. 99 shows 
a side view of the gearing, and Fig. 100 gives a plan of the 
arrangement. These blocks are kindly supplied by the 
proprietors of Engineering, 

Fig. 99. 




Fig. 100. 

The following is a description : — " According to the 

plan the fast-speed pinion A on the crankshaft is placed 

inside and nearest the bearing ; the slow-speed pinion B 

outside it. The two pinions are held laterally by forks C 

and D, which fit into grooves turned in their bosses, the other 

* Mr. R. Edwards was for several years chief draughtsman for Messrs. 
Burrell and Sons, and he now occupies the position of engineer at Messrs. 
Homsby's works. 



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232 MODERN PERIOD. 

ends of the forks sliding on a round bar E. which is attached 
to a bracket K, mounted on the side frame P. The forks 
just mentioned have projections T and U on their backs, as 
shewn, while a horizontal plate F swivelling on a pin X, and 
capable of being moved by a small handle V, is arranged so 
that its ends can engage with the projections T and U on 
the sliding forks C and D respectively, thus holding either 
of them stationary. A lever H, having one end working on 
a pin on .the fork 0> and the middle on a pin on the fork D, 
is used for sliding the pinions in and out of gear, the action 
being as follows : —With the parts in the position shown in 
the engravings, both pinions are out of gear, and the locking 
plate F is holding the fork C, and consequently the pinion 
A. On taking out the pin W the lever H can be moved to 
N, thus moving the fork D and its pinion B into gear, the 
fork (being held stationary by F) the pin on it acting 
during this movement as the fulcrum to the lever H. If, 
however, on the other hand, it is desired to put the pinion A 
into gear, the locking-plate F must be pulled back by V, 
when the other end of it will engage U and hold the fork D 
and its pinion B stationary and out of gear. Under these 
circumstances the pin Y on the fork D acts as a fulcrum 
to the lever H which can be then moved to O, sliding the 
fork C and its pinion A into gear. 

It will be noticed that with this arrangement both pinions 
cannot be placed into gear at the same time, as the plate F 
is so arranged as to lock one fast, while the other is free to be 
moved. The whole device is very neat and simple, and it has 
the advantage that only one lever is employed to shift the 
pinions. 

It is very well known by traction engine experts, that the 
plan so often adopted by traction engine makers, of causing 
the slow gear pinion to slide inside the fast gear, in order to 

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MODERN PERIOD. 233 

get both of them as near the bearing as possible when 
driving, has one great fault among others, viz., the fast gear 
pinion is made too large, giving too much difference in 
the gearing ratios between the slow gear and the fast gear 
consequently the fast speed gearing is much too fast to be of 
any practical use. Now, by the adoption of this patent gear 
this difficulty is obviated, the large pinion is placed nearest the 
bearing and can partly slide over it, while the small pinion is 
moved out of gear by sliding outwards, therefore these 
pinions can be made exactly the size found to be most useful 
in practice Suppose, for instance, that 12*5 to i and 
250 to I, were the fast and slow speed ratios adopted by 
a firm using the faulty plan of one pinion sliding inside the 
other, it is well known that 15 to i and 25 to i would give 
far better results, and could be adopted by using the device 
we have just described. We may note here, that those 
makers who arrange some of the gearing between the 
bearings, and have two countershafts, can also adopt any 
proportions of pinions required. But Messrs. Burrell and 
Messrs. Hornsby urge that a second countershaft is of 
doubtful utility. We reserve our views for the present, and 
leave our readers to form their own opinion on this point. 

The following table gives particulars of the gearing 
adopted by Messrs. Hornsby on their six-horse road 
locomotive. 



Spur Pinion on the Crankshaft 
Spur Wheel on the Countershaft 

Main Spur Pinion 

Main Spur Wheel 


SLOW SPEED. 

13 teeth if lin. pitch. 
53 » If M 
II „ 2i M 
61 „ 2i „ 


FAST SPEED. 

20 teeth if in. pitch. 

46 M If „ 
•I „ 2i „ 
61 „ 2i „ 



Referring to Messrs. Hornsby 's road locomotive shown by 
Fig. 98, it will be noticed that the fore tank is placed 
beneath the boiler barrel and fills up the space between 

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234 MODERN PERIOD. 

the saddle plate and the front axle. At the fire-box end 
room is provided for the steerage shaft and chains to run 
clear of the tank, a dotted line on the drawing shews the 
end of the tank. An opening is cut in the side of the 
tender, which renders access to the foot plate far easier 
than when the engine driver has to climb over the side. 
The draw-bar takes hold of the horn plates of the boiler as 
shown. By the arrangement of the weigh-bar shaft being 
placed close to the cylinder, long eccentric rods are obtained, 
which is a great advantage, a much better distribution of 
the steam is effected thereby. One bracket carries the four 
guide bars and the governors. Only one countershaft is 
used ; Burrell and Edward's clutch gear, described and 
illustrated by Figs. 99 and 100, is applied. The engine 
presents a very neat appearance, the design having been 
very carefully worked out. Engines of this type are sure 
to be appreciated. 

MACKENZIE. — A steam brougham of very neat appear- 
ance was made by Mr. H. Mackenzie, Scole, near Diss, in 
1874. The two cylinders were each 3i in. diameter and 
4| in. stroke.' Power was transmitted by gearing from the 
crankshaft to the countershaft, and thence by pitch chain 
to the driving axle, the ratios being 6 to i, and 13 to i, 
to produce the two speeds. A " Field " type of vertical 
boiler, 2 ft. diameter and 4 ft. high, was used, intended for 
working at 135 lbs. pressure per square inch. The driving 
wheels were 4 ft. diameter. A single steering wheel was 
actuated from the inside of the carriage. Four passengers 
could be accommodated inside the vehicle. 

PERKINS. — We have now to notice a novel road loco- 
motive designed by Mr. Loftus Perkins, and made in 1871 

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MODERN PERIOD. 235 

by Messrs. Perkins and Son, Seaford Street, Regent Square 
London, which was shown at work in the grounds of the Inter- 
national Exhibition at South Kensington in June, 1873. The 
engine was of the compound type, the diameter of the high 
pressure cylinder being if in., the diameter of the low pressure 
cylinder was 3i in., and both cylinders were 4J in. stroke. 
The engine was worked at 450 lbs. steam pressure, and 
at the time of the Exhibition it ran at a speed of 1,000 
revolutions per minute, and had been often at work during 
the period of 2j years, and was declared to be in as 
good condition as when new. The design of the locomotive 
was somewhat similar to Cugnot's made as far back as 1770 
(see page 23 for a description of Cugnot's engine). Mr. 
Parkin's engine was mounted upon three wheels, a single 
broad wheel 2 ft. diameter at the front acting as the driving 
and steering wheel, fitted with a rubber tyre, and two trailing 
wheels behind. The engine, boiler, and all the machinery 
was placed on a frame encircling this single driving wheel 
and turned with this wheel when the stearing gear was 
actuated. One important feature of the arrangement was, 
that the engine always pulled in the direction in which it 
was steered ; and all the weight so placed was utilized for 
tractive purposes. The boiler was constructed of thick 
wrought-iron tubes with welded ends, the consumption of 
coal was only 2 lb. per indicated horse power per hour. No 
exhaust blast was required in the chimney, the engine 
drew behind it a carriage on which an atmospheric surface 
condenser was placed, composed of a large number of small 
tubes into which the exhaust steam was turned. The 
engine was practically noiseless, and it emitted no smoke, 
it moved easily at the rate of eight miles an hour, and readily 
passed over rough places, was steered with facility, and 
quickly turned about in any direction. This road locomotive 

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236 MODERN PERIOD. 

was for some time used by the Yorkshire Engine Company, 
Meadow Hall Works, Sheffield. In October, 1871, the 
engine drew a wagon load of passengers weighing 33 cwt. 
from St. Albans to London, 21 miles, at seven miles an hour 
running time, there being numerous stoppages for vehicles 
to pass. The indiarubber tyre on the driving wheel was run 
1,500 miles without any armour on, and we are informed 
that no wear was apparent as the engine only weighed 3 J 
tons. But a special chain armour invented by Mr. Loftus 
Perkins was prepared and used occasionally. This is the 
smallest road locomotive we have noticed of the compound 
type, and this high pressure and high speed miniature engine 
was said to develop 20 indicated horse power. This was 
certainly a novel road steamer, but we fear that it was not a 
practical success. 

ARCHER & HALL. — A road steamer invented by Messrs. 
Archer and Hall was rriade in 187-2 by the Dunston Engine 
Works Company, Gateshead-on-Tyne, the chief feature of 
which was the chain armour placed round the indiarubber 
tyres of the driving wheels. The two cylinders 7 in. 
diameter, and 10 in. stroke were placed beneath the boiler 
barrel. The crankshaft, countershaft, and axle were carried 
on an independent frame of wrought-iron plates extending 
from end to end of the engine. The feed water was carried 
in a saddle tank placed above the boiler barrel ; and the 
whole engine was mou^nted upon springs, so arranged that 
under all circumstances and conditions, the spur gearing never 
altered its relation to the several pitch circles. 

McLaren.— Messrs. J. and H. McLaren, of the Midland 
Engine Works, Leeds, have only been established about 14 
years, but in this brief time they have made for themselves a 

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tJKlVEKFITT 



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MODERN PERIOD. 237 

well-earned reputation in the road locomotive business. 
These eminent engineers have made the latest, and probably 
the best high speed traction engine ever constructed. In 
1885 one engine was built for passenger service in India, which 
is illustrated by Fig. 10 1. We quote a few particulars from 
The Engineer-, "This engine was of the compound type, 
and fitted with the well-known spring wheels. It was 
designed for running at eight miles an hour while hauling a 
load of 2\ tons. Some difficulty was experienced in finding 
a piece of road suitable for the test, near the works at Leeds. 
The shell of the boiler, which was of the ordinary locomotive 
construction, was made of steel, and the fire-box of Farnley 
iron, intended for a working pressure of 1 50 lbs. per square in. 
The cylinders were 6Jin. and 10 in. diameter, and both of them 
12 in. stroke. The crankshaft was i\ in. diameter, and the 
main axle 5 in. diameter. Spring spokes were applied to the 
driving wheels, which were about 6 ft. diameter, and the front 
of the engine was mounted upon helical springs. There were 
three travelling speeds provided, the ratios of the steel 
gearing being 6 to i, 12 to i, and 22 to i. Sufficient water 
was carried in the tanks for a 20 mile run. The weight of 
the engine was under 10 tons. A large cab covered the 
crankshaft, eccentrics, and main bearings ; the speed clutch 
levers were inter-locking, so that it was impossible for a 
careless engine driver to put two speeds into gear at once. 
Sectors were fitted to the front axle outside the leading 
wheels, and the steerage chains were adjusted to prevent 
back-lash, the steerage action was quicker than usual, a very 
necessary point for fast travelling ; the front wheels had 
chilled bushes running on case-hardened axle ends. The 
working parts on the top of the boiler, not covered by the 
cab, were neatly boxed in to prevent them being covered 
with dust." 

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238 MODERN PERIOD. 

An eye-witness supplied the following account of a run 
made with the engine previous to its shipment for India. " 1 
wish you had been with us on Monday when the inspector 
came. We had a grand run ; started from the opposite end 
of Leeds, three miles from the works, about half-past 
three p.m., and ran over oqr country roads, where the track 
was just about the width of the engine, and we had some 
steep hills — plenty of them one in ten — to go up and down, 
but no long inclines, some of them were so steep we were 
obliged to put the slowest gear in to get up. However, the 
inspector was well pleased with the way the work was done. 
Just at the finish of the eight miles stretch we had to go 
down into the valley of the Wharfe, and it is no exaggeration 
to say that for a short distance the declivity was one in seven, 
and though we got down very well I could not help wondering 
what the result would have been if the brake strap had 
broken. We then had a mile of splendid road, but could not 
get along at any pace in consequence of hills and traffic ; but 
after leaving the village of Harewood we had four miles of 
straight road wide enough, but with some long rises of one 
in twenty. We passed the first milestone in five minutes ; the 
second in seven minutes — having to let a trap pass ; the third 
in six minutes — eased to let carts pass ; the fourth in 
less than five minutes. Running the four miles in 
twenty-three minutes. The inspector was abundantly 
satisfied. Three tons was hauled behind the engine, and the 
tank full of water lasted for the sixteen miles, and would 
have supplied the engine for four more miles." The omnibus 
sent to India with the above engine is shown by Fig. 102. 
We now have pleasure in referring to the three beautiful high- 
speed road locomotive engines, of excellent proportions, 
constructed by Messrs. McLaren for the Fourgon posU 
service in the south of France. One of these engines is 

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240 MODERN PERIOD. 

shown clearly by Fig. 103.* The Engineer for i6th December, 
1887, says: — *This service is in the hands of different con- 
tractors, and altogether apart from the postal service of the 
State. It consists of the collection and delivery of parcels 
and light merchandise in districts remote from railways or 
indifferently served by them. Strange as it may appear, many 
of the largest railway centres are also centres of the Fourgon 
poste services, which collect their parcels in one town and convey 
them by horse conveyance, and deliver them in another town 
many miles away, although there may be a direct line of 
railway between the two places. The excessive charges of 
the railways for goods carried grand e viiesse, and the excessive 
time occupied in the conveyance and delivery of goods 
carried at petite vitesse rates, enables these contractors or 
carting agents to do a large business, many of them requiring 
several hundred horses for their work." 

Some four years ago Messrs. McLaren made one of their 
compound road locomotives, and tried it for this parcel 
service with so much success that in a short time others were 
ordered. 

The engines are of the compound type of 12-horse power 
nominal, constructed for a working pressure of 175 lbs. per 
square inch. The engine shewn in Fig. 103 is one of 
the three which are running regularly between Lyons and 
Grenoble, which are about 70 miles apart. " The goods 
are collected and packed in the wagon — which will carry 
about six tons — during the day," and one engine starts out 
of each town in the evening and delivers its load at the 
other end the next morning. One engine is kept in the 
shed in reserve so that the engines can be washed out 
properly and kept in good running order. The road for 
about forty miles is very hilly, some of the gradients being 

* Kindly supplied by the proprietors of The Engineer, 

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241 

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MODERN PERIOD. 24 1 

I in II. There are also some long hills, one of about four 
miles with an average rise of i in 40. "In one part it descends 
a zigzag course down to the bottom of a very steep valley." 
Part of the road for several miles runs along the shelving 
side of mountains, the rocks rising precipitately on one side 
and the ground falling away on the other side, there is no 
protection whatever on the lower side, and a moment's forget- 
fulness on the part of the steersman might plunge the whole 
train down a precipice 500 feet deep. As the whole journey 
has to be made in the night " it is of the greatest consequence 
that the engines should be fitted with ample brake-power 
and an efficient system of lighting. They are therefore fitted 
with a steam break — worked by McLaren's patent steam 
reducing valve — as well as the ordinary hand brake. The 
former can be applied instantly with such force as to pull 
the engine up with full steam on, and at the same time, by 
means of a chain, the brake is albo applied to the wheels of 
the wagon. The engines are fitted with an arrangement for 
burning ordinary gas. This is compressed into a receiver 
up to a high pressure, and reduced down to burning pressure 
by means of a patent regulator or diminishing valve, which 
Messrs. McLaren specially designed for the purpose. One 
charging of gas is sufficient to give a brilliant head-light 
and supply the signal lights for the round trip of 140 miles." 
The engines are very economical in coal, burning from 5 
to 8 cwt. in the trip depending on the condition of the 
road. The spring arrangement may be described as 
absolutely perfect, for though the engines have run many 
thousands of miles there has never been a single breakage in 
connection with the springs. The roads are not good even 
where level, as they are full of great holes, and many open 
drains run across them without any covering. Hugh stones 
as large as a man's head are constantly rolling down from 



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242 MODERN PERIOD. 

the mountains and lodging on the road, so that when the 
engine comes along at such a speed it has either to drive them 
out of the way or ride over them, which tries the springs, 
and is a severe test for shewing the stuff they are made 
of. A large signal whistle is fixed to each engine. The 
steersman's seat is mounted upon a spiral spring. The 
engine work is neatly cased in as shewn, and part of the details 
are under the cab. Most of the gearing is placed between the 
wrought iron side plates carrying the crankshaft brackets. 
The safety valves are spring loaded, the central spring being 
in compression, out of sight so that it cannot be tampered 
with. The engines run eight miles an hour for hours 
together, but of course run slower up hill. Each engine 
weighs 15 tons fully loaded. The average mileage of each 
engine is about 15,000 miles per annum. The number on the 
name-plate of one of these three engines is 288, which 
shews good work for the time Messrs. McLaren have 
devoted their energies to road locomotive building. These 
are splendid examples of high speed compound road 
locomotives. 

And we are pleased that this work contains the description 
of such a favourable example as the one we have illustrated 
by Fig. 103 ; shewing as it does that during the last 23 years 
(termed the " Modern Period," ) considerable progress has 
really been made in this industry. 

The wheel illustrated in Fig. 104 has been recently brought 
out by Messrs. J. and H. McLaren, and Mr. L W. Boulton. 
It is being manufactured by Messrs. John Fowler and Co., 
Messrs. Aveling and Porter, and Messrs. J. and H. McLaren. 

" Referring to the illustration it will be seen that the flange 
of the wheel is very deep. Square holes are cast in the face, 
into which are fitted blocks of wood 6^ in. by 9 in., bound 
with iron, which slide loosely in and out of the holes, just like 



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MODERN PERIOD. 



243 



a piston. These blocks are bedded on indiarubber or felt, 
to deaden the vibration, and are kept in position by bolts 
with lock-nuts, which pass through the wheel flange, as shown 
in the engraving. The blocks are further retained by a stiff 
spring on each side of the bolts, which has about f in. 




Fig. 104. 

compression. The blocks are set in two rows on the wheel 
rim, one row half a space in front of the other. The 
action is as follows : — The blocks in their normal position 
project a little from the rim, but when the wheel turns, the 



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244 MODERN PERIOD. 

blocks, coming to the ground, of course yield and present a 
flat surface to the road. As the wheel continues its revolu- 
tion, the blocks, rising from the ground, are brought back to 
their normal positions by the action of the stiff springs, and 
so the action continues. 

It will be seen that the grip of the wood blocks is very 
great, and no slipping can occur. The fact of the blocks 
being of wood prevents any damage being done to the road, 
and the combined action of these blocks and the indiarubber 
renders the wheels comparatively noiseless. 

The wheels now in use, we are informed, have given great 
satisfaction to their respective owners, the cost of keeping 
them in repair being much less than ordinary wheels, where 
the crossbars have to be replaced every few months."* 

On paved streets the use of these wheels is specially 
advantageous, for not only is the tractive power of the engine 
enormously increased, but any possible damage to the paving 
setts, caused by the chipping action of ordinary wheels, is 
entirely avoided. A considerable number of engines 
furnished with these wheels have been at work in the 
Manchester district for some years, and the results have been 
so satisfactory that certain local authorities, who, by virtue of 
special powers had practically prohibited the use of traction 
engines within their districts, have waived their restrictions in 
favour of engines mounted upon these wheels. 

Experience has shown, that an enormous amount of wear 
and tear is occasioned by the shocks sustained by the 
engines in travelling over rough and uneven roads without 
springs. The wood-block wheels just described serve as an 
excellent spring, effectually breaking the shocks, and in- 
creasing the durability of the engine, t 

* The Practical Engineer^ January 31st, 1890. 
t Steam on Common Roads, by Mr, John McLaren, 1890. 



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MODERN PERIOD. 24S 

FODEN. — One of the engineering firms which has recently 
taken up the manufacture of road locomotives is the firm of 
Messrs. E. Foden, Sons, and Co., of Sandbach. Their first 
traction engine was turned out in 1880. During this ten years' 
experience, Messrs. Foden have (in the face of the keenest 
competition) established a well-deserved reputation, and their 
road engines have produced some excellent results on the 
trial field. 

The Sandbach firm embodied several wide departures from 
current practice in their earliest engines, they were not 
content to run in a groove produced by their predecessors, 
and the successful records obtained at Stockport in September, 
1884, and at Newcastle in July, 1887, proved conclusively 
that Messrs. Foden's original designs, although at variance 
with present practice, were based on correct principles, 
consequently their engines are economical and efficient. 

Double cylinder traction engines were often constructed 
a few years ago, and were generally liked by customers, 
because they are so easily handled. They do not start 
so suddenly as the single cylinder engines. They start 
quietly and run slowly, giving the steersman plenty of time 
to manipulate the locking, without so much plunging 
and backing when two or three sharp corners have to be 
encountered. There is no stopping on the dead centre, oc- 
casioning the pulling of the fly-wheel partly round. They are 
less noisy and rarely prime. But it was generally understood 
that the double cylinder engine was not so economical in fuel 
as the single engine of equal power. Messrs. Foden have 
revived the double cylinder traction engine, thus gaining the 
above-named advantages, and in spite of the impression 
respecting its wastefulness, their engines are among the most 
economical in the market, as was shown at Stockport and at 
Newcastle. 

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246 MODERN PERIOD. 

Messrs. Foden and Co. give the following advantages of 
the double cylinder : — 

Ft'rsf—The strain on the gearing is reduced to a minimum, 
or less than half required to move the same load with a single 
engine. 

Second — The annoyance of reversing is done away with, 
which is evidently a great advantage in starting, and is thus 
• more under the control of the driver. 

Thtrd — The slow rate at which these engines can be 
moved gives them an important advantage in hooking on, 
and being able gradually to start a heavy load, whereas 
with the single engine the load is started with a jerk, which 
often breaks the drawbars and pulls the under- carriage- work 
and numerous other parts to pieces, besides endangering the 
life of the man hooking on. 

/^<7 wrM— The strain on the gearing, and therefore on the 
travelling wheels, being uniform throughout the stroke of 
the engine, enables it to carry better over soft, greasy 
ground. The irregular snatching pressure of the single 
engine we have proved to be one of the prime causes of 
slipping. 

And Lastly, but most important— Priming is entirely done 
away with, by drawing the steam off the water surface 
gradually instead of by snatches. These advantages equally 
apply to the compound engines fitted with our patent starting 
gear. 

All Messrs. Foden's traction engines are mounted upon large 
driving wheels, nearly 7 ft. diameter, the rims are of tough 
cast iron, shod with steel cross-plates. A peculiarity of these 
wheels consists in increasing the number of the spokes and 
using a light section of iron for them. Wheels of such a 
diameter obtain a great amount of tread, giving them more 
grip on the surface of the road, thus rendering them much 
less liable to slip, and allowing the engine to pass over soft 
ground where wheels of ordinary diameter would sink. 

Two travelling speeds are provided, the fast speed ratio 
of gearing being 16 to i, the slow speed ratio is 27 to I. 



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247 



Fig. 105 shews a traction engine as made by Messrs. 
Foden, but since the block was cut a few alterations have 
been made in the design, which must be named. Messrs. 
Foden are making nearly all their road locomotives with 
piston valves, they have had them in work two years, and find 
they answer very well, the wear and tear being practically 
nily compared with the slide valve. If the feed water in use 
is dirty, as it very often happens to be, or if the lubrication is 
neglected, the flat slide valve is a cause of trouble, it wears 
away at a most rapid rate, and not unfrequently wears the 




Fij?. 105. 

port faces away, which is a serious matter. Hence the 
number of expedients, which various makers have tried, to 
prevent this irritating wear and tear. 

For instance, Messrs. Aveling and Porter, in 1880, fitted 
Webb's patent slide valves to some of their engines, this is a 
round slide valve, which is free to rotate in a hoop, and with 
improved means of lubrication, some portion of the valve 
face being always exposed to the exhaust steam. Church's 

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248 MODERN PERIOD. 

balanced slide valves were used about this time by Messrs. 
Fowler and others. Everitt's ingenious balanced slide valve, 
as well as Carter's, have been adopted by some makers. 
Then the ordinary slide valve has been tried in all kinds of 
materials, to ascertain the b^st wearing metal. Brass, 
phosphor bronze, malleable cast-iron, steel, and hard cast-iron 
have each been tried, and have their advocates. Phosphor 
bronze is highly recommended by some traction engine 
makers. 

Messrs. Foden and Sons mount all their traction engines 
on springs. In 1880 they tried flexible wheel spokes, which 
saved the engines from vibration, but defects soon showed 
themselves, therefore these flexible spokes were discarded ; 
and in 1882 Messrs. Foden introduced the arrangement as 
shown by Fig. 106, which answers admirably. It will be seen 
from the sectional view shewing the patent spring arrange- 
ment, that the vibrating shafts are so arranged as not to alter 
their relative distance, while at the same time allowing the 
weight of the engine to be carried by the springs. The 
bearings of the main axle and second countershaft A and B 
are connected by two levers Ft the whole sliding in two axle 
boxes 0, 0, preparation being made on the top of the two 
upper bearings for the reception of the two strong coil 
springs, contained in the cylinders D, D. 

The bearings E E, of the main axle, and the third motion 
shaft, are of extra length, and parallel, and being coupled by 
the levers F, having joints at either end, the necessary 
oscillating or vertical motion is allowed to take place without 
locking or strain. 

The great difficulty hitherto of accommodating the gearing 
on the stationary to the moving shafts, is overcome in a very 
simple and effectual manner. The third motion shaft A, 
which moves up and down, is fixed slightly below a 

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MODERN PERIOD. 



249 



horizontal line drawn through the centre of the second 
motion shaft, which is not affected by the springs, being 
fixed in bearings carried by the box bracket, therefore the up 




Fie. loa 

and down movement or vibration, which at the most is only 
half an inch, viz., one quarter of an inch on either side of the 



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250 MODERN PERIOD. 

centre, does not practically alter the depth in gear of the two 
spur wheels. 

The front part of the engine is provided with a similar 
spring, on the fore axle, contained in the cylinder, on which 
are cast stops, to prevent the fore wheels coming in contact 
with the barrel of the boiler. 

Messrs. Foden say : ** This perfect spring arrangement 
materially reduces the effect of shocks or vibrations caused 
by passing over rough roads, and it is conducive to the 
reduction of the wear and tear arising from such causes in 
ordinary traction engines, as leaky fire-boxes, tubes and 
joints, strained frames and the jolting to pieces of the motion 
work throughout. Moreover, this spring mounting arrange- 
ment ^adds very considerably to the comfort of the engine 
driver and steersman." 

Fig. 107 represents a sectional view of Messrs. Foden's 
compound cylinder, showing the steam chests outside. The 
cylinders and the steam chests are combined in one casting, 
forming with the jackets a suitable steam dome, containing 
starting and equilibrium valves, the whole being so arranged 
as to make priming almost an impossibility. Fig. 107 also 
shows the new patent compound starting gear, the following 
being a description : — 

The " Compound Engine " is provided with a special 
arrangement by which the compound action may be instantly 
suspended, and both cylinders may take high-pressure steam, 
exhausting directly and independently into the funnel, the 
steam being supplied in such a manner that each cylinder 
shall give off the same amount of power. The object of such 
an arrangement is to give increased power to the engine 
when starting or doing exceptionally heavy work, as on steep 
gradients or when getting over soft ground. It is effected 
in the following manner: — In the passage between the high 



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251 



and low-pressure cylinders, a three-way cock is fitted, this 
cock being actuated either by an independent lever or else 
by the starting lever. In ordinary work, the steam from the 
high-pressure cylinder passes into the larger (or low-pressure) 
cylinder, is there further expanded, and exhausts therefrom 
into the funnel. 

If, in case of emergency, it is required to get more power 
out of the engine, the above-mentioned three-way cock is 




Fig. 107. 

opened, so that the exhaust from the high-pressure cylinder 
passes direct into the chimney, which relieves that cylinder 
of the back-pressure due to working the low-pressure cylinder, 
and consequently increases its power. Live steam is at the 
same time admitted into the low-pressure cylinder ; but as 
this cylinder is so much larger than the high-pressure one, 
it is obvious that if steam of equal pressure were admitted 



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252 MODERN PERIOD. 

to both cylinders, the larger one would do the most work, and 
consequently the engine would run unevenly. To overcome 
this, a steam reducing valve is provided in the passage to 
the low-pressure cylinder, by means of which the power 
to each cylinder is equalised and the engine works as an 
ordinary double high-pressure engine. 

The advantages of this starting gear are : ist — It enables 
the user to obtain a great amount of power for starting 
purposes, getting out of soft places, or taking heavy loads 
up steep gradients. 2nd — In case of accident to either 
engine the one may be used independently of the other ; for 
instance, supposing an eccentric rod broke on either engine, 
all the driver would have to do would be to uncouple both 
eccentric clips, set the side valve of the disabled engine in 
the centre of its stroke, and open the three-way cock, as for 
working double high-pressure ; by so doing the engine can 
be run as a single high-pressure engine, until such time as it 
can be repaired. Thus by means of the starting gear, our 
compound may be converted into double or single high- 
pressure engines ; the additional complications being only 
the three-way cock, and the lever for actuating the same. 

A very efficient water-heater, forming a suitable foot-plate 
for oiling and other purposes, is fixed alongside the barrel of 
boiler, and containing three lengths of steam piping ; a 
portion of the exhaust steam passing through this warms the 
feed-water, and what remains uncondensed passes on to the 
back tank, by which means the greater portion of the heat 
generated is returned. 

The crankshafts are all made of forged mild Sieman's steel, 
turned out of one solid piece, the cranks being of the disc 
pattern, which greatly assists to balance the motion ; the 
eccentrics, being also solid with the shaft, and cannot be 
moved or get out of position in relation to the crank-pins. 

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MODERN PERIOD. 253 

The six-horse power road locomotive crankshaft is 3J in. 
diameter, and the crank-pins are 3J in. dijameter. Messrs. 
Foden's recent engines have the feed-pumps fixed to the 
barrel of the boiler. A circular tool-box for spuds, &c., is 
fixed on the leading axle. 

We must now very briefly refer to the trials of traction 
engines carried out in September, 1884, at the Stockport 
Show of the Royal Manchester and Liverpool and North 
Lancashire Agricultural Society. There were eleven traction 
engines tested built by seven of the best makers. Each 
engine was supplied with 20 lb. of fire-wood for lighting up : 
and 20 lb. of coal per nominal horse power for raising steam, 
and going through the following manoeuvres : — Steam out 
of the show ground, and traverse a piece of good road 
sufficiently wide for the engines to turn round, and afterwards 
enter a clover field cut along the sides for the engines to 
travel over, then couple each engine to a trolley laden with 
bales of cotton (the trolley and load weighing about 4J tons), 
and run round the field until the fuel was used and the steam 
exhausted. 

It is to be greatly regretted that the question of nominal 
horse power should have been used by the judges, the in- 
consistency of which was more than once referred to. One 
maker called his engine, having an 8i in. cylinder, a seven- 
horse power nominal, he was therefore allowed 140 lb. of 
coal, while two others called their engines eight-horse power 
nominal with 8J in. cylinders, and were consequently allowed 
160 lb. of coal. During the trials Messrs. Foden's double 
cylinder locomotive was most carefully driven, and every 
portion of the heat studiously retained, the blast from the 
two cylinders caused a more even draught, and the slides 
had an early cut off", quite independently of the driver 
minding to keep the reversing lever notched up. This 

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254 



MODERN PERIOD. 



engine consequently made an excellent run. The Engineer 
says : — ** Messrs. Foden's engine was more economical than 
any other engine tried, and they have fairly beaten so far 
the most eminent firms in the trade. The writer was present 
at the above trials, and he greatly admired the way the 
engine performed its task. Messrs. Foden*s engine had two 
cylinders (not compound) 5j in. diameter, it was mounted 
upon large driving wheels, and hung on springs. 

The following table gives a few particulars of the two 
engines Messrs. Foden entered for the Newcastle Trials 
July, 1887, which were conducted by the Royal Agricultural 
Society, both of which engines achieved excellent results, 
as we shall show presently : — 

TABLE OF 
MESSRS. FODEN 'S ROAD LOCOMOTIVES AT NEWCASTLE. 



PARTICULARS. 



Diameter of cylinders, in inches 
Length of stroke, in inches 
Revolutions per minute declared 

Brake horse power 

Diameter of boUer barrel 

Length of flre*box 

Width of fire-box 

Height of fire-box over gi-ate 

Area of grate, normal, in square feet 

Area of grate at trial, in square feet 

Number of tubes 

Diameter of tubes outside, in inches 

Length of tubes 

Fire-box heating surface in square feet 
Tube heating surface in square feet 
Total heating surface in square feet 
Heating surface per brake horse power 
Heating surface per square foot of grate 
Pressure in pounds per square man 
Coal used per brake horse power ... 
Water used per brake horse power 

Time of running total 

Time mechanicsd hours 



Simple 


Compound 


Enginb. 


Engine. 


71 


4f and 9i 


10 


10 


168 


156 


12 


18 


2 ft. 6 in. 


2 ft 6 in. 


I ft. 9 in. 


I ft. 9 in. 


2 ft. in. 


2 ft. in. 


2 ft. 2 in. 


2 ft. 2 in. 


3-58 


3-58 


300 


300 


76 


76 


1*625 


1625 


6 ft. in. 


5 ft. 6 in. 


'9. 


19 


177-6 


— 


196-6 


201*0 


1675 


11-15 


56-15 


56-15 


120 


250 


2555 


1-84 


25*63 


1737 


— 


4 h. 21 m. 


4-5 


4*583 



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MODERN PERIOD. 255 

Messrs. Foden^s compound engine worked at 250 lb. boiler 
pressure. The steam was cut off by a separate expansion 
slide working on the back of the main slide, the expansion 
slide gear was a modification of Farcots, and is suitable for 
the engine running either way. We quote the following 
from The Engineer respecting the workmanship of the 
engines at Newcastle: — "We believe that Messrs. Foden's 
works cannot compare in dimensions with those of the 
great Lincolnshire houses ; it is the more creditable to them 
that the workmanship of the engines and boiler were 
excellent. Notwithstanding the enormous pressure of 300 lb., 
the pressure at which the safety valves of the compound 
engine were set to blow off, the boiler and all its fittings 
were perfectly tight, not a breath of steam or drop of water 
being apparent." The engine could be made to work non- 
compound as per Fig. 107. 

We now allow Messrs. Foden to speak for themselves : — 
" The results show beyond doubt that by compounding, a 
saving of at least 25 per cent, is effected. We were 
competitors in these trials both with simple and compound 
engines, and in our case the actual saving in fuel by com- 
pounding = 297 per cent. The benefits of the system do 
not end here. A corresponding or greater reduction of boiler 
wear and tear is effected. Again, the consumption of 
water should not be forgotten ; in the above trials the water 
consumption of our compound engine was only 18*23 lb. per 
brake H.P. per hour, whilst the best simple engine tried 
consumed 22*5 lb. 

The water-carrying capacity of the tanks is 1,440 lb. 
exclusive of water in the boiler ; this would enable the 
engine, running at 3. J miles per hour (fast speed), and 
exerting 18 H.P. actual, to run 4 J hours or 15J miles without 
water ; and in confirmation of the above we may say that 

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256 



MODERN PERIOD. 



at the Newcastle trials, our compound engine drove an 18 
H.P. load for 4 hours, 22 minutes, on 1,394 lb. of water, 
whilst the coal consumption was 184 lb. per brake H.P. per 
hour, the highest point of economy of both water and fuel 
yet attained by any traction engine. 

The following table gives a few extracts from the analysis 
of the waste gases of two of the best engines tried at 
Newcastle, and published in the R.A.S.E. Journal-, — 





SIMPLE. 


COMPOUND. 






Foden's 






Traction. 


Portable. 


Traction. 


Portable. 


Heat units in waste gas (excess of 










air excluded) 


69-924 


783 « 5 


87723 


93-910 


Heat units in waste gas equal to lbs. 










of coal 


8-42 


9*43 


IO-57 


II-3I 


Heat units lost in sensible heat in 










excess of air 


9-866 


96-199 


28-799 


I02'II2 


Equal to lbs. of coal lost 


1-18 


11-59 


3-47 


12-30 



The following remarks are quoted from The Etigineer 
respecting Messrs. Foden's compound traction engine : — 
** Concerning the design and the workmanship of this engine we 
can say that both are as good as that of any other builder of 
traction engines, and the perfect way in which both boiler 
and engine dealt with the enormous pressure carried— 
250 lb. on the square inch — is sufficient assurance that there 
is nothing gimcrack about this engine." There are several 
points respecting the Newcastle engine trials to which we 
might refer, but we cannot prolong this notice. We have 
said quite enough to show that Messrs. Foden's engines are 
worthy of careful consideration. 



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MODERN PERIOD. 2$/ 



CONCLUDING REMARKS. 

To make a successful steam coach in the early days was 
no easy task, as we have seen. We believe that had the 
early promoters spent their time and energies in perfecting 
an engine only^ instead of combining the engine and coach in 
one vehicle, more progress would have been apparent The 
Engineer^ only a few years ago, said : " Anyone can make a 
steam engine, but only an engineer of special experience can 
build a successful traction engine." 

All the high-speed engines of recent times have been built 
for service in foreign countries — our foolish and meddlesome 
laws prohibiting sensible speeds in this country — hence 
Russia, Greece, Turkey, India, Ceylon, France, New Zealand 
and Germany are all ahead of Great Britain in this matter. 
As regards the practicability of running at eight or ten miles 
an hour on good roads — this is now a settled question. Horses 
would soon be reconciled to the sight of traction engines on 
our highways, and if the riders and the childish magistrates 
could be prevailed upon to cease shying at these engines, 
some further progress would then be achieved. 




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PRACTICAL NOTES 
ON THE DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION 
OF ROAD LOCOMOTIVES. 



Considerable information is already given in this work 
on the design and construction of road locomotives. The 
illustrations in the " Modern Period " portray the latest 
practice of the very best makers, while the dimensions of 
details embodied therein may be relied upon. Yet, it has 
occurred to us that the value of the book would be much 
enhanced by the addition of an equally reliable and com- 
plete list of dimensions of single and compound road 
locomotives. 

A table is given on the next page, in which we have 
embodied the proportions used by the leading makers, 
supplementing the sizes with others collected by the writer 
during a lengthened experience. The table gives the data 
required for designing 6, 8 and lo horse power nominal 
both single and compound road locomotives. In addition 
to this we give some notes which should be serviceable to 
those entrusted with the " getting out " of this important 
type of engine. 

The general arrangement of all road locomotives is as 
follows : — The locomotive type of boiler is invariably used. 
The cylinder is bolted to the barrel of the boiler at the 
chimney end, while the crankshaft and countershaft carriages 
are fixed at the fire-box end, the main axle being placed 
directly underneath the countershaft, below the foot plate, 
between the fire-box casing and the feed-water tank. 

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26o 



PRACTICAL NOTES. 



TABLE OF DIMENSIONS OF SIMPLE AND COMPOUND 
ROAD LOCOMOTIVES. 



Nominal horse power 


6 


S 


10 


Indicated horse power 


30 


40 


50 


Dia. of cylinder, single 


Sin. 


9 in. 


10 m. 


Stroke of cylinder, single 


12 in. 


12 in. 


12 in. 


Dia. of high-pressure cylinder, compound 


5fin. 


6iin. 


7 m. 


Dia. of low-pressure cylinder, compound 


9 in. 


10 in. 


II in. 


Stroke of both cylinders, compound 


12 in. 


12 in. 


12 in. 


Working steam pressure, single . . 


125 lb. 


125 lb. 


125 lb. 


Working steam pressure, compound 


145 lb. 


145 lb. 


145 lb. 


Revolutions of engine governing, per min. 


180 


180 


180 


Revolutions of engine on the road, per min. 


240 


240 


240 


Total heating surface, single 


120 sq. ft. 


160 sq. ft. 


200 sq. ft. 


Grate area, smgle 


4i sq. ft. 


6 sq. ft. 


7J sq.ft. 


Total heating surface, compound 


108 sq. ft. 


144 sq ft. 


180 sq. ft. 


Grate area, compound 


4} sq. ft. 


5i sq. ft. 


7 sq. ft. 


Diameter of driving wheels 


6 ft. 


6ift. 


7 ft. 


Width of driving wheels 


14 m. 


16 in. 


iSin. 


Slow gear ratio 


25 to I 


27 to I 


30 to I 


Fast gear ratio 


17 to I 


18 to I 


20 to I 


Diameter of leading wheels 


4 ft. 


4ift. 


4|ft. 


Width of leading wheels 


Sin. 


9 in. 


10 in. 


Diameter of main axle 


4iin. 


Sin. 


Sjin. 


Diameter of crankshaft 


3tin. 


3im. 


3iin- 


Diameter of crankpin 


3iin- 


3|in. 


4 in. 


Pitch of first motion spur gearing 


If in. 


2 in. 


2iin. 


Pitch of second motion spur gearing . . 


2 in. 


2 J in. 


2} in. 


Pitch of third motion spur gearing 


2jin. 


2iin. 


2iin. 


Diam. of compensating gear bevil wheels 


2ift. 


2ift. 


2ift. 


Pitch of compensating gear bevil wheels 


2jin. 


2im. 


2f in. 


Slow travelling speed in miles per hour 


2i 


2i 


2h 


Fast travelling speed in miles per hour . . 


4 to 5 


4 to 5 


4 to 5 


Diameter of Fly wheel 


4 ft. 


4ift. 


5 ft. 


Width of Fly wheel 


6 in. 


6 in. 


6im. 


Weight of engine in working trim 


10 tons. 


12 tons. 


15 tons. 


Approximate load hauled on fairly level 








roads 


18 tons. 


25 tons. 


%2 tons. 


Total width of engine 


6 ft. 


6ift. 


^6t ft. 


Total length of engine 


16 ft. 


18 ft. 


i8i ft. 



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PRACTICAL NOTES. 261 

The cylinder should be thoroughly steam jacketed^ and 
well drained ; it should be bolted on the boiler barrel as near 
to the smoke-box as possible, and be provided with a flange 
all round the base, the bolts in which should be about 4 in. 
pitch, sufficient bearing surface being allowed to make a joint 
under the foot ; the steam inlet is usually placed close to the 
smoke-box tube plate. Ample room must be provided round 
the liners, and in the stop valve chamber, to form a reservoir 
or dome, so as to prevent priming. It is important that the 
steam passages and ports should be of sufficient area to admit 
of a high piston speed, and allow the steam to follow the 
piston at the necessary velocity. " For this reason small ports 
are useless, as when the link is notched up and the travel of 
the slide valve thereby reduced, the openings are too cramped 
for the steam to pass in and out of the cylinder freely ; the 
result is that the slide valve is forced off" the face and the 
engine primes as soon as any great speed is attained. It is 
easy to tell by the sound of the exhaust if the passages are 
rightly proportioned, and whether running at high or low 
speeds the engine should give a clear, distinct beat." The 
stop valve and equilibrium throttle valve may be contained in 
the upper part of the cylinder casing, and the Ramsbottom 
safety valves are conveniently placed on the top cover. 

It is usual to allow 10 circular inches of piston area for each 
nominal horse power in the single cylinder engine, hence the 
sizes given in the table on the previous page. 

" The practice of making road locomotives upon the com- 
pound principle is increasing ; where coal is expensive, or 
water scarce, compound engines have a decided advantage, as 
in favourable circumstances an economy in fuel of as much as 
30 per cent, may be effected. Moreover, the shocks upon the 
crank pins, gearing, and other working parts are less severe, 
and as the steam is expanded down nearly to atmospheric 

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262 PRACTICAL NOTES. 

pressure, the noise of the exhaust is much reduced, and the 
danger of frightening horses considerably diminished." The 
best ratio of cylinder capacity has been found in practice to 
be about 2.4 to i * Therefore we have adopted this pro- 
portion in deciding the diameters of the compound engine 
cylinders in the table ; and it will be noticed that these sizes 
agree with dimensions given in previous pages of the book. 
The steam chests should be placed outside, so as to be easy 
cf access for examination or repairs of the slide valves. An 
efficient auxiliary valve should be provided, which allows high 
pressure steam to enter both steam chests, and both the 
cylinders exhaust into the common exhaust pipe, the 
compound principle being suspended for the moment, for 
starting with a heavy load, ascending a steep hill, &c. A 
relief valve must be fixed on the low pressure steam chest. 

For such high working steam pressures the boilers are 
usually made of steel. The fire-boxes in some cases are 
made of Lowmoor or Bowling plates. All the circular seams 
are single riveted, while the longitudinal seams are double 
riveted, the fire-box sides and roof stays are pitched 4 in. 
centre to centre. Solid iron fire-box foundation and fire-door 
rings are used, instead of Z iron. The water space round the 
fire-box is made 3 in. at the bottom. Four mudholes must 
be provided in the most convenient positions. If the under 
carriage for the front axle is attached to the smoke-box, the 
plate should be f in. thick in this part. The barrel plates are 
I in. thick. The fire-box sides carried up to form the brackets 
are f in. thick. The front, back, and arch plate of the fire- 
box shell are A in. thick. The inside fire-box plates are 
I in. thick. The fire-box tube plate is f in. thick, while the 
smoke-box tube plate is A in. thick. The boiler is machine 

* •' steam on Common Roads." Mr. John McLaren, Assoc. M.I.CE. 

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PRACTICAL NOTES. 263 

riveted all over, and must be equal to the very best railway 
locomotive work, for in addition to having to bear a working 
pressure of 145 lbs. per square in., a margin of strength must be 
allowed to resist the additional strains from the machinery. 
For boilers intended for single cylinders we have allowed 20 
square feet of heating surface per nominal horse-power, and 
•75 square feet of grate area per nominal horse-power. For 
the compound engine boilers 18 square ft. of heating surface 
is allowed per nominal horse-power, and 70 square ft. of grate 
area. The boiler should be provided with two gauge glasses, 
a sliding fire-door, and a smoke-box door that can be 
tightened equally all round. 

The box brackets should be formed of the fire-box sides 
carried upwards, and two cross plates for stiffening purposes ; 
these cross plates are riveted to the arch-plate by means of 
angle iron, in addition to these two transverse plates some 
other means of stiffening the side plates will be required ; for 
instance, Messrs. Burrell use a countershaft carriage extending 
across. Messrs. Aveling employ a fixed intermediate shaft, 
others use a plate at the top of the side plates, forming a tray 
over the shafts, &c. The carriages for the crankshaft, counter- 
shaft and main axle must be let into the side horn plates, 
the bolts or rivets merely keeping them in place. These 
carriages are often made of cast steel so as to reduce the 
weight. The box brackets must be machine riveted all over. 

" The tender and hind tank should be bolted to the horn 
plates by turned bolts, independent of those in the main axle 
brackets, so that when necessary the tender can be removed, 
without disturbing any other part." The sides of the tender 
are stiffened where the attachment is made to the horn plates. 
" The drawbar should be arranged so as to transmit the pull 



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264 PRACTICAL NOTES. 

of the engine direct to the horn plates, and avoid any strain 
upon the plates of the tank, tending to make it leak." * 

A spring draught bar for coupling the engine and the 
wagons has been used, and proved itself to be of great 
service in saving wear and tear, caused by suddenly starting 
and stopping, and due to the irregularities of the road also. 

The driving wheels are usually made by putting two wrought- 
iron rings of tee-iron side by side (welded and blocked to a 
true circle on a level plate), with steel cross plates riveted 
directly to the tee-irons as shewn by Fig. 93. The tee-irons 
for wheels 16 in. on face are 8 in. wide, 4 in. deep, i in. thick 
on the web, and | in. thick on the outside. The spokes are 
cast into the boss, and have tee-ends welded to them at the 
outer end, which are firmly riveted to the web of the tee- 
iron ring by hydraulic machinery. 

Another method, shewn by Fig. 106, is sometimes adopted, 
the spokes are cast into the boss at one end, and into the 
cast-iron tyre at the outer end ; the cross plates are then 
riveted to the tyre.~ The brake barrel is occasionally cast 
to one of the wheel bosses, so that it cannot be rendered 
useless by the driving pins coming out. 

** The best arrangement for the fore carriage consists in 
mounting the fore axle beneath a cast-iron bearing, which 
forms a sort of turntable, supporting the front end of the 
boiler. The axle is carried beneath by a horizontal pin, 
upon which it rocks, so that there is a sort of universal joint 
under the front end of the engine, permitting the axle both 
to tilt vertically, so that the wheels can accommodate them- 
selves to any inequalities of the road, and also turn in a 
horizontal path, to such an extent as may be required for 

* ** Hints to Purchasers of Road Locomotives," by Messrs. Charles Burrell 
and Sons, 1890. 

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PRACTICAL NOTES. 265 

the purpose of steering the engine. The steering gear is 
generally worked from the foot plate by a worm and wheel 
at the end of the transverse horizontal shaft, around which 
are coiled double chains — one winding and the other un- 
winding as the shaft revolves. The front axle is thus 
drawn into and held in whatever position is required for 
turning the engine, or for travelling straight forward."* 

The steering gear hand wheel is usually placed on the 
fly-wheel side of the foot plate. A box for the spuds is 
fixed on the front axle. 

Every road locomotive is now fitted with compensating 
gear on the main driving axle, as clearly shewn by Fig. 
93. This gear consists of two bevil wheels and two 
bevil pinions arranged as follows : — The right hand side 
bevil wheel is bolted or riveted to the driving wheel boss, 
which runs loosely on the axle. Another bevil wheel on 
the left hand side is keyed to the axle. The two pinions 
are carried on studs fixed in the compensating plate. The 
spur ring of the road gear is riveted to this plate ; when the 
engine travels in a straight line the teeth of the pinions act as 
drivers — the pinions do not revolve on their studs — but drive 
both the bevil wheels at the same speed ; when the engine is 
required to turn to the right or the left, one driving wheel 
having a tendency to travel faster than the other, the bevil 
pinions revolve on their pins to allow for this accelerated 
speed of one wheel. But Fig. 93 shews a method of locking 
the compensating gear when required ; a pin is placed in the 
hole shown in the wheel boss, which projects into the boss of 
the centre plate ; it will be seen that when the pin is 
inserted the bevil wheels can only then act as drivers. This 
locking gear is only required occasionally, for instance, when 

* Steam on Common Roads by Mr. John McLaren, Assoc, M. Inst, C. E. 



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266 PRACTICAL NOTES. 

one wheel of the engine gets on to soft ground, or when the 
engine is mounting a hill with a heavy load behind, when 
the road is slippery, one wheel will do all the work the other 
merely spinning round and slipping. The writer was lately 
accompanying an 8 horse power road locomotive which was • 
hauling a load of 20 tons up a hill having a gradient of 
I in 13 and in one place of i in 11, the road was hard and 
slippery, one wheel was constantly slipping on an icy surface, 
but after locking the compensating gear the engine ceased 
to slip and proceeded at a good rate to the top of the hill. 
We give the sizes and the pitch of the compensating bevil 
wheels in the table, on page 260. 

On the fly-wheel side of the engine a winding drum is 
keyed to the axle (see Fig. 93), this drum drives the left- 
hand side wheel, by means of a strong driving pin. " By 
withdrawing this pin the wheels may be thrown out of gear, 
and the winding drum made to revolve upon the main axle, 
without moving the engine ; the whole power of the engine 
may thus be concentrated upon this drum, round which a 
steel wire rope can be used with great advantage. For 
instance, the engine may be loaded with a heavy casting or 
other weight, up to the limit of its power with the slow gear. 
It may be able to haul this load along all ordinary roads 
where there are no heavy gradients ; but quite unable to 
mount with it up a steep hill. In the latter case the engine 
would be detached and moved up the hill, the load being left 
at the bottom ; the road wheels would then be thrown out of 
gear and firmly * scotched,' and the wire rope would be made 
fast to the load, which could then be wound to the top of the 
hill with the greatest ease. It is evident that this arrange- 
ment of drum and rope may be made to serve a variety of 
useful purposes."* Messrs. Burrell and Sons, some years 

* ♦' Steam on Common Roads," by Mr. John McLaren, A.M.Inst.C.E. 

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PRACTICAL NOTES. 267 

ago patented an arrangement of winding drum combined 
with the compensating gear, one advantage of which is, that 
the main axle does not revolve when the winding drum is in 
use. This combined drum and differential gear is used by 
several firms. The steel wire rope can be paid out as the 
engine travels forward, if the guide rollers are fixed in a 
line with the underside of the winding drum. 

The steel gearing is so arranged that two travelling speeds 
are provided. Pinions of two different diameters are fitted 
on the crankshaft, which gear into two spur wheels suitably 
proportioned on the countershaft. The countershaft carries 
a pinion which gears into a wheel on the axle. We have 
given the ratios of the gearing in the table — that is, the 
number of revolutions the crankshaft makes to one of the 
driving axle, in the fast and slow gear. 

This ratio is a very important subject, but we have dealt 
with it under Messrs. Hornsby*s name on page 233, so we 
cannot re-open the question here, but we may say that we 
have arranged the gearing ratios so that the engine travels 30 
per cent, faster in the quick speed than the slow. In bygone 
days there was generally 50 per cent, difference in the speed, 
rendering the fast gear comparatively useless. The pitch of 
the gearing is given in the table on page 260. 

This brings us to the subject of the number of shafts, and 
the number of wheels used to fill up the interval between the 
crankshaft and the spur wheel on the axle. The engines are 
known as three-shaft engines, and four-shaft engines. Messrs. 
Aveling and Porter's road locomotives are four-shaft engines ; 
the gearing is shown by Fig. 92, page 218. 

Messrs. Chas. Burrell and Sons use three shafts and they 
refer to the subject as follows : — " Simplicity of construction 

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268 PRACTICAL NOTES. 

is a most essential feature in a traction engine, more especially 
as regards the arrangement of the gearing, and the fewer the 
number of shafts and cog-wheels the better, in order to save 
wear and tear and reduce friction and superfluous weight" 
Fig. 84 shews a three-shaft engine. Fig. 100 shews the first 
motion gearing of a three-shaft engine, which has some 
valuable advantages as named under Messrs. Homsby's notice. 
The four-shaft engines possess some advantages which we 
have noted, and that cannot be obtained in any other manner, 
but we fear that these advantages may be too dearly bought, 
as the friction is undoubedtly increased by the use of an extra 
shaft, with its bearings, its gearing and the increased weight 
The sides of the box brackets have likewise to be made 
longer in order to receive the extra countershaft bearing. 

When experts differ, who then shall decide? We know 
that Messrs. Aveling have good reasons for their use of four 
shafts. And Messrs. Burrell have ample grounds for being 
satisfied with their choice of the three-shaft arrangement 
Time alone may ultimately settle the question. 

The crankshafts are usually bent out of a round bar of mild 
steel ; bent cranks with the dips made square are sometimes 
used. The collars should be forged out of the solid material. 
It is usual to make the crank pins larger in diameter than the 
crankshaft. The keys for the driving pinions should be cut 
out of the solid material (for we know how soon the sunk keys 
or feathers work loose), all risk arising from badly fitted keys 
is thus avoided. 

We may here refer to Messrs. Foden's crankshaft, the 
cranks of which are discs ; the eccentrics are turned out of 
the solid material. 

The countershaft, or countershafts, as the case may be, 
should be of large diameter and made of steel. 

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PRACTICAL NOTES. 269 

The bearings for all the shafts should be in length at least 
twice the diameter of the shaft. The carriages for the shafts 
are of wrought iron or steel, and they are riveted to the horn 
plates. Phosphor bronze bearings are often used with good 
results. 

" The connecting rod should have the strap securing the 
brasses bolted through by two bolts, and have one cottar to 
adjust the brasses. This is a more solid job than when the 
old-fashioned gib is used," and to prevent the cottar from 
coming out, a grove about one-sixteenth of an inch deep 
should be provided on the side of the cottar, into which the 
end of the set screw works. The connecting rod should be 
3i times the length of the stroke of the cylinder, so as to 
reduce the angular pressure upon the slide bars. 

The link motion reversing gear must be most carefully 
designed. The slip upon the die should be reduced to the 
smallest possible amount, and the parts ought to be so 
arranged as to give an equal cut-off and release at both ends 
of the cylinder, whether working in full gear or notched up. 
The engine should exert the same power whether working in 
forward or backward gear, and the cut-off should be as sharp 
as possible. 

All the pins and wearing parts must have plenty of surface 
and be deeply case-hardened. The reversing gear lever is 
usually fixed at the right hand side of the foot-plate. The 
weighbar shaft and valve rod guide should be so arranged 
that long eccentric rods can be employed, for reasons we have 
already stated. Let the weighbar shaft bearings be adjustable 
for taking up the wear. 

The lubrication of the slide valve is a very important 
matter ; the oil should be conducted on to the valve face, and 

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2^Q PRACTICAL NOTES. 

not allowed to run down the steam chest side and miss the 
parts requiring lubrication. We have spoken of slide valves 
under Messrs. Foden's name. 

Cast iron eccentric straps are always used on the best con- 
structed engines. We quote the following from Enginetring : 
" Cast iron eccentric straps, when properly got up, and made 
a slack fit top and bottom, with all the corners carefully 
rounded off to a large radius will, with proper oiling, run 
almost without wear. Brass straps wear whether oiled or not, 
and if neglected simply get warm and wear faster. 

" Given a careful engine driver, cast iron is therefore far the 
preferable material. Customers, however, are prejudiced 
against them, because they have an idea that the engine 
makers use them because they are cheaper than brass ones ; 
but this is not the reason why they are adopted. Cast iron is 
a better wearing material than brass. The eccentric rods 
have tee ends for bolting to the eccentric clips. Flat eccentric 
rods and link motion details look much nicer than round ones, 
but the former cost a trifle more than the latter." 

The feed pump is often placed on the boiler barrel as 
shewn in Fig. 95. They were put in this position when the 
inside gearing was introduced. The main disadvantage is 
that they are out of the reach of the engine driver when 
travelling on the road, should anything go wrong. But it is 
well known that pumps placed on the boiler with a short 
inlet pipe are less noisy than those fixed on the box brackets 
or on the countershaft bearing, and having to force the feed 
water through a long pipe between 'the pump and the check 
valve. When they are fixed on the boiler barrel, a wrought 
iron or cast steel seat should be riveted to the boiler to 
receive them, the seat and the pump faces being planed, so 
that the pump can be readily taken off without breaking an 



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PRACTICAL NOTES. 2/1 

awkward joint The check valve should have a clearing-out 
hole opposite the inlet pipe. It is usual to fit the pump with 
a solid plunger, the joint being outside and easily oiled. 
Continuous pumps are generally adopted, so that the water 
is always circulating. Some makers use ball valves for 
the pump and the clack valve ; others use spiral wing valves. 
It is not a difficult matter, however, to so arrange the pump 
boxes that either kind of valves may be used if desired. All 
joints in the suction and other pipes should be made with 
round flanges, so as to be easily taken down for examination. 
The water in the tank under the boiler barrel is usually 
heated by the hot condensed steam from the exhaust chamber 
of the cylinder. In addition to the feed pump a non-lifting 
injector is employed on road locomotives, so that water may 
be forced into the boiler when the engine is standing on the 
road. The injector is usually fixed near the bottom of the 
hind tank so that the water flows into it, the cocks being 
arranged handily for the engine driver. A water-lifter and 
25 yards of ij in. hose pipe is always fitted to road 
locomotives, so that the tanks can be readily filled from a 
stream on the road-side. The water lifter is easily placed on 
the top of the fore tank as shewn in Fig. 97. The hind and 
fore tanks are connected by a pipe so that the water in both 
of them maintains the same level, a cock being inserted in 
the pipe. 

It is very important to have as few holes drilled in the 
boiler as possible, hence the one bracket used for carrying the 
governors is made to support the slide bars, in some cases, 
also, the valve rod guide, the weighbar spindle, the governor 
driving gearing, the throttle valve spindle, and occasionally it 
is made to support the stop valve rod. In order to further 
reduce the number of * bits,' and lessen the quantity of the 

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272 PRACTICAL NOTES. 

holes in the boiler, the water-filling hole is arranged in the 
cylinder foot, see Fig. 87. The steam blower pipe can be 
taken from the jacket of the cylinder, instead of screwing a 
bent piece of pipe into the boiler. The whistle, pressure 
gauge, and the injector receive their steam from the same 
fixing on the boiler. 

The governors should be of the spring type ; they are, of 
course, only put on road locomotives in case the engine is 
intended to drive machinery from the fly-wheel, when not at 
work on the road. /;/ no case is the governor ever used when 
the engine is travelling. Need we specify that the attachment 
from the governor to the throttle valve should be simple and 
direct, not two pins to be used when a little scheming would 
make one pin answer the same purpose. Some of the old 
traction engines were made to rejoice in a superabundance of 
joints, bell-cranks, pins, and links for connecting the governor 
with the throttle valve. Suppose the opening of the equi- 
librium throttle valve has a lift of \ in., the back lash and the 
inevitable slackness of two or three pins and joints partly 
worn, soon renders the governors comparatively useless. 
Hence the reason for direct acting gear. In the table we give 
the speed the engine will run when the governors are in use, 
and the approximate speed when the engine is running on 
the road, and the governors are not at work. See table on 
page 260. 

The stop valve lever is attached to the front plate of the 
box brackets, the rod running parallel to the centre line of 
the boiler barrel, high above all the details of the engine. 
The valve is fixed in the highest part of the cylinder, the valve 
has a V cut in the face, so as to admit the steam gradually for 
starting. A displacement lubricator should be fixed over 



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PRACTICAL NOTES. 273 

the Stop valve to lubricate the stop and throttle valves ; 
another should be provided for oiling the piston. These 
lubricators should be of the displacement type, having a plug 
* in the bottom, so that they can be shut off for filling when 
under steam, and by turning the plug in another direction the 
oil can be fed into the cylinder as fast as required. For 
compound cylinders one lubricator is used above the throttle 
valve, another is fixed over the high pressure slide valve, and 
one more feeds oil over the low pressure slide valve. 
Englebert's lubricant is one of the best cylinder oils. If once 
used will always be preferred to any other. 

In lieu of two or four slide bars, bored guides are often used 
as shown on Fig. 105. Messrs. Allchin's engine. Fig. 108, 
on page 258, has bored guides. Two angle iron slide bars are 
adopted on Fig. 97. The crosshead in this case is forged on 
the piston rod. 

Spring balance safety valves are not generally used, but 
spring weighted safety valves are mostly adopted, having one 
central spring in tension (Ramsbottom type). Another 
maker uses a central spring in compression, while several 
other firms use a spring in compresssion over each valve, 
all these types are certain in action, and cannot be tampered 
with by the engine driver, as the spring balance type may be. 

All the handles for starting, stopping, and reversing the 
engine, for opening and closing the cylinder cocks and the 
auxiliary valve, for starting the pump or the injector, for 
opening the sliding firedoor, for putting the road gear pinions 
in and out of gear, for opening and closing the ashpan 
damper doors, for putting on the brake, for testing the height 
of the water in the boiler, for sounding the whistle and for 

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274 PRACTICAL NOTES. 

Steering should be placed as handily as possible, so that one 
man may drive and steer the engine if required for short 
intervals. 

A throttle valve damper in the chimney is a useful detail 
but not often adopted. The joint on the chimney base 
should be placed on the front side, so that the chimney can be 
lowered down across the smoke-box door, for passing under 
low bridges or into sheds. 

Steel and wrought iron should be used freely in order to 
gain strength with lightness, bolts in the place of studs should 
be employed, rivets can be used to advantage in many 
positions, locknuts must not be overlooked where the bolts 
are subjected to much jolting 

" A sufficient amount of weight on the driving wheels is 
required to absorb the full tractive power of the engine, but 
excessive weight upon the front wheels increases the friction 
of the steering gear, and causes the front wheels to " burrow " 
amongst loose material on the road. It is therefore advisable 
to put the bulk of the weight upon the hind wheels (which 
may be made wide enough to carry it), leaving sufficient 
weight only upon the front wheels to enable them to control 
its direction." * 

The superiority of steam over animal haulage is now 
universally admitted. A saving of from 40 to 60 per cent, 
can be affected by the employment of the best classes of 
steam machinery. 

The cost for haulage may be put down at id. to 3d. per 
ton per mile. 

* Steam on Common Roads by Mr. John McLaren, Assoc. M. Inst. C.E. 



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PRACTICAL NOTES. 



275 



Mr. John McLaren gives the following table showing 
approximately the gross and nett effect which can be obtained 
from their engines, on macadamized roads in fair condition. 
The data in this table refers to single cylinder engines, cutting 
off at about f stroke. 










i - 


Indicated Horse 

Power at 400 leet, 

piston speed. 


\& .S 
1 


tl 


Net load (contents 

of Wagons), suitable 

for level roads. 


iii 
111 


.1 

J •- 
1 


IF 
1^ 


6 


9 


10 


130 


25 


2 


5i 


12 


*71 


9 


10 


8 


lol 


12 


'30 


35 


2 


Si 


16 


33i 


12 


14 


10 


'3 


15 


130 


55 


3 


8i 


21 


44t 


18 


21 




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2/6 



PRACTICAL NOTES. 



The Following Table of Dimensions of Traction Engines has been 
Published by a well-known Lincoln Firm. It may be Useful. 



Nominal H. P. 

Dia. of Cylinder - - - - 
Stroke 

Dia. of Flywheel - . - - 

Face 

Revs of Crankshaft per min. 
Heating Surface, square feet - 
Water required per hour, gals. 
Good Coal used per hour, lbs. 
Water carried, in gals. - - 
Coal carried, in cwts. - - 
Hours run without coaUng - 
Do. do. watering 

Total full weight, in tons - 
Total empty weight, in tons 
Speed, slow, miles per hour 

Do. fast do. 

Weight hauled on good road 

at fast speed, in tons • - 
Load up incline, I in la; tons 
Weight on each hind wheel, 
in tons 
Dia. of Driving wheel - - 
Face of do. 
Dia. of Leading Wheel - - - 
Face of do. - - - 

External Length . - . - 
Width over Wheels - - - - 
Circle to tmn in, in feet - - - 
Approx. Weight packed, cwts^ 
Approx. Cubic feet - - - 





SINGLE 


1 


DOUBLE 


CYLINDER. 1 


CYLINDER. 


6 


7 


8 


10 


8 


10 


Sin. 


84 in. 


9 in. 


10 in. 


bfin. 


74 in. 


12 in. 


12 in. 


12 in. 


12 in. 


12 in. 


12 in. 


4 ft. 


4 ft. 


4ft3in 


*ft3in 


4ft 3 in 


4ft 3 in 


6 in. 


6 in. 


6 in. 


6 in. 


6 in. 


6 in. 


«50 


150 


150 


150 


150 


150 


120 


13* 


»57 


182 


»57 


182 


75 


90 


100 


"25 


100 


125 


96 


112 


128 


160 


128 


160 


>i5 


126 


'38 


174 


•38 


174 


Si 


6 


7 


8 


7 


8 


6 


6 


6 


6 


6 


6 


»i 


ii 


li 


Ik 


n 


'i 


9i 


10 


"i 


12i 


Hi 


13 


8i 


91 


10 


II 


loi 


in 


li 


n 


>i 


li 


li 


•i 


2} 


2i 


2f 


2f 


2| 


2| 


15 


17 


20 


25 


20 


25 


7 


H 


ID 


>3 


10 


»3 


3 


sh 


31 


4 


3f 


4 


5ft6in 


5 ft 9 in 


5ft9in 


6 ft. 


5 ft 9 in 


6 ft. 


14 in. 


16 in. 


16 in. 


18 in. 


16 in. 


18 in 


3ft4in 


3ft6in 


3ft6in 


3ft6in 


3 ft 6 in 


3 ft 6 in 


9 in. 


9 in. 


9 in. 


10 in. 


9 in. 


10 in. 


I4ft8in 


15 ft. 


I5ft6in 


I7ft4in 


I5ft6in 


I7ft4in 


6ft9in 


7ft fin 


7ft3iin 


7ft7iin 


7ft3Jin 


7ft7iin 


23 


26 


27 


29 


27 


29 


190 


205 


225 


240 


235 


250 


500 


580 


730 


860 


730 


860 



The weights hauled and coal consumed will vary notably according to the state 
of the roads and the skill of the driver. 

When travelling on the road, drivers often throw off the governor belt and run 
the engine faster, the speeds will then of course be greater. When taking a 
light load the coal and water consumption will not much exceed one half the 
quantities named above. 



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PRACTICAL NOTES. 277 



BEAUTY OF DESIGN. 

We trust that the notes given on the preceding pages of 
the book may serve as useful hints on the design of road 
locomotives. It is impossible to do more than touch upon 
the fringe of this great subject ; a chapter could be written 
on each topic. By way of conclusion we may offer a few 
remarks on The Beautiful in Machinery, having 
reference to the type of engines under discussion. Our best 
engineers, when designing, aim at securing a symmetrical 
appearance as one of the advantageous features of their 
productions, and the time spent is not lost, but is bearing 
fruit. Because ribbed and angular details of road engines are 
bad and ugly, they are gradually giving place to hollow 
castings, which are far more graceful in external appearance, 
and equally strong, besides possessing two other good features 
viz., being easilj'- painted and kept clean. Some of our 
modern engines are very pleasing to the eye, they are most 
carefully balanced in the arrangement of their details, and all 
curves are drawn as gracefully as possible. But un- 
fortunately all persons are not able to appreciate beauty of 
form in machinery when they see it, and do not aim at its 
attainment. If they draw a fairly ne'at looking detail it is 
more the result of accident than design. 

Beauty of design is more easily appreciated than described. 
It consists of no alteration in the principle, neither does it 
affect the internal details of the engine, but it is brought 
about by an expenditure of dm wing-office care in the 
arrangement of the parts, which gives to the whole a sym- 
metrical and simple appearance. 

Every detail is made to possess perfect and graceful 
proportions and a pleasing outline, and the shape of one part 



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278 PRACTICAL NOTES. 

is not allowed to be out of accord with any other part, and in 
no case is real efficiency sacrificed thereby. 

It is matter for congratulation that some of the modern 
road locomotives shew a marked improvement in their design. 
While the 'cardinal virtue* simplicity, or fewness of parts, is 
being constantly aimed at with the best results. It is not 
many years ago that some of the traction engines we saw on 
the road, looked like a part of an engineer's factory out for an 
airing. A few years ago The Engineer spoke of traction 
engines as being the quintessence of all that is ugly, noisy, 
and in very deed a nuisance. The same authority went on to 
remark : — " We have an engine without springs, and with all 
the gearing exposed to the broad glare of day, thumping, and 
clanking, and grinding, and smoking along our highways. 
The thing is a nuisance, an unmitigated nuisance, and it is 
folly to deny the fact." 

The above remarks in no way apply to the road loco- 
motives made by the ablest makers of the day, which are fully 
described in this book. 

In getting out a design a good appearance should be 
studied ; it is just as easy to produce a well proportioned 
engine as an ugly one. 

Ugliness and awkwardness are generally companions, while 
the best looking engirfes are invariably the best ones to go. 
The design is an index to the character of the whole engine. 
If the designs are good, no misgivings need be entertained 
respecting the quality of the materials employed, or the work- 
manship. 

An appreciation of, and a strong desire to produce graceful 
forms and dainty curves is being fostered in some drawing 
offices with success. Finality in design has not been attained 
yet. Our road locomotives shall yet possess a good name for 
quietness, efficiency, and beauty of appearance. 



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Google 



ROAD LOCOMOTIVE 

OR 

TRACTION ENGINE LAW. 



We purpose drawing the reader's attention to several 
unreasonable and almost prohibitive clauses in the Road 
Locomotive Acts of 1861, 1865, and 1878, now in force. 

** Among the legal restrictions may be mentioned, firstly, 
that such engines have been held to be a nuisance at 
common law ; secondly, that in nearly every case the owner 
is obliged to obtain a licenee from a Court of Quarter 
Sessions, before he can travel with his engine on any highway, 
and that he may have to wait nearly three months before 
such licence can be granted to him ; that this licence, though 
it is evidence that his engine is constructed in accordance 
with the requirements of the Act of Parliament, affords 
the owner no protection whatever against any person or 
public body raising the most frivolous objections to the 
passage of his engine. Thirdly, that in country districts, 
though there may be no other traffic on the road, the speed 
of the engine is limited to four miles an hour, and a man 
is required to walk in front at a distance of not less than 
20 yards. Fourthly, that the road authorities have an almost 
arbitrary power to forbid the use of certain bridges by such 
engines, though the bridges themselves may be of ample 
strength to carry the weight without danger ; and further^ 

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28o TRACTION ENGINE LAW. 

that although the damage done to a bridge by the passage of 
heavy weights, drawn by horses, is made good at the public 
expense, such damage must be made good by the engine 
owner, in case the same load should happen to have been 
drawn by a traction engine. Fifthly, that certain urban 
authorities have been allowed to embody in their local Acts 
clauses by which they are able to prohibit the use of road 
locomotives on any street or road withm their jurisdiction."* 
There are other restrictions which we shall notice in due 
course. 

There is something unaccountable in the prejudice against 
the use of steam on common roads which obtains in this 
country, and also in the success which has attended the 
exertions of those, in whose sight any power save that of 
horses is an abomination, who propose to abate what they 
are pleased to style a nuisance by the aid of legislative 
enactments. 

Ever since the introduction of steam locomotion on common 
roads, there has existed a considerable number of influential 
persons who have waged a terrible crusade against these 
engines traversing the roads of their districts. These in- 
jurious Acts of Parliament, have given local busybodies and 
biased county authorities the power to place all sorts of 
obstructions in the path of one of our most important agri- 
cultural and industrial pursuits ; and, we need scarcely add, 
that this power has been freely and repeatedly used, as the 
owners of traction engines all over the country know too well. 
The influential party who are inimical to the use of locomotive 
steam engines have become so active and merciless that to 
move an engine from one part of a district to another is to 
run the risk of a summons for some possible or inevitable 
infringement of the Acts, as interpreted by these opponents 

* Steam on Common Roads by Mr. John McLaren, Assoc. M. Inst. C. E. 

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TRACTION ENGINE LAW. 28l 

to their use* This is veritable persecution, to which all 
owners of such engines are liable so long as the above-named 
Acts are in force, for under these laws it is impossible to 
construct locomotives fit for the work required of them .with- 
out infringing one or other of their clauses. 

Considering the immense amount of money invested in the 
thousands of self-propelling engines used, and the agricultural 
machinery employed therewith, it is somewhat surprising 
that a united effort has not long ago been organized by the 
owners and manufacturers of these useful engines, for the 
purpose of removing these oppressive Acts, which are such a 
serious obstruction to our agricultural and commercial 
interests. 

The first unreasonable regulation we shall notice is the 
one pertaining to steam blowing-off on the road, which runs 
as follows : — " Nor shall the steam be allowed to attain a 
pressure such as to exceed the limit fixed by the safety valve, 
so that no steam shall blow off when the locomotive is upon 
the road." 

It is impossible for traction engine drivers to comply with 
this law so long as the engines are compelled to stop for 
conveyances to pass. Here is a case in point : — the driver 
has just replenished his fire in readiness for mounting a hill 
or traversing a heavy piece of road ahead, and as the fire 
brightens up and the steam approaches the maximum pressure, 

♦ *' Laws were actually passed in England, on the first introduction of steam 
on railways, limiting the pressure in the boilers to 3olbs per square inch. The 
first railroad charter contained a clause limiting the speed of trains to 12 miles an 
hour, and when 30 miles an hour was suggested, it was ridiculed as an idea 
simply insane. And it was said people would juvt as soon be persuaded to allow 
themselves to be fired out of a cannon as to be hurled along at such fearful 
velocities, which would, without doubt, have the most disastrous effects upon the 
circulation of the blood, and other vital organs." — IndusUies^ 5th September, 
1890. 

And so long as we place power in the hands of people who have no practical 
knowledge and very little wisdom, that power will be used to stifle progress. 
The same class of individuals who opposed railways, now oppose road locomotives. 



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282 TRACTION ENGINE LAW. 

at that precise moment, unfortunately, a carriage and pair 
of horses appear in the distance. The engine is stopped to 
allow the equipage to pass, which, however, with the horses 
generally harnessed to gentlemen's carriages, is no easy matter, 
and while these foolish animals are prancing and plunging, 
instead of passing along the road, the pressure gauge pointer 
on the engine travels fast, notwithstanding that the driver 
has closed the damper door, and opened the fire door ; and 
the only alternative is to allow the steam to blow-off and 
thus break the law, or keep the law by wedging down the 
spring balance to a dangerous degree, provided the engine is 
fitted with spring balances, which we are pleased to state has 
lately become exceptional. Most of the principal makers 
now fit their engines with two spring-loaded safety valves, 
which cannot be tampered with by the driver ; consequently, 
if the engine is equipped in this manner, the surplus steam 
will blow-off in spite of all the driver's efforts to prevent it. 
To comply with this piece of Parliamentary wisdom it is 
necessary to retain the steam in the boiler, no matter how 
excessive the pressure may have unluckily risen, thereby 
placing the lives of human beings on and around the boiler in 
the greatest peril from an explosion, so that horses shall not 
be frightened by the steam issuing from the safety valve. 
How can we sufficiently censure this foolish regulation, which, 
to put it in other words, causes the lives of men to be daily 
jeopardised by the safety valves of road locomotives being 
wedged down to a dangerous degree, so that a pair of wild 
animals shall not be made afraid ? 

The second clause in the Acts which we shall notice is the 
one referring to smoke consumption : — " Every locomotive 
used on any turnpike road or highway shall be constructed 
on the principle of consuming its own smoke ; and any 
person using any locomotive not so constructed, or not con- 

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TRACTION ENGINE LAW. 283 

suming, as far as practicable, its own smoke, shall be liable to 
a penalty not exceeding £^'' etc. Hundreds of summonses 
have been taken out against traction engine owners for not 
doing what this clause enjoins them to do, but what is at 
present impossible for them to do. If the law-makers had 
enacted that coke be mixed with the coal used on road 
locomotives, so as to prevent, as far as possible, the formation 
of smoke, it would have shown greater wisdom than to talk 
about consuming smoke in such small boilers, wherein the 
means used for preventing smoke .cannot be applied. We 
may here remark that this smoke nuisance is, like the steam 
blowing off from the safety valves, mostly caused by the road 
locomotives having to be stopped for the convenience of 
vehicles passing. When the engine is steaming along the 
highway very little smoke is emitted if the fire is carefully 
stoked, and the damper door nicely manipulated, because the 
exhaust steam causes a quick draught, making the fire burn 
brightly, and little smoke is seen issuing from the funnel ; 
but immediately the engine is stopped, thick black smoke 
pours out from the chimney, and the fire burns sluggishly 
because of the loss of the artificial draught. And it is mostly 
when the engine is stopped that convictions are brought 
against the drivers or owners for not consuming their smoke, 
these summonses being not unfrequently taken out by the 
very persons for whose convenience the engine was stopped. 

It is exceedingly unfair, if not intolerably unjust, that the 
poor traction engine proprietor should be fined for not doing 
what is practically impossible, while the railway locomotive 
may make any quantity of smoke *in any neighbourhood 
without running any risk of a conviction. 

We now come to the clause which states that damage caused 
by road locomotives to bridges is to be made good by owners, 
and furthermore " that it shall not be lawful for the owner or 



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284 TRACTION ENGINE LAW. 

driver of any locomotive to drive it over any bridge on which 
a conspicuous notice has been placed by the authorities liable 
to the repair of the bridge, that the bridge is insufficient to 
cany weights beyond the ordinary traffic of the district!" 
The traction engine owner suffers great inconvenience, and 
is made to waste much valuable time by his machinery having 
to go miles out of its way in order to avoid some rickety 
bridge, on which a board has been fixed prohibiting road 
locomotives crossing. 

Many of our bridges have been in use for half-a-century 
or more ; they are allowed to fall out of repair, not a penny 
being spent upon their maintenance by the authorities, and 
as the law now stands it appears to encourage bridge owners 
to allow these structures to become the worse for wear ; nay, 
they are rewarded for their neglect in allowing them to 
become unsafe. After the bridge has been declared insuffi- 
cient to carry the weight of traction engines, this species of 
legitimate traffic may be prohibited from crossing, to the 
immense inconvenience of the trade and commerce of the 
district ; moreover, should any damage be done to a bridge 
which is considered safe, the traction engine owner is liable 
to be saddled with the whole expense of the repairs, irres- 
pective of the wear and tear caused by the regular traffic 
which has continually been going on since the bridge's 
erection. Because the traction engine happened to prove the 
last straw on the camel's back, it appears to us to be veiy 
unjust to levy the whole of the cost of the repairs on the 
road locomotive owner, and allow all the other traffic to pass 
over the bridge without contributing anything towards its 
maintenance.* 

* Section 7 of the Act of 1861 Mr. Aveling says: — ** Renders the owners of 
road locomotives liable for all damage, directly or indirectly caused by the 
breaking down of any bridge by the passage of such a locomotive. This liability 
does not attach to carriers of heavy weights when the weight is not drawn by 
steam." Mr. Aveling said, " This anomaly exists at the present time, that if 

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TRACTION ENGINE LAW. 285 

Instead of prohibiting traction engines from crossing 
bridges, we think the bridge authorities should be compelled 
to make them strong enough to bear with ease the weight of 
all legitimate traffic, including the much abused road "engine, 
which must now be considered as part of the ordinary, traffic 
of every turnpike road and bridge. 

Perhaps the most harassing annoyance that traction engine 
owners have to submit to is the restriction of the hours in 
which these engines are allowed to travel in various districts. 
'* County authorities, Town Councils of any borough which 
has a separate Court of Quarter Sessions, may make bye- 
laws regulating the use of traction engines on highways — 
prohibiting their use upon roads where they are satisfied 
such use would be attended with danger to the public, and 
restricting the hours during which they may be used on any 
public road, such restriction not to exceed eight consecutive 
hours out of the twenty-four." These local authorities have 
the power given to them, according to the present Acts, of 
interfering with a lawful trade, thereby causing road loco- 
motive owners to waste all the valuable daylight hours, 
and compel them to work in the night. Notwithstanding the 
irritating nature of such a bye-law it has, however, been very 
unwisely enforced in numerous instances. 

It is impossible to over-estimate the increased difficulties, 

dangers, and the excessive cost of working traction engines in 

the night. Many accidents have occurred owing to shortness 

of water, and lack of superintendence, while the men have 

been struggling against great odds and groping about in the 

dark with lanterns. Some of these accidents have ended 

fatally, and are clearly chargeable to the one-sided bye-laws 

I send a boiler weighing 15 tons drawn by 15 horses over a country bridge and 
that boiler breaks the bridge I have nothing to pay, but if I send the same boiler 
over the bridge drawn by an engine weighing 8 tons, and that boiler breaks 
through the bridge, I have the whole expenses to pay." 



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286 TRACTION ENGINE LAW. 

enforced by our local authorities. The terrible boiler explosion 
which took place at Maidstone a few years ago, which will be 
remembered by every reader, was doubtless the result of the 
oppressive and short-sighted regulations in force in that 
district. We are quite certain that it will take traction 
engine drivers all their time to keep matters going on 
smoothly during daylight ; and to be compelled by law to 
engage in such an occupation during the night is a disgraceful 
piece of injustice, and our only wonder is that such legislation 
is tolerated by traction engine owners and manufacturers. 

This industry should not be hampered and hindered by a 
meddlesome party who are opposed to all progress, who only 
study their own interests and comfort, who call traction 
engines nuisances, because the beasts they bestride do not 
like to meet them. Our best interests ought not to be sacri 
ficed, and part of our trade should not be crushed, to suit the 
whims of timid old gentlemen who have a weakness for 
harnessing wild creatures, which have really no right in our 
streets until they have been tamed. 

In case the traction engine owner has fortunately escaped 
being fined for breaking any of the laws we have already 
referred to, he is certain, sooner or later, to be called upon to 
pay a most exorbitant sum levied by the road authorities, for 
damage alleged to be done to the highway by the wheels of 
his engine and train, as the present Acts " give the road 
authorities the power to recover expenses caused by excessive 
weight or extraordinary traffic." Now, it can be proved to 
demonstration, that the wheels of modern road locomotives do 
not cut up good roads so much as horses' hoofs do ; furthermore 
if the roads are well made and kept in good repair, these 
engines and their trains tend rather to improve them, than to 
do them any damage ; but where the roads are rotten or 
weak, as they invariably are in many out-of-the-way districts. 



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TRACTION ENGINE LAW. 287 

any kind of traffic will cut them up ; timber carting and brick 
loading by horses being particularly notorious for cutting up 
bad roads, and this traffic cannot be said to improve good 
roads ; but these teams, no matter how incessantly they pass 
along the highways, and no matter how deeply the ruts may 
be cut thereby, are neither termed * excessive weights * nor 
* extraordinary traffic,' consequently no notice is taken of the 
damage done ; but let a traction engine steam over a badly 
kept road, and leave its footprints on the road's soft surface, 
the owner is at once arrested by the surveyor of the district, 
and the highway authorities, backed by the clause referred to, 
claim extraordinary expenses for damage incurred. Cases 
could be enumerated wherein the road authorities have 
claimed costs out of all proportion to the damage done. 
Seeing that no damage can be done to properly constructed 
roads by the locomotive and its team, providing that the 
engine does not weigh more than ten tons, and is fitted with 
driving wheels about 5ft. 6in. to 6ft. 6in. diameter, and i6in 
wide, and the trucks carrying not more than six tons each, 
are mounted upon wheels having tyres nine inches wide, and 
so constructed that the front and hind wheels do not travel in 
the same track, we fail to see how expenses can be fairly 
claimed by the road authorities because of excessive weight. 
The wheels of the train are much wider in proportion than 
are the wheels of an ordinary farmer's waggon, carrying two 
or three tons, and drawn by three horses. 

We may here remark that spring mounted traction engines 
do much less damage to all kinds of roads than the springless 
ones do, and were all road locomotives mounted upon springs, 
or provided with spring wheels, this provision would save 
owners much expense and trouble. 

The Sheffield memorial presented to the Local Government 
Board in 1882, after showing the damage and inconvenience 



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288 TRACTION ENGINE LAW. 

caused by road engines in certain districts, said that in some 
neighbourhoods where the roads are under 21 ft. wide, the 
traction engine seriously interfered with the ordinary traffic. 
At a meeting of the local dignitaries held at Maidstone some 
time ago, it was stated that some of their roads were so 
narrow "that it was impossible for a carriage to pass an 
engine, or to turn back." The Engineer^ referring to this 
childish meeting said : — " If the roads are so narrow as this, 
one would think that inconvenience must also be felt when a 
large waggon loaded with straw, or when a horse rake, or a 
drill, most of them wider than an engine, has to be passed. 
These, however, are not steam engines, and the magistrates 
do not shy at them. Instead of trying to make the traflfic 
accommodate or reduce itself to these narrow roads, it would 
be much more sensible and better to seek to get the roads 
widened to suit the requirements of modern traffic. 




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