Power was first used in the Agricultural Industry in the early
1800's by way of the Portable Engine. They were used to drive,
Threshing Machines, Saws and other farm machinery, they were moved
from farm to farm by teams of horses. It was not until the middle
of the 19th Century that it became obvious that these machines should
be self-propelled and thus the Traction Engine was born. Now
that these machines could be driven from one farm to another, tasks
for the portable engine became fewer.
fitting of winches enabled the traction engine to pull out hedges
and trees. In 1856 by fitting a drum mounted horizontally under
the engine, John Fowler patented the ploughing engine. These
were used in pairs, standing on opposite sides of the field, each
pulled with a drum of wire hawser, the plough being winched backwards
and forwards across the field between the two engines.
Agricultural engine was the most common, used for hauling tackle
between farms and also for driving such things as Threshing Boxes.
The Steam Tractor was the smallest of all Traction Engines,
used mainly for light haulage, whereas Road Locomotives were larger
and used for hauling heavy, bulky items such as timber, Boilers
and Generators. By the fitting of a Dynamo in front of the chimney
and a full length canopy the Showman's Engine came into being. These
could haul rides, side-shows and their Caravans. Once at the
Fairground the dynamo was powered by means of a belt from the engines
flywheel to provide electricity to drive the various rides.