Evolving Uses for Steam Power

Let's Talk Rusty Iron: Sam Moore examines the proliferation of uses for steam-powered machinery on the farm in the late nineteenth century.

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This contraption, built in 1769 by French army engineer Nicholas Cugnot to pull artillery pieces, is considered by historians to be the first self-propelled vehicle. The heavy boiler hanging out in front, which was steered along with the steam engine and the single front drive wheel (along with no brakes), made the thing hard to control. It was prone to running into walls and other obstacles.