Aveling and Porter Traction Engines Promoted in 1870s Brochure

"Patent Farm and Road Locomotive" brochure worth a read

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This Aveling & Porter's Patent Farm and Road Locomotive brochure, circa 1873, notes that an Aveling & Porter was awarded first prize for being one of the best agricultural locomative engines for farming by the Agricultural Society of Engliand in 1871. It also notes the daily expense of working a 6 HP engine: for one man's wages, fuel and oil, the cost would come to $6, according to the company's calculations.

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This issue we’re fortunate to have the opportunity to reproduce an original, circa 1873 Aveling & Porter’s Patent Farm and Road Locomotive brochure sent by reader Ed Gladkowski.

The brochure’s purpose was to highlight the superiority of Aveling & Porter engines. It notes, for instance, that an Aveling & Porter was awarded first prize for being one of the best agricultural locomotive engines for farming by the Agricultural Society of England in 1871. It also conveys the superiority of the Aveling & Porter engines through success in trail competition. Additionally, the brochure gives an overview of the engine’s capabilities and mechanics, and details the “daily expense of working a 6 horse-power” engine.

It’s interesting to note that rubber tires were not recommended by the company. In fact, they were objectionable features due to their “increased cost, short life and unavoidable complicity.” What was recommended was an elastic wheel consisting of rubber sandwiched between an outer and an inner iron tire. It was not considered necessary for ordinary farm use, however. The brochure also notes Aveling & Porter’s “special” arrangement of fixed brackets for carrying the driving axle and crankshaft bearings. Additionally, the brochure contains quoted reviews from early agricultural publications and from the reports of trials of the traction engines at the Royal Agricultural Society’s meeting. 

Finally, a performance chart is shown, comparing the Aveling & Porter “Steam Sapper” with the Sutherland (with India-rubber tires) road steamer, concluding that “the rigid-wheeled engine took up a greater load in proportion to its weight than the road steamer ... These facts, we think, speak for themselves.”    

Special thanks to Ed Gladkowski, 1128 W. Gardner St., Houston, TX 77009, for supplying this original Aveling & Porter’s Patent Farm and Road Locomotive brochure.