The Science Museum in London, England, is a treasure trove of
examples of farm machinery and equipment as a part of a collection
that every steam and gas (petrol) collector should see.
Located across the street from the famed Victoria and Albert
Museum, the Science Museum contains hundreds of thousands of items
covering virtually every known age of man.
On our recent visit, we concentrated on the transportation and
farm sections. There are actual pieces of equipment such as big
early steam engines, and small models of machinery in diorama
exhibits which show the development of farm mechanization over the
You can see models of Cugnot’s steam traction engine of
1770-71, Murdock’s locomotive of 1786, and Trevithick’s
locomotive of about 1797.
A sad story accompanies the model of Sir Goldsworthy
Gurney’s steam carriage. It seems that the carriage was built
in 1827 but Lord Gurney encountered many problems. He was hampered
by speed regulations of 4 miles an hour; excessive road toll
charges, and opposition from horse and coach owners, so he quit and
An early Aveling & Porter steam traction engine (built 1871)
is shown as one of the earliest of its kind. The placard notes that
it is steered by center front wheels and has gear driven rear
This engine was built, the placard says further, 11 years after
Thomas Avery ‘The Father of the Traction Engine’, first
introduced a self-propelling power plant. It is green and red with
With a 1917 Fordson tractor is the information the Lord
Northcliffe persuaded Henry Ford to start mass production of the
Fordson. This was to aid England’s World War I effort. The
Fordson shown is No. 1857, one of the first delivered to Britain.
The entire British order of 7,000 was delivered within 6
Another exhibit is a black Ferguson tractor, and plough of 1935,
the ‘prototype tractor and mounted plough’ which Harry
Ferguson developed the three-pointed linkage and hydraulic control
of mounted vehicles.
The Science Museum has far more everything from machines to
explore the ocean deep to those which soar in outer space, as well
as examples of what science has done to make it easier to live on