Iron Strike in Africa

1 / 10
#1: Tete, Mozambique, unknown steam engine.
2 / 10
#10: Builder plate from Fowler engine.
3 / 10
#2: Billy (right) and friend in Tete, Mozambique.
4 / 10
#3: Close-up of the Marshall engine.
5 / 10
#4: Marshall's No. 6490-1910 in Tete.
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#5: Fowler engine.
7 / 10
#6: Fowler engine.
8 / 10
#7: Fowler engine.
9 / 10
#8: Boiler tag from Fowler.
10 / 10
#9: Fowler engine.

1764 South River Road Autryville, North Carolina 28318

Additional photos by Billy Cox , 5609 Birch Road Fayetteville,
North Carolina 28304

Yea, verily, we go off to Mozambique, Africa, once again. Once
again iron collectors find time in an exceptionally busy schedule
to hunt for, photograph, and recover some old iron treasures. Our
travels in Mozambique pretty much covered the country’s length
and breadth. A quick look on a world globe shows that Mozambique is
about 200 miles wide by 1600 miles long. It is located just north
of the Republic of South Africa (also visited, with no luck) on the
African east coast bordering the Indian Ocean. Enough
geography!

Billy managed to get to Tete, Mozambique, which is on the
northwestern border with Zambia. He found numerous steam traction
engines and other steam powered devices. Photos 1 and 2 are of an
unknown steam engine which had apparently been in use for the
accompanying lift equipment. He was unsure if the crane was a
stand-alone item or used for old bridging as a drawbridge
mechanism.

Photographs 3 and 4 are of a Marshall’s No. 6490-1910 Patent
Firebox, Marshall Sons and Company, Ltd., Cainsborough, England.
Obviously, it is a steam unit which was portable. It is located in
front of a church in Tete. As with most mechanical items, parts
have been stripped to repair other machinery.

Replacement parts, then as now, are either unavailable or
expensive even for what we would consider minor parts. Everything
is recycled and used. Mechanics in Mozambique are among the most
ingenious and creative, being able to repair anything with next to
nothing.

On the way to the South African border zone, I found a dump
filled with iron engines, tractors, and irrigation pumps. This area
is infested with bandits and is generally referred to as ‘No
Man’s Land.’ Mozambique is building a modern multilane
highway to replace this treacherous road and it should be
operational in the next year.

Located in the metropolis of Maputo I tracked down another steam
traction engine in reasonable condition. It is fairly complete,
with brass whistle, serial tag, and builder’s plate still
intact. It is a John Fowler and Co., Serial #11071, Model AA2,
steam traction engine. The boiler is #20284, dated 1907, tested at
180 p.s.i. (see photos 5-10.)

The owner has it on display. It has a copy of advertisements
written in Portuguese in a framed cabinet. It basically says that
the engine was built for African requirements in 1907. John Fowler
and Sons had been producing farm equipment since 1850 and started
steam engine production in 1860. The AA2 produces 16 HP from its
compound engine with 80 BHP developed at the wheels. I must admit
that steam engines are a bit ‘greek’ to me and my
Portuguese is not all encompassing, so if my translation makes no
sense, I apologize.

Finally, on the 20th of October 1998, 1 arrived home from a
rather long and wearisome flight. With me was the Deutz 5 HP Diesel
engine I wrote about in GEM December

1997. It is now in my garage undergoing restoration. I would
like to hear from anyone with information on this engine.
Hopefully, we can see an other article on its new life.

Farm Collector Magazine
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Dedicated to the Preservation of Vintage Farm Equipment