Iron Strike in Africa


| May/June 1999



Unknown steam engine

#1: Tete, Mozambique, unknown steam 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.