Our reproduction of the 1895 Jacob Price Field Locomotive catalog continues. This fifth installment picks up with page 15 and runs through page 17 of the Jacob Price catalog. Reading very much as an editorial on steam engine design, this section of the catalog presents interesting reading for students of traction engine history.
Following a fairly staid, fact-filled discussion of the merits of the Jacob Price 10- and 15-ton freight wagons (including a general discussion of freight trains, the power necessary to pull them and the pulling speeds available with Jacob Price engines), the writing than takes on an entirely different tone, as the catalog mounts an impassioned tirade against "common" horizontal-boiler steam engines: "Were it not for such machines, masquerading as steam plows, the introduction of a real pulling engine, with a capacity for successful work, would be an easy task."
While it's true there are benefits to vertical boilers, the Price catalog's across-the-board condemnation of horizontal boilers is a bit much, leaving modern-day readers to wonder how the tone adopted by Price and his pitchmen was met by potential customers of 1895.
Join us next issue when we pick up with page 18 of the Jacob Price Field Locomotive catalog.
"The horizontal boiler, as made for traction engines, is not only weak but is wholly impracticable for plowing."
Special thanks to John Davidson, 8250 200th Ave., Bristol, WI 53104, for generously supplying his original 1895 Jacob Price catalog so we might share it with our readers.