Jacob Price: 1895

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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.

Farm Collector Magazine
Farm Collector Magazine
Dedicated to the Preservation of Vintage Farm Equipment