Lombard Steam Log Hauler

Named a National Mechanical engineering Landmark

| March/April 1983

  • Train

  • Wood burning Lombard Log Hauler

  • Train
  • Wood burning Lombard Log Hauler

The Lombard steam log hauler, designed by Alvin Lombard, has been designated as a National Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

Ceremonies were held Aug. 14, 1982, at Patten, Me., site of the Lumberman's Museum. A tablet was unveiled, dating origin of the engine at about 1910, and stating:

'This steam crawler-tractor emancipated horses from the killing work of hauling trains of sleds over iced roads in the winter woods of the United States and Canada.

'Designed, patented (1901), and built by Alvin C. Lombard (1856-1937) of Waterville, Maine, eighty-three 'Lombards' were the first practical examples of the often-tried lag or crawler tread that would become the mark of the internal combustion engine-driven agricultural and construction equipment and military tanks in current use.'

In the earliest days of logging, the logs were floated down streams to mills. An attempt was made at using an internal combustion engine to power the haulers, but this did not work with wheels in loose snow. Another man had an idea for using track but did not get anything done.

Lombard's first log hauler had an upright boiler and two upright engines, but these were later made horizontal. It became 'a railroad yard engine, known as a saddle back'. It had a cab in front for the steersman and one at the rear for the engineer and the fuel. Typically, it had a four-man crew engineer, fireman, conductor and steerer. A bell rope was provided so that the conductor, near the rear, could communicate with the front cab.

Stephen Law
4/2/2009 12:11:38 PM

About 1910 my father's journal tells about him taking a team and wagon full of passengers to the head of Sebec Lake to watch Lombard Log Haulers working. I plan to publish his journal and would like permission to use the photo of the log hauler on your web site. I'll give credit to who ever has the rights to the photo. I can get a photo of a restored Log Hauler but a working one would be a lot more interesting. Thanks for any information concerning the photo you can give.


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