MIRACLE ENGINEER AND MECHANIC LOUDOUN RYAN


| July/August 1960



John W. Fouche

John W. Fouche, Sr., 79 years old, is shown with his pride and joy, a steam traction engine, which he has constructed during his leisure moments of the past two years.

John W. Fouche, Sr., of Ryan, who is known as the 'miracle engineer and mechanic of Loudoun Ryan' is still astounding his neighbors.

Seventy-nine years old on June 19, Mr. Pouche recently has completed constructing a miniature steam traction engine, the second one he has made in his long mechanical career. He built his first engine when a young boy of 16 years.

Mr. Fouche, who was born in 1873 and still lives in the same community of his birth, says as a youth he was called 'crazy' about machinery, and the only subject he was interested in as a boy in school was natural philosophy.

The following article was taken from the Londoun News, Leesburg, Va. July 1952. It is all very interesting.

He says the first steam engine he ever saw was at Ashburn, then known as 'Farmwell'. It was an old wood burning locomotive. The first traction engine he recalls seeing belonged to G. W. Bradshaw. This was steered by two oxen which provided a good part of the power sometimes, according to Mr. Fouche. The driver sat in a seat up front and operated the throttle, while an engineer would walk behind and feed wood and water from a cart hitched to the back of the engine.

Seeing these mechanical miracles intrigued Mr. Fouche. He was working in his father's shop at the time and set about to construct a steam traction engine.