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The Robey Traction Engine.

The Robey Traction Engine.

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Summary

Robey of Lincoln ~ Lincolnshire Steam Engines & Vehicles.A look at the history behind a wonderful Lincolnshire company dating back to Victorian Times....It was 1854 when Robert Robey decided to set up business making iron framed threshing machines in Canwick Road, Lincoln..The business was, like the product, solid and reliable and it expanded and prospered, by 1875 were making all sorts of things such as a ‘Mine Winding Engine’ which went on to be installed all over the world...They met with success in 1878 when they won a Gold Medal at the International Exhibition in Paris, their steam engine was not only acclaimed but it was the only one to run for the entire exhibition and not break down !..Between 1915 and 1918 they even got involved in the aircraft business producing a strange array of aeroplanes such as a seaplane and a so-called Gunbus..Of course, during World War I things turned from civilian to military, hence the Gunbus, but after the war they really got moving with portable team engines, the Robey Economic Boiler and their well-known Robey Steam Rollers and Robey Steam Wagons.

A traction engine is a Victorian-time self-propelled steam engine used to move heavy loads on roads, plow ground or to provide power at a chosen location. They became popular in industrialized countries from around 1850, when the first self-propelled portable steam engines for agricultural use were developed. Production continued well into the early part of the 20th century when competition from internal combustion engine-powered tractors saw them fall out of favor, although some continued in commercial use in the United Kingdom well into the 1950s and later. The name derives from the Latin tractus, meaning 'drawn', since the prime function of any traction engine is to draw a load behind it. They are sometimes called road locomotives to distinguish them from railway locomotives – that is, steam engines that run on rails. Traction engines tend to be large, robust and powerful, but heavy, slow, and difficult to maneuver. Nevertheless, they revolutionized agriculture and road haulage at a time when the only alternative prime mover was the draught horse. Several thousand examples have been preserved worldwide, many in working order. Steam fairs are held throughout the year in the United Kingdom, and in other countries, where visitors can experience working traction engines at close hand.

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Date

17/04/2010
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Source

Bernard Spragg
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