John Fowler Leeds-traction Engines
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  1. #1
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    A great uncle of mine William Sayer was the manager of the Boiler Dept at John Fowler of Hunslet Leeds before the first War. Sometime before he was sent to Magdeburg in Germany to establish A subsidiary of Fowler to manufacture Traction engines for the German Market. When the war began Krupps Steelworks Commandeered the factory and he and his family were interned for the duration of the war . As he had invested his life savings in the venture, he lost everything as a result. Does anyone know what became of this factory after the war? I do think they continued making engines -Wolf? Also are there any mad people like me who wish to build a Half scale Traction engine to Generate Electricity ,Saw wood etc when The Bomb Drops. I am interested in say a Tasker Little Giant or some other Quaint little Steam Tractor-perhaps we could swap notes.

  2. #2
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    IXL,

    Can’t help with the Fowler stuff, I’m afraid, but it’s an interesting story. If you don’t find anything through this forum, it might be worth a letter to Old Glory magazine.

    Part way down this link there are details and photos of a half size traction engine under construction:-
    http://www.bailey-steam.com/mac6story.htm

  3. #3
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    IXL,
    It sounds like you have an interesting story there, I hope you can find out the story of your great uncle.

    I have an excellent book "The Story of the Steam Plough Works: Fowlers of Leeds" by Michael R Lane. I can't find William Sayer in the index unfortunately.

    I would suggest getting in touch with Mr Lane (he is shortly going to publish a book on McLaren, I think), I would try through the Unicorn Press, London.

    Fowlers engine sales into Europe were hugely important, for example in the period 1900-1914, 92% of all their ploughing engines were exported and by far the majority were sold through the Magdeburg branch (pg 246).

    I haven't re-read all the happenings of this branch, but naturally the Great War caused huge disruption. For example, in the early days of the war, a ship packed with ploughing engines, implements, spares etc bound for the Magdeburg works was sunk with all hands lost.

    It took many years to sort out the reparations for the loss of their companies in Europe (not just Magdeburg, also Prague, Budapest and?). In 1925 there was a settlement in Czechoslovakia (£140,000 war compensation). The German claim was long and difficult because the operation there was not a subsidary operation but a seperate partnership. However, £425,000 was paid as final settlement.

    The German company was closed by decree of the German Chancellor in 1916 and went into liquidation. The government then sold all the assets (including the Contract Ploughing Company) to Fowlers main competitor, R. Wolf AG, in 1917. They, along with A. Borsig dominated the German scene after the war.

    I need to check to see what connection there is between R. Wolf AG and the fairly common Wolf? locomobile or semi-portable engines. Also there is a company named Buckau-Wolf who builds some of the largest excavators in the world, the bucket wheel excavators. It would be good to see what, if any connection there is here.

    I have a couple of articles from 'Old Glory' magazine showing some steam ploughing engines made in Germany around 1955.

    The pair were built by Henschel/Ottomeyer, and were being returned to working order when the article was published (July 1999). The engines are at the Emsland Moormuseum at Gross Hesepe.

    The plough for this pair of engines is unusual - it is a Ottomeyer Mammut - huge single furrow job which can cut a furrow up to 8ft deep! There is a photo of these engines fitted with huge outrigger wheels, ploughing in 1972.

    http://www.moormuseum.de/frame.htm

    Watch the video!

    Can anyone get this to translate via Babel fish etc? I keep getting an error message.

    Mammut und Lokomobile

    Hermann Kaiser schreibt in seinem 1982 erschienen Buch Dampf-
    maschinen gegen Moor und Heide : Keine andere Firma hat in
    Deutschland die Entwicklung von Großpflügen zur Moorkultivierung
    so bestimmt wie die von Ottomeyer Pyrmont , und kein anderes
    Unternehmen in Deutschland hat in einem solchen Umfang Ödland
    kultiviert.  (hierzu auch Kaiser S. 88ff und 120ff.)
    Die 1887 gegründete Firma Wilhelm Ottomeyer gilt als das ältestes
    Mietpflug-Unternehmen in Deutschland. Besonders bei der Moorkul-
    tivierung in ganz Norddeutschland bewährte sich der Einsatz von
    Dampfpflügen, der 500 Arbeitstage durch fünf Stunden Maschinen-
    arbeit ersetzten. Zwischen 1887 und 1937 pflügte die Fa. Ottomeyer
    meist für Großbetriebe in Deutschland, Dänemark, den Niederlanden
    und New Greenwich. In der Zeit zwischen 1950 und 1970 lag das
    Hauptarbeitsgebiet der von Ottomeyer eingesetzten Pfluggespanne
    in den Moorgebieten des Emslandes.
    Im Rahmen des so genannten Emslandplanes  wurden mit Hilfe des
    Tiefenpfluges weite Flächen kultiviert und urbar gemacht.
    Ein kompletter Dampfpflugsatz für den Zwei- bzw. den Viermaschi-
    nenbetrieb bestand aus den Pfluglokomotiven, dem Pflug und einem
    Mannschafts- und Gerätewagen. In der kurzen Pflugsaison von nur
    75 bis 100 Tagen pro Jahr wurde täglich meist 18 Stunden gearbeitet.
    Ende der 1960er Jahre gab es noch über 30 Dampfpfluglokomotiven,
    von denen ein Dampfpflugsatz besonders herauszuheben ist. Die
    Dampfflugpaare Magdeburg(II)  und Thüringen . Diese ursprünglich
    von der englischen Maschinenfabrik Fowler 1914 mit ca. 240 PS
    Leistung gebauten Lokomobilen wurden 1954 eigens so umgebaut
    und hochgerüstet, dass sie in der Lage waren, einen besonderen
    Tiefenpflug mit bis zu 2m Pflugtiefe im Rahmen der Sandmischkultur
    zu bewegen. Neben einem neuen Kessel und einer neuen Dampf-
    maschine erhielten sie Verstärkungen im Korpusbereich und dem
    Radsystem. Am Ende erbrachte jede der vier Lokomobilen eine Leis-
    tung von 480 PSn. Das war gegenüber vergleichbaren Maschinen
    eine Verdoppelung der Leistung.


    BTW, there is a Fowler owner who reads these pages, my memory is failing me here, I can't think of his name. (Phil?)

  4. #4
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    Peter

    Discovery of Fowlers that ploughed the salty waves:-
    http://www.yorkshiretoday.co.uk/View...icleID=1296506

  5. #5
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    Asquith,

    How on earth did you find that? [img]smile.gif[/img]

    BTW, forgot to mention something a little unusual, looking at the video and the website, it seems that the two Ottomeyer engines worked in line ahead, not at opposite ends of the pull.

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    Peter-,
    Your info is most helpful. There is another link between Fowlers and the Hainsworth Family. My ancestor samuel was a farmer/ corn Miller in the Parish of Adel in North Leeds1790-1845,and had a Substantial Landholding there. It was on this Property that Fowlers tested their Ploughing engine prototypes, as a chap named Eddison whose son was an engineer at Fowlers took over the farm in the mid 1800s. I have a photo of this taking place (Adel Mill Farm Still exists as does all the Mill mechanism of which i have photos Also)thanks again I shall try to contact the Author concerned.

  7. #7
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    IXL,

    You'll find a fascinating collection of hundreds of old Fowler photographs via this link. They're high quality jpg images. Warning: you'll lose several days in there.

    http://www.practicalmachinist.com/cg.../11/1015.html?

    The archive is a the Museum of English Rural Life, who will probably be able to provide information.


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