Tag Archives: num:ScienceMuseum=1953-1

Getting in a lorry trouble

It’s all going on in the world of lorries this week. A haulage firm is trying to introduce a ‘super-lorry’ that’s 30 feet longer than a conventional articulated truck. Latest news is that the police have blocked it, but it’s a fast-changing story which I’ll be watching with interest. You can see footage of the double-articulated device on the BBC website here.

I’ll keep my own thoughts on this 83-foot monster to myself. Instead, check out the world of heavy haulage, Victorian-style. These steam traction engines were the big beasts of burden at the turn of the century, and you certainly wouldn’t want to be stuck behind this convoy on a narrow country road, as they were built for power, not speed:

Aveling and Porter steam traction engine, 1890s (Science Museum / Science & Society)

Aveling and Porter steam traction engine, 1890s (Science Museum / Science & Society)

These machines were huge. When things went wrong, they went very wrong:

Overturned steam traction engine, c.1910 (NMeM / Kodak Collection / Science & Society)

Overturned steam traction engine, c.1910 (NMeM / Kodak Collection / Science & Society)

You can still see steam traction engines at steam rallies and the like, and we’ve got an Aveling and Porter beauty in our Making the Modern World gallery here at the Science Museum:

Aveling and Porter steam traction engine, 1873 (Science Museum / Science & Society)

Aveling and Porter steam traction engine, 1873 (Science Museum / Science & Society)

The late, great, Fred Dibnah ran an Aveling and Porter engine. His BBC2 series based on the engine, ‘Fred Dibnah ‘s Made in Britain’, was terrific.