Updated: This piece of equipment is a moveable power plant with a gasoline engine that drove a winch and apparently was used in lumbering operations outside of Madera, California. The City is located east of Fresno in the San Joaquin Valley.
The top tank on the far-right of the machine is for gasoline storage, and the large tank located underneath it was used for cooling water for the engine. The box visible on top of this second tank may be an open surface radiator coolant was pumped through.
The photo is courtesy of the Michael J. Semas Collection.
Every once in a while an image of an oddball piece of machinery crosses the desk here that is beyond unique. We know how it works and have a good idea of what it was used for, but thought this self-propelled rig might be a perfect mystery for our readers to try to unravel.
The two-cylinder vertical engine was produced by C.E. Traves of Fresno, CA, although that doesn’t mean the complete machine was built by Traves. The picture was taken by a professional photographer apparently just after this contraption was completed. A close look at the enlargeable images (below) reveals all the details and the ornate pinstriping.
Share with us how you believe this machine operates and what type of work was it used for?