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The Lombard Steam Log Hauler, a clever creation of Alvin Orlando Lombard

We are having a nice gentle snowfall here today at The Old Motor shop, that is covering the countryside and woods with a nice new blanket of snow. The storm brought us to thinking about this fine pair of photos of a Lombard Steam Log Hauler and its crew deep in the woods, pulling out a load of logs as seen above.

Note the young boy standing on the right hand steering runner at the front of the machine and another crew member standing on the left hand track operating the steam whistle. To operate one of these machines took a crew of four.

The Lombard was invented by Alvin Orlando Lombard and first patented in 1901. It was a very creative way of combining the power of steam, with tracks to move lumber out of the woods. Previous to this invention logs were pulled out of the woods with horses.


Just above in enlargeable photos is an interesting article titled: How Self-Taught Lumberjack Invented the Worlds First Endless-Tread Logging Tractor. It was written by John Walker Harrington and was in the January, 1923, issue of Popular Science Magazine and tells of Lombard’s life and his invention. The article also tells us a bit about his gas engine tractor that followed.

Here is a good close up photo of  a logging crew (possibly the same as above) and a team of horses that were still required to pull the logs to the steam tractor and its carriages. A friend Terry Harper is restoring a huge a 1575 lb. 6 cylinder Model PT Wisconsin engine that dates from 1925 and has a 5-3/4″ x 7″ bore and stroke. It came from a Lombard Model N log hauler. We hope to do a post about this engine soon and the data and motometer plates that he also replicates.

Above and below are the drawings for Lombards later design, which he received a patent for on May 21, 1907. By studying the drawings one can get a very clear view of how his early machines were constructed. Dan Strohl of HMN has also done a very detailed post on the Lombard Steam Tractor, which contains many more photos and another video, both of which you will find to be very interesting.


Just above you can see a Lombard quite similar to the one seen in the patent drawing in action. This Lombard Log hauler was steamed up and running at the White Mountain Central Railroad at Clark’s Trading Post in Lincoln, NH.

5 responses to “The Lombard Steam Log Hauler, a clever creation of Alvin Orlando Lombard

  1. I have 2 photos of what I believe to be log haulers of the 1920s or 1930s that were taken in my home town of St. Quentin, New Brunswick, Canada. Can you tell from those pictures if this is a Lombard log hauler and if not, what is it in your opinion?

    Looking forward to reading your reply.



  2. Thank you David. It does indeed look very similar to the 1934 Lombard diesel that I found after reading your reply at:

    This is what this site says about the Lombard diesel version:

    In 1934 Lombard built a log hauler equipped with a diesel engine, increasing the power and reducing the
    cost of operations. But by that time the development of the truck for hauling lumber had made the log
    hauler obsolete and the first diesel was the last log hauler made by the Lombard company.


  3. Hello Ghislain,

    Wonderful Photos! They both are standard 10 ton gasoline powered Lombards.

    J.S. Innes of Montreal was the dealer for the Maritime provinces. Interestingly New Brunswick was home to its own manufacturer of log haulers. For a very brief period Alexander Dunbar & Son’s of Woodstock, NB. manufactured a steam log hauler which was a near copy of the Lombard machines. In fact Lombard took Dunbar to court claiming patent infringement.

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