Tag Archives: Steam

Big City Snow Storms and Old School Methods

  • Ply1
  • A 1950 Plymouth DeLuxe gets a helping hand on a snowy Chicago day

We here at The Old Motor enjoy spending our time exploring the long and varied history of motor vehicles. It is sometimes easy to overlook the fact that the older machines could be temperamental and unreliable and nothing brought out their less desirable traits more than cold and snowy weather. Conditions like we have been experiencing here recently were all the more difficult to deal with in cars equipped with rear wheel drive, six volt electrical systems, points type ignitions and vacuum powered windshield wipers.

Lom1      Lom2      harper

In the early days of motoring, it took machines like the Lombard Heavy Duty Highway Plows in the above photos to keep winter roads passable. The first equipment that Alvin Lombard built were steam log haulers, an idea he patented in 1901. Although he had experimented with gasoline power as early as 1909, he did not abandon steam entirely until 1917. His first designs used a single front ski as seen in the center photo, while later versions used a more conventional front axle. The largest of these units used a 140 horsepower T-head six cylinder engine of just under 1100 cubic inches. You can see more snowy scenes on The Old Motor. The Lombard photos are courtesy of Terry Harper.

Posted in Auto photos 1946 - 1965, Trucks, Buses and Equipment | Tagged , , , , , , , |

Men Of The Footplate – 1939 London Midland & Scottish Railway Documentary

We posted  General Repair  last week and before that  A Study In Steel  and many of you enjoyed both of them and have asked us for more, so this is the third film in the series that we are going to share with you. Follow along as it is a little slow at the start, but well worth the time to watch it on through to the end.

This week we will move into the care and feeding of a locomotive, as a young lad starts out at the bottom of the trade as a cleaner. The cleaners do just that, as periodically a locomotive in England was cleaned and polished. Harry Truin also attends classes and goes onto learn the trade of being a fireman, where he feeds the boiler with coal and attends to the other duties necessary to help the driver.


In this film we will also watch as Jim Hawkins already trained as a fireman, moves onto the next stage of his career, that of learning how to operate a locomotive and become a driver. Follow along as it gives us a very interesting view of a much different time.

Posted in Steam Powered | Tagged , , , , |

Study In Steel – 1935 London Midland & Scottish Railway – Watch the “Princess Arthur of Connaught” being built


We have not featured anything steam-powered recently and this post should more than make up for it.  We were fortunate to find a fascinating series of films produced by The London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS). They take us into the Crewe workshops to watch a Princess Royal Class steam locomotive being built. The locomotive seen during the film is no. 6207 and was named “Princess Arthur of Connaught”.

In the film you will be able to witness some extraordinary scenes showing the casting of huge iron and steel castings. Also featured is the art of forging alloy steel to produce the many high-strength parts needed in locomotive practice.

All of the interesting manufacturing details shown here, all relate to the automobile, as what was learned in early locomotive construction, was then applied to the motor car. If you enjoy this film take a moment to send us a comment and if enough of you reply, it we will show more of the series in the future. You can learn much more about the LMS here.

Preview photos (below) of some of the scenes that you will see on this outstanding film.


Posted in Steam Powered, video | Tagged , , , , , , |