Tag Archives: Steam Power

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 tok 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. Both photos are courtesy of Terry Harper, a Lombard enthusiast who has also written a very detailed history of the log hauler.

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.

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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.

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