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B631 Steam ploughing engine model, representing ploughing engines made in England by John Fowler & Co., of Leeds, metal, 1:12 scale, made by H. Rand, Tweedmouth, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland, England, 1920-1928, part of A.A. Stewart Collection of model engineering. Click to enlarge.

Model of steam ploughing engine

Made in England, United Kingdom, Europe, c 1930.

This is a 1:12 scale working model of a compound steam ploughing engine representing engines made in England by John Fowler & Co. of Leeds. It is equipped with a winding drum and cable, which could be used to draw a plough, dig irrigation channels, pull up tree stumps and do other heavy work on a farm. The model was made in England in the 1920s by H. Rand, a model engineer from Tweedmouth, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland. Mr Rand's initial 'R" appears on the engine's smokebox door. Ploughin...

Summary

Object No.

B631

Object Statement

Steam ploughing engine model, representing ploughing engines made in England by John Fowler & Co., of Leeds, metal, 1:12 scale, made by H. Rand, Tweedmouth, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland, England, 1920-1928, part of A.A. Stewart Collection of model engineering

Physical Description

Steam ploughing engine model, representing ploughing engines made in England by John Fowler & Co., of Leeds, metal, 1:12 scale, made by H. Rand, Tweedmouth, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland, England, 1920-1928, part of A.A. Stewart Collection of model engineering.

This is a working model of a steam traction engine designed to plough a field, in conjunction with a second engine, with the plough moving on a cable slung between drums on the underside of the engines. It is finished in the colour scheme used by Leeds manufacturer John Fowler & Co, black with red fine lining. A brass letter R is affixed to the front of the boiler.

This nicely detailed model appears to be the 1inch (1:12) scale engine described in The Model Engineer magazine of 2 February 1928 (p101) and 10 May 1928 (p447). Three photographs of that model appear in the magazine.

Rear wheels: 7 1/4 in x 1 1/2 in
Front wheels: 5 in diameter x 15/16 in
Wheel base: 1 3/4 in
Track, over wheels: 7 1/8 in front
Track, over wheels: 8 3/8 in back
Diameter of boiler: 3 3/4 in
Height to top of chimney: 13 1/2 in
Height to top of boiler: 7 3/4 in
Bolt sizes:10 and 12 BA

Dimensions

Height

360 mm

Width

220 mm

Depth

570 mm

Production

Notes

The letter R on the front of the engine could well be an indication that the maker was H Rand, who wrote about a very similar model in 'The Model Engineer'. Rand lived in the England and probably made the model between 1920 and 1928.

Mr Rand is recorded as the maker of object B632, model of a threshing machine. He also wrote in the magazine about a thresher and other models of agricultural equipment.

Rand wrote that the traction engine model took twelve months of his spare time to make. He cast or fabricated most of the parts and made the casting patterns himself. He purchased the following parts: Whitney boiler ends; Torrid burner; and Bassett-Lowke boiler fittings, including gauges. He did not fit coiling gear to the drum because he could not find details of the original design.

History

Notes

Rand wrote in 1928: 'This engine has done about 40 hours' actual steaming since built and from plough drum will pull a three years' old child on a trolley'.

This model is part of the A. A. Stewart collection of ship, mechanical, and railway models acquired by the Powerhouse Museum over nearly 30 years from 1938 to 1963. Albyn A. Stewart was a trained engineer fascinated by engineering models and he constructed some of those in the collection. Others however were brought from amateur and commercial modellers at great expense to Stewart who travelled regularly to England to seek out models. In January 1938, Percival Marshall, the editor of 'The Model Engineer' England's premiere modelling magazine devoted editorial space to the collection where he stated that "Mr. Stewart has been fortunate in acquiring some excellent examples of both screw and paddle marine engines of considerable value as records of real prototype practice."

In April of the same years he expanded his comments on the collection by saying, "As a trained engineer himself, his judgement of the technical merits of a model is very sound, and I should imagine that his collection is now the finest of its kind in Australia, in private hands. Many of the models are undoubtedly worthy of careful preservation, and I hope that they will eventually find a suitable resting place in one or other of the Australian national museums."

Stewart was first contacted by the Technological Museum, as the Powerhouse Museum was then known, in 1933. The then Director/Curator A. R. Penfold immediately recognised the importance of the engineering models and in 1935 began to loan items for display. Penfold expanded the area available for displaying the models as they were seen as instructive for students at the adjacent Technical College as they were for the general public.

In early 1938 Stewart's company 'Lymdale Ltd.' which owned most of the models was approached about the purchase of a large part of the collection. Stewart was appointed to the Advisory Board of the Museum and in July 1938 it began to purchase the models it had lent as well as the best examples in the rest of the collection. The cost of this was estimated at over 3000.00 pounds. By 1943 the museum was still acquiring material from the collection and the Advisory Committee made a special appropriation request to the Minister of Education. "In view of the advantage of retaining a collection intact, and the national asset which the museum possesses, the committee recommends the purchase of the remainder of the Stewart collection offered at approximately 2,400. This sum was approved and between 1943 and 1945 around 80 more models were purchased. Apart from the monetary limitations the acquisition was spread over a number of years because some of Stewart's models needed to be finished before they could be sold.

The high costs reflected the quality of the models. Many of the working steam engines are one-off examples hand crafted by amateur modellers over the course of years. The same is true of some of the ship and locomotive models many of which are made to exact scale and include working parts. The models were carefully collected by Stewart who collected as much for posterity as he did for personal interest. Once contacted by the museum he deliberately sought models which would fill historical and technological gaps and as a result the collection is one of the most significant in still extant in Australia. A. A. Stewart died in 1961.

The museum initially lent this model for display in 1935 before purchasing it in 1939.

Geoff Barker, March, 2007

References
Marshall, Percival, 'The Model Engineer and Practical Electrician', London, April 29, 1937
Marshall, Percival, 'The Model Engineer and Practical Electrician', London, May, 27, 1937
Marshall, Percival, 'The Model Engineer and Practical Electrician', London, January, 27, 1938
Marshall, Percival, 'The Model Engineer and Practical Electrician', London, April, 14, 1938
Chalmers, A. Mar, 'The Model Engineer in Australia and New Zealand, Melbourne, January, 1939
Davison, G., Webber, K., 'Yesterday's Tomorrows; the Powerhouse Museum and its precursors 1880-2005', Powerhouse Publishing, 2005
Lavery, B. and Stephens, S., 'Ship Models; their purpose and development from 1650 to the present', Zwemmer, London, 1995

Source

Credit Line

Purchased 1935

Acquisition Date

19 February 1935

Cite this Object

Harvard

Model of steam ploughing engine 2019, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 20 January 2020, <https://ma.as/214366>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/214366 |title=Model of steam ploughing engine |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=20 January 2020 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}
This object is currently on display in Collection Gallery 2 at the Museums Discovery Centre.

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