Discussion in 'The Black & White Gallery' started by windzup, Dec 14, 2017.
traction_engine by Rob Tomlin, on Flickr
What a beauty! I can't quite make it out, but I assume since it's a Leed's based firm on the canopy that it's a Fowler?
J. & H McLaren of the Midland Engine Works Leeds were formed in 1876 by the McLaren brothers, John and Henry. The company was set up within an engineering hotbed in the Hunslet part of Leeds, West Yorkshire, with several competitor companies situated alongside them. They entered the market late, most other traction engine builders were established long before them, however they developed a reputation for strong, reliable engines and the company became highly regarded by owners and operators.
McLaren were know for their simple, effective general purpose engines, numerous and powerful Road Engines (many produced for the military) and steady output of large cable ploughing engines. They also produced in smaller numbers; steam tractors, direct ploughing engines, steam rollers and portable engines.
They had a large overseas market with sales representatives across the globe. Well over half of the steam traction engines built at the Midland Engineering Works were sold to oversea's buyers. The company was know for taking time to understand the overseas markets that they were trying to sell to. The company founders regularly visited overseas clients. A third McLaren brother, William, was employed as a sales agent in Christchurch, New Zealand and established the company in this country. There are now more preserved McLaren engine in New Zealand than the UK.
The company recognised their future was not with steam relatively early, when compare with contemporary steam engine manufacturers, and made the move into the production of internal combustion engines. Ultimately becoming the first volume builder of diesel engines in the UK, and as a result surviving as a business right up until the 1960's.
Today McLaren engines are highly regarded by enthusiasts with around 100 surviving across the globe. Numerous preserved McLaren produced engines survive in the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. A sizeable number of engines have been return to the UK from countries such as Argentina and Patagonia.
In 2010 a large gathering of McLaren steam engines and associated equipment took place at the Great Dorset Steam Fair in Dorset, England. This was the largest collection of products from the Midland Engineering works since the factory was in operation.
Isn't J.H. McLaren the "parent" of what eventually became McLaren Racing?
Ohhhhhhhhhhhh.... I assumed McLaren was the name of the firm that operated the engine. Interesting. I'm not familiar with them as an engine maker (My knowledge of British & European traction is woefully lacking). Thanks for the info!
It's wonderful to see the old steam engines still chugging along.
Wow wouldn't that be cool but unfortunately not the case In 1957, the take over of the Brush A.B.O.E. Group by Hawker Siddeley saw the Leeds production facility fade away and the main works closed in January 1959.
I like the subject matter of this image and I think it's a beautiful photograph, but what I really found intriguing is the conversation between the two men. Makes me want to know what they were discussing.
Ahh well I can help you with that one. They are stopped at a little village and the pub was due to open in half an hour they were discussing wether to hold on and have a pint at this local pub or push on to the next village where they would arrive with the delight of three pubs to choose from. Typical way us English think haha.
Great little backstory to this photo. Nice one!
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