Blog: Real Steampunk

Monday, September 10, 2012

A fascinating collection of interesting equipment.

Real Steampunk

Check out this one for example:
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A Walk in the Countryside

Sometimes I come across a machine so bizarro that I think I must have misread something and I have to go back and check. Such is the 1878 Darby Pedestrian Broadside Digger.



I don’t know where to begin describing this utterly Heath Robinson device. It’s a kind of agricultural tractor, but that ain’t the half of it. Mr T. C. Darby devised it as a labour-saving machine that would do the work of twelve men with forks – somehow he came up with a mechanism that allowed each fork to dig in, turn the soil and withdraw. It was built by W & S Eddington of Chelmsford, so evidently the only way really is Essex.

Not strange enough? It drove sideways. Still not strange enough? Well, you can’t quite see it here, but it could walk. It had six legs. Could it run? I hope not, but apparently it could jump, and often did.

A later version had eight legs and wheels, because why not? I believe this is it here:



Despite being quite lightweight, hence the jumping, it never really succeeded in replacing conventional traction engines and so, sadly, is just a footnote in agricultural history. Ha, foot-note.
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Keep your sightglass full, your firebox trimmed and your water iced.
KJ

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