Fowler were the leading manufacturer of steam
ploughing equipment from the 1870ís right through to the end of steam in
agriculture. They were the largest and most powerful traction engines in
common use and were exported round the world. They were even built in
Germany to a similar design by several manufacturers.
In use there would be two engines, one either side of
the field. The wire rope on the drum under one engine was wound out and
attached to a double ended plough. The other engines rope was attached to
the other end of the plough. The plough could then be pulled across the
field by each engine in turn, both engines moving forward as the ploughing
progressed. This method prevented the heavy engines from compacting the soil
as they would with direct action ploughing.
Other implements could be used instead of the plough,
to harrow or land drain fields for example. One particular job which is
still the reserve of the steam plough engine is dredging lakes and rivers,
the great length of wire rope used in steam ploughing being ideal for this
Our model represents the class BB1 engine, the largest
engine to see common use in the UK. It comes as a twin cylinder compound,
with two speed gearing and a coal fired boiler. There is a crankshaft driven
boiler feed pump with bypass valve, and all the correct cable plough drum
equipment with bevel gear drive and clutch, as on full size.