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Aveling & Porter

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Aveling & Porter was one of the first manufacturers of agricultural engines and steam rollers in the 1860s. The production of a steam traction engine prompted the company's formation in Great Britain.

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[edit] History

The invention of the steam traction engine by Thomas Savery in 1698 was prompted by Denis Papin’s pressure cooker invention of 1679. The crude steam engine was taken further by a French military engineer, Nicholas Cugnot, who went on to invent the self-propelled three-wheeled vehicle. His device came in handy for towing artillery and transporting men. Even then, the invention was improved and transformed into a self-moving engine by Richard Trevithick of Cornwall.

These inventions encouraged others to find ways to improve the steam engine. One such person was Thomas Aveling, an apprentice who worked with steam-powered farm machines in his father-in-law’s repair shop. His knowledge helped him build the first plow to be powered by steam, in 1856. Aveling’s use of technology in machinery set the standard for many modern traction engines and steamrollers today. Aveling is said to have been frustrated with the current machines and wanted to improve them in some way.

By the mid-1860s, he and Richard Thomas Porter had invented their own steam engine, a device that converted the thermal energy of steam into mechanical work. They formed Aveling & Porter in 1862.[1] Within three years, they had developed a steam engine. They produced more of these engines than all of the other British manufacturers combined. Aveling & Porter then produced a steamroller, a machine they tested in London’s Hyde Park; on Military Road, Chatham; and in Rochester, Kent. The company's machines were shipped all over the world and used in important projects such as the construction of the roads in Central Park, New York. Aveling’s inventions dubbed him the "Father of the traction engine."[2]

Aveling & Porter teamed up with Barford & Perkins in 1934 to produce steam and motor rollers. Production continued after World War II, and the company even began to produce rollers for other construction equipment.[3]

[edit] The Company Today

The company, now known as Wordsworth Holdings, is based in the U.S. and manufactures dump trucks. [4]

The oldest known road engine in existence, built in 1870, belongs to Aveling & Porter. This steam engine was presented in 1950 by the Road Locomotive Society to the Science Museum, where it currently resides.[5]

Although the name Aveling & Porter no longer exists, evidence of the company’s influence in the construction industry is still visible in the form of modern highways and roadways, made possible by the company's inventions.

[edit] Equipment List

[edit] References

  1. Traction Engine History. Steam-up. 2008-10-17.
  2. Aveling. Ranger. 2008-10-17.
  3. Aveling and Porter. Nationmaster. 2008-10-17.
  4. Aveling and Porter. Nationmaster. 2008-10-17.
  5. Aveling. Ranger. 2008-10-17.