"Traction Engine Smash at Arnside 11 September 1914"
Sometimes it is not your day. Having travelled from the seaside town of Southport up the north west coast of England for about 60 miles and arrived at the coastal village of Arnside and then....BANG. The home owner must have got a shock, these were not small vehicles. I do not know which road this is but suspect it is the steep hill that runs down to the sea front. Wonder what the brakes were like on these things.
It looks like the type of road steam traction wagon that were operated by one man and were less than 5 tons in weight, used for general road haulage. At first they had steel or wooden wheels but later used solid rubber tyres. It wasn't until I scanned this postcard that I noticed where the boiler chimney was, broken off and lying on top of the rubble. Once I knew it was there I couldn't understand how I had missed seeing it on the original card. I had of course noticed the bucket hanging from the vehicle, which would be a must to top up the boiler with water.
The first steam wagon dates from 1890 and by the time of the card they were the best of their day capable, I have read, of attaining 60 mph, when petrol engine would be lucky to hit 35. There were over 100 companies manufacturing them, and having seen pictures wonder if the wagon photographed is a Foden, famous for heavy truck manufacture of all types throughout the 20th century.
Steam lorries disappeared because they became uneconomic to operate after successive governments placed tighter restrictions on the speed, emissions and vapour limits. The last straw was in 1933 when a tax was imposed on haulage vehicles in proportion to axle load.
It is nice that the Ben Purser and Sons lorry has it address clearly printed on the side of the wagon because
here is part of Lord Street in Southport.
The Best Hearts Are Crunchy is our hostess for Postcard Friendship Friday