Illustration of steam engine powering a plough

Illustration of steam engine powering a plough

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Traction engine. Illustration of a steam traction engine pulling plough (at upper right). The traction engine remains stationary and pulls the plough by a cable which is carried over the ground by wheels. The engine is not being used to pull the plough as a horse would because it is too heavy and would sink into the soil. Traction eng- ines were widely used in farming until the advent of the internal combustion engine to provide power for a variety of implements. They worked by boiling water to make steam which then expanded in a cylinder to drive a moveable piston. The piston's linear motion was then transferred into rotary motion by flywheels. Illustration from 1860.

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Keywords: agriculture, early, historical, history of science, land, mechanised agriculture, plough, steam, steam powered, technology, traction engine, transport, transportation

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