Aveling & Porter of Rochester - Traction Engines Recollections 28 (Paperback)Malcolm Ranieri
Paperback Published: 24/08/2011
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Aveling & Porter as a firm are justly famed for their steam road rollers,the basic design continuing in production for 50 years,and whilst other manufacturers made rollers,some in high numbers,it is the Aveling with which the public identify as the humble road making steam engine which came down every road and street,until superseded by modern technology. Thomas Aveling,a farmer interested in engineering, started an agricultural machinery repair shop in 1850 in Rochester,Kent. Aveling experimented with traction engine and agricultural machinery design throughout the 1850s,and set up an iron foundry and engineering firm also in Rochester.Aveling also had workshops at Strood,Kent,on which at a later date the famous Invicta Works were built.The emblem of Kent is the 'rampant' horse,and every engine from the factory had this emblem plus the word 'Invicta' below,which is the latin word for 'unconquered'. In 1862 Richard Porter brought capital and his name to the firm which from then on became Aveling & Porter Ltd. Aveling & Porter besides their famous steam rollers made ploughing engines,portables,agricultural traction engines,steam tractors,road locomotives and showmans engines,wagons,and a full range of agricultural equipment.It was the steam roller which dominated production however representing two thirds of total output.The firm expanded during the later years of Queen Victoria's reign,and by 1895 was employing a thousand workers. The firm sold its products around the world,Australia being an important market. After the First World War,like many steam engineering companies,falling orders due to the march of the internal combustion engine,compelled Aveling & Porter to join the Agricultural and General Engineers Ltd consortium,which failed in 1932.The road roller side of the business was bought by Barfords,and Aveling-Barford Ltd of Grantham continued to make steam rollers,and eventually internal combustion engined rollers to recent times.There are 600 examples preserved in this country,of which 75% are steam rollers.
Publisher: Silver Link Publishing Ltd