This steam traction engine was made by Tasker and Sons Ltd, at the Waterloo Ironworks, Abbotts Ann, Hampshire, in 1905. It is a 7 horsepower, 2 speed, 3 shaft, single cylinder engine.
Tasker and Sons began making portable steam engines in the 1860s, moving on to traction engines as the century progressed. However most of these were custom built and unique which was an expensive and inefficient system of production. The ‘Economic’ class engines introduced in 1891 were the first standardised machines produced by Tasker and Sons although even these were customised on occasion. They were also made with cheaper steel boilers instead of wrought iron boilers.
By 1932, Taskers and Sons had become Taskers of Andover Ltd. Its Managing Director Mr A.B. Fuller, built up a collection of Tasker engines and an archive of photographs, drawings and documents to illustrate the history of the firm which was founded in Abbotts Ann in 1813. This collection came into the stewardship of Hampshire County Council Museums Service in 1972.
One of the engines in the collection was this 1905 ‘Economic’ which needed significant conservation work to make it function again.
Tasker's 'Economic' steam engine is on display at ‘Milestones’ in Basingstoke and is regularly ‘steamed’ at special events.
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