The Traction Engine from Knuthenborg

The Traction Engine at work


The museum's traction engine was made in 1919 by the British agricultural machinery maker Ransomes, Sims & Jefferies in Ipswich. This type of traction engine was a portable steam engine, which was used to pull other machinery, e.g. a threshing machine or a firewood splitter.


When the traction engine was needed, it would be drawn to the site by horses. Here, it would be connected to the machine that the traction engine was to run. The stoker would then fire up under the steam engine's boiler. After about an hour, the steam would be up, and the steam engine would be ready for the day's work. For security reasons, only special stokers were allowed to operate the steam engine. The stoker would often be popular with the children. Once the boiler got going, he would be happy to toast the apples that the children brought along on the steam engine.


The museum's steam engine was bought by the Knuthenborg estate around 1920, and over the following approx. 25 years, it was used in the estate's operation. The use of steam power in estate operations was not something new at Knuthenborg. Back in 1870, Count Eggert Christopher Knuth was among the first to use steam power in Danish agricultrue when he bought a steam engine for steam ploughing.


The Traction Engine

The traction engine from the Knuthenborg estate was restored by 'The Friends of the Traction Engine'.