Category talk:Steam power

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merge to Category:Steam engines ?[edit]

re: a recent edit to Category:Steam_cranes.

What's the difference between Category:Steam power and Category:Steam engines? There's no clear definition of this, and their {{catmain}} redirs to the same article. It seems that either:

  • They're overlapping and should merge
  • or they're usefully distinct, and this distinction needs to be made more obvious. That in turn might trigger some re-categorisation.

Is there consensus on this much, at the "Something ought to be done" level?

Pro distinct cats[edit]

I favour keeping them separate, but we do need to clarfiy things.

The general principles. Thermodynamics. History of the Industrial Revolutin.
Reciprocating steam engines, their forms and uses made of them.

Now where do steam turbines fit? Are we classing them as "engines" in this sense? This seems important, as otherwise there's little "Steam power" that isn't immediately falling under "Steam engines".

Category:Steam locomotives should be a distinct category of them (either / both / whatever) and should be clearly labelled as distinct from Category:Steam engines, despite the British linguistic use of the term for locomotives. This is just polite internationalization.
Andy Dingley (talk) 13:47, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

  • Support -- but then I created the split in the first place! (see below)
    • Note that each category has plenty of articles in and combining them would make a much larger and less-useful category
    EdJogg (talk) 16:26, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

Pro merge[edit]

  • There's no clear distinction between these two, as exemplified by their {{catmain}}s both ending up at the same place.
  • There's no clear use case that requires the distinction.
  • We're forcing the naive browser to look in two places rather than one.

Andy Dingley (talk) 13:48, 4 December 2008 (UTC)


Originally all of the articles were either present under 'cat:Steam engines' or were uncategorised. In a userpage (my "Steam Portal") I gathered all the articles I could find related to "steam [power]" and worked out a hierarchy, which is now largely in place. Before I started there was no way that a "steam enthusiast" could access all these articles through the category structure.

I don't like the term "steam power", but it is a necessary evil as a category name. It allows articles which do not (obviously) relate directly to steam engines (such as steam clock) to exist in a steam-related category, and for all steam-related articles to fit into the greater category hierarchy: it is the top-level cat for steamy stuff!

My view for the "steam engines" category was that it would be just that: articles about (types of) steam engines (beam engine, Watt steam engine, Newcomen steam engine, Corliss engine, etc) so, yes, logically it should include steam turbine. Personally I have no problem about "steam turbine" also appearing under "cat:steam power", although such parent-and-child categorisation is officially frowned-upon. (I have no problem with such "duplication" since both categories are equally appropriate.)

Steam crane is a typical tricky example. By the thinking I have outlined it does not belong under "steam engine", as it is not a type of steam engine. Its correct category would be "steam-powered machines", as it isn't a road vehicle (which does have a cat), but I hadn't yet determined a need for such a cat.

I think that the answer is to clarify the distinctions between the categories since the terminology is frightfully confusing. (Have a look at the arguments on Talk:Steam engine about whether the term "steam engine" should include an integral boiler, and if it does (as on a railway loco) what do you call the bit that does the actual work!?

To be fair to all concerned, you should probably alert the watchers of steam engine that this discussion is taking place.

EdJogg (talk) 16:42, 4 December 2008 (UTC)