John Fowler & Co.

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Coordinates: 53°47′11″N 1°32′16″W / 53.7864905°N 1.5378145°W / 53.7864905; -1.5378145

Fowler nameplate on a Showman's engine
1916-built John Fowler & Co. 'K7' 12nhp ploughing engine, "Linkey"
John Fowler & Co. steam roller of 1923
Fowler Tractor
Fowler shunter on South Devon Railway
18 in (457 mm) gauge locomotive built for the Suakin Expedition

John Fowler & Co Engineers of Leathley Road, Hunslet, Leeds, West Yorkshire, England produced traction engines and ploughing implements and equipment, as well as railway equipment. Fowler also produced the Track Marshall tractor which was a tracked version of the Field Marshall. British Railways Engineering Department locomotives ED1 to ED7 were built by Fowler


John Fowler was an agricultural engineer and inventor who was born in Wiltshire in 1826. He worked on the mechanisation of agriculture and was based in Leeds. He is credited with the invention of steam-driven ploughing engines. He died 4 December 1864, following a hunting accident. After his death, John Fowler & Co., was then continued by Robert Fowler and Robert Eddison. In 1886 the limited company of John Fowler & Co., (Leeds) Ltd., was formed. It merged with Marshall, Sons & Co., Ltd., of Gainsborough in 1947 to form Marshall-Fowler Ltd.

Although not well known for them, Fowler also built a small number (117 has been claimed) of steam wagons. These were vertical-boilered, with an unusual single-crank cross-compound vee-twin engine. They featured a gearbox (but no clutch) to provide a low drive ratio for climbing steep hills with heavy loads.[1] At least one was preserved, as part of the Tom Varley collection.

During the Second World War, the Hunslet factory also produced Matilda, Cromwell, and Centaur tanks for the Army. Production finally ceased in early 1974.[2]


Railway locomotives[edit]

Some locations of preserved Fowler railway locomotives include:

  • Open Air Museum "Freilichtmuseum am Kiekeberg", near Hamburg, Germany
New Zealand
  • Canterbury Steam Preservation Society, Christchurch, New Zealand
  • Silver Stream Railway, Wellington, New Zealand
  • Tokomaru Steam Museum, Tokomaru, New Zealand
  • National Railway Museum, Delhi, India
United Kingdom

Traction engines[edit]

Fowler traction engine 'Lady Carrick'


  1. ^ Andrade, Edward (1928). Engines. London: G. Bell & Sons. p. 205. OCLC 4415095.
  2. ^ * Introduction to the records of the company, held at Reading University.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 11 December 2008. Retrieved 18 April 2009.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ Changa Manga Forest Railway Archived 4 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine article at 'All Things Pakistan' - accessed 31 March 2008
  5. ^ "John Fowler 7nhp Steam Road Locomotive". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment & Heritage. H01867. Retrieved 2 June 2018.

External links[edit]