The Darby Steam-Digger

Energy & Sustainability
The Darby Steam-Digger

800Px-Darby Digger 1
MAKE pal Benjiwenjifoofoo sent in this I-Wei style tractor from the 1800’s – “The Darby Steam-Digger, a light traction engine, was invented circa 1879 by Farmer Thomas Darby and built at Lodge Farm Pleshey, near Chelmsford in Essex, England. Robert Hasler, seen driving the Digger, helped to build this first prototype. In effect the machine was an early tractor designed mainly for ploughing, and could accomplish one acre (1 m²/s) an hour to a maximum depth of 14 inches (360 mm). This first digger was constructed on pedestrian principles and had six “feet” and really did walk over the fields. Unfortunately it jumped too much to be really successful. The digger was later modified to have wheels in place of the legs.” [via] – Link.


  • Make Podcast: I-Wei Huang’s Steambots – Link.
  • Made On Earth – Sample PDF and videos! In MAKE 07 we feature I-Wei Huang, one of my favorite Makers… – Link.
  • Steam powered radio controlled “lobster” tank – Link.
  • Steam powered @ MAKE – Link.
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