William Tuxford & Sons Ltd founded in 1841 in Boston. Lincolnshire, England. They were one of the earliest firms building Portable engines for the mainly agricultural market.
William W. Tuxford was a miller and baker from Boston. He designed and produced a corn screening machine, in about 1830 which he Patented. This lead to a growing business based at the Boston and Skirbeck Ironworks built alongside his windmill as he carried on in the milling and baking business.
William Tuxford was an early pioneer of building Portable Engines. He started in 1841 in Boston, Lincolnshire and manufacture an engine based on a horizontal locomotive-style boiler. Fitting a single cylinder and a crankshaft mounted on top of the boiler with a to large flywheel to drive the equipment by a flat belt, and the whole assembly was fitted with four wheels: the front pair being steerable and fitted with shafts for a horse to pull it. By 1857 they had built a traction engine version with an improved design by 1861.
Tuxford displayed his engine at the Royal Agricultural Society Show at Bristol in 1842. Other firms soon manufacturers similar machines, using the layout of the Tuxford engine for the most of portable engines produced.
The firm apparently grew to about 300 employees at its height, but had difficulties in the agricultural depression from the 1870s which reduced demand from British farmers. When Weston Tuxford died in 1885 as the sole surviving partner, the business closed. Most of the ironworks was bought by a new firm, Collitt & Co., who carried on making some of the Tuxford products till 1891.
Some examples are advertised for sale by dealers who have re-imported them from places like Chile in South America, were they were abandoned and the dry are has stopped them rusting away.
- Maude PE of 1883 in Museum of Lincolnshire Life -
- Royal Scottish Museum - PE of 1886 in
- Carrington Steam and Tractor Rally - PE of 1887 seen at
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|Machine types Key: SW = Steam Wagon, PE = Ploughing Engine, RR = Road Roller, SM = Showmans, TE = Traction Engine|
- Merl Data base Rural life project at Reading university.
- Preston services - sell a number of portable engines for restoration.