The International Steam Pages

Temples of Steam - Mon State

The stationary steam engines of Mon State:

We deliberately started in Mon State in 2005 because it was an area I was familiar with, it has attractive scenery and better than average tourist facilities - in 8 days we were able to visit over 40 mills of which 18 were active. Return to Dakhondaing (2006) continues the story with some new revelations....

Only active examples are shown here, regrettably a number bear no identification marks. The out-of-use engines were at least as varied and included many engines where we saw but a single example:

After school, why not get number one son to run the baby Marshall engine: 

By way of contrast this Marshall engine (with plate, working twin eccentrics and Marshall governor) was possibly the biggest we saw working in this area: 

A small Tangye twin eccentric engine, said to be 8" x 14" and dating from ca 1925:

A larger Tangye, 10" x 20", it seems it was more or less the standard engine in Burma, we saw more of these than any other engine (except maybe Marshall 12") although most were of a more 'modern' design than this.

Slightly smaller is this G size, 9" x 18" engine, note the unusual vertical boiler behind:

The largest Tangye seen were 12" x 24" engines, the "+" on the valve chest cover is a giveaway for this manufacturer. In Irrawaddy Division we also saw 11" engines:

A very old engine from Cowie Brothers, the plate is clearly visible:

An unknown small engine with an excited videot in the background - this was our first working mill:

Another initially unidentified engine which ran like clockwork despite its obvious age, we now know that it and its boiler made up a Ruston and Hornsby portable:

Another unknown small engine:

This unidentified small engine must be very, very old:

Yet another unidentified small and very old engine:

This is a working Foster engine, not in use as its boiler was having heavy repairs during the period of our visit, it was once combined with its boiler as a portable, note the original fittings for the front regulator.... We saw it working in 2006:

A superb twin cylinder engine (NOT a compound) of unknown provenance:

Even better was this twin cylinder R. Garrett engine, it took four visits to see it working, but it was well worth the effort:

These are the individual pages from the 2005 trip:

  • Kawkapun Rice Mill - Appropriate technology taken to its limits. The account includes a mill diagram / flow chart of the milling process.

  • Dakhondaing Rice Mill - A classic mill, unspoiled by progress. The account includes a description of the basic milling process as well as gratuitous insults to armchair enthusiasts.... 

Read more about our travels in:

Rob and Yuehong Dickinson