The International Steam Pages

Heretic's Corner, 2007

As I have said many times, I consider those who prefer diesel power to steam power to be akin to those who prefer their own gender as partners. But even I can 'swing both ways' a bit when confronted with machines of the same vintage as some of the steam power in the rice mills of Burma. Two names seem to crop up again and again - Blackstone and (especially) Ruston. We have yet to see one of the former actually at work, but a couple have been seen in obviously workable condition, this one was in Kachin State:

In Thailand, some Rustons have been butchered and a steam cylinder added to make a hybrid engine, in Burma they tend to be stored in good order as they are presumably inefficient compared to modern machines. This is a typical example which had been used as power for a small rice mill which was out of use (it's for sale if anyone is interested!):

It was only on our third stationary steam grice that the 'poop -- poop -- poop -- poop' noise from a peanut oil mill led us to a working example, who knows, maybe it was burning a small amount of its own product as fuel....

If you enjoy peanut butter, then look away, basically it's the stuff that appears in the middle lower of the picture.... It looks like shit to me.

These are the individual pages from the 2007 trip:

Read more about our travels in:

Rob and Yuehong Dickinson