Steam has been powering industry for hundreds of years. It was also used to move people from a to b, develop the United Sates, and gain access to resources that spurred the industrial revolution.
Did you know portable boilers have been around since the 1800’s? They originally gained popularity with the invention of the high pressure steam engine by Richard Trevithick. With the industrial revolution gaining steam, pun completely intended, the high pressure steam engine became a necessary piece of the puzzle to success.
In February 1804 the world's first locomotive-hauled railway journey took place as Trevithick's steam locomotive hauled a train along the tramway of the Penydarren Ironworks, in Merthyr Tydfil, Wales. His technology would be pivotal to the success of the United States and their development of the western regions.
In the 1860’s farmers began using portable steam boilers to run their threshing operations. The original portable boilers were run off of coal or wood. Some farmers figured out how to use the straw by product from the threshing operation to fire their boilers. One might call them the first biomass fired boilers.
Also, in the 1860’s the oil industry's need for steam power was growing. It wasn't based solely on drilling or pumping oil wells, but also for refineries and even for river vessels that transported oil. By 1863 a company called Wood, Taber and Morse manufactured and sold portable steam engines from 3 to 20 HP for $350 to $1500, most of which went to facilitate the steam needs of the oil boom.
In the early 1900’s, steam powered automobiles were a major contender to gas powered automobiles. Of the 4,192 vehicles accounted for being produced in the United States in the 1900 Census, just 936 of them ran on gasoline, 1,575 were electric, and 1,681 ran on steam. There were a few drawbacks to steam powered cars, one being that it was estimated that a steam engine would use 4.5 liters of water per mile; for long distances, one would need inconveniently large tanks. Another drawback was that it took 10 to 15 minutes for the car to “warm up.”
In 1933 the first steam powered flight was achieved by George D. Besler and William J. Besler's flying over Oakland California. It was powered by a two-cylinder, 150 hp (110 kW) double-expansion V-twin reciprocating engine and was said to be so quiet that people on the ground could hear them calling to them from the air.
All throughout history, steam has been used in a portable manner. In today’s day and age, portable steam can be generated by trailer-mounted industrial steam boilers. WARE is a leading provider of portable steam solutions that can be deployed at any time to meet needs for emergency steam production. For more information about WARE's portable rental fleet, call us today! (502) 968-2211.