It is currently Tue May 21, 2019 3:32 pm

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 8 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Colonies and locomotive manufacturing
PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2019 11:33 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 9:34 pm
Posts: 2255
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
I wonder if anyone out there is knowledgeable about trade policy and industrial policy amongst the British colonies in the 20th century.

My question is: why did Britain have such a strong role in supplying locomotives to colonies such as Africa? Many other nations such as New Zealand and America developed their own locomotive manufacturers. Africa was a large market for locomotives, but it did not develop its own manufacturing capability. Everything was imported from Britain.

Why? Was there legal or trade policies that restricted the purchasing options?

_________________
Steven Harrod
Lektor
Danmarks Tekniske Universitet
Institut for Systemer, Produktion, og Ledelse


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Colonies and locomotive manufacturing
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2019 2:03 am 

Joined: Sun Apr 02, 2017 3:13 am
Posts: 44
Apart from South Africa, was there a steelworks on the continent when steam was king? A necessary (but insufficient) condition for building locos from scratch. You also needed designers and a lot of ancillary heavy industry.

SA certainly had a strong locomotive building base, but still imported locomotives. Australia was the same, locos were built here by State Governments when Labor governments wanted to create jobs for workers (who generally voted Labor), while Conservative governments usually imported locomotives because it was cheaper. As the governments cycled through Labor to Conservative and back again, any corporate knowledge base being built up was lost.

There was also very strong "British is Best" jingoism from the 19th century hanging over well into the 20th. A pity, since 20th century American conditions and locomotives would have suited our vast empty continent a lot better. We are only, finally, realising this.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Colonies and locomotive manufacturing
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2019 10:47 am 

Joined: Fri Apr 26, 2013 5:56 pm
Posts: 109
Location: Ontario, Canada.
From the Canadian perspective, much of the early investment and financing was from British capital. It was natural for British locomotives to come over first. There were also preferential tariffs which both encouraged and hindered imports, depending on the source.
For Canada, it became naturally cheaper to import U.S. built locos or to build them at home.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Colonies and locomotive manufacturing
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2019 11:14 pm 

Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2013 1:26 pm
Posts: 88
In the 20th century(?), Canada had a law or tariff that encouraged the manufacture of locomotives in Canada. American companies had affiliates in Canada. African countries didn't get their independence until the 60's(?). The colonial system was the exporting of raw materials to the mother country and the importing of finished products into the colony. America broke away from Britain and wanted to be economically independent and develop its own manufacturing. This was of course, just before the start of the industrial revolution. There is a quote from Abe Lincoln about the Transcontinental Railroad: "If we buy the rails from the British, we will have the rails and Britain will have the money. If we make the rails in America, will have the rails and the money." I've also heard the same quote with the subject being Union uniforms.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Colonies and locomotive manufacturing
PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2019 1:00 am 

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 9:34 pm
Posts: 2255
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Stationary Engineer wrote:
In the 20th century(?), Canada had a law or tariff that encouraged the manufacture of locomotives in Canada. American companies had affiliates in Canada. African countries didn't get their independence until the 60's(?). The colonial system was the exporting of raw materials to the mother country and the importing of finished products into the colony. America broke away from Britain and wanted to be economically independent and develop its own manufacturing. This was of course, just before the start of the industrial revolution. There is a quote from Abe Lincoln about the Transcontinental Railroad: "If we buy the rails from the British, we will have the rails and Britain will have the money. If we make the rails in America, will have the rails and the money." I've also heard the same quote with the subject being Union uniforms.


That Lincoln quote is interesting. Do you have the source?

_________________
Steven Harrod
Lektor
Danmarks Tekniske Universitet
Institut for Systemer, Produktion, og Ledelse


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Colonies and locomotive manufacturing
PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2019 4:14 pm 

Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2013 1:26 pm
Posts: 88
[url][/url]http://www.ministers-best-friend.com/Course-ECON-301--WEALTH-BUILDING-Basic-Principles-of-Abe-Lincoln.html

I read the quote many years ago. This is the URL I found on the internet. I tried to make it a active link.

Tom Hamilton


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Colonies and locomotive manufacturing
PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2019 10:03 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2010 2:06 am
Posts: 193
How's this?: http://www.ministers-best-friend.com/Co ... ncoln.html


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Colonies and locomotive manufacturing
PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2019 8:13 am 

Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2006 5:19 pm
Posts: 437
Location: Bowie, MD
A few years ago during a visit to the Australian Railway Historical Society Museum in Melbourne (Newport) I learned at least Victoria developed the ability to design and build their own locomotives. Indeed, the museum is on land that was allocated from the Newport Works where some of the locomotives in the museum were built. Interestingly, at least to me, was post WWII Victoria locomotive designs were heavily influenced by German locomotives encountered by the works' chief designer either during service or during a visit to learn about German technology.

All are small by American standards. They did use some American accessories. What was eye-popping, though, was the corkscrew device, that dropped down from the locomotive cab, they used to pick up the block key that was hung from a track side post, sort of how US mail was picked up here in the states, except the device was just about at neck level.

If you happen to find yourself traveling through Melbourne, after you've enjoyed the trolleys, and you are there during a weekend, you can take a train almost the entire way to the museum, with only a couple of blocks to walk. Once I expressed limited knowledge of American steam by asking questions about controls in one of the cabs, a volunteer provided a one-on-one detailed walk through just about every piece of equipment on the grounds.

Bob


Offline
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 8 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


 Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 32 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to: