|Successor||Associated British Oil Engine Company|
|Founder(s)||John and Henry McLaren|
|Headquarters||Hunslet, Leeds, United Kingdom|
|Products||steam engines, diesel engines|
J&H McLaren manufactured traction engines, stationary engines and later, diesel engines in Hunslet, Leeds, England. The company also built a Diesel-engined (road) tractor in the 1940.
The company was founded in 1876 by John and Henry McLaren. They had both been apprenticed to Black, Hawthorn & Co of Gateshead, builders of railway locomotive and marine engines. The new Midland Engine Works was situated on Jack Lane in Hunslet, Leeds within sight of many of the great engineering companies of Leeds, e.g. Hudswell Clarke, Hunslet Engine Co., Manning Wardle, John Fowler & Co. and Kitson & Co.
The company rapidly developed a range of traction engines, road rollers, ploughing engines, agricultural implements and stationary engines. One of their forgotten achievements is the invention (see British Patent 763 of 1880) of the traction-centre engine, for driving steam-powered fairground roundabouts. This is often wrongly attributed to Savage of King's Lynn.
In the 1890s McLarens developed a range of vertical triple-expansion engines for the new industry of electricity generation. The zenith of this effort was a pair of 3000 i.h.p. engines for Leeds Corporation’s Whitehall Road Power Station.
After the turn of the century, the company introduced a tractor for direct haulage and a range of powerful direct ploughing engines. The largest of these, rated 125 i.h.p, was fitted with superheater, feedwater heater and fully lagged cylinders. This provided a very efficient engine, which won many awards both at home and abroad. Other minor products were, showman engines, crane engines, portable engines, railway locomotives and Darby Diggers.
McLarens had a good overseas market with over 50% of goods exported. They had local offices in New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, and South America with smaller representation in Hungary, Germany and Italy. The last of the traction engines was exported to South Africa in 1938 and is preserved in Johannesburg.
Steam Engine Model Range
- Stationary engines (Portable Engines)
- Traction engines
- Ploughing engines
Preserved Steam Engines
- Several Machines are preserved overseas, due to popularity in export markets.
- The Last machine built was exported to South Africa, and is preserved in Johannesburg
- A Pair of Fowler ploughing engines were converted to diesel power by J&H McLaren for use on Dredging works. - (see Fowler list for details)
|Engine No.||Name||Build Date||Type||Weight||Power nhp||Reg No.||Owner||Image||Other info|
|-||1877||Traction engine||weight ?||power ?||-||Owner ?, New Zealand||To add||remains of Boiler, Firebox and cylinder only|
|Seana Mac||1879||TE||? ton||6 nhp||MI 2317||Tim and Rory Nagle in Kinsale, ROI||To add||Oldest known survivor.|
|Empress of India||1881||TE||?||?||KL 2126||Science Museum||to add||In storage at Wroughton. |
|McLaren no. 127||-||1882||TE||-||? nhp||HO 5618||S. Arrowsmith, Barton Under Needwood, Staffordshire||At Cromford Steam Rally 2008 (roads to most events)|
|Invincible||1883||Traction engine||weight ?||7 nhp||MI 2833||Neville Bros, Wexford ROI||
||Visited GDSF McLaren Special 2010|
|-||1891||GP Traction engine||weight ?||8 nhp||BP 6143||M. Evans, Tring Herts||To add||Visited the GDSF McLaren Special 2010|
|Himself||1892||GP Traction engine||weight ?||6 nhp||F 15/FI 5||J. Cavanagh, Oflay, ROI||To add||Visited GDSF McLaren Special 2010|
|Phoenix||1893||Traction engine||weight ?||6 nhp||NM 54||R. Wilcox, Gloucestershire||to add||At GDSF McLaren Special 2010|
|The Mac||1896||GP Traction engine||6.5 ton||6 nhp||BD 5448||J. Hodgeson, Gloucestershire||
||Visited GDSF McLaren Special 2010|
|Centura||1896||Agricultural Engine||weight ?||8 nhp||AH 5507||A. Hinman, Gloucestershire||to add||At GDSF McLaren Special 2010|
|Rambler||1898||Traction engine||8 ton||7 nhp||HD 1493||M. How, Wales||to add||At GDSF McLaren Special 2010|
|-||1899||Traction engine||weight ?||8 nhp||BE 7494||D. Bradley, Yorkshire||to add||At GDSF McLaren Special 2010|
|Jim||1900||Traction engine||weight ?||8 nhp||ZV 163||W. Glynn and family, Co. Carlow, ROI||to add||At GDSF McLaren Special 2010|
|-||1908||Steam roller||5 ton||6 nhp||WY 981||A. Smith and J. Wade, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire||
||Only McLaren Roller in the UK|
|Apollo||1904||Traction engine||10 ton||7 nhp||AI 3029||C. Brown, Swindon, England||to add||ad the GDSF McLaren Special 2010|
|-||1904||TE (rebuilt from incomplete engine)||? ton||? nhp||-||Engine is in South Africa.||
||Rebuilt in South Africa.|
|Loughrig||1904||GP TE||10 ton||8 nhp||WR 6494||I. Cragg, Stockton-on-Tees||To add||At GDSF McLaren Special 2010|
|-||1904||Traction engine||-||10 nhp||-||Owner ? Kent||
||Boiler and crank only repatriated from Argentina|
|Colossus||1904||Traction engine||? ton||10 nhp||BS 8544||John Atkinson, Cornwall ?||to add||At Powderham Castle Rally 2011|
|-||1906||Road Locomotive||weight ?||8 nhp||Reg no. ?||Owner ? Northern England||
|"Name"||year ?||type||weight ?||power ?||Reg no. ?||Earle Warwick, Rangiora, NZ (?)||
||Seen on Traction Talk|
|Micks Mac||1908||RL||weight ?||7 nhp||-||Mick Gains-Burrill, Teesside||to add||At GDSF 2010 & Old Warden - Ex New Zealand|
|"Name"||1909||type||weight ?||6 nhp||Reg no. ?||Owner G.C. Calder and Sons, New Zealand||
||Ex H.G. Feather, Rangiora, NZ|
|-||1909||GP TE||? ton||8 nhp||CT 4212||V. & C. Whitwell, of Leeds, West Yorkshire||to add||at Duncombe Park Steam Rally 2009|
|Margaret (Christine in TER)||1910||TE||8.5 ton||6 nhp||AO 6266||Owner ?||
|McLaren no. 1110||The Big Mac||1910||Road Locomotive||? ton||8 nhp||BF 5258||Pete & Dave Ingall, Lincolnshire||Restored in UK, Ex. H.G. Feather, Rangoria, NZ(from 1959-98)|
|The Favourite||1912||Traction engine||11 ton||8 nhp||HO 5570||M & J Hillary, Southampton||At Netley Marsh Steam Show 2011|
|King Harry||1912||Road Locomotive||18 ton||8 nhp||BF 4595||S & D Sanders, Cornwall||At GDSF 2008|
|"Name"||1911||Road Locomotive||weight ?||8 nhp||Reg no. ?||Owner ?||
||In TER 2012 location unknown|
|-||1911||DC TE||weight ?||8 nhp||Reg no. ?||G & J Winter, New Zealand||to add||At GDSF 2010 & Welland 2011|
|The Emerald||1911||TE Road Loco||? ton||8 nhp||-||Howth Castle National Museum of Transport ROI||
||(in OG list of engines in Museums)|
|"Name"||1911||TE DCC||weight ?||5 nhp||28 THR(NZ no.)||G.C. Calder and Sons, New Zealand||To add||Ex H.G. Feather, Rangiora, NZ (At GDSF)|
|Hanibal||1912||RL||weight||8 nhp||Reg no. ?||W Woodward, Congleton||To add||At GDSF McLaren Special 2010|
|Name ?||1911||RL||weight||8 nhp||BF 5927||R. Morris, Droitwich||To add||At GDSF McLaren Special 2010|
|Gigantic||1911||Road Locomotive||?||10 nhp||DS 7128||A. Warwick, Sandy Bedfordshire||Seen at Old Warden 2009|
|May Queen||1913||Tractor||5 ton||4 nhp||AL 8769||Owner ?, Essex||
||Misc info Listed in GDSF cat as under restoration|
|Captain Scott||1913||Road Loco||11 ton||8 nhp||BE 7518||J. Blagg, Nottinghamshire||at Sheffield Steam and Vintage Rally 2009|
|Dirty Girl||date built||type||weight ?||power ?||Reg no. ?||Owner ?||
||on steam scenes|
|?||1916||TE||?||8 nhp||-||Museum of Transport and Technology, Auckland, New Zealand||
|(T101)||Name ?||1917||Road Loco||weight||10 nhp||Reg no. ?||Owner ?, Northern England||
||TER list as at Preston Services, Kent.|
|(T106)||Name ?||1917||RL||weight||10 nhp||Reg no. ?||R & L Greenwood, Barton under Needwood, Staffs||To add (parts)||At GDSF McLaren Special 2010|
|Venie||1917||TE||8.5 ton||6 nhp||AL 3164||H. Rowntree, Cavan ROI||to add||At GDSF McLaren Special 2010|
|"Name"||date built||type||weight ?||power ?||Reg no. ?||Owner ? South Africa||
|Fred||1917||TE type DCC||? ton||5 nhp||IC 2089||Glynns of Carlow, ROI||To add (GDSF)||Repatriated from Patagonia to Ireland in 2004|
|(T12)||Name ?||1917||TE||weight||5 nhp||Reg no. ?||K. Bragg, Oakhampton Devon||to add||At GDSF McLaren Special 2010|
|Vulcan||1917||TE||weight||5 nhp||Reg no. ?||I, Langley, East Sussex||to add||At GDSF McLaren Special 2010|
|Cracker||1917||TE DCC||9 ton||5 nhp||BS 9066||John Wakeham, Cornwall ?||To add||At Padernham & Welland 2011|
|Avis||1918||Ploughing Engine||14 ton||12 nhp||HO 5832||Owner ?||At Bedfordshire Steam & Country Fayre 2013|
|Hero||1919||Ploughing Engine||22 Tons||16 nhp||BD 5504||C & R Daniel, Bodmin.||at ?|
|Goliath||~ 1920||SRL||weight||10 nhp||DH 2482||M. Dreelan, Aberdeen||To add||At GDSF McLaren Special 2010|
|-||1918||TE||weight||5 nhp||-||Owner, ROI||
||Salvaged parts used to restore other engines|
|Chatham ex.Marion||1918||TE||weight ?||5 nhp||BE 8739||W Woodward, Cheshire||to add||At GDSF 2010 & Pickering 2011|
|-||1919||Road Locomotive||weight ?||5 nhp||MA 5131||A Sparks, Bristol||To add||At GDSF McLaren Special 2010 & Seen on Steam Scenes web site|
|McLaren no. 1652||Boadicea||1919||Road Locomotive||14 ton||10 nhp||WF 1864||L & D Searle collection, West Sussex||Seen at Hillhead 2010 show|
|Pamir||1919||tractor||5 ton||4 nhp||U 2689||M. Gull, Chelmsford Essex||
||At GDSF McLaren Special 2010|
|The Banshee||1922||Showman's road locomotive||18 ton||8 nhp||NH 3998||D. Birch Ashford Kent||
||Seen on Steam Scenes web site|
|"Name"||1925||GP Engine||weight ?||power ?||Reg no. ?||Owner ?||
||Seen on Steam Scenes web site|
|"Name"||1925||GP engine||weight ?||power ?||Reg no. ?||Owner ?||
||Seen on Steam Scenes web site|
|-||1926||G.P||weight ?||8 nhp||4 HPMAC||John Kyle, New Zealand||
||At GDSF & Welland also seen on Steam Scenes in NZ|
|Pocket Rocket||1930||Tractor||weight ?||? nhp||Reg no. ?||Peter Butterick (in New Zealand)||
||Featured on Steam Scenes|
|Bluebell||1936||Steam Tractor||5 ton||4 nhp||AAM 801||R. Coulson, Cambridgeshire (family owned since 1959)||To Add||At Old Warden 2009.|
Youngest known survivor.
|McLaren Living Van||na||date built||Ploughing Contractors Living Van||-||na||-||'Tommo' Thompson||Misc info|
|"Name"||date built||type||weight ?||power ?||Reg no. ?||Owner ?||
|Machine types Key:||References|
|SW = Steam wagon, PLG = Ploughing Engine, RL = Road Locomotive, RR = Steam Roller, SM = Showman's engine, TE = Traction Engine, PE = Portable engine|
During the First World War, McLarens inevitably became involved in the war effort. The works were particularly noted for producing a collet chuck for holding shells during turning. For his efforts during the war, John McLaren was knighted, but unfortunately his reward was short lived, for he died in 1920.
After the First World War, McLarens built a cable-ploughing windlass, initially powered by a Dorman petrol engine but a diesel engine was sought. In 1926 the company entered into an agreement with the German Company Benz to manufacture diesel engines. These were the first automotive type diesel engines produced in volume in Britain, and as a result were in the forefront of the use of diesel engines for road, rail, and agricultural purposes. Examples include the first diesel powered railway locomotive, built by Hudswell Clarke in Leeds and powered by a McLaren built diesel. The first diesel powered commercial vehicles in Britain were made by Richard Garrett & Sons of Leiston in 1928, and Kerr Stuart of Stoke-on-Trent, again powered by McLaren-built diesels.
In addition, McLarens built Britain's first diesel powered road roller in 1927 using their own engine.
A complete range of diesel engines was designed up to around 400 hp (300 kW) and these were very widely used for industrial applications, one particularly successful use was in standby power sets.
In 1943, the business was sold by the family to the Associated British Oil Engine Company and this was initially very successful. A major contract with the USSR for diesel-generator sets resulted in the number of employees increasing tenfold and new buildings acquired. In December 1945, McLaren tool over the remains of Kitson & Co. and with it their Airedale Works. Unfortunately these glory years did not last. In 1957, the take over of the Brush A.B.O.E. Group by Hawker Siddeley saw the Leeds production facility fade away and the main works closed in January 1959.
McLaren Motor Ploughing Windlass was a stationary ploughing engine, consisting of a large petrol-paraffin engine of 40 hp mounted on a steel chassis, with 4 steel wheels for transport. A large winch drum was vertically mounted at the back, fitted with 400yds of cable. They were used in pairs sited at each side of the field, with a balance plough pulled between them across the field.
Diesel Engine Models
Diesel heavy haulage tractor
A one-off diesel-engined heavy haulage tractor was built in 1940 by McLaren's. The vehicle was hybrid of steam & 'modern technology with an unconventional lay out. A 'truck' type cab on a chassis with mid mounted McLaren Diesel Engine of 95 bhp driving solid Steam type rear wheels, and fitted with a ballast box.
References / sources
- A Source Book of Commercial Vehicle, by The Olyslarger Organisation, pub by Octopus Books, ISBN 978-0-7537-1728-0
- Classic Farm Tractors by Michael Williams
- Showman's Road Locomotives by the NTEC
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