Monday, 9 March 2015

The White Steamer

I quite like vintage cars. I also like vintage sewing machines.




So imagine my surprise when I found out that the White Steamer was made by the same company that made White Sewing Machines. How cool is that?

When Thomas White, the founder of the White Sewing Machine Company bought a steam car back in the 1890s, it inspired his son, Rollin White to develop a steam generator which was made up of stacked coils.  Water was pumped into the top of the coils with steam being produced in the bottom coils closest to the fire. Not only did his design allow water input to be regulated, it also allowed temperature control. He patented the design describing it as being a quicker, safer and more economical way to generate steam power.

Even with the improvements though, the engines still had to warm up enough to start producing steam. That’s probably why the combustion engine became more popular. It was a lot quicker to get going.

Eventually, when steam power could no longer compete, the White Motor Company switched to combustion engines for their cars. They also made trucks, buses and tractors.

I’m glad that their sewing machines went electric though. Not sure a petrol powered sewing machine would have been very healthy. And can you imagine having to sit about and wait for a steam machine to warm up before you could sew? It would be like watching a kettle!  

Bye for now


Olly