Circa 1919 Lombard 10 ton Auto Tractor-Truck
(Serial No. unknown)
Built between 1919 and the close of 1921 this Lombard has the distinction of being the oldest surviving and running gas powered Lombard Log Hauler. Not much is known of its early history. In the late 1960’s it was recovered from a site near Glazier Lake in far northern Maine by John Connor’s of St. Francis and Tylor Kelly of Allagash.
John had also acquired the remains of a second Lombard that had been cut-up and the engine used to power a sawmill near Soldier Pond. John eventually sold both Lombards to Harry Crooker of Topsham and in August 1991 they were sold to Paul and Ray Breton of Vassalboro, Maine.
In 1992 Paul and Ray began the daunting restoration of the Glazier Lake Lombard using some parts from the cut-up machine. On July 22nd it was brought back to life after a 26 year slumber.
Thanks to the generosity of Paul and Ray this wonderful piece of “made in Maine” history will soon be on display at the Maine Forest & Logging Museum and demonstrated to our many visitors during winter living history events.
As an early example of a 10 ton Lombard tractor truck made by what was then known as the Lombard Traction Engine Company of Waterville, Maine, it features a brass radiator rather than the heavy cast iron frame and tank used on later machines as well as oil wells for lubricating the sprocket shafts and a unique shifting mechanism for the three speed transmission.
By far the most interesting feature is the massive Sterling Model ‘FT’ engine made by the Sterling Engine Company of Buffalo, New York. Developed in 1915 as a marine engine, in 1919 it was developed into the model FT for use in tractors. A T-head design it displaces 962 cubic inches and produces 145 h.p. @ 1,300 rpm. The Sterling engine in this Lombard tractor is the only known operating example.
In August 1991 Paul and Raymond Breton purchased the circa 1919 Lombard tractor from Harry Crooker. However, it would not be until 1992 Paul, Raymond and Jean Breton began the extensive restoration with the help and support from the following businesses and individuals:
Herbert Beaulieu, North Vassalboro, ME.
Webster Fox, Oakland, ME.
Richard Lemieux, Vassalboro, ME.
Harry J. Smith Co., Waterville, ME.
Though the chassis was complete, one daunting task was re-building the engine. Over the years the engine had been stripped of parts and the front of the crankcase heavily damaged. Fortunately, when John Connors owned the Lombard he had also acquired the remains of yet another Lombard tractor of the same model and vintage which had been cut-up and the engine used to power a sawmill near Soldier Pond. This engine was identical to the damaged engine. Though having suffered from decades of exposure to the elements it was mostly whole and subsequently carefully rebuilt by Paul and Ray and installed in the complete chassis. Today it is the oldest surviving and operating gasoline powered Lombard tractor.