Foden open steam wagon, 1912-1914.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Model (scale 1:6). Steam wagons or lorries for carrying freight were very succesful, primarily due to their low running costs, which enabled them to survive the arrival of petrol driven lorries in the early 20th century. However, this changed in Britain in the 1920s, when the introduction of a new regime of road taxes based on the unladen weight of a vehicle put steam wagons at a serious disadvantage compared to the lighter petrol lorries. E Foden & Sons built their first steam wagon in Sandbach, Cheshire in 1899, and became the foremost manufacturers of the vehicles. This example is a short chasis open-backed tipper wagon.