BRADLEY – Visitors will have a rare opportunity to see working steam and gas Lombards in operation at Heavy Metal, on July 29 at the Maine Forest and Logging Museum.

Thanks to brothers Ray and Paul Breton, one of their gas Lombards is now at the museum for the event. This is the first time since 2000 there is a chance to see both types of machines running. In 2000, the Crooker family’s steam Lombard ran, which is on display at the museum now. The working steam machine this year is the museum’s own fully-restored Lombard.

Lombard loghaulers were truly a technical development that revolutionized life in the Maine woods, allowing massive expansion of logging operations and changing the entire industry. Invented in Waterville in 1900, the last steam Lombard was built in 1917. By 1910, gasoline-powered machines were being made. When you see the ease of operating the gas Lombard, you can understand how rapidly technology developed to replace the hours of getting up steam and the intricacies of operating a steam locomotive in the woods. Like the steam machines, the gas Lombard used skis on the front and Alvin Lombard’s patented lag treads on the back. They were able to be smaller without the large boiler and that quickly led to the development of many different vehicles, including tanks during WWI, Cletracs and snowmobiles.

The event includes other machinery from the era as well–rotary sawmill, shingle mill, belt-driven metal working machinery (the Grady shop from Belfast), and various vehicles and saws.

Blacksmithing was an important part of woods work–try your hand at working hot metal at one of the forges we will have set up. We have a number of experienced smiths who will share some in demonstrations and guide you as you try your own hand with a hammer.

Beanhole beans are a traditional part of the event as well!

The museum is located on the Government Rd., Bradley, off Rte. 178. The event runs from 10-4, Sat. July 29th. Admission $10 for adults, $5 for children, members half price.

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