Steam tractors and wagons were a common sight around the docks in the early 19th century.
This Sentinel Super Steam Tractor was supplied, as part of a fleet, to Simmonds, Hunt & Montgomery in 1927. It incorporated a vertical boiler in the cab, with the steam engine under the floor, and could pull a variety of trailers.
After the Second World War the fleet was taken over by Criddle & Co., who manufactured sugar syrup, treacle and oil cake. The steam tractors ran for many years between Criddle’s works in Great Homer Street and the docks.
Following the demise of the horse and cart many Liverpool carters went on to drive steamers like this before progressing to petrol or diesel wagons.
The Sentinel Waggon Works Ltd, although based in Shrewsbury, had a local depot in Vauxhall Road, where the vehicles were maintained. By the 1930s the popularity of the diesel engine led to a decline in the use of steam wagons, and they were last used commercially in Liverpool in the 1960s.