This video looks at the four main types of steam wagon produced by Sentinel; the Standard, Super, DG and 'S'. Design and technical changes and advancements are explained and there is over 30 minutes of footage both out on the road and in showgrounds.
Alley & MacLellan was founded in 1875 and was based in Polmadie, Glasgow. This company continued in operation until the 1950s. Initially manufacturing valves and compressors for steam engines, and later whole steamships, Alley & MacLellan acquired Simpson and Bibby of Horsehay, manufacturer of steam powered road vehicles, in 1903. They began producing steam road vehicles in 1905 and in 1906 introduced a 5 ton vertical-boiler wagon, which featured a 2-cylinder undertype engine and chain drive.
Alley & MacLellan continued to operate in the original Sentinel Works in Jessie Street, Glasgow until the 1950s. They produced a wide range of engineering products including compressors, valves, etc. The 'Sentinel' name continued to be used for the products of the original Glasgow works until the mid 20th Century.
Move to Shrewsbury
LNER Sentinel-Cammell steam railcar
In 1920, after financial problems, the company was reorganised as Sentinel Waggon Works (1920) Ltd. The Sentinel 'Super' model that followed in 1923 was assembled in a radical new plant at Shrewsbury, with a flow line based on Henry Ford’s Model T factory at Highland Park, Michigan, with 1,550 vehicles produced.
Sentinel, along with Foden, dominated the steam market, but the 1930s saw the demise of both companies' ranges as new legislation forced the development of lighter lorries, Sentinel surviving the longest.
In 1934 Sentinel launched a new and advanced steamer – the S type which had a single-acting 4-cylinder underfloor engine with longitudinal crankshaft and an overhead worm-drive axle. Their Sentinel Waggon Works' design of 1935 led to the production of 3,750 Sentinel 'Standards' in the seventeen years that followed, the biggest selling steam lorry ever. It was lighter and featured a modernised driver's cab with a set-back boiler and was available in four, six and eight-wheel form, designated S4, S6 and S8. In spite of its sophisticated design, however, it could not compete with contemporary diesel trucks for all-round convenience and payload capacity, and was phased out in the late 1930s. It was not the end of Sentinel's involvement with steam, however; the company built about 100 "S" type vehicles for export to Argentina as late as 1950, for use by the Río Turbio coal mine. It has been stated that Sentinel were never paid for the last batch of the Río Turbio production run. At least two of the Río Turbio waggons survive in Argentina to this day.
Alley & MacLellan 5-ton waggon (1906) – now commonly referred to as the "Standard" Sentinel
Super Sentinel (1923)
Sentinel DG4 (1926)
Sentinel DG8 (1929)
Sentinel S4 (1930)
Sentinel DV44 (1947)
Sentinel DV66 (1952)
Sentinel aircraft tug
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