Iron Strike in Africa

| June/July 1999

Parker Plant

#1: The so-called Parker Plant.

Cris Nystrom

Text and Photos by Cris Nystrom, 1764 South River Road Autryville, North Carolina 28318 Additional photos by Billy Cox, 5609 Birch Road Fayetteville, North Carolina 28304

Yea, verily, we go off to Mozambique, Africa, once again. Once again iron collectors find time in an exceptionally busy schedule to hunt for, photograph, and recover some old iron treasures. Our travels in Mozambique pretty much covered the country's length and breadth. A quick look on a world globe shows that Mozambique is about 200 miles wide by 1600 miles long. It is located just north of the Republic of South Africa (also visited, with no luck) on the African east coast bordering the Indian Ocean. Enough geography!

Billy managed to get to Tete, Mozambique, which is on the northwestern border with Zambia. He found numerous steam traction engines and other steam powered devices.

In the same area, Billy also found a 'Parker Plant,' photos 1 and 2. Once again it is unknown what it did. However it may have had a cylinder mechanism looking at the extended concrete pad toward the front of the machine.

Mechanics in Mozambique are among the most ingenious and creative, being able to repair anything with next to nothing. Billy's last find was the remains of a Ruston Diesel assembly manufactured in Lincoln, England. See photos 3 and 4.

On the way to the South African border zone, I found a dump filled with iron engines, tractors, and irrigation pumps. This area isĀ  infested with bandits and is generally referred to as 'No Man's Land.' Mozambique is building a modern multilane highway to replace this treacherous road, and it should be operational in the next year. Photos 5 through 8 show some of the treasures to be beheld. I suspect if one was Bill Gates wealthy, the whole lot would be an interesting haul.