| July/August 1980

A simple engine has a very valuable use for transportation in the island nation of Taiwan.

The engine powers a type of farm cart that is called the 'iron ox', and iron oxen are plentiful in rural areas and in the cities which serve as business centers for farming country.

We saw the iron oxen on a trip a few months ago, when my wife Margaret and I flew out to Taiwan. Our son Michael and his wife, Judy showed us around and acted as our interpreters. He is studying for an advanced graduate degree.

None of the iron oxen showed up in the heavy motorized traffic of Taipei, the bustling capitol of this amazing nation. It was only after we traveled away from Taipei that we saw these admirable vehicles.

The iron ox comes in many varieties. Some iron oxen look very homemade; others are more professional.

You steer the iron ox through handlebars and a single front wheel, which is usually rubber-tired. The driver sits mounted in front of the gas engine. The carrying space is behind him, a cart on two wheels.