Steam-powered vehicles of the Ancients

Image above: Steam traction vehicle, photo from 1910. 

I’ve shortened this article by several pages but it’s still long. So grab a cup of tea or coffee, sit back and enjoy.

When was the car invented?

When was the car invented? They say it all started at the turn of the century, between the 1880s and 1900. The final days of the industrial revolution started it all. Before that, we were primitive have-nots.

By the time you finish this article you will no longer believe the car was invented in 1886. You will know for sure that we were riding cars in the early 1800s, the 1700s, maybe earlier.

Steam carriages were around long before gasoline cars. 



When were steam engines invented?

Encyclopedia Brittanica has this to say about steam power:

Steam power, the use of water in gaseous form to power mechanical devices. Steam power was first popularized in the 18th century and reached its peak importance in the late 19th century, when it became the main source of power for transportation. Steam power constitutes one of the safest forms of energy production, as it has low environmental cost compared with methods involving fossil fuels. Though steam power is no longer the main source of energy for transportation, it plays an important role in generating electricity.

In school I learned that steam power was invented in the 18th Century. Here it’s “steam power was first popularized in the 18th Century”, leaving wiggle room for prior use of steam power.

They also say it’s the safest and most low-cost. Then why is it no longer used? They say because it’s not technically feasible. The steam-powered car (see image above) was around much longer than the gasoline car but disappeared after the 1920s.


If the above is true,  I suspect petroleum magnates (*cough* Rockefeller *cough*) could have played a role in the disappearance of steam engines.

Encyclopedia Britannica tells us:

This first steam engine ever documented was the aeolipile, invented by Greek geometer and engineer Heron of Alexandria in the 1st century CE. In 1698 British engineer Thomas Savery invented the atmospheric pressure engine, revolutionizing the efficiency of steam power. The Newcomen steam engine, invented in 1712 by British engineer Thomas Newcomen, improved upon Savery’s design.

Steam power used in the first century? The year 100? Really?

And then nothing was heard of steam power for for more than 1500 years until Thomas Savery “revolutionized” the efficiency of steam power in 1698?

As you’ve guessed, I don’t believe it. I think steam engines were with us all along. Maybe there were times we lost the tech – after cataclysmic upheavals, but humans are resilient and keep regaining lost knowledge. Despite endless book burnings, we have still preserved hundreds of stories of ancient steam powered devices.


One sample:

The Steam-Powered Pigeon of Archytas – The Flying Machine of Antiquity

Archytas was an ancient Greek philosopher, who was born in 428 BC in Tarentum, Magna Graecia, now southern Italy.
In addition to being a philosopher, Archytas was also a mathematician, astronomer, statesman, and a strategist, best remembered for inventing what is believed to be the first-ever self-propelled flying device known as the Flying Pigeon.

Archytas’ steam-powered flying pigeon was a highly advanced invention for his time. It was called the flying pigeon because its structure resembled a bird in flight. …

The lightweight body of the flying pigeon was hollow and cylindrical in shape.

The shape of the structure was very aerodynamic, for maximum flying distance and speed.

Meanwhile, the rear of the flying pigeon had an opening that led to the internal bladder. This opening was connected to a heated, airtight boiler. As the boiler created more and more steam, the pressure of the steam eventually exceeded the mechanical resistance of the connection, and the flying pigeon took flight. 


For comparison: The 1842 steam-powered airplane by Henson and Stringfellow. See my article Flights and Airships of the last 400 years for more on those.

Another sample:

An excerpt from the book “The Genius of China” by Robert Temple shows that steam engines were used much earlier than commonly assumed.

Enclopedia Britannica omits these two and hundreds of others of examples. Why? Is Britannica not the “gold standard of knowledge” in the world?

No it isn’t. All these maintream publications suffer from the same delusion: That our ancestors were “primitive” and we’ve “evolved” and “progressed” to our current state.

The Britannica entry says the steam engine was “revolutionized” in 1698 – so it must have existed before that. But then, they claim, it took another 150 years for it to become “popularized”.

The text in Britannica also reads:

Throughout the 1760s, inventors and engineers fiercely competed to design even more efficient, reliable, and cost-efficient engines.

The entry about Thomas Savery says:

Thomas Savery (born c. 1650, Shilstone, Devonshire, Eng.—died 1715, London) English engineer and inventor who built the first steam engine.

The entry on Thomas Newcomen says:

Thomas Newcomen, (baptized February 28, 1664, Dartmouth, Devon, England—died August 5, 1729, London), British engineer and inventor of the atmospheric steam engine, a precursor of James Watt’s engine.

Britannica is saying “the greeks invented the steam engine. Hold on, no, Thomas Savery invented it. Well, actually Thomas Newcomen invented it”.

When were stream trains invented?

Britannica says the very first steam vehicle to carry stuff was the Stockton train that started in 1825. The “first” means there were none before that. Unless you believe other Historians that say the first steam train to the U.S. arrived from Britain in 1753:


That’s a 72 year discrepancy.

And the steam train must have existed before that, because the already existing parts were ordered from Britain in 1748! So when did the first steam train operate? 1825? 1753 in the U.S.? Before 1748 in Britain? The Wikipedia page on steam locomotives adds to the confusion by listing 1784, 1794, 1802 and 1804 as times steam locomotives were built and tried.

When were steamboats invented?

The first steamboat was said to have floated in 1807 according to the Army Corps of Engineers.


But a text originating from 1851 by Louis Figuier, a well-respected naturalist and scientist of his time  says that the first steamboat was invented by a Denis Papin in 1705 – a hundred years earlier! The Wikipedia entry on Denis Papin asserts that

“The myth was refuted as early as 1880 by Ernst Gerland,  though still it finds credulous expression in some contemporary scholarly work”.

So…scholars still believe it, but Wikipedia says it’s false.

The Wikipedia entry on Steamboats says:

Early steamboat designs used Newcomen steam engines. 

Newcomen invented his engines in the early 1700s. Is that an admission that the boats existed back then?

The entry also says:

The era of the steamboat in the United States began in Philadelphia in 1787 when John Fitch (1743–1798) made the first successful trial of a 45-foot (14-meter) steamboat on the Delaware River on 22 August 1787, in the presence of members of the United States Constitutional Convention.

1787? Didn’t they say the first steamboat was presented in 1807?

Here’s Jonathan Hull’s steamboat, said to have been invented in 1736:

With this much confusion around the subject, you can be sure you’re dealing with fabricated History.

Steamcars and Highways of the late 1700s and early 1800s

The following images and texts are taken from a page on titled “Early 19th Century: Highway Steam Locomotives, Related Laws and Roads” posted by alt-history researcher Korben Dallas. I have omitted chunks of the article for the sake of brevity.

This is an 1862 “highway locomotive”.

Quoting from the page:

I was thinking along the lines of what kind of highways they could have in 1862. Sure enough we could call some horse carriage trail a highway, but I figured I’d look for things. It is important to understand that we are not talking about railroad trains here. We are talking about regular road transportation.

We are being spoonfed this “horse and oxen” narrative, where only the beginning of the 20th century was the turning point when people went from horses to machines.

One of the things which forced me to invest some time into this was The UK Locomotives on Highways Act of 1861 (+1). What kind of issues did they really have back then to be creating highway laws to regulate steam transportation. Sure 3 or 5 experimental machines could not prompt this.


In reality, we could probably push the date to approximately 1835, for this is what we can deduce out of this 1860 pub.

The 1834 Act stated:

  • “For every Carriage moved or propelled or set or kept in Motion by Steam or Machinery or any other Power or Agency than animal Power the toll to be 2/6 per Wheel for each wheel thereof” 

It looks like by 1860s there could have been a well developed network of highways throughout this world. What we can uncover is up to us, but here is something for starters.

1827 Goldsworthy Gurney Steam Carriage

They even depicted this steam car next to the destroyed London Colosseum


1833 Hancock’s Enterprise Steam Omnibus
1833 bus, how about that?

In 1829 Hancock built a small ten-seater bus called the Infant, with which in 1831 he began a regular service between Stratford and London. It was powered by an oscillating engine carried on an outrigger behind the back axle. The boiler was vertical and made up of a series of narrow parallel water chambers. A fire was situated beneath the boiler and the fire was fanned by bellows worked by the engine. There was a hopper to feed in the coke. 



Print showing the steam carriage designed and built by Dr Church of Birmingham in 1832/33. The carriage operated on a daily basis between Birmingham and London, at an average speed of 14 miles per hour. It had an unusual design, with three solid wheels, and could carry 44 passengers, 22 inside the carriage and 22 outside.

  • Steam powered coaches operated between various English towns between 1820 and 1840.
  • The increased popularity of the rapidly expanding railway network, as well as opposition from operators of horse-drawn coaches, who physically blocked roads and persuaded the government to impose crippling tolls, was largely responsible for driving the steam coach operators out of business however. 


The three-wheeled steam coach from Dr. William Church was used in regular passenger service between London and Brighton.

A View in Regent’s Park, 1831′, 1828. Steam-powered coaches, horses, tricycles, including one with body like a teapot, are speeding along or blowing up and causing traffic chaos in Regent’s Park, London. Aquatint after Henry Alken (1774-1851).

The article also points out that steampowered vehicles “introduced” in the late 1800s don’t nearly look as advanced as the one’s we see from the early 1800s. The writer asks “What happened to 50 years of progress?”. The so-called “Industrial Revolution” which is supposed to have reached its maximum at the turn to the 1900s appears to be a de-evolution when it comes to steam engines The same kind of decline as we’ve seen in architecture over the centuries.

The article asks whether the images on the works of 1800s sci-fi author Franke Reade really are “science fiction”.

If you’ve read my research on ancient atmospheric energy and airships you’re also familiar with this kind of 1700s “flying ship”, also featured on a Frank Reade book:


Lying by Omission

What’s going on here?

My guess is that history-fakers forgot to remove some stuff. The Britannica and Wikipedia page on steam engines make no mention of steam cars. It doesn’t fit the officially sanctioned narrative.

The Wikipedia page “History of the steam engine” for example, doesn’t even mention steam carriages. Why would they omit the most fascinating of steam vehicles?

Cars were supposed to have been invented in the late 1800s. The “first car” I learned in school, was by a guy named Benz, in 1886.  But that’s no so. That was merely the first gasoline based car. Why Omit steam cars if we even had high-speed steam trains and steam-ships in the 1920s?

When confronted with these facts, they’ll almost reluctantly admit that “yeah, sure, there were a couple of steam cars in the 1830s. Sure. But certainly not any earlier”. But even that is a lie.

Steam Fire-Truck 1889

Steam Scooter

Steam Bicycle


When were steam cars REALLY invented? 

A follow-up post to the article above, shows that steam cars were already around in 1803:

Trevithick’s London Steam Carriage 1803 and Merthyr-Tydfil 1805

These statements are interesting –
• “In 1801, after James Watt’s earlier patent on “a carriage propelled by a steam engine” had expired, Richard Trevithick constructed an experimental steam-driven vehicle (Puffing Devil)”
– Trevithick waited until it EXPIRED in 1801.
– Patent 913: A method of lessening the consumption of steam in steam engines – the separate condenser. The specification was accepted on 5 January 1769; enrolled on 29 April 1769, and extended to June 1800 by an Act of Parliament in 1775.

I feel fortunate to have found an even earlier steam car from 1769:

It’s a steam wagon by Joseph Cugnot, said to have been used to haul artillery.

Am I the only one who is amazed that not all vehicles were carried by horses and oxen in the 1700s? How far back do these vehicles really go?

Can I find something even earlier?

Yes I can.

This is from an article on a man named Ferdinand Verbiest:

Father Ferdinand Verbiest (9 October 1623 – 28 January 1688) was a Flemish Jesuit missionary in China during the reign of the Qing dynasty.

Besides his work in astronomy, Verbiest also experimented with steam. Around 1672 he designed – as a toy for the Kangxi Emperor – a steam-propelled trolley.

With one filling of coal, he wrote that the vehicle was able to move more than one hour

How did this Jesuit know that steam could create a driving vehicle? This is the year 1672 – that’s 213 years before the first car was invented, according to mainstream indoctrination.




Mainstream historians cannot tell you when steam engines, steamboats, steam trains or steam cars were invented. Cars, ships and airplanes were around longer than we’re told.

Were they only used by the ruling elite, withheld from peasants? That’s one possibility. Another is that our entire idea of the world pre-1800s is fabricated or distorted.

While researching this article I learned that steam-powered cars can still be purchased and legally driven today. It’s always good to have alternatives to predominant systems.



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