In the Winter 1998-89 issue of Astrolabe, Donald Keith’s article entitled “The Mystery of Maravedi Cove” contained a photograph of the traction engine on West Caicos. The caption for this photograph asked “Was this equipment shipped from the USA during the short-lived salt production in 1859 or for the Sisal plantation?” During 2000 John Saunders, a keen amateur traction engine enthusiast visited West Caicos just to view the engine. He returned in April 2001 and presented the Museum with a replica engine plate as well as copies of the relevant material for this steam engine supplied by Dave Roberts, Chairman of the Charles Burrell Museum in Thetford.
It turns out that it was manufactured in Thetford, Norfolk England by Burrell and Sons Ltd. The documents record that it was completed on November 16th 1904 and was produced for Pita Ltd, London (another name for Sisal was Pita). It was to be shipped to India, but this had been amended to West India, but we can assume that this should have been the West Indies. One can only imagine the effort to move this engine, which weighed some where in the region of 12 tons, across the Atlantic.