Pistoia, 1879

Road Locomotive
Private collection
Materials: wood (oak, poplar, acacia, elm), forged iron, copper, cast bronze, brass, leather, vegetable hair, natural glues, beeswax, anti-woodworm substances

Steam as motive power was first used in France, but spread in Great Britain, initially in mines and then on road and railway trains. The budding railway network, however, did not connect all places, especially in hilly or mountainous areas. The road train, designed by Richard Trevithick (1771-1833) back in 1804 and soon abandoned mainly because of the difficulties in the uphill and downhill sections, reappeared towards the mid-19th century. This specimen was built in 1879 by Trinci, a prestigious coach factory of Pistoia. Purchased by the Milani family in 1914 for its estate in Montespertoli (near Florence), it was also used as a toy for children: one of these children was Lorenzo, who later became a parish priest in Barbiana, where he became a master of culture and life.