Deb Alexanda tells 5RM about the All Steamed Up Festival.
To commemorate the 120th anniversary of the first car to be produced with a differential in the world at Mannum, an operational replica will be unveiled at the biennial All Steamed Up Event in Mannum on the 17th and 18th November 2018. The Shearer Steam Carriage produced by brothers David and John Shearer one of the first two steam cars to be produced in Australia created an international spotlight on the riverside township in 1898 around 10 years before Henry Ford produced his first automobile in America. If Shearers recognised what they had achieved in commercial terms and developed the vehicle further, manufacturing of vehicles in Australia may have been different. The Shearer Brothers were the founding fathers of Mannum and from humble blacksmiths, started the Shearer manufacturing company which still stands today in Mannum now known as Horwood Bagshaw Limited. The Shearer Steam Carriage was profiled in Adelaide in 1900 at the Adelaide Chamber of Manufacturers Exhibition with Shearer gaining permission to drive his new invention down the city streets. Regarded as Mannum’s ‘grand old man’ David Shearer was heralded as a genius for his time. The Shearer car was propelled by means of a steam engine with a farrow boiler which he designed himself and the Mail, Saturday, July 10th 1926 reported, “Mannum may well have been the Detroit of Australia. David Shearer certainly did much for Australia and Mannum with his farm implements but at a glance over his first ‘Automobile’ shows he was on the right track when he built the machine and could have become another Henry Ford if he had stuck to his task. Shearer was probably the first inventor to attempt to build a horseless carriage in Australia.” 120 years later, the talents of the Shearer Brothers have been reincarnated through the engineering and steam prowess of brothers Doug and Roger Baker, volunteers of the Mannum Dock Museum.