Weekly Photo Challenge : Unusual

I have to admit, this challenge is the one of the toughest challenge for the last 3 months. And I have to admit that I haven’t enough time to think about any idea that fits with the “unusual” theme.  And I have to admit, that I should go to the far east in the pacific, a place with coordinate 02°32′59″S 133°25′00″E.  A place named “Babo”.

It’s not a matter of long hours trip from Jakarta to Babo. There was something still left in my head since the first time I came here (Babo).   A mistery of the Babo airfield and the old steam roller. What an unusual combination. The wrecked steam roller had successfully attracted me for the first sight when the first time I landed here.

That time,  I spontaneously made a conclusion that the roller should have been made in Japan, since the Babo airfield was utilized by Japanese troop during pacific war to cover the south flank of its defense. But I was totally wrong.

The Babo airfield was built by the Dutch in the late 1920s or 1930s. It was the final stop for KLM airlines in Dutch New Guinea. After the Pacific War with Japan broke out in December 1941, a Royal Australian Air Force engineering party with the assistance of the Dutch upgraded the airstrip for military use.

The word “Dutch” has guided me to something “Made in Europe”. I’ve been searching the history track record for steam roller industry in the beginning 1900’s and I hope I found the “Dutch” manufacturer who had built the steam roller. But again….my assumption was totally different with the fact that these steam roller was made in USA. It is pretty Unusual,…. as for me Australia is more “Europe” than “America” and the taste of the “Steam Roller” should be “European Taste”… I guess LOL. I don’t know what happened here 85 years ago..

Below are the real things of the steam roller at its prime. Compare to the picture above, now the roof has already dissapeared.

source : http://www.newsm.org/steam-engines/buffalo-springfield.html


I’m still here

in the far east

I wrote this short story before I took the picture of the steam roller

Pretty unusual for me

And finally I have to submit this entry in the last minute

what an unusual blogging habit for the weekly photo challenge




it’s 00.15 Tokyo time

19 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge : Unusual

  1. I like your unusual offering at the top. Pretty cool effects.

    The old steam roller reminds me of the some of the old stuff I saw at an antique tractor show back in the late 1990s. First steam roller of that age, though. Nice.

    • Thank you Cris, I really appreciate that.I’m a bit late for this week challenge, because I ave to travel out of the Island. I even don’t have chance to see through all the participant’s result. I believe your theme even better than me. Thank you for stopping by

      • Thanks yourself. Sometimes it can take a pretty good chunk of time out of one’s life to really get into checking out other people’s entry, that’s for sure.

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  4. What you have is a circa 1920 Kelly Springfield (forerunner of the Buffalo-Springfield/Bomag Co) ten ton steamroller. this roller was sold for export to the Dutch Indonesian firm of Lindeteves-Stokvis, who had offices in New York City, Amsterdam, and Jakarta. If your library has a copy of my book; Classic American Steamrollers, this machine can be seen on page 86 of that publication…

  5. Hello Hendra!
    Regarding this book, Classic American Steamrollers, which I co-authored with Professor Robert Rhode, it happens to be the most comprehensive study of American built steamrollers. Our book was published in 2001 and has an ISBN number of; ISBN 1-58388-038-0. The steamroller that you found probably dates from around WWI, when British manufacturers found it was almost impossible to ship construction equipment abroad due to the wartime situation in Europe. As a result many countries chose to purchase heavy equipment from American manufacturers during this time period. I might mention that the Japanese firm of ‘Mitsui’ purchased a large order of ‘Buffalo-Springfield’ rollers at about the same time– many of which ended up building airstrips in parts of the Japanese empire during WWII. Lastly, I should mention that there is one other ‘Springfield’ built steamroller (a 5 ton tandem wheeled type) known to still be in operation on a plantation in Indonesia. If I remember correctly that machine has a serial number which indicates that it was built ca. 1917.

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