The International Steam Pages


Steamy Java Sugar Mill Tour 2010, Dust, Steam and Smoke

This series of pages from July and August 2010 records our travels from China to Malaysia and on to Java, Indonesia where we were hosting the 'Steamy Java Tour 2010'. Click here for the main Winds of Change index page.


After lunch in Probolinggo, it was time to visit Pajarakan, the last mill of a busy day. The lasting impression of Pajarakan is of a mill which surpasses all others we have been to for dust, steam and smoke. This panoramic view definitely flatters it, in general I found it impossible to get any kind of result using flash and my pictures are thus universally of a poor quality. It is a mill which ideally needs to be recorded again when it is not operating.

Although Pajarakan has a unigrator, it has no less than six mill engines. The first of these is a particularly strange beast - ISSES opinion is that it is a Stork from the early 1900s. It has triple eccentrics and what appears to be some kind of hydraulic system to adjust 'cut off'. Any further information would be appreciated.

What is more, it powers what I believe is the only twin roll mill in Java. It is not impossible that this was once the crusher engine (a traditional crusher here has two rolls and a supplementary pre-roll). Underneath someone has a less than wonderful job trying to stop things getting jammed up:

The next two engines are similar to one we had seen earlier in the day at Gending, these two are mirror images of each other. Again ISSES opinion is that these are 1900s Storks, with triple eccentrics:

The fifth and sixth engines certainly are Storks, the fifth built in 1913 just before drop valves became standard practice and the sixth a drop valve engine. They are both in a dark part of the mill which draws a lot of smoke from the nearby boilers.

Next to the boilers are two quite modern duplex pumps from Wegelin and Hübner and, buried in the mill, is an almost unphotographable vacuum pump, presumably Stork.

I have to say it was quite a relief to leave the mill:

After which we had a gentle ride along the north coast and by some amazing coincidence we arrived at a small fishing village just 10 minutes before the sun went down. The mountain is Gunung Ringgit, more often seen on this site in pictures taken at Wringinanom and Olean:

Necessarily, much of the remaining journey to Situbondo was in the dark. The journey was enlivened by a truck in front with a decidedly un-Islamic message on the back, make of it what you can. There are  now just three nights (and two days left) in the area I know (and love) best on the whole island:


Rob and Yuehong Dickinson

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