Historic rollers in Germany

Posted by Chris Graham on 10th July 2021

The archivist to the DampfwalzenClub Schweiz, DWCS, Ernst Huwyler, spotlights more of the historic rollers in Germany.

Historic rollers in Germany

Historic rollers in Germany: The 1928 Maffei & Jacob roller at Müllheim Wigoltingen. (Pic: Urias von Mayenburg)

A Maffei & Jacob steam roller, No.9374, dating from 1928, has been owned by the firm of Franz Vago at Müllheim Wigoltingen since 1933, in whose fleet it was numbered 38. When this engine’s working days were over, it was externally restored and plinthed outside the firm’s offices in the town.

In 1981, as a result of a company takeover, the firm’s name changed to Vago Müllheim-Wigoltingen, Zweigniederlassung KIBAG and later, on January 1st, 2011, the name changed again to KIBAG Baulietung AG, Müllheim-Wigoltingen. As a result of these changes, the roller has been repainted in the blue livery you see here, and remains on display at the same location.

Historic rollers in Germany

The Aveling roller No.12473 pauses during a spell of work at Nyon in 1963. (Pic: H Bircher)

Another roller which is under restoration is the Aveling & Porter Class R single-cylinder motor roller, No.12473. This was imported via Brun & Cie of Nebikon-Lausanne in 1929, and initially worked for the Public Works Department in the Canton of Vaud. It’s now in the ownership of Charles Gasser SA of Vouvry, and restoration work is being undertaken by Sergio Bonomo of Sempach.

The frame of the same roller at Vouvry. (Pic: Sergio Bonomo/G Andeveiu)

Another similar Aveling & Porter motor roller, the specific identity of which is not known, belongs to A Käppeli’s Söhne AG, and came to Switzerland in 1931 through the same importer. It was No.35 in the firm’s fleet at one time and, in 1969, the original Blackstone horizontal-engine was replaced by a German-manufactured Güldner-type GW 36 engine. This roller is now located at Walenstadt.

Unfortunately, the specific identity of this Aveling & Porter motor roller – fitted with a replacement German engine – isn’t currently known. (Pic: Ernst Huwyler)

Should any readers know the location of the stamped-in original Aveling works number on such a machine, please get in touch with Derek Rayner (via email to:, to help our Swiss friends with the roller’s identification.

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