donkey engine

(redirected from Steam donkey)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.

donkey engine

[′dəŋ·kē ‚en·jən]
(mechanical engineering)
A small auxiliary engine which is usually portable or semiportable and powered by steam, compressed air, or other means, particularly one used to power a windlass to lift cargo on shipboard or to haul logs.
References in periodicals archive ?
Once a year, he demonstrates a working steam donkey for spectators.
JOHNSON GREW UP IN OREGON logging camps in the 1940s, an era when giant "steam donkeys" powered the winches that dragged huge felled timbers from the forest by steel cable.
"The old steam donkeys worked at only one speed, so when you set the choker on a tree, the donkey didn't wait for you to get your hands free of the cinch," says Johnson, a member of NEA-Retired-Oregon.
He's also customized steam donkey miniatures and scratch-built ones.
Steam donkeys were used to drag logs from one donkey to the next until the logs could be dropped in a river or trucked out of the mountainous terrain.
One afternoon, deep in the forest near old Camp Sequoia, where steam donkeys once whistled and logging trains chugged up steep grades, I met high-tech forestry head-on.