Steam Irrigation “About twenty years ago Ibrahim Pasha of Egypt erected a steam engine of 100 horse power to take the place of 500 wheels which supplied water from the Nile to market gardens in the neighborhood of Boulac. When the natives saw the machinery put together, and were told its object, they pronounced the governor mad. But when they saw the huge machine belching out columns of water, they at once said the Franks [Westerners] had brought a devil, to empty the Nile. Such is the fertilizing power of the Nile water, that when the Cornish engine just mentioned was erected, 700 or 800 acres of land were brought under cultivation in the immediate vicinity of Cairo. These are now covered with market gardens and sugar fields.”
This article was originally published with the title 50, 100 & 150 Years Ago.