McCloud River Railroad
Fighting Caterpillars with Steam in 1914

In the summer of 1914 the woods east of McCloud became overrun with swarms of caterpillars that nearly brought railroad operations to a halt. The railroad's master mechanic came up with an attachment applied to at least the #11 that directed jets of steam from boiler onto the tracks ahead of the pilot, which cleared the insect bodies from the railhead and allowed the railroad to continue operations. Scientific American got wind of the activity and published a piece on it, which prompted The Timberman to conduct its own research, resulting in the following article published sometime in 1915.