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Steam Stationary Engines, Traction Engines Antique steam engines, their boilers, pumps, gauges, whistles and other related things that make them run.

Steam Stationary Engines, Traction Engines

Re: Steam Engine Identification???


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  #1  
Old 03-11-2002, 09:58:35 AM
Joe
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Default Re: Steam Engine Identification???

I have a similar engine which was apparently made for Sears Roebuck to sell. It's listed in their 1908 Catalog reprint.

Mine is 4" x 5", has no maker's nameplate, and was used in New Hampshire to drive a small woodworking mill. When I took it apart for cleaning and restoration, every little nook and cranny in the engine was filled with sawdust.

A similar but slightly larger 6" X 8" engine exists at the New England Museum of Wireless and Steam. They have a website and show particulars on the engine at http://users.ids.net/~newsm/steam-engines/sears.html.

Actually this engine was made for Sears by another midwestern firm. I was "surfing" auctions one day when I came across a "clone" engine that was being auctioned but this one had the actual maker's "nameplate" on it. This name escapes me now but if you'll get in touch with me by separate email, tomorrow I will look in my files and get this name and Ebay number. (You probably can't look it up now at the Ebay site but you might want a xerox of the Ebay auction and I think I can still provide this.)

Hope this helps. I can't tell you the number of times I have shown this engine at a show and some old timer will come up and ask who made the engine because they have one "just like it" and they don't know who made it.

Best regards, Joe "Yankee Mechanic"


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  #2  
Old 03-11-2002, 12:39:09 PM
Allen at CHT
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Default Re: Steam Engine Identification???

Yeah, but very often, when you get talking to them you'll find that "just like it" simply means theirs also has a cylinder, a crank, and a flywheel....
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  #3  
Old 03-11-2002, 07:43:03 PM
Ron Weber
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Default Re: Steam Engine Identification???

I have a 4 x 5 also. The unit was made for sears and sold under the name of kenwood. Mine has been in "hobby service" since 1955 and is still a good runner. I just recently went over her, and made new rings for it. Sears began selling these engines in 1895, their first year in the catalog business. The unit was made by the C H Dutton corparation of Kalamazoo, MI. I have been told that orr and semblower also sold this style, having some kind of agreement with C H Dutton. My engine came from wisconson where it ran overhead belting for a cheese processing plant (butter churns and cream separators I amagine). After WWII it was replaced by a single electric motor and scrapped. A gentleman from this area rescued the engine/boiler from the scrap heap and brought it to Michigan where the first MI registration was in 1955. The engine was sold (1969) to another local man who showed the engine at every chance, mainly at GReenfield village, Dearborn MI. Being my freind and mentor, he sold it to me before he passed away a few years back.If you email me I would be happy to send pictures. Ron Weber
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  #4  
Old 03-12-2002, 09:10:38 AM
Joe
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Default Curious that you should give...

...these details, some of which I knew (i.e. "Kenwood") and some of which I didn't (Dutton and O&S connection)

According to my Ebay auction reference (Item 79294152 ended 3/23/99) the engine was originally made by "Burnap & Burnap" of Toledo, Ohio. The unit auctioned off was 58 inches tall and flywheel 23-1/2 inches diameter. Otherwise, details of the engine castings, eccentric straps, disk type crank, are identical to my 4"x5" engine. As I remember it the auctioned unit sold for about $580. It was sold by lynforde@eznet.net which may still be an active address.

The Ebay pix which I have shows the maker's plate perhaps 6 inches by 10 inches which is bolted to the curved side of the "column" in an area just above where the crosshead oiler is screwed into the column side. The plate is "cast" and "curved" to fit the curve of the column. (not an "add-on" by a retailer)

Curious in the Ebay pix. Like my 4x5, the base plate of the Ebay engine has been "broken" where it was originally attached to a boiler fire-ring/base casting. Must have been a common modification after the original boiler wore out.

There is a possibility that we both may be right in these "attributions." The field of "engine building" was such an entreprenaurial activity in the mid to late 19th century (they were the "computers" of their day) that a lot of builders came and went in a short period and frequently an independent builder would construct a marketable engine from reject foundry parts simply to make something "saleable" and turn a profit.

The O&S engines I suspect were a little bit "later" convention. They were pretty "standardized" compared to the (I think) earlier "Sears" engine and probably even made to higher construction standards. I own a 4" x 4" O&S vertical and those O&S's that I've seen are near "carbon copies" of mine, even when a different size.

Still, the O&S "connection" may indeed be "fact" and it makes sense considering that all the engine builders seemed somehow to "know" each other.

Send me a separate Email and I'll send you a xerox of the Ebay posting. I'd also love to see your pix of the 4x5.

Best regards, Joe "Yankee Mechanic"
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  #5  
Old 03-13-2002, 02:59:18 PM
Joe Prindle
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Default Re: Curious that you should give...

Very interesting. I, too, have a small vertical that looks virtually identical to the one in the Sears catalog, and like the one on the New England Steam and Wireless Museum's website. I looked at mine just briefly this morning, to measure the piston rod as I need to order the material to make a new one. I hope to get going on it and restore it in the next year or two. It was once in a Creamery in Wisconsin Dells, WI. It has been kicking around from one collector to another for many years, I owned it previously and gave it to a friend near Dallas, TX. He never did anything with it and gave it back to me a few years ago, so it has had a lot of miles on it, going from WI to TX and then back! I am wondering if someone can give me an idea what the paint scheme should be on it and if there should be any pinstripes. I won't be painting for a while but it is nice to know enough to think about it before doing it. Thanks, Joe Prindle
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  #6  
Old 03-13-2002, 03:28:54 PM
Joe
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Default Re: Curious that you should give...

Joe, besides a Barnes Lathe and this Sears Roebuck steam engine, what else do you have out there that I have the duplicate here in New Hampshire? We're two people of similar interests, methinks.

Anyway, my steam engine was painted a very DARK grey color when I got it. Very somber. Color went right to the "core" with no evidence of a primer or undercoat and included the machined "heads" and non machined moving parts. In restoration I started removing most of the paint when I discovered that the paint also served as "filler" for some rather severe "discontinuities" in the underlying cast iron (See my note above on foundry rejects.) I gave that up as "don't want to know" and refilled with auto body compound and repainted. No evidence of pinstriping or other 19th century decorations.

Instead of dark I've since repainted it to be a light grey color with black trimming around the "relief" at the edge of the openings on either side of the column. The steam cylinder itself is Rustoleum "Forest Green" which is a very "19th century" green.

Interesting though that the larger flywheel is straight spokes (as is the Sears Roebuck Catalog cut) but the smaller "belt pulley" is curved spoke and a bit wider.

I have a Gardener Governor to go on the engine now but there was no governor when I first found it. Steam inlet is 1" pipe but it seems like someone may have "enlarged" the steam inlet. I bushed down to 3/4" on the details of the Sears Catalog.

Mine is 4 x 5. What size is yours?

Best regards, Joe "Yankee Mechanic"
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  #7  
Old 03-26-2002, 11:39:46 PM
Joe Prindle
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Default Re: Curious that you should give...

You are a man of good taste. I also have that 22" by 102" Draper Lathe, built in Wooooster by Lathe, Morse and Co., and you were kind enough to tell me a bit about it and tell me to get a copy of English and American Tool Builders, which I did. I also like Haslouck's Metalworking and Fred Colvin's autobiography lays on my nightstand. Like yourself, I am involved in turning BTU's into KW's, working as a steam turbine and switchboard operator in a papermill, running turbines built in the 1920's. Not many guys get paid to fill greasecups and sight feed oilers! I was always a gas engine nut, and that actually helped me get my job, which has weird hours but great wages. My boss told me after I got the job that they needed someone who liked to play with "persnickety and rickety" equipment. Like yourself, I am a home shop machinist, what I lack in ability, I make up for in enthusiasm. I got bit bad by the steam bug a few years ago, largely due to my activities with the club I belong to and my interest in permanent engine displays. Our resident steam guru was sort of all by himself, not much support and I and another real good friend got interested in helping him to expand the stationary steam side of the show. I have learned a lot through that effort and made some really good friends in the process, better friends than I knew were possible. I don't get too excited about traction engines as you are pretty much tied to them at a show, but the stationary stuff really gets my heart racing, especially the Corliss engines, with all their monkey motion and the wonderful syncopated rhythyms, and the Skinner Unaflows, streamlined and efficient, the last great "hurrah" for reciprocating steam. We have had two Skinners slip through our fingers and are pretty sure we have also lost the third one. Going after stationary steam requires a lot more patience than I needed for gas engines, but if it was easy everyone would be doing it. As far as my little vertical goes, the bore is around 3 or 3 1/2 inches and the inlet is 1/2"npt, the exhaust is 3/4"npt. I haven't had time to do much with it, other than tear it apart and scatter the pieces around the "estate", which serves as a great theft deterrent, donchaknow! I plan on taking lots of pics once I start in on it and doing a little webpage, showing how I make the new piston rod, pour the mains, the whole works. Maybe write an article for GEM or something. I have been reading it for years, "taking" what knowledge others have to give, it is time to start giving back. I only hope what I have to give is worth receiving. later, Joe
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  #8  
Old 04-02-2002, 12:14:38 AM
Forrest Henderson
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Default I have old Steam Engine like yours

I have a old Jousha Hendy steam engine 1 cyl up right stationary. I think its a 7 hp because its stamped on the head. Also I think it might be made around 1879 or later.

I also have an old metal lathe possibly as old as 1865. Give me a e mail back if you are interested is seeing it. I have pictures and can e mail them. I am looking for some one that might know the value of them.
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