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Antique Steel Wheel Tractors - Old Iron Lugs and Cleats Photos and information about antique steel wheeled farm tractors. This is where to find the heaviest of Old Iron tractors.

Antique Steel Wheel Tractors - Old Iron Lugs and Cleats

Linn at 150 years of logging show in Indian Lake, NY


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  #1  
Old 07-14-2008, 12:09:37 AM
Rene Elliott Rene Elliott is offline
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Default Linn at 150 years of logging show in Indian Lake, NY

A special event for the 150th anniversary, Logging Day will be Saturday, July 19, near Indian Lake (rt 30/28) in the Central Adirondacks. Ernest Portner of Rome plans to attend with his 1926 Linn logging tractor.
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Old 07-17-2008, 04:39:10 AM
Tony Thompson Tony Thompson is offline
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Default Re: Linn at 150 years of logging show in Indian Lake, NY


Nice looking logging tractor!
Not something we see at shows very often, thanks for picture.
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Old 07-19-2008, 09:24:12 PM
rustedacres rustedacres is offline
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Default Re: Linn at 150 years of logging show in Indian Lake, NY

I have many pictures of log trucks of yesteryear, Thanks for sharing this one
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Originally Posted by Rene Elliott View Post
A special event for the 150th anniversary, Logging Day will be Saturday, July 19, near Indian Lake (rt 30/28) in the Central Adirondacks. Ernest Portner of Rome plans to attend with his 1926 Linn logging tractor.
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Old 07-20-2008, 03:07:52 PM
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Default Re: Linn at 150 years of logging show in Indian Lake, NY

That LINN looks awfully close to the PHOENIX Centipede Truck. As far as I know, none of the PHOENIX Trucks no longer exist.
NICE truck, though...would LOVE to see it in action!!!
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Old 07-21-2008, 01:24:21 PM
tharper tharper is offline
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Default Re: Linn at 150 years of logging show in Indian Lake, NY

Phoenix's steam log haulers were originally licensed built versions of the Lombard patent of May, 1901. Look closely and the track system on the Centiped's is still very, very close to the original Lombard patent.

On May, 21, 1907 Lombard was granted a patent for a revised system using fixed rollers rather than the roller chain of the earlier design. Unfortunatly as Lombard testified during a patent infringment suit, the rollers kept breaking thier trunnions and were abandoned. He then went back to using roller chains but in a much more advanced configuration (no side plates and the rollers runnnig around a low "runner" with replaceable shoes and nosings) as found on all the surviving machines. Phoenix seems to have continued to use the earlier 1901 design for all thier machines. (side plates and roller chain guide).

On July 24, 1917 Lombard was granted a patent for use with his gasoline tractors which were produced through 1933. However these varied somewhat too. Some did have various forms of fixed rollers (8 ton tractors & the Full-Trac) while others used the roller chain but in what I call the "short" configuration. However, most used the configuration as shown in the patent.

Linn, who worked for Lombard for quite a few years, left the company and patented his own design which was granted on June, 25th, 1918.

Thus they all have a common thread.

Sure wish a "Centiped" had survived!

Best regards,

Terry
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Old 07-21-2008, 10:51:00 PM
darrin darrin is offline
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Default Re: Linn at 150 years of logging show in Indian Lake, NY

Terry, what type of engine and transmission did they run also did they have two drive axles or one?Ive never seen one before would love to see more pics if anyone has any .Thanks,Darrin
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Old 07-22-2008, 12:35:58 AM
Rene Elliott Rene Elliott is offline
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Default Re: Linn at 150 years of logging show in Indian Lake, NY

You work for someone they can patent your ideas, that is why Linn left Maine to find a place to build an improved machine. Yes, Phoenix built the machines under license to Lombard, Holt supposedly agreed to likewise pay royalties to Lombard but decided to fight it instead, as I understand it Holt bought the track steer clutch mechanism patent from Hornsby which for years Holt claimed as his own innovation in crawler design. But as Bill Lynch at the Leonards Mills Museum in Bradley, ME (just south of Linn's hometown of Milford), reminds me, Lombard was the first to setup, produce, distribute for sale, and service crawler tractors in a factory enviroment. And at one time his ace salesman, demonstrator and field mechanic was none other than H.H. Linn, up until one of the Lombard patents. After experimenting witrh gas and steam powered wheeled wagons, Linn was working on a six wheel drive when the motor home shown in the last photo was built using Lombard tracks in rear. The neccessity was something that Linn could use for himself, wife and crew as well as pulling all his dog and pony show equipment over New England highways, so he could play all the little towns without rail service that didn't get much in the way of travelling entertainment. That machine was too big, so Linn built one with a single track in rear, two wheels in front, which Lombard patented in 1913. Linn was granted 19 patents before his death in a plane crash here in 1937.
That said, I said don't know if any production records still exist for how many gas Lombards or for that matter how many gas Pheonix tractors were built. Linn was primarily a commercial or municipal operated vehicle, most of the tractors for highway construction or maintenance, only about 10% were meant to be loggers when originally sold, but a lot of them found off road uses when banned from highways on account of steel tracks. Total Linn production was about 2500 units between 1917 and 1952, or an average of two a week, parts sales and factory rebuilding service continued until 1960. Last I counted there seems to be more existing Pheonix steamers than Lombards, but the Leonards Mills Museum is working on one, getting a complete new boiler, and the Bretons of South Vassalboro, ME (owner of several gas Lombards including that one I'm sitting in for the profile pic) also are trying to assemble a steamer. Much to the distress of his family, Rick has lately began buying Linn tractors.
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Old 07-22-2008, 12:50:19 AM
Rene Elliott Rene Elliott is offline
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Default Re: Linn at 150 years of logging show in Indian Lake, NY

Linn briefly used Cotta, but after much trouble switched to Brown Lipe from Syracuse which was used in most of production. I think Lombard always used Cotta if not their own, that Breton Lombard I got to drive had sort of a vertical plunger type pedal that engages 3" wide straight cut gears and sounds like a real rock crusher. The steamers were basically operated like a railroad locomotive, the drive sprocket being the forward one, although a direct gear drive between both front and rear sporockets was tried. Linn felt that the rear sprocket was better driven as it pulled rather than pushed the track, he also went with spool type sporocket construction feeling that it helped the track stay better aligned. The reason he bragged about "full contour following traction" was instead of just the "rockerbeam" pivoted at center, the roller chain (again of spool type design) went over tear drop (horizontally placed) "runner blocks" that pivot off the rockerbeam, so as the track rolled over any terrain or object the Linn track was fully engaged with the surface. As it was not a track-steer machine, you had full power to both tracks all the time, it also allowed a patented "V" shape grouser on the track sections which prevented the machine from slipping sideways on a grade. The achilles heel being the track steer could turn in it's own length, a Linn or Lombard need a half acre, which is why for woods work Linn endorsed keeping horses on the side roads toting out to the main haul roads where trains up to 20 or more sleds were assembled. Linn used a 3 to 1 gear reduction off the Brown Lipe differentials in most of production, yes, 12 to 18 mph was pushing it for steel tracks, most crawlers do about 8 mph, but my 1930 FWD truck says it's "working speed" is a max of 18 mph even if highway speed was 35. Lombard used a worm gear differential in their gas haulers.
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Old 07-22-2008, 08:57:43 AM
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Default Re: Linn at 150 years of logging show in Indian Lake, NY

Darrin,

For a while Lombard made his own engines - there is one surviving machine (though extremely ravaged) that appears to have one of these early engines. The transmission in this machine is something to behold as well. (see the color pictures below)

Later machines used Sterling & Wisconsin engines. Among the survivors Wisconsins are far more numerous. The photo in my previous post is of a standard Ten Ton tractor circa 1926 owned by Ed Lacroix and equiped with a 100 hp Wisconsin six cylinder.

The smaller 8 ton tractors used 4 cylinder Hercules engines among others.


Rene,

Iam not sure how many gas tractors Lombard built. I have heard approximatly 320 along with 82 steamers. His first gasoline tractor was built in 1909 and weighed about 5 tons and was based on the frame & running gear of a steamer. It used a huge four cylinder with a 9" bore & 10 inch stroke situated in the rear over the tracks. A bunch of cast iron radiators handled cooling. It had two speeds forward.

Interestingly that early Linn patent drawing shows a mower bar attached to the machine which really highlights what his intended market was.

The issue with the turning radius and constant power to the tracks came into play quite a bit in regards to Lombard and the Great Northern Paper Company.

As Rene mentioned horses were used to move the timber from the cuttings to the main haul roads. In addition Great Northern begain using Holt and Best tractors for this work. What they wanted was a tractor that combined the speed and straightline stability of a Lombard combined with the manuverability of a Holt or Best. In other words they wanted one tractor to do it all.

In response Lombard built the Full-trac (spelt various ways) and refred to as the "Old Twin" by Great Northern. It used two four cylinder Hall-Scotts on a common crankcase.

It worked well but when negotiating corners power was lost to one or the other track. Great Northern rebuilt it to try to overcome this problem. The machine that resulted was a bit of a monstrosity with two engines and split diff. When turning a corner one engine was speeded up automaticly (temporarily overriding the governor) A patent was granted to O.A. Harkness for this design. However, there was only one "New Twin" contructed.

Below is a photo of the "Old Twin"

As for surviving steamers I can account for 9 in various pieces with 5 being complete machines and 2 opperable with another one well on the way.

Best regards,

Terry
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Old 07-22-2008, 10:00:17 PM
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Default Re: Linn at 150 years of logging show in Indian Lake, NY

Thanks for the replys and info fellas .I would love to see one in person .

Terry is that machine in the weeds yours?If so I would love to see more photos thanks guys great thread.

Seems like Holt didnt make the first crawler!!
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Old 07-22-2008, 10:10:51 PM
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Default Re: Linn at 150 years of logging show in Indian Lake, NY

i'm here rene, just a little late, LOL

great read and lots of info.

thansk
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Old 07-23-2008, 12:14:29 AM
Rene Elliott Rene Elliott is offline
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Default Re: Linn at 150 years of logging show in Indian Lake, NY

August 16 is "Men and Machines Day" at Leonard's Mills, Bradley, ME, which I highly reccommend attending if anywheres near there. The steam Lombard restoration is going fine last I heard.
O.A. Harkness was head of GNP's machinery department, they were skating around the track steer clutch patent issue, wish more data survived of this, as I understand it the first "Twin" unit was dismantled and rebuilt, then taken apart again.
Bill Lynch, of Leonard's Mills, told me Lombard tried building their own gas engine as they couldn't get the size they wanted, but it just proved a better idea to buy them instead. I don't think I had seen that tractor remains you posted pic of.
The sickle bar mower on eccentric wheel in the Linn patent had a purpose, because in the middle of an agricultural community a farm tractor was a lot more appealing for selling stock in a new company, it was all locally subscribed. I don't believe Linn ever built anything farm oriented other than the option of a bevel driven pulley right behind the clutch on the first tractors, but basically the first machines were road engines.
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Old 07-23-2008, 01:16:06 AM
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Thumbs up Re: Linn at 150 years of logging show in Indian Lake, NY

Here's another Linn thread begun in 2005:

http://www.smokstak.com/forum/showthread.php?t=22143
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Old 07-23-2008, 08:11:22 AM
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Default Re: Linn at 150 years of logging show in Indian Lake, NY

Darrin,

No that machine is not mine. (wish it was!) It and two other machines were used by Will Cunliff in his logging operations in the Allagash region 1919 through 1924. It and the remains of a steamer are still on the site. They both are owned by the Bureau of Parks & Lands. Unfortunatly during WW2 someone tried to salvage it for the steel. Most of the tracks and the whole rearend are missing. The steamer is missing the engine and most of the drivetrain, tracks etc. Harry Crooker used some parts on his restored steamer.

Rene,

Yes Harkness was the GNP Chief Mechanical Officer. He started out with Marsh & Ayer when he constructed several tow boats for use on Chamberlain & Eagle Lakes in conjunction with their steam powered Tramway (1902-08). He also patented his own grouser design.

One of his more interesting projects was converting a 10 Ton Lombard for use on the Eagle Lake & West Branch railroad. During our inventory of historic artifacts we found parts & pieces of this particular machine scattered throughout the woods. At the time we didn't know what the parts were from especially those odd wheels. We where scratching our heads big time. Then awhile later Mr. Harkness's daughter gave me a whole bunch of her dads photographs and low and behold included was the attached photo. Then it all clicked.

Note the lags on the rear bed.

Rene,

One item of interest. As we know Lombard always stuck with the straight bar grouser where as Linn used his 'V' design. Its important to remember that Lombards were used primarily on ice roads. The 'V' design did prevent side slip on loose surfaces however on ice it may have had too much surface area.

Case in point: Ed Lacroix's chief mechanic Emile Labbe, after watching the Lombards work for a while, decided that they could pull more. He then cut everyother grouser bar off of the tracks. In fact this was done to all of Lacroix's machines including the ex-Lacroix machine in the Breton's collection, the state museum and the one on display in Waterville.

This increased the load on the remaining grousers and gave them a better 'bite' in the icy surface. Its akin to lying on a bed of many nails versus a bed with only a couple (Ouch!) You get the point.

This simple modification increased the pulling power termendously. It was common practice for his machines to pull 12 to 15 sleds were as before 8 would have been the norm depending upon conditions. A wonderful bit of backwoods engineeering!

Darrin,
Just a bit of trivia that big Wisconsin could burn through 8 gallons per hour and the torque is termendous. The motor is actually suspended beneath the motor mounts which are bolted to the top of the crankcase. When starting a train of sleds it was important to pull at a bit of an angle so the runners were twisted a bit sideway's. (They had the habit of freezing in) One driver told me of seeing a Lombard at Clayton Lake with the motormounts broke and the engine laying on its side with the radiator all torn up. It seems he forgot the golden rule.

Best regards,

Terry
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Old 07-23-2008, 11:07:11 PM
Rene Elliott Rene Elliott is offline
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Default Re: Linn at 150 years of logging show in Indian Lake, NY

Great Pics! Glad you were able to preserve the oral history and document the site, too much of logging camps here in NY have been obliterated by scrap haulers and souvenir pickers in recent decades. I liked being able to tell by broken machinery parts what failed or wore out, how many sleds in a string, and what make were being used. I just figured out the other day that a handle I saw ten years ago was off a c. 1952 Titan chainsaw, which times the camp with blowdown cleanup perfectly.
The Linn removable grouser was developed at the start or production, (and they discussed rubber blocks early on but it sacrificed tractive effort), but where it came in most handy was snowplowing, where they needed the heft to deal with the side thrust from pushing that v-plow. I know they had tried round calks on the big Linn motorhome on the New Hampshire hills in winter and H.H. Linn had no use for them, saying they did more harm than good on ice roads, but competitors were still using them into the early 1920's.
If you look at Neclson C. Brown's "Logging" book, he seems to be pushing Holt/Cat, always seemed a bit unfair he was comparing c. 1920 Linn specs to the latest Cat. He lumped Linn and Lombard in together as the lesser type, in all tehir data tables they didn't consider the deaths and injuries from track steer machines vs. the Linn/Lombard units.
On that note, is it just "urban legend" that any steersman out front were killed on steam Lombards? As spectacular as that would have been seems odd no newspaper articles circulated the story of such an event actually happening because they always went for that sort of thing.
Attached a pic of a retired North Hudson, NY town Linn, the front section made into a power unit the rear half was made into a log trailer to negotiate a narrow trail down out of Hoffman Notch during hurricane blowdown cleanup in the early 1950's. I can only assume due to summer use (ice roads were smooth and caused low wear on tracks) they ran the tracks loose for rolling over stones, but so loose the track bound up and shot the tension spring out, flipping the runner blocks over, so they pushed the whole works off the side of the trail where it has sat nearly the last 60 years.
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Old 07-23-2008, 11:12:13 PM
Rene Elliott Rene Elliott is offline
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Default Re: Linn at 150 years of logging show in Indian Lake, NY

(Sorry about the spelling, I'll just blame the keyboard.....)
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Old 07-23-2008, 11:16:55 PM
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Default Re: Linn at 150 years of logging show in Indian Lake, NY

Great info Terry like the pics too ,its amazing how far the simple task of skidding logs has come.I use to work for a land clearing company around here and if the old timers seen the machines we used they probably would have a heart attack!!

Its somethin else that the engine in that machine would use 8 gallons a hour they must have worked the heck out of them.Were they elctric start ? Or by hand if by hand they must have had some kind of decompression valve for starting purposes right?

I wonder if there are any left for dead up in the old logging camps of Maine and Maybe Canada or where ever .

I could see the look on my wifes face if I found something like that and brought it home on a lowbed trailer.

Sorry honey it just followed me home!!!!
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Old 07-24-2008, 08:45:04 AM
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Default Re: Linn at 150 years of logging show in Indian Lake, NY

All I can say on Lombard is they used the BIG 6 cyl. gas Wisconsin (1200 CID?) cylinders cast in pairs, as in the machine on display in the roof chain link enclosure in Waterville, ME. Sometimes they had one exhaust stack, sometimes one per pair of cylinders. They built one Fairbanks Morse diesel unit which is said to be their last. (The Walker Transportation Collection in Beverly, MA is where I got a photo of that one).
Linn began production with a 40 HP Continental "E", then upgraded about 1920 to Stearns and then Wisconsin 4 (RAU/RBU) cylinders, then to Waukesha EU 60 HP and eventually larger "GU" 4 cyl. 75 hp, and the AL/AB 6 cyl. 100 hp by 1925.
As noted elsewhere, they then went to Waukesha HL and HS 100 hp. 4 cyl. which were available into the 1940's as the "Big Four" popular with price minded customers. The larger 6RB and 6RBR (always with cylinders cast in pairs, they never used the later long block Waukeshas, except in a few repowers). They began using Hercules gas (HXB and HXE, 935 CID) and diesel (DFXE) c. 1933 but preferred Cummins Diesel (HA series as noted in a thread under diesel engines forum).After WW2 Cummins Diesels were secured army surplus for most Linns but other engines were still provided if desired, including a 970 CID Buda 6 cyl. Near end of production (1952) three special long frame, 18' platforms with winches were built for Iron Ore Co. of Canada for bush work when they began building their 360 mile railroad north from Sept Iles to Ungava, using Detroit Diesels with Allison transmissions. For the most part, it was Brown Lipe and Fuller gear boxes, Waukesha or Hercules engines.
And then there were the C series, "Catruk", using smaller YXC3/RXB/RXC 6 cyl Hercules gas and DRXB diesel, Fuller gearbox and Wisconsin 8:1 axles, built 1939-1947, the only surviving examples being a complete ex-USN C-5 owned and restored by John Belfield of Melbourne, Australia, and the ex Town of Ticonderoga, NY C-5 that was rebuilt into a C-6 (conventional front axle and no hydraulic lowered rear axle) used as a demonstrator for the USN and Ideco winch units sent to Russia/Yugoslavia, that I now own and awaiting restoration. I believe I found a factory rebuilt Linn sawmill power unit with the used DRXB that came out of my tractor, and I just got the skid replaced under it when we had teh flood in June 2006, and since then have been busy cleaning, sorting, rebuilding and reorganizing "stuff", most of it my grandfather's, which has evolved into my redoing some neglected equipment like a Reo lawn mower, a couple of Planet Jr Tuffy series, and the odd antique chainsaw when I get foolish and buy one. They are small enough they can be safely stored indoors once finished, I don't have a place indoors for either Linn, or my 1930 FWD, at least the EG 42 Cletrac I can sneak in somewhere when I get to that. Too many projects, too many people claiming they shouldn't be my priority :P
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Old 07-24-2008, 08:47:51 AM
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Default Re: Linn at 150 years of logging show in Indian Lake, NY

Darrin,

Later ones were electric start. The one in the Ashland, ME. Museum is.

Yes, that mileage was working at full throttle which was nearly all the time. Note in the photo I pasted earlier the duel fuel tanks. Lacroix's tractors were hauling twenty miles or more. From the photos and other evidence the amount of fuel they went through was termendous. In fact at one point the American oil companies begain to raise quite a stink because he bought his fuel from Imperial in Canada and hauled it across the border at LacFrontier and they wanted a pice of the pie.

Interesting story:

Yes, when cold these engines were a @%& to start. Lacroix ran his tractors 24 hrs a day 6 day a week during a hauling season that averaged 90 days. In 1928, tractor No. 8 was being driven down Long Lake. The crew remembered that the cook at the Blanchet Camps on Grey Brook made some real nice pies. Needless to say they left the machine idling on the ice and hiked-up Grey Brook to the camp and enjoyed a nice meal.

By the time they got back to the lake it was dark. When they noticed they couldn't see the headlights of the tractor thier first though was "@%&* it stalled!" [substitute rude French Canadian slang]

When they got to where the tractor should have been there was nothing but a skimmed-over hole in the ice. It had fallen into 40 feet of water.

They brought a diver up from the coast (compete with the big bronze helmet) and recovered the tractor. After that the engine just never ran right. Eventually they replaced it with a 125hp engine. (Thankfully they took quite a few photos.

Rene,

I have yet to come across an account of a steersman on a steam Lombard being killed or even a boiler explosion. I did find a court case were a steersman was scalded while runnning a Phoenix. Seems he put a non-vented cap on the water tank.

While today we look at the steam Lombards as clumsy, Rube Goldberg machines they were in fact highly prized with some serving twenty years or more. In one instance John A. Morrison, a contractor for the St. John Lumber Co. at a cost of $24,000.00 during the winter of 1918-1919 hacked a road nearly 30 miles through the woods to retrieve 3 machines that had been abandoned in 1913. Of these three machines plus the one he owned previously at least two were used through the late 1920's by Ed Lacroix and least 3 survive today: Museum, Ashland, ME., Clarke's Trading Post (operable) & the MFLM museum (under restoration). What makes this more interesting is that for that price he could have bought 4 brand new gasoline Lombards.

Ed Robichaud (former Lacroix employee) told the story of a steam lombard that was out hauling one night. One advantage of the steamers over the gasoline tractors was that the ski's tracked considerably inboard of the tracks in thier own grooves. On a good road those icy grooves made the machine almost self steering.

Anyway, the road was good and the steersman aparently nodded-off. The next thing they knew they were crashing down through the woods towards the lake. Needless to say they all took flight. As they sat there stunned in the snow watching the sleds slither-by they could hear the slapping of the lags on the ice then an almighty crash as she went through.

It seems they had forgotten that the crew who worked the tank sled (used to ice the roads) had made a trail down to the lake to fill the tank.

As for Lombards left in the woods- I am doubtful. Most of the domain where the Lombards roamed has been cut-over very, very heavy. Ocassionally parts and pieces do show up. Coming across a shattered axle from a steamer why out in East Gish really brings to mind how bad someones day (or night) was long ago.

However, turn back the clock a few decades and yes indeed you could find them. At least seven were left at Churchill until recovered in the late 60's early seventies. I remember playing on one in 1974 and two others still in the shed. Of those, One is in the Breton's Collection, one is on display in Waterville while the last one is in the State Museum.

I too would love one in my shop. However I don't think this is a reality. I guess I will just have to be content with the one piece of a Lombard I do own - One solitary piston ring hanging in an honered spot on the shop wall.

However I might be conviced to make room for a Linn.......

Best regards,

Terry
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Old 07-24-2008, 09:19:41 AM
tharper tharper is offline
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Default Re: Linn at 150 years of logging show in Indian Lake, NY

Rene,

Info on those big 6 cyl. Wisconsins used by Lombard seems to be hard to come by. I would love to see some data. Its like the engine that Wisconsin never built but did.

Attached is a photo of a late model Wisconsin in the Lombard at the Ashland museum. It still has the cylinders cast in pairs but otherwise is quite diffrent. No data plates are on it other than the Wisconsin logo cast into the inspection plates.

The one and only Lombard diesel is an interesting machine. I have a copy of the sales brochure as well as some film footage of A.O. himself driving it.

Best regards,

Terry
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