Brooks by the Numbers at the Great Oregon Steam-Up
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Bob Smith, one of the Scouts, never forgot the Case. Eleven years later, he bought the engine and he and his father restored it to working condition. Today, his grandson, Zach Smith, Tacoma, Wash., operates the engine at Antique Powerland.
According to Zach, in 1990 the Smithsonian Institute confirmed No. 711 as the oldest working steam traction engine in the U.S. The engine was originally horse-steered (hence the seat at front) but was converted in 1909 to a self-steered unit. Zach runs the engine at about 50 psi. “We don’t need to push it,” he says. “It was originally rated at 150 psi; for a stationary power plant, that was pretty large. And there’s no clutch. It’s either in or out. It goes real fast, so it always leads the parade.”
820 combined hp
This 1978 Caterpillar DD9H is a double tractor configuration that measures 42-1/2 feet long and weighs 178,000 pounds. With 820 combined hp, the rig had no trouble gaining right of way.
Owner: Dick Colf, Woodland, Wash.
Dan Thompson, Winnemucca, Nev., is the third owner of this 1893 4 hp Golden Gate engine manufactured by Adam Schilling & Sons, San Francisco. “It was originally purchased to power a family-owned gold mine,” he says. “The man I bought it from was 79 when he sold it to me. He had never seen it run, but he remembered playing on it as a kid. I assume it was used to run a small crusher or something like that.”
When Dan got the engine it was complete except for one oiler and the muffler. “It was in fairly decent shape but it had a lot of extremely fragile parts,” he says. He did a complete restoration and built a cart.
The engine has an unusual design, with an overhead camshaft that controls the stroke of the intake valve. “It’s kind of like an early fuel injection system,” Dan says. “It has a lot of moving parts and it runs beautiful. People really like to watch it run.” Schilling engines are rare; Dan says he knows of only four or five others like his.
When Roy Thompson’s 1915 Russell 20 hp steam engine was shipped from Massillon, Ohio, to Gervais, Ore., in May 1915, it created a minor spectacle. “The buyer had ordered the engine and a railcar full of equipment,” Roy says. “Two men in their 90s told me independently that farmers came from miles around, with picnic lunches, to watch it all be unloaded.” Nearly 100 years later, the 22,000-pound behemoth still draws crowds.
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