Full Head of Steam at Maumee Valley
Maumee Valley club sets sights on major expansion of stationary steam engine display.
1910 50 hp Troy steam engine.
In 1954 the Old Time Threshers and Sawmill Operators Association held its first show in a field north of Fort Wayne, Ind. In 1978 the club moved to Jefferson Township Park east of New Haven, Ind., and reorganized as the Maumee Valley Antique Steam & Gas Engine Association.
By 2007 the Maumee Valley group had 300 members and a 50-acre show ground … and big plans for restoration of nine stationary steam engines and a virtually new boiler. "This is the year of steam," says club President Dave Pence. "I want to stir everyone's interest and bring the big boiler and these steam engines back to life. Everyone should be able to see how these things used to work!"
Club members will restore the steam engines, which are housed in a building on the show grounds. Some are already mounted on cement pedestals but require mechanical work and connection to a steam line from the boiler. "I am realistic," Dave says. "I know that it won't happen as fast as I want. It'll be a huge task." The boiler is the first project on deck. Club members began work on that in late April 2007. Next up: a 1910 50 hp Troy engine, a 1902 50 hp Skinner engine and a 50 hp Worthington steam air compressor dating to the 1920s.
Maumee Valley club members are accustomed to work. They've erected several buildings at the show grounds and restored various pieces of vintage machinery. Their shows regularly feature threshing and plowing demonstrations using steam and gas; a steam-powered sawmill, corn shelling and shredding, grinding corn with a hammer mill and baling. Club members also put a 1928 125 hp Buckeye oil engine through its paces during shows.
The stationary steam exhibit, once complete, will include:
1910 50 hp Troy steam engineThe center-crank, enclosed, self-lubricating mill engine (see the Image Gallery) has a 10-by-10-inch bore and stroke. A reciprocating oil pump is driven off the valve crosshead and provides lubrication to the engine bearings.
Unfortunately, the cylinder lubricator pump is missing. "It has to pump against the pressure of the steam and provides the special steam cylinder oil for the cylinder," Dave says. Steam cylinder oil is blended with tallow, which makes the lubricant emulsify into the steam. "We will find another pump," Dave says. "They used to show up at auctions but they are no longer easy to find." The Troy was built in Troy, Pa.
1902 50 hp Skinner steam engineThis double-acting, single-cylinder steam engine (no. 10372) has a 9-by-12-inch bore and stroke. The governor is built into the flywheel. Equipped with automatic lubrication, the engine was designed for heavy industrial use with heavy-duty bearings and frame.
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