Machine shop

Content Tools

2806 - 5th Avenue, Altoona, Pa. 16602

A collection of exact replica of old steam engines that actually operated at a particular place in their time as machine shop power as well as electric generating stations in small towns where the community owned their own plants.

Left to right first is a slow speed machine shop steam engine of the 18th century which operated R. R. shop machines from main overhead line shafts belted to machines below on the floor which were controlled by shifting lever sliding belt from an idling pulley to the individual machine's own pulley.

Second one is a center crank hi-speed steam engine driving a bipolar dynamo which was a unit in an old small town electric light plant. Third one is a hi-speed horizontal side crank engine which drove a closed field (1890) Westinghouse dynamo in the same plant. The plant operated night time only. This plant was taken over by the Patomic Edison at the time when the large Powers were taking over the little ones.

The fourth, a vertical center crank hi-speed steam engine belt connected to an enclosed type dynamo which furnished electric lights, lighting the boiler house, the pumping house, offices and grounds of an isolated pipe line oil pumping station just south of Saxton at Clark Station on the Huntingdon and Broad Top Mt. R. R. which has been abandoned about 1952 after being in service for 100 years. The Everett R.R. now operating is what is left of the old H&B TMRR and believe it or not is operating in steam.

The fifth engine is a side crank type with a bore of 2' and a stroke of 2 - 7/8' of about 1 HP and drives about any thing I have around the shop including an old bipolar Edison (of about 1880) dynamo converted from a DC motor.

The above all work perfectly and it is a rare pleasure to watch them work even though it is in miniature. The steam is supplied from a vertical 14' by 24' ' wall seamless steel tubing with 24 flues welded in, tested to 400 lbs. hydrostatic pressure and operates normally at 80 lbs. steam pressure. The fuel used is natural gas or bottled gas.

In the Album of May-June 1964 page 30 is a 3 HP version of the miniature vertical electrical plant described above, which I also have in my collection.