EARL ESTIMATES

1949 Chev. truck

A picture of a job I made - it is built on a 1949 Chev. truck with a 2 speed timkin axel, an 8 hp boiler and 6 hp engine and a transmission from a Winton car. Its weight full of water and coal is 5 ton, top speed 10 miler per hour. My wife, Frieda and mys

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Earl estimates that a year's spare time work went into the engine and $1,200 in parts in addition to the original price he paid for the engine.

'I've been offered more than $3,000 for it and turned it down,' Earl says, 'and a lot of people are going to say 'that's where two fools met' when they find that out.'

But if Earl's a fool he certainly has plenty of company judging from the number of handbills and magazines he showed us - all boosting the hobby of steam engine enthusiasts.

He says he receives many letters from fellow hobbyists and, 'Hardly a day goes by but what someone stops to see my engines. When they grin big and ask me if I'm Anderson, then I know I've got a steam man on my hands.

'The younger generation - yourself included - just doesn't realize what it was like way back then,' Warl says wistfully. 'With no gasoline engines or electricity, all you had for power was windmills, water and horses. Big engines like that (the Case) used to travel in a circle of 25 - 30 miles threshing grain in the fall for all the farmers around. We didn't get finished until after Thanksgiving.'

Anderson said his love for steam engines began when he was a boy and used to work with them. As power for farm work they have been obsolete for at least 20 years. The railroads were the last strongholds for the steamers, he said, and now most railway locomotives are diesels. He points out, however, that steam is still used extensively in producing a very modern convenience which we all take for granted - electricity. He estimates that more than 70 per cent of the electricity churned up today is produced by steam driven machinery.

If you want the mechanical side of this iron horse bruiser, you'll have to talk to Earl. Our mechanical knowledge is limited to a can opener and even that simple operation usually requires assistance by the better half.

But cheers to Earl Anderson and his sons Harold and Russell - voted A-F citizens most likely to get all steamed up.