Elements of Machines and Heritage

Content Tools

9374 Roosevelt Street, Crown Point, Indiana 46307

Having the right tools for any job is not the answer in completing a project. A traction engine that is not properly maintained is of little use, even in the best of hands. Just the same, a well built and well maintained engine in the hands of an unskilled operator is of little use, the engine itself can be a hazard.

An understanding of the tools and their proper use is of notable importance. The engineer is the key element in the successful operation of any steam engine. Just as it is important to maintain the tools one uses, an engineer should make an effort to add to his knowledge. An engine that is well maintained is only as good as the skill and knowledge of the engineer.

The Oklahoma Steam Threshers Steam School of 1998 will be held this March 28 & 29, 1998, at the Steam Engine Park in Pawnee, Oklahoma. The school was truly not setup by the senior engineers, but by the younger members who simply wished to learn more about the elements of steam engineering. The weekend will be filled with good instructions on several subjects.

For those with an advanced case of Cabin Fever, coal smoke will rise early above Pawnee, Oklahoma. On March 27th, a day before the school, four engines will run economy tests on the Prony brake; all coal and water will be measured. The engines planned for this event include: 10 HP double rear mounted Keck-Gonnerman, No. 1636, owned by Steve Dunn; 20 HP Advance Rumely Universal, No. 14806, owned by Ivan Burns; and 20 HP Avery Undermount Special No. 4868, owned by Chady Atteberry. Chady will also have his 65 HP J. I. Case No. 32724.

After the engines perform the economy tests, a maximum horsepower test of each engine will follow.

In the event of a rare Oklahoma rain on Friday, a tour of the engines stored at Pawnee will take place. Then at 10:30 a.m. we will travel to Edmond, Oklahoma, to view the collection of Ivan Burns.

The 1998 Oklahoma Steam School itself is set for March 28 and 29, with instructors from several states covering different subjects. Babbitting, steam governors, plumbing a boiler, injectors and pumps, boiler care, steam safety and firing under a load are part of the wide range of subjects that will be covered over two days.

Extra attention will be given on belting a steam traction engine, an essential subject that has been stressed by Chady and others. Simple instructions on holding the belt to tips on handling the engine will be dealt with. Three engines will be used in belting school for hands-on belting, with instructors to help the student engineer. Engines used for the belting school will include Ivan's 20 HP Advance Rumely Universal, Steve's 20 HP double rear-mounted Keck-Gonnerman, and Chady's own 65 HP Case.

Saturday evening will be filled with slides, video and some 'gospel truth.'

There is no charge for the school and everyone is welcome. Bring your sleeping bag or cot if you wish to stay at the headquarters building.

Hope to see you in March 1998!