1060 Chestnut Rd., Ypsilanti, Mich.
Rebecca Jane Habel, 3 and her 4 year old brother, Dan Michael, find it's lots of fun when granddad fires up his antique model steam engine. Grandpa Habel acquired the model in Ohio. His interest in it stems from his boyhood on a farm when threshing machines were powered by engines of this type. The children's parents are Dr. and Mrs. Dan W. Habel of 721 Hutchins Ave.
Says Grandpa Habel, we bought the engine and boiler early this summer from Mr. Elmer Minnich of Swanton, Ohio, who built it some years ago.
The steam generating unit is a boiler made by welding the ends of a length of 6' double strength pipe shut and constructing an ample fire box and combustion chamber around it. Water is pumped into the boiler against the full steam pressure by a hand operated plunger pump.
The engine is reversible with a Wolf type reverse gear and, as you will note, has a fly ball governor. Provision is made for lubricating the the cylinder and valve with a cup type lubricator. Cylinder bore is approximately 2' and the stroke is 3'.
After we brought the engine and boiler home we mounted it on the hand truck, as shown, and added the coal bin and water tank. The electric blower seen in front of the fire box was originally a hair dryer, and it furnishes enough draft to raise 851bs of steam pressure in about 25 minutes after starting the fire. We burn coal under the boiler. We have piped the exhaust into the stack, and after we start the engine it furnishes enough draft to keep the steam pressure up.
Mr. Minnich is a former Plymouth dealer and machine shop operator in Swanton, and tells me he did machine work on the small traction engines built by Mr. Laurence Gressemer who lives near Swanton, and one of whose engines was recently pictured in your magazine.