Port Huron steam traction engine

38-110 HP. Port Huron double tandem Woolf compound steam traction engine. Copied from 1910 Port Huron catalogue by LeRoy W. Blaker. Alvordton, Ohio.

LeRoy W. Blaker

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Alvordton, Ohio 43501

I have photostatic copies of three large Port Huron steam traction engines that were copied from the original construction records. The company called them a 38 hp.

Some men that worked around them called them a double 19 hp., and test house results showed they developed 110 hp. and perhaps could do more than this, so they could be rated as a 38-110 hp. engine. All three engines were steel geared for heavy traction work, and all had the 32-100 hp. boiler with 54 two inch tubes nine feet long instead of the usual seven foot tubes. That made them a 'Longfellow' then.

All had 4' crankshafts, crankpins and countershafts. Engine No. 5897 went to the test house at 6:30 A.M. on Sept. 20, 1910, and delivered to the painters at 5:00 P.M. the next day.

This engine was sold to John Western of Detroit, Mich., and shipped to him on Sept. 29, 1910. Records do not tell why this engine was not sold for about three years after it was built.

38 hp. engine No. 5970, after building, and testing was sent to the painters on October 16, 1907, and the test house foreman was H. Schnackenberg. This engine was equipped with a locomotive cab, canopy top, and jacketed boiler. This engine was sold to Seeber Bros of Champaign, Illinois, and shipped October 26, 1907.

38 hp. engine No. 6121 was built and stored in a shed at the plant at 3:00 P.M. on April 16, 1908, and was equipped with a locomotive cab, & Geo. Conner power steering device. Mr. Conner was the inventor of the Port Huron self-cleaning, non-jarring drive wheel in use from 1900 on.

Test house records show the Woolf slide valve cut off steam at 70% of the stroke in both motions with reverse lever in corner notch of quadrant. Exhaust release was 90% of stroke with one-eight inch lead, and one-fourth inch piston head clearence. All boilers carried 175 lbs. working pressure, and J. Lorig was the test house foreman.

This engine was sold to the Burnham Land and Lumber Co. of Burnham, Missouri, and shipped Sept., 22, 1909.

All of these 38 hp. double tandem Woolf compound engines had a high-pressure cylinder 6' in Diam., and low pressure cylinder 9' diameter with a 10' stroke. The high pressure cylinder -No. 856E was the same as used on the 16 hp. Port Huron Woolf compounds. The enclosed photo, copied from the 1910 Port Huron catalogue is the only literature I have ever seen of this size engine. It shows a 38 hp. engine pulling two heavy wagon loads of lumber. The wagons were equipped with heavy wide tired wooden wheels with tandem axles, front and rear. The picture also shows the engine equipped with a 160 gallon front water tank. No doubt this photo shows engine No. 5897.