307 South High St., Kenton, Ohio
You never met me but I feel as though I know you. I've read your magazine for several years and ENJOY it very much. My subscription is about up so I thought when I send check, I would send you a picture of my engine. I grew up with a steam threshing rig and I always wanted to be an engineer, but like a lot of other people and dreams, I never made it. So a couple of years ago I had a chance to buy a steam engine that had been manufactured some time before 1915 but never been assembled. So some Dollars changed hand, and I came home with two boxes of rough machined castings, that I didn't know any thing about. But with the help of friends and a lot of luck, I have what I think is the first traction steam engine ever built in Kenton. I'll try and describe it to you. It is an upright Marine type engine 3/13/16 bore X4' stroke. It has a Stephenson type reversing link 24' X 4' fly wheel. It has a Manzel oiler and a ' Gardener Governer. I turn it 300 r.p.m. with 100lb. of steam. It has a Leffel 5 hp boiler. It has a 30 gal. head tank and also a 30 gal. rear tank and coal bunk to match. It has no clutch but a transmission between the engine and the chain drive back to the right angle drive-taken from a John Deere combine, then to a Ford rear end. It has 15 X 7.60 tires all around and I can attach the tongue to the front axle and tow it behind my car 40 Mi. per hour (on good road that is). When I get to the show or wherever I'm going to play with it, remove the tongue, hook up the steering and the little engine will travel 4 Mi. per hour under its own power. I have a buzz saw and a little 6' feed grinder that it pulls very nicely. So now after about 55 years I have a steam engine where I can be the engineer. It isn't of course as grand as some of those fine old Baker, Case, Huber and many of those fine old engines, but then I couldn't afford one of them. And then I've had a lot of fun building this one.
I had to sell my shop a couple of years ago on account of a back injury, so I don't have all the tools that I once had or that one should have to build a steam engine. But then as I said earlier in this letter I have some good friends who have been very kind tome in loaning their tools. Now some of the specifications. It is 109' long, 97' to the top of stack and 65' wide, weighs 3000 pounds. Two steam guages Q Baker and 1 unknown make, two injectors 1 Desmond, mfg. in Urbana, O. and 1 Chicago both '. Three whistles 1-14', 1-10' and 1-4'. These two injectors were new found them in a local hardware store. They had been there so long the present owners didn't know what they were. Quite a lot of driving and looking through a lot of junk to unearth enough accessories to pipe up a steam engine as most amateur steam engine builders know, especially in a country where they have been gone for 30 years. I'm sending several pictures of different views so maybe you can get an idea of what it looks like.