Steam Boats

Close-up of the engine

Close-up of the engine and boiler as designed by Frederick H. Semple, 11 Danfield, Road, Saint Louis 17, Missouri.

Frederick H. Semple

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Semple Engine Company, 11 Danfield Road, Saint Louis 17, Missouri

YOU WROTE ME THIS SUMMER about an article and photographs on my steamboat engine that might possibly be used in THE IRON-MEN ALBUM MAGAZINE. I was in Lovell, Maine, at that time, where tests were being conducted, and was unable to secure the prints you wanted. I have made a set of them here and also am including pictures I took up there of the new engine in the boat.

I have been interested in steam power as a hobby for many years and have a three ton steam tractor which I built and use, practically, also a % ton steam roller. I have several other pieces of steam powered equipment besides.

Boating has been quite a hobby of mine also for many years and the combination of steam power and boating seemed an ideal combination.

About twenty years ago I concocted my first steamer. It was pretty crude and poor, and was scrapped after two seasons. It was about that time that I built a unit and it has operated successfully for fifteen years. This consisted of a 30 square foot horizontal fire tube boiler with forced draft created by an engine driven blower in the stack. The water was taken from the lake through a small Marsh pump and a ?' Penberthy injector. The operating pressure was 150 lbs. The engine was originally built as a two cylinder 4x4 simple with eccentric reverse. It was found to be too much for the boiler so the forward cylinder was bushed to 2' and I made the engine compound. This was more efficient and more successful in its operation.

During all this time I had been talking with various steam fans and boat owners, and it seemed to me that there would be a market for a small inexpensive power unit for boats, as nobody anywhere in this country seemed to build one commercially.

I had some extra time last winter and set to work to design and build a pilot model that would be extremely rugged and well built but keeping the utmost in simplicity for ease of operation and to keep the cost down.

The new outfit was installed in the S. S. City of Lovell early this summer and tests went on and only a very few minor modifications had to be made to the engine. The boiler steamed and operated perfectly. The first production run of ten units was then complete and I expect to continue advertising to a much greater extent this winter and increase my manufacturing facilities as justified.

Advantages are in the simplicity of operation, its silence and its very low fuel consumption.

(Mr. Semple has a very informative folder on his engine and boiler. We suggest you send for it if you are interested)