Prized Possessions

Wilcox boiler

My Stanley Steamer beside the largest shop assembled Babcock and Wilcox boiler. There is a large Babcock & Wilcox plant in Wilmington, North Carolina. The Stanley was bought in 1935 for $640. It is a seven passenger touring car and runs with a steam press

Brooks A. Jones

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Hampstead, North Carolina 28448

Just as little James Watt, inventor of the steam engine, during early childhood used to play with his mother's teakettle making the lid rise and fall by plugging the spout and imagining there was a giant in the kettle, so Brooks Jones of Hampstead, North Carolina, used to do likewise. Jones has experienced empathy over steam since the age of three. At that early age his parents could hardly keep him out of the railroad yards: he was so eager to watch steam locomotives at work. Jones asserts that he identifies himself with steam and thus experiences a pronounced sensation of dynamic power (empathy).

'I was fond of steam at the age of three', he recalls. Now 64, he vividly remembers riding in steam powered trains from Fort Edward to Whitehall, New York. 'When I was about three years of age my parents could hardly keep me out of the railroad yards whenever we went to Whitehall to visit my grandparents.'

His Tozer steam engine was built by the John Willis Company in Columbia, South Carolina. It was first used by a maiden lady who began farming in 1910 and worked with it most of her lifetime.

Jones purchased the tozer engine from its second owner, a man in Anderson South Carolina Engins of its kind were used to thresh oats or wheat, saw firewood or run peanut threshing machines.

The Tozer is now run at only 40 pounds of steam pressure for the sake of safety. Originally it ran with 190 p.s.i. and was rated at about 20 h.p.

The Tozer is very quiet. Jones frequently surprises interested spectators by having them turn their backs on the engine. He then starts the engine and runs it slowly. He asks them whether it is running and they say 'no'. Whereupon he asks them to turn around and they are amazed to see it running.

Jones has a 1922 Lidgerwood steam hoist. Sometimes these are called skidders. They were used to lift heavy loads on construction jobs and also to pull logs and trees out of the woods.

Another valuable possession he has is a 1922 Stanley touring car. This car has a Derr water tube boiler and a gun type atomizing burner. The Derr boiler is very much like the famous Babcock and Wilcox boiler. He has owned this steamer since April 1935. From late 1933 to April, 1935 he owned a 1918 Stanley Steamer.