Steam Enthusiasts Gather At Rough & Tumble Museum For SEMINAR

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308 East Deny Road Hershey, Pennsylvania 17033

A seminar on boiler safety and water treatment presented on Rough and Tumble Museum's grounds at Kinzer, Pennsylvania, recently was well accepted. The audience of 55 represented an almost ten-fold increase over the number of attendees at the first such seminar given in 1988.

The group included long-time hobbyists, working industrial maintenance personnel, plumbing and heating contractors, two military men one from the Air Force and one from the Navy whose jobs had to do with steam power, a marine steam engineer, operating and shop people from two steam excursion railroads, and a representative of at least one other museum concerned with steam-powered equipment.

Although most of the attendees came from Pennsylvania, the states of New York, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, Ohio and Maine were represented. The attendee from Maine, a steam launch enthusiast, made the 600-mile one way trip just for the day's class.

Everett Young, son of Rough and Tumble's founder, Arthur Young, was pleased to find that John Sti-brary who had come to the seminar from Dayton, Ohio, was the grandson of Ralph Green. Ralph had been a director and worker at Rough and Tumble back in the 1950's when Art Young had been the president. Green brought his daughter's son with him in those days. Today John is very much involved with the Dayton-Montgomery County Park where an 1898 Empire steam traction engine and a 1924 Peerless are under his stewardship.

R T board member, Everett Young, a semi-retired boiler expert, started off the program with pointers on what to look for when purchasing an older boiler. He outlined the various trouble spots peculiar to various makes of boilers and told how to appraise and evaluate a boiler before purchasing one.

Young also spoke about the new Antique Boiler Law passed in Pennsylvania last December. Although printed copies are not yet available, it is hoped that this new law will help protect and preserve antique boilers and may possibly become an example for other states to use as a model law. Representatives Kenneth Brandt of Lancaster County, Rep. Art Hershey of Chester County and State Senator Gibson Armstrong sponsored this legislation and helped with its passage.

Young spoke about the way to fire a boiler, and the techniques which would improve performance and economy and help to save firebox grates. He spoke about how to manage fire and water to achieve best results. He also addressed fusible plugs, how to prepare for inspection and why some new safety valves don't stand up as well as their older counterparts.

A discussion on emergency procedures brought forth testimonials and experience sharing from those in attendance. Young also indicated sources for replacement parts for older boilers. He discussed stay bolts and rivets how they go bad and how to replace them. His talk also included weld repairs and the difference between certified and qualified welders when weld repairs are needed.

Jim Conte, a maintenance engineer with Harrisburg Steam Works, Ltd. and a long-time member of Rough and Tumble, presented a water treatment outline which covered such items as water sources, water treatment on hot water boilers and closed heating and cooling systems. He continued with boiler water treatment in steam systems, what to test boiler water for and how testing could be done simply. He stressed that regular boiler blow down and simple water treatment are necessities for safe operation and long boiler life, with scale formation and corrosion being kept to a minimum.

The seminar concluded with a discussion of how to clean and store a boiler, either short or long term, and what corrosion problems are caused when this is not done properly.

There were questions and answers throughout the seminar, and a feeling that the program had been helpful and worthwhile for all the various interests of the attendees. Due to the acceptance of this seminar, plans are being made now to present another at Rough and Tumble Museum next spring.

The presenters, Everett Young and Jim Conte, have also indicated that they would be willing to put the seminar on in other sections of the country if a local group would handle the arrangements. Interested persons should contact Jim Conte, 979 Old Elizabethtown Road, Elizabeth-town, Pennsylvania 17022, telephone 717-367-3532.