Steam Power

Content Tools

219 N. Allen, Harrison, Arkansas

I am sending you a picture of a steam engine that is quite different from the pictures that you usually print in the Album. Instead of being old it is just about the latest. It was lately built by Allis-Chalmers. It is rated at 300,000 Kilowatt capacity so would develop about 400,000 horsepower.

Most people even including our steam engine fans believe that steam is completely out of date and out of use. This is far from the truth. Steam is still king in the field of electric power. The last authorative figures that I have seen show that over three fourths of the public electric power used in the United States is generated by steam and the trend has been toward steam for several years. About four times as much steam generating equipment is being installed as there is of water power and Diesel combined.

So far atomic power has only been utilized by steam. The propellers of the Nautilus, the Sea Wolf, and all our big carriers are turned by steam turbines.

These are very different from the old piston engines that we used to drive our threshers. They use steam at 1600 lbs. and over per square inch superheated to over 1000 degrees, and even the big ones with rotors six feet and over in diameter turn 3600 revolutions per minute.

The picture was taken from the Allis-Chalmers report to their stock holders for 1958. If you think that your readers would want to see it, Allis-Chalmers would probably be glad to give permission to print it.

I see our good friend Leroy Blaker has got an argument on his hands over something he said about somebody's valve gear. Now, Leroy, you must know that it will not do to talk about a steam fan's engine. You might criticize most anything else he owns but never his favorite engine.

I was at Montpelier a couple of years ago and saw Leroy's engines performing. If I am any judge of engines and engineers they were both doing a fine job. He has a Port Huron that I think would be hard to beat in an economy run and his 65 H. Case would be hard to beat for maximum power on a basis of weight.

As far as I am concerned all the old steamers were good and we love them for their faults as well as their virtues. I have a 50 H. Case that I think a lot of, and I owned a good 20 H. Advance-Rumely once that performed well, sol would not take sides in any argument. I have owned Gaar Scott and Nichols & Shepards and have handled several other makes and I liked all of them.

Well perhaps this is enough steam for now so I'll ring off. Hope to see you all at the reunions.