Steam engine

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Cow gill, Missouri 64637

Nelson Rinehart of Braymer, Missouri keeps farmers on the job as his regular occupation by mechanical work at McKnight Implement Company in Braymer. His way of letting off steam from the pressure is through his 6000 pound steam engine, which he is tinkering with in every extra spare moment.

The climax of 3000 hours of work over a period of seven years came about when Nelson Rinehart, local Braymer, Missouri man, fired up his Avery steam engine for the first time.

This little baby just weighs three ton or 6000 pounds and has 10 to 12 horsepower. It is built on one-half scale of the original Avery steam engine.

Nelson was a youngun' in part of the steam engine era of the 30s when threshing, wood cutting and many chores of family life were still achieved by the power of the steam engine. The Rinehart family's last steam engine was sold as scrap iron during World War I in one of the patriotic scrap iron drives.

Nelson built his first steam engine in 1959 and 1960. It was built on a one-third scale.

In 1965, with a mental blueprint of the Avery he wanted to build, his second project began with two trips to Chicago for cylinder castings. Many of the parts were turned out on a lathe in the Rinehart workshop in Braymer. Tires were cut to size and fitted on the wheel. An aluminum wash pan makes a decorative dome on the top of the engine. He made a Bull Dog casting to put on the front of the engine to serve as the coat of arms.

His mental blueprint turned out just as planned. The only problem was caused by wasps building their nests in the boiler but this was soon corrected and cleaned out.

The paint job on the engine was completed by his brother, Melvin Rinehart. Speaking of help on the project, his father, the late Glen Rinehart, had given him lots of moral support and was one of his most enthusiastic boosters. The engine has been shown in many steam engine shows in the area.

One trip to Nelson's workshop in Brayer, Missouri for an onlooker certainly brings the comment, 'Wish I'd done that,' or 'I can't believe you made the whole thing, Nelson.'

For the benefit of most readers, a steam engine is a machine using expansion force of steam as a motive power. The first recorded attempt to use steam as a motive power is attributed to Hero of Alexander in the second century B.C. From the time of Hero's experience until the beginning of the 18th century nothing more was known or heard of the steam engine. Thomas Newton of England received a patent for a steam engine in 1705. Later James Watt greatly improved the steam engine plan and the steam engine as we know it today is constructed from Watt's plan.