1st Shay Loco

1st Shay Loco. Built at Lima.

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RFD 2, Granville, Ohio

The above engraving represents one style of Shay's Patent Locomotives, which will do more work than any other style of locomotive of the same weight. On steep grades and short curves they are especially serviceable. We build four sizes of this style, to wit : 18 tons, 15 tons, 12 tons and 10 tons weight.

The 18 ton locomotives have 10x10 cylinders. The drivers (8) are 2G to 30 inches high. The tenders hold 700 gallons of water. One of these locomotives has drawn 100 tons up a grade of 98 feet in 3,800 feet, and part of the grade was 6 feet in 100 feet. They will run from 12 to 15 miles per hour.

The 15 ton locomotives have 8x8 cylinders. The drivers are from 24 to 20 inches high. The tenders hold 600 gallons of water. Will run from 12 to 15 miles per hour, and will draw 300 tons on a good truck.

The above two sizes are too heavy for wood track, consequently are made for iron track only.

The 12 ton locomotives have 8x8 cylinders. Boilers are horizontal, boot shape and of ample capacity : they are more drivers are from 21 to 2G inches high, and suitable for wood or iron track ; for wood track the drivers are 5f inches on the face. The tenders will hold 600 gallons of water. Have open cabs. They will draw 50 tons on a wood track, and will run from 8 to 15 miles per hour.

The 10 ton locomotives have 7x7 cylinders. The boilers are horizontal, boot shape and of ample capacity. This size is especially suitable for wood track. The drivers are 21 inches high, and for wood track are 5f inches on the face. The tenders hold 500 gallons of water. Have open cabs. They will run from 6 to 12 miles per hour, and will draw a heavy load, according to size.

The estimated weight of all of the above locomotives is in working order.

The trucks are so constructed as to make them flexible and strong. The pinions are cast steel and not liable to break.

Steam jet and hose to raise water into the tank is furnished.

Baldwin-Lima-Hamilton Corp.

Construction Equipment Division

At first glance the geared locomotive is a subject somewhat removed from the bill-of-fare originally intended for the Album. Consider however, that the original Shay locomotive was built from a threshing engine and boiler and kinship is established.

Like so many men, who start up a new industry, Ephraim Shay didn't intend to invent anything he simply worked out a solution to a mighty pressing problem. Mr. Shay was lumberman at Haring, Michigan whose primary problems were to buy standing timer, cut it, and haul it to a sawmill. The hauling was done by horse and ox teams using ten foot high log wheels for favorable sites in the summer and sleighs on frozen trails in winter and on stands otherwise inaccessible. The winter hauling trails were often sprinkled on cold nights to help the going a little.

Such was the system until one winter in the early 1870's when the snow and freeze-up didn't come. Mr. Shay, like many another lumberman, having laid out considerable money for buying and cutting fine white pine logs faced bankruptcy unless the logs could be hauled to a saw-mill.

A railroad into the woods would do the trick, of course, and locomotives were in common use on fairly well graded and ballasted iron rails. Mr. Shay couldn't afford such an engine, much less the graded iron track it required, so he set about building a locomotive suited to his needs.

He started with an ordinary flat car, mounting thereon a vertical boiler from a threshing engine and hung along the right side a two-cylinder engine. He extended squared shafts fore and aft from the engine to drive pinions which in turn drove gears attached to the outside faces of the truck wheels, converting them to drivers. At one end of the flat car he mounted a water tank on the other end a wood box and his locomotive was complete.

Now here was an engine where every wheel on the track and every pound of weight was used for pulling. Further it would bend in the middle to negotiate sharp curves and pull as well on a curve as on straight track. Still further the engineer could adjust or repair any moving part, anywhere without the need for hoists, pits or any special tools.

For six winters during the 1870's Mr. Shay worked out the weak parts of his engine and prospered by the steady delivery of logs to the sawmill regardless of weather. By 1881 other loggers realizing Mr. Shay's advantage wanted him to build engines for them. Having only a blacksmith's drill press and a lathe to work with, Mr. Shay declined to start another engine and referred his customers to the Lima Machine Works who 'put more brains into their work than any other firm he was acquainted with.'

Accordingly a telegram to Lima, Ohio brought Mr. George Disman to Haring where he made drawings of Mr. Shay's locomotive. Mr. M. J. Bond a saw-milling neighbor of Mr. Shay ordered the Lima built Shay Locomotive.

On June 14, 1881 Mr. Shay received a patent on his invention, which patent and sole right to manufacture were assigned to the Lima Machine Works for $10,000.00. During the next 65 years a total of 3354 Lima built Shays went into service all over the world.

Of course, changes and improvements were made through the years Locomotive type boilers replaced the orginal upright, 3 cylinders were used in place of two to give better starting torque on grades and some Shays for main line use were massive. In all cases, however, the right hand wheel was geared to the extended engine shaft giving a positive drive to all 8, 12, or 16 wheels, exactly as Ephraim Shay built from the beginning.

The Shay was never a thing of beauty, running more to muscle than style like the lumbermen who used them. The appearance of these engines wasn't helped as replacement stacks were made diamond, balloon or sunflower shaped as fancy dictated. Older photographs show Shays sporting a set of antlers or evergreen trees in season   marks perhaps of appreciative engineers.

A man who heard a Shay before he saw it had visions of an express train at full speed. Actually, 16 exhaust bursts to each turn of its small drivers resulted in a lot of commotion for its leisurely 10 to 15 miles per hour. To the men around a log-train the ability to start and control logs on steep grades   without brakes meant a lot more than speed.

 The last Lima Shay was built in April 1945. This engine is in the B & 0 Museum of Transportation and a similar engine may be seen in its own display building at Lima, Ohio. Would that all builders took pains to perpetuate the engines which helped build this nation.

What makes a man Great? Obed Hussey, inventor of the Reaper and Ephraim Shay, inventor of the geared locomotive are surely candidates. Moreover both men, in my book, rank with the truly great in that they also loved children. Mr. Hussey lost his life accidentally while bringing a glass of water to a little sick girl on a train. Mr. Shay, during his lifetime, built and gave to children over 500 miniature log bobsleighs complete even to the little metal chains and runners.