E. Leonard & Sons Vintage Canadian Engines

Two readers respond to our article about E. Leonard & Sons and the now vintage Canadian engines they made in the 19th century.


| March 2005



vintage Canadian engines - E. Leonard & Sons portable engine

Although this is an E. Leonard & Sons vintage Canadian engine, it wasn't originally portable; a later owner attached it to a portable boiler.

Photo: Charles Wagler and Leroy Ebersol

Charles Wagler and Leroy Ebersol's article on E. Leonard & Sons vintage Canadian engines ("Steaming in Canada") in the January/February 2005 issue prompted Bill Lynch of Knox, ME, who is restoring an E. Leonard engine, to write the following:

I've been a subscriber of Steam Traction for several years and enjoy the magazine very much. I am in the process of restoring an E. Leonard steam engine I got a few years ago. I haven't had much success finding information about them. My engine is missing a few parts, including the top slide rails of the crosshead, but is otherwise complete.

My engine is a bit larger than the one shown in the article. The bore is 5 1/2 inches and the stroke 6 inches. I found some dark green paint under a bit of dried grease on the base. Also, some off-white paint on the flywheel spokes. Everything else is rust. The valve cover on the steam chest has "E. Leonard & Sons, Patent Jan. 9, 1877, London, Ontario."

The valve gear is very worn but the eccentric is okay. The piston was stuck tight and showed an old water line. I got that free and the bore honed out reasonably well; the piston is in good condition with Z-rings with step-cut ends. New rings should make it usable. What may have been an original governor is gone, but I have a replacement that will fit nicely after some restoration.

The flywheel has a 5-inch wide face and is 23 inches in diameter. The spokes are flat, not curved as are the ones in the article. Just back of the cylinder on top of the area where the right slide ends are two bolt holes, tapped, which probably were for an oiler or something else.

The photos in the article are not easy to use to pick out details, but from what I can see my engine is very much like the one shown. I didn't see any serial number on my machine when I cleaned it up.