2806 – 5th Avenue, Altoona, Pa. 16602
A collection of exact replica of old steam engines that actually
operated at a particular place in their time as machine shop power
as well as electric generating stations in small towns where the
community owned their own plants.
Left to right first is a slow speed machine shop steam engine of
the 18th century which operated R. R. shop machines from main
overhead line shafts belted to machines below on the floor which
were controlled by shifting lever sliding belt from an idling
pulley to the individual machine’s own pulley.
Second one is a center crank hi-speed steam engine driving a
bipolar dynamo which was a unit in an old small town electric light
plant. Third one is a hi-speed horizontal side crank engine which
drove a closed field (1890) Westinghouse dynamo in the same plant.
The plant operated night time only. This plant was taken over by
the Patomic Edison at the time when the large Powers were taking
over the little ones.
The fourth, a vertical center crank hi-speed steam engine belt
connected to an enclosed type dynamo which furnished electric
lights, lighting the boiler house, the pumping house, offices and
grounds of an isolated pipe line oil pumping station just south of
Saxton at Clark Station on the Huntingdon and Broad Top Mt. R. R.
which has been abandoned about 1952 after being in service for 100
years. The Everett R.R. now operating is what is left of the old
H&B TMRR and believe it or not is operating in steam.
The fifth engine is a side crank type with a bore of 2′ and
a stroke of 2 – 7/8′ of about 1 HP and drives about any thing I
have around the shop including an old bipolar Edison (of about
1880) dynamo converted from a DC motor.
The above all work perfectly and it is a rare pleasure to watch
them work even though it is in miniature. The steam is supplied
from a vertical 14′ by 24′ ‘ wall seamless steel tubing
with 24 flues welded in, tested to 400 lbs. hydrostatic pressure
and operates normally at 80 lbs. steam pressure. The fuel used is
natural gas or bottled gas.
In the Album of May-June 1964 page 30 is a 3 HP version of the
miniature vertical electrical plant described above, which I also
have in my collection.