Annotated Peerless Steam Engine

A non-running model G Peerless steam engine gets annotated cards to keep it relevant

| January/February 2002

Pictured here is what I call my "Annotated Steam Engine." It is a Model G Peerless Portable engine, No. 6156, that I exhibited at the Alley Park Engine Show at Lancaster, Ohio, in August 2001. The portable engine was not yet ready to be steamed up for the show, so I looked for a way to present it that would be interesting and, hopefully, educational. The white tags you see hanging off the portable engine are attached, via a piece of heavy cord, to individual components on the engine, such as the pressure gauge, sight glass and crosshead pump. Each tag gives the name and a brief description of the function of that component. I was fortunate to have taken the time to laminate the tags, as the plastic covering protected them from rain so that I can use them again next year. I was pleased to see the number of families who took the time to read the tags, talk about what they meant and sometimes ask questions.

The Annotated Steam Engine Cards Read as Follows:

Peerless portable engine. This engine was built in 1898 or 1899 and could have been used to power a small grain separator, a sawmill, a shingle mill or other belt-driven equipment. This engine is not self-propelled and would have been moved from one location to another by a team of horses.

Pressure gauge. Indicates how much pressure is in the boiler at any time.

Sight glass. Indicates how much water is in the boiler. This is the most important device on any steam engine.

Try cocks. Used to verify that the water level shown in the sight glass is correct.

Injector. A special valve that uses the pressure of the steam to force water into the boiler.