1899 steam engine boiler explosion


| May/June 1967



Separator torn to pieces

"Wreck of barn and portable engine on the farm of Charles Haight. Big Prairie Township. Newago County, Michigan on July 31, 1899 in which a boiler explosion killed seven men."

Mr. Wayne Kemler

In recalling the article in the Iron-Men Album of May-June 1953, page 8, also in the March-April issue of 1966, page 34 by Mr. Russell Shaw concerning the White Cloud Blast of 1899, I am enclosing two pictures of the scene taken after the accident of July 31, 1899.

The one picture shows the barn with part of the separator torn to pieces and looks quite like the same barn in the March-April issue.

The second picture shows quite a little of the engine. In looking over the picture it looks like it might be about a 16 hp Russell engine.

I would be interested in knowing what some of the other readers think regarding the make of the engine.

There is also one other account in the past albums that states that the blast of the boiler was heard for 24 miles. I thought the Album readers would like a picture of the accident.

I do not have any information as to the cause, but it is my opinion that the cause was low water as this was the cause of most boiler explosions and thereby was the neglect of the operator.