For some time we have wanted to get progressive pictures of
Solomon Bros, building a boiler. They are wonderful fellows but
this is is one thing that is hard to get. Mr. Edward Alexander
gives us a taste of it.
Last fall at Mount Pleasant you asked me to send you some
pictures taken at Solomon Boiler Works of Mr. Lang’s boiler. I
went north from Mount Pleasant and finished my vacation at Superior
Wisconsin and by the time I reached home I had forgotten your
request. Later when I remembered, I couldn’t find the notation
I had made. Finally found it the other day so am sending the
photos, including a couple of extra ones for my conscience’
sake. I hope you will forgive me for this very tardy response.
EDWARD R. ALEXANDER, 710 West 44th Street, Kansas City,
I have just finished a 4-4-2 Atlantic type live steam
locomotive, 20′ gauge track and one 14 passenger car, 7 seats.
This engine has a steam driven air pump and air brakes on engine
and car. The engine and tender weigh about 2500 to 3000 pounds
without water and coal. The boiler holds about 70 gallons of water,
the tender holds 145 gallons of water and ton of coal.
For this size engine, I had to make my patterns for all parts
first and then get them casted, and then machine the parts. I had
to build everything for it except the pipe fittings, coil springs,
ball bearings, bolts, nuts, washers, cotter pins. All wheels have
I also designed the boiler and cut the plates, but I had the
welding done by an accredited welding company because I could not
get insurance otherwise. The boiler when finished had a cold water
rupture test of 625 pounds; at that pressure it sheared a stay bolt
that was replaced and again tested to 450 pounds and is now
operated at 150 pounds.
It is not in use as it is in my yard on a short track. I steam
it up about once a month.
My patterns are Universal so I can build 16-18-20-22-24 inch
gauge locomotives with them if wanted. This is the only miniature
steam locomotive that I have ever seen or heard of with an air pump
for brakes. They have steam brakes on the locomotive, only the
Diesel type have air brakes supplied by a belted compressor.
I had no plans to work from except my own drawings and scaling
to size. This engine and tender is about 18 ft. long and is about 5
feet to top of smoke stack. It has a 3′ bore and 7 inch stroke.
Boiler is about 3 hp. Engine has outside valve gear of my own
design with piston valves. It took me 1360 hours to build engine
and tender and one car with no help. I have a small machine shop
here at home and electric and hand tools to do the work.
I have waited all my life to find time to build the dream of my
life as I used to work for the Tennessee Coal and Iron Co. as a
machinist and later on as locomotive at their iron ore mines above
Cartersville, Georgia. I retired in 1957 and about a year later I
began work on my patterns for this locomotive. I am now in my 71st
J. W. HENDRICKS, 1316 Nash Road N.W., Atlanta 18, Georgia