Spalding’s Corner: Looking for Clues to Mystery Steam Engine

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Correctly identifying the “mystery” engine
featured every issue in Spalding’s Corner has
become something of a test of knowledge for some of you. Case in
point: Bob Carlson of Haddam, Conn., who’s been trying to get his
answer in first for the past few issues, but keeps finding himself
squeezed out by another reader who sneaks in before him. As the
first person to correctly identify the mystery engine featured in
the May/June 2005 issue, Bob’s definitely proof of the old adage,
“Third time’s a charm.”

Noting the engine’s signature flywheel and firebox as clues to
its identity, Bob identified the engine as a product of the
Northwest Thresher Co., Stillwater, Minn. The featured engine was
produced in 1887 when the company called them the “Stillwater,” in
homage, we assume, to Northwest Thresher’s home city. Later engines
were called New Giants.

Thomas Stebritz, Algona, Iowa, provided more information, noting
the engine’s combined gear and chain drive, and three-point
friction clutch. According to Thomas, the spokes were cast into the
driver rims and the bull gears were internal cog-type.

Congratulations, Bob, your free copy of Prof. P.F. Rose’s
Steam Engine Guide is on its way. You’ve certainly earned

This month’s mystery engine comes, as usual, courtesy of
John Spalding, 112 Carriage Place, Hendersonville,
TN 37035 ( The identity of this month’s mystery
engine, a return-flue design, should prove a little less

As ever, the first person to correctly identify the engine, by
mail, gets a free copy of Prof. P.F. Rose’s Steam Engine
. Good steaming.

Farm Collector Magazine
Farm Collector Magazine
Dedicated to the Preservation of Vintage Farm Equipment