COMMENTS BY LeROY BLAKER Alvordton, Ohio


| September/October 1960



I want to congratulate you on the fine appearance of the last two issues of IRON-MEN ALBUM magazine. We just received the May-June issue in yesterday's mail.

There are several letters in this issue in which I think the writers made some misstatements. Now - in regard to some boilers 40 or more years old being as good as new - will say the owners mean they may be as safe as when new. But we all know the tubes are more liable to pitting and corrosion and that they must be replaced at times.

As far as safety is concerned, no one is any more afraid of an old untested boiler than I am, but if I see a test card hanging on a boiler, even if it is a very old boiler, with the owner's or inspector's signature on it, I feel the owner is looking out for the public's safety.

In regard to Mr. Glenn Harmon's letter about 'Too Much Pressure' I will say - who ever heard of anyone carrying 50% more steam pressure than the manufacturer recommended? I must come to the defense of my good friend, Joseph E. May, who is a Case engine fan and knows what he is talking about. Mr. Harmon mentions a 50% factor of safety and I assume he means the strength of new boilers. I do not care to be around any boiler under pressure if it has only a factor of safety of 50% more than working pressure.

Practically all late high pressure steam traction engine boilers were built 500 to 700% stronger than the working pressure. Did Mr. Harmon ever see or study a boiler construction record? Just now I am looking at a copy of the construction record of the 65 Case boiler I owned for a number of years. This record is on file with the Industrial Commission of Ohio and shows J. I. Case Ohio Std. No. 1878 was finished and inspected Nov. 17, 1916, by Hartford S.B.I.& I. Co., and approved 165 lbs. W. P. It shows the boiler plate was made by Worth Bros. Co. of Coatsville, Pa. (Lukens Steel Co. now.)

Mathematically, it had a bursting pressure of 939 P.S.I. Ohio boiler laws demand a factor of safety of 5 to 1, so this Case boiler could be legally used in Ohio carrying 187 P.S.I, when new. Three of our district boiler inspectors said this boiler was as good as new when I bought it in 1953. It had always been housed, used very little, and had good care.