Connecticut Antique Machinery Association 1990


| September/October 1991

47 Clinton Avenue, Westport, Connecticut 06880. Reprinted from the Spring 1991 Connecticut Antique Machinery Newsletter

Although the 1990 Fall Festival was the largest to date, with 275 exhibitors, the friendly spirit of earlier shows was still very much evident. New show-goers commented that they couldn't find a better bunch of people anywhere and exhibitors were pleased with the enthusiasm shown by the crowds. It was also a great time to chat with old friends, and, as always, the show seemed to be over too soon.

During the week preceding the Festival, volunteers worked on the grounds, putting out stakes and ropes, hooking up the steam soup kettle to its manifold, setting up our new food booth, and assembling steam lines for the engines and model table. They also hooked up our 85 HP Ames boiler to the steam lines from the Industrial Hall, completed the feeding heater and condenser lines for the Tiffany and Pickett engine, and installed its muffler on the roof.

Our new mill whistle, donated by Kevin Shail, was mounted above the roof with the large two-stage valve placed inside. When we tried the whistle, we found the pilot valve leaked and needed lapping. While we were taking it apart, something fell inside the steam riser pipe. We took off the fitting at the end of the run and placed a bucket there. Opening the steam valve, we gave it a shot of steam from the boiler, and, along with several gallons of condensate, we retrieved a spring. We also found that the valve main piston was stuck, so we took the valve down for re-machining, after which it worked fine.

As things worked out, the feed pump for the Ames boiler was perhaps a little undersized and worn, but by dropping the boiler pressure a bit, we were able to get it to work. This package boiler was built in the mid 40's and was donated to us by Henry Miliski, who had it set up on a trailer to be fully automatic for rental as an emergency steam-heat unit. One of its last commercial jobs was to supply heat one winter for our state capitol in Hartford. Cleaned up and painted, when the boiler was running, it was an interesting and attractive exhibit in its own right.

Dudley Diebolds New Huber steam traction engine arrived a few days before the show, and after unloading, it was towed in with Mort Lowenthal's Russell traction engine. Temporary power lines were run overhead from the electrical panel, through the trees, to the Industrial Hall, to supply electricity for lights and the Ames boiler. Water hoses were run from the well to supply the boilers. All of the boilers passed their state inspections on Friday and were ready for operation.