Farm Collector

Dairyland Driftings

By Gil

Using smoke-stacks as clues to find steam power, one can get
fooled very easy since many operators use boilers to kiln-dry
lumber. At Good man, Wisconsin, the Veneer Mill use an
Ingersoll-Rand 10×11 to run an air compressor while idly setting by
is a partly dismantled 300 hp Filer Stowell engine 18×30. Stayed
over night in Norway, Michigan, thence over to Iron Mountain to see
that Cornish pump engine. That’s a la-la-la-loosa for sure. A
compound vertical 50x100x120 inch stroke. Flywheel 40 feet in
diameter. Peculiar was this engine in that the cylinders are
vertical but the crank disc horizontal by means of a rocker arm
deal hooked up to the pump combination. This item worth driving
many miles to see. Iron Mountain also claims the world’s
highest ski jump.

Near said town we met a string of iron ore cars pulled by 5
diesel units, in lieu of the old steamer. I got thinking – Could
the upkeep on 5 units justify their merits? Was reading the other
day in our local paper a summary of Wisconsin Conservation
Department Fire Report of 1960. 1245 fires occurred, burned 6,061
acres and estimated damage of $38,052. Railroads were leading cause
of fires, 29.3% of the total. Evidently the internal combustion
engine did not minimize this hazard.

At Ishpeming, Michigan, the furniture factory is still using a
pair of Skinner Universal Uniflow Corliss engines to generate
electricity. They are a pair of Honeys indeed, 21×21, 480 hp each
at 150 lbs. pressure. Had a very nice visit with the engineer
RUSSELL C. AHO, 148 Salisbury St. These engines were installed in
’47 and are apt to run a long time yet.

One objective of this trip was to see the 4 cylinder Nordberg
Corliss hoist engine in the abandoned Quincy copper mine just up
the hill from Hancock. I stood in awe and amazement – the largest
man-made power unit I’ve seen or ever hope to see. It was
simply majestic, magnificent, massive – brother I mean BIG. I first
learned of this masterpiece thru CLARENCE and DOT LANG from Detroit
who came thru here on a visit several years ago. I do hope it can
be preserved as a token to the mining industry at the turn of the

Was told the Hass and Ontonagan Pulp and Paper Company at
Ontonagan still use steam power in the form of Turbine engines. We
didn’t stop in but noted a retired Baldwin 2-6-2 locomotive in
the yards.

Going off the main drag, we really found steam power. The Conner
Lumber Co., west of Wakefield, are using a Nordberg-Hi-Efficiency
Poppit engine 22×32, 400 hp to drive an Allis Chalmers generator.
In the same room is a 28×52 Nordberg Corliss, 1000 hp to operate
the entire mill which was running two shifts at that time.
Interesting too, was the electric eye arrangement for keeping the
skidway full of logs, almost entirely automatic.

A sure thing – a trip like this tastes like more, but enuff for

  • Published on Sep 1, 1961
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