Different Makes of Steam Traction Engines

An excerpt from "The Young Engineers' Guide," published in 1907.

| March/April 2000

The following chapter is reprinted from "The Young Engineers' Guide", published in 1907 by the Frederick J. Drake & Company of Chicago, Ill. We thought our readers would enjoy the authors' comparisons of some of the various engines available at that point in time. 

J. I. Case Steam Traction Engine These engines are among the simplest and at the same time most substantial and durable traction engines on the market. They are built of the best materials throughout, and are one of the easiest engines for a novice to run.

They are of the side crank types, with spring mounting. The engine is supported by a bracket bolted to the side of the boiler, and a pillow block bearing at the firebox end bolted to the side plate of the boiler.

The valve is the improved Woolf, a single simple valve being used, worked by a single eccentric. The eccentric strap has an extended arm pivoted in a wooden block sliding in a guide. The direction of this guide can be so changed by the reverse lever as to vary the cut-off and easily reverse the engine when desired.

The engine is built either with a simple cylinder or with a tandem compound cylinder.

In the operation of the differential gear, the power is first transmitted to spur gear, containing cushion springs, from thence by the springs to a center ring and four bevel pinions which bear equally upon both bevel gears. The whole differential consequently will move together as but one wheel when engine is moving straight forward or backward; but when turning a corner the four pinions revolve in the bevel gears just in proportion to the sharpness of the curve.