Noel, Missouri 64854
By checking through the steam engine magazines, beginning with the August 1964 issues, there are listed the following ages of the 59 deceased steam engine-men. This does not include those where neither the birth date nor the age was shown.
One age 97, one age 92, one age 90, one age 86, one age 85, two age 83, three age 82, one age 80, one age 79, two age 78, two age 77, four age 76, three age 75, six age 72, four age 70, two age 69, four age 63, four age 66, two age 65, two age 63, one age 62, two age 61, two age 60, one age 59, one age 58, one age 55, two age 54, one age 52 and one age 26. This makes a total of 4164 years for the 59 deceased steam engine-men, or an average of 70 years, which is an unusually high percentage.
It may be possible that the steam vapor intermingled with cylinder oil and sulphur fumes, the dust from the ashes, the threshing dust and static electricity from the drive belt, the dust from reading an engine, the dust, grease and grime on a persons clothing and hands and the gentle rocking of the engine in motion are all contributors to a persons health. Should that be true, then the old steam engine was a good doctor.
In the event that it could be proven that a steam engine contributed greatly to a persons health and increased his life span, then every person should own a steam engine and operate it at regular intervals to maintain his good health. Or it may be possible to combine all of a steam engines life giving attributes or qualities into a capsule or tablet for a persons health and to extend his life span.
So much has been said for the old rocking chak for its soothing affect on the nerve system by removing the built-up tensions and bring a persons mind and body to a complete restful state. The rocking of a steam engine may be the predominant factor for the steam engine-mans long life span. In addition to this, a steam engine-man exercises every muscle or every part of his body, by shoveling coal into the fire-box, cleaning the ash-pit, cleaning the flues and climbing on and off of the engine.
Watching an engine, in motion, operating under a load, is like a tranquilizer, and its effect on a person is quieting, soothing and most interesting. It may be possible that is the reason the steam engine-men have such a fondness or love for the steam engine that never gets out of their system. And for that reason it may be said that a steam engine is a good doctor.