Early Russell Steam Traction Engine

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S47 W22300 Lawnsdale Road Waukesha, Wisconsin 53186

This engine is very small, probably about 6 or 8 HP, and was
built by Russell & Company of Massillon, Ohio, about 1895.

This picture was taken in 1898 on the Meidenbauer farm (Echo
Farm) southeast of the City of Waukesha, Wisconsin, on Lawnsdale
Road (County Trunk ‘I’), very near the Waukesha/New Berlin
town line.

Standing on the boiler and holding onto the smokestack is Selma
Schoenwalder Lartz, who was born December 19, 1875, so she was 23
years old when this picture was taken. She was an early ancestor of
Rich Lartz, a collector of old iron and a current member of Branch
#2, of the Early Day Gas Engine and Tractor Association, and Joe
Schoenwalder of Schoenwalder’s Plumbing and Bath Shop of
Waukesha, Wisconsin.

The boiler is obviously cold, and judging by the children’s
clothing, it is likely a holiday or a celebration of some sort, or
perhaps just a Sunday after church.

Although steam engines presented an attractive place to play,
they were generally ‘off limits” to the children. Here
they likely were allowed on the engine just long enough to take
this picture.

I’d sure like to see one like this under steam. Do any of
you know of one this size and vintage that is still being used?

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