9374 Roosevelt Street, Crown Point, Indiana 46307
Having the right tools for any job is not the answer in
completing a project. A traction engine that is not properly
maintained is of little use, even in the best of hands. Just the
same, a well built and well maintained engine in the hands of an
unskilled operator is of little use, the engine itself can be a
An understanding of the tools and their proper use is of notable
importance. The engineer is the key element in the successful
operation of any steam engine. Just as it is important to maintain
the tools one uses, an engineer should make an effort to add to his
knowledge. An engine that is well maintained is only as good as the
skill and knowledge of the engineer.
The Oklahoma Steam Threshers Steam School of 1998 will be held
this March 28 & 29, 1998, at the Steam Engine Park in Pawnee,
Oklahoma. The school was truly not setup by the senior engineers,
but by the younger members who simply wished to learn more about
the elements of steam engineering. The weekend will be filled with
good instructions on several subjects.
For those with an advanced case of Cabin Fever, coal smoke will
rise early above Pawnee, Oklahoma. On March 27th, a day before the
school, four engines will run economy tests on the Prony brake; all
coal and water will be measured. The engines planned for this event
include: 10 HP double rear mounted Keck-Gonnerman, No. 1636, owned
by Steve Dunn; 20 HP Advance Rumely Universal, No. 14806, owned by
Ivan Burns; and 20 HP Avery Undermount Special No. 4868, owned by
Chady Atteberry. Chady will also have his 65 HP J. I. Case No.
After the engines perform the economy tests, a maximum
horsepower test of each engine will follow.
In the event of a rare Oklahoma rain on Friday, a tour of the
engines stored at Pawnee will take place. Then at 10:30 a.m. we
will travel to Edmond, Oklahoma, to view the collection of Ivan
The 1998 Oklahoma Steam School itself is set for March 28 and
29, with instructors from several states covering different
subjects. Babbitting, steam governors, plumbing a boiler, injectors
and pumps, boiler care, steam safety and firing under a load are
part of the wide range of subjects that will be covered over two
Extra attention will be given on belting a steam traction
engine, an essential subject that has been stressed by Chady and
others. Simple instructions on holding the belt to tips on handling
the engine will be dealt with. Three engines will be used in
belting school for hands-on belting, with instructors to help the
student engineer. Engines used for the belting school will include
Ivan’s 20 HP Advance Rumely Universal, Steve’s 20 HP double
rear-mounted Keck-Gonnerman, and Chady’s own 65 HP Case.
Saturday evening will be filled with slides, video and some
There is no charge for the school and everyone is welcome. Bring
your sleeping bag or cot if you wish to stay at the headquarters
Hope to see you in March 1998!