Norbeck Research 117 Ruch St. Coplay, PA 18037
Frick 50 HP steam traction engine, built in 1919 by the Frick
Co., of Waynesboro, Pa., owner Ray Herr, Paradise, Pa.; 1918
Stanley steam car 20 HP, built by the Stanley brothers, Newton,
Mass., owner Marvin Klair of Wilmington, Delaware.
Photo is by Jack Norbeck at Rough and Tumble in Kinzers, Pa.
George Frick, who established the Frick Company, was born in
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania on a 500 acre farm purchased in 1733
by his great-great-grandfather from the Penns. George’s
grandfather, Abraham Frick, was a captain in the Revolution.
When George Frick was nine years old, his father left the home
of his Swiss ancestors in Lancaster County and moved the family to
the Cumberland Valley, near Quincy, Pa.
In 1848, George Frick began manufacturing grain cleaners and
horse powers in a weaving mill at Quincy. There, two years later,
he constructed his first steam engine. This was mounted on a wooden
frame and delivered two horsepower. In 1851 or 1852 he built a shop
on a farm near Ringgold and in 1853, established the Frick Company.
George Frick became a pioneer builder for four essential kinds of
equipment: steam engines, grain threshers, sawmills and
refrigerating systems. Frick sawmills, introduced in 1875, were
later built in quantities up to a thousand or more a year. Frick
refrigerating, air conditioning, ice making and quick-freezing
systems have set the standards of dependability since 1882.
In the mid-1870’s the Frick Company began building its own
portable sawmills. The Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania, the engineering event of 1876, gave the highest award
in its class to a Frick farm steam engine, which carried the
‘ECLIPSE’ trademark for the first time. In 1880, a Frick
engine triumphed over 25 others from America, England and Europe at
the great exposition in Melbourne, Australia. The Frick or
‘Eclipse’ steam traction engine was built in Waynesboro,
Pa., from 1880 until 1936.
In 1894, the East St. Louis Ice and Cold Storage plant, the
largest of its kind, installed a 125-ton Frick plate ice making
system and two compressors of 36-inch stroke, driven by compound
condensing engines. A third engine of the same type drove the
auxiliaries through a big jackshaft.
Two years later, Frick Company built for Armour and Company the
largest refrigerating machine in the world. This 30-foot giant had
a bore of 27 inches and a stroke of 48, and with its
tandem-compound engine measured 59 feet long. This big unit was
operated day and night, continuously for 35 years and was in
reserve service another five years.
Today, the Frick Company is still in business making
refrigerating machinery and air conditioning. Their home office is
France Stanley and Freelan Stanley built their first steam car
in 1897. In 1906, their steamer set a mile-speed world record. The
car hit speeds of 127.66 miles per hour. Mr. Fred Marriott drove
the Stanley Steamer Car that set the record at Ormond Beach,
Florida on January 21 to 28, 1906. The car was demolished on
January 27, 1907, hitting over 190 miles per hour.
The Stanley Steamer Car model 76, 20 HP, five passenger, sold
fully equipped, for around $1,700 F.O.B. at Newton, Massachusetts.
The model 76 five passenger touring cars used a 23 inch boiler and
a 20 HP 4 x 5 engine. Lighting outfit consisted of electric dash
light, combination oil and electric side and tail lights,
electrically ignited gas headlights with Prest O-Lite tank and a
Willard 6-80 storage battery. The water tank with outside filler
was at the rear and held 45 gallons.
When the car was going 30 miles per hour, the steam engine would
make only 420 revolutions per minute. The condensor at the front of
the car received all the exhaust steam from the engine, then
condensed it back to water, which flowed by gravity down to the
tank and was good for about 100 miles. The last Stanley Steamers
were sold in 1924.
Information for this article came from the Encyclopedia of
American Steam Traction Engines and Mr. Marvin W. Klair,