FRICK ENGINE


| March/April 1960



Frick Company, Waynesboro, Penna.

With the exception of windmills, the Clore plant has used, in turn, all the recognized forms of power. After beginning with hand-and-foot-power tools, the pioneers in the business constructed a huge slanting wheel, over 30 feet in diameter, which was turned by a bull, and later a horse.

With all its size, this treadmill developed considerably less than one horsepower continuously. Four horses were later hitched to the wheel by means of sweeps, and cogs were used to multiply the turning speed.

A dam was next thrown across a nearby stream and the fall utilized for water power to drive the sawmill, a planer, lathes and other machinery. This served for a good many, years, until a boiler and steam engine were installed outside the plant, with a long belt running to the shafting.

This served until about 1895, when a vertical boiler and engine were placed inside the factory. Sparks, rising straight upward through the tubes of the boiler, caught the roof on fire in April, 1901, and burned down the plant.

When it was rebuilt, the Frick engine was put in service. Steam from the horizontal boiler was used for heating the building in winter, operating a kiln for drying lumber, and bending pieces used in chairs and other furniture; at the same time the engine drove the machinery. Later, gas-engine power, was tried, and finally electric motors were installed.