HAPPINESS IS AN OLD STEAM ENGINE


| January/February 1979



Peerless engine

108 Garfield Avenue, Madison, New Jersey 07940

Happiness Is An Old Steam Engine. Titus Brubaker Sr., is shown filling grease cups aboard his 1903 Peerless engine. This engine sees a great amount of action at the various shows in the area.

Fortunately there was a tractor parked conveniently to the sawmill and I slid into the seat to be in a good position to watch the demonstration. It was then that I realized that I was watching three veterans of steam powered sawing with over two hundred years of experience. The occasion was the twenty-first annual reunion of the Early American Steam Engine and Old Equipment Society's Steam-O-Rama, July 13 to 15.

This historical society was organized in 1957 by Paul E. White. For three years they had operated in temporary locations around Red Lion, Pennsylvania. However, since 1960 they have been in their permanent location just off Route 24 north of Stewartstown, Pennsylvania. It is an excellent site on high ground overlooking the rolling hills of Pennsylvania in the area south of York. Now that they have a 'home' it has been practical to erect some substantial facilities. And it has also made it possible to install their sawmill that I had come to watch.

The mill is one built by Geiser Manufacturing Company of Waynesboro and has the serial number 5989. It has a 48' circular blade. This day the power was being supplied by a 1903 Peerless Model RR of approximately 12 horsepower. It is owned by Titus Brubaker St., of Rohrsburg and can usually be seen at the Rough and Tumble Engineers grounds in Kinzer. Today, Titus was the engineer and the sawyer was Eli Williams. Eli had a one-man board of experts in the person of Manny Nafe looking over his shoulder. So you knew that you were in for a good show.

The project was to make some 'roofers' from some well-seasoned oak logs. There were a few remarks passed over the loudspeaker about cutting out toothpicks but these veteran operators paid no attention to any distractions, but went about their business. Titus was the senior man of the group at 89 years of age. Eli and Manny wouldn't admit it but they are in about the same time frame compared to the muscle-bound youngsters that they let feed the logs to the carriage. It shows real management capability to let the other guy do the heavy lifting while you use your superior knowledge in the heavy thinking department.