Eight and One-Half Miles From My House
Joe Knorr looking at his boiler after we pulled it out.
737 Stratford Avenue Salt Lake City, Utah 84106-1714
One hot summer day, a friend called to ask if I wanted a steam boiler. 'Sure,' I said, 'Who has one for sale?'
Well, it was a friend of a friend, and he would find out more and call me back. About a month later, after I had almost forgotten about it, he called back with a name and phone number. I gave the man a call, a Mr. Knorr. Sure enough he had a boiler for sale. He said it was a Case 40 HP, and would I like to see it? So I went and picked him up at his house in Murray, Utah, not too far from my house. We went out to West Salt Lake about eight miles from downtown to an old pig farm called Joe's Livestock, at one time.
The boiler was in an old tin shack. Wow! It was a Case 40 HP. It still had the brass engine tag #34043. As soon as I saw the Case door, with the eagle, and I knew I wanted this boiler. It was a butt strap boiler, 28 inches in diameter and 80 inch seam. But the engine was gone, also wheels, gears, axles, everything! He had used it only to make steam. He had used an electric motor with feed water pump, low water cut off, high and low water controls, and a coal stoker called an Iron Fireman. The original smokestack was also missing. A peacock had been in the rafters and made a mess on the boiler. Anyway, I told Mr. Knorr I would buy the boiler. After we made a deal on the price, I had to find a way to move it, but all this would have to wait . . .
The Utah Antique Machinery Association's fall show and E.D.G.E. & T.A. National Meeting was only one week away. At the show I asked a friend with a backhoe if he would help me move the boiler.
Well the very next day after the show I went to work removing all the controls, doors, valves, piping, water column, everything. Now to remove part of the north wall. A friend from work also helped me remove some piping. After leaving the farm one night, I checked the mileage it was 8.5 miles to my house.
Well, after a weekend and every night after work getting ready, we were going to pull the Case boiler out to daylight after 30 years in the pig barn . . .
After a very hot and dry summer, the first part of October was cold and rainy, so on a cold and wet October morning we moved the boiler outside; we put steel plates under the fire box and pulled it out.
Mr. Knorr had found the boiler in a metal scrap yard in Salt Lake City. The story was it came from Idaho???
A thanks to Joe Knorr for selling me the boiler, to Jim Shane for helping with the backhoe, and to Les Vanzomeren with piping.