PO Box 10264 Burbank, California 91510
I have been running traction engines for other people long
enough! I bought my own. A 20 horse Minneapolis 1920 (serial
#8376). A fine engine in its day. However, it is not so fine an
engine just now. This is without a doubt, what one would call a
project engine. I offer for proof the boxes of parts that came with
it! It’s all in pieces and it has been in pieces like this for
at least 20 years. Before buying the engine I was careful to see
that there were enough parts to make a tractor that would run but,
there are still a number of parts missing.
As far back as I can discover, this traction engine was used in
a saw mill in Wausau, Wisconsin. That would have been in the 1940s.
It made its way to Oceanside, California, in 1955. That’s the
southern end of California near San Diego. It ran in local parades
and such, and was used for a movie, starring Gary Cooper and
Dorothy McGuire. The movie was called ‘Friendly
About 20 years ago this steamer was dismantled for restoration
but the work did not get far before it was sold again. It was moved
around some, still in pieces, until 1996. That is, of course, the
day when I bought it and brought it back to the Museum in Vista. It
had made its way into the northern part of California. This is
where I got it. All this moving around while being apart
contributed some to my list of parts that have been lost!
A tremendous amount of work goes into a project like this. Let
there be no doubt about it! I am happy to report that my project is
well underway and a good deal of credit must go out to those people
across the country I have talked with or have gotten parts from. I
want to thank all of them here and now! My parts search has not yet
ended however, so, if anyone has extra parts or will be casting
parts for this traction engine in the foreseeable future, please
let me know about it.
My goal for this engine is to put it back in steam as a working
engine in the belt or in the field! It has an ASME boiler that was
one of the reasons I chose this engine over some others despite the
amount of work it needed. That boiler will make getting certified a
lot easier. A non-code boiler here in California must meet a Factor
of Safety of 8 for a lap seam boiler and 7 for a butt strap boiler.
This is the highest of any state I know of!
I look forward to running this engine at our shows. We put on a
pretty nice show here in Vista. There is a good selection of gas
tractors and engines etc., but of the three running steam traction
engines two are too small for much hard work being in the 15 and 16
HP range, and all three are limited to 100 PSI. This Minneapolis
will make a fine addition to our show and I will send in another
picture of the engine then.