1060 Chestnut Rd., Ypsilanti, Mich.
Rebecca Jane Habel, 3 and her 4 year old brother, Dan Michael,
find it’s lots of fun when granddad fires up his antique model
steam engine. Grandpa Habel acquired the model in Ohio. His
interest in it stems from his boyhood on a farm when threshing
machines were powered by engines of this type. The children’s
parents are Dr. and Mrs. Dan W. Habel of 721 Hutchins Ave.
Says Grandpa Habel, we bought the engine and boiler early this
summer from Mr. Elmer Minnich of Swanton, Ohio, who built it some
The steam generating unit is a boiler made by welding the ends
of a length of 6′ double strength pipe shut and constructing an
ample fire box and combustion chamber around it. Water is pumped
into the boiler against the full steam pressure by a hand operated
The engine is reversible with a Wolf type reverse gear and, as
you will note, has a fly ball governor. Provision is made for
lubricating the the cylinder and valve with a cup type lubricator.
Cylinder bore is approximately 2′ and the stroke is 3′.
After we brought the engine and boiler home we mounted it on the
hand truck, as shown, and added the coal bin and water tank. The
electric blower seen in front of the fire box was originally a hair
dryer, and it furnishes enough draft to raise 851bs of steam
pressure in about 25 minutes after starting the fire. We burn coal
under the boiler. We have piped the exhaust into the stack, and
after we start the engine it furnishes enough draft to keep the
steam pressure up.
Mr. Minnich is a former Plymouth dealer and machine shop
operator in Swanton, and tells me he did machine work on the small
traction engines built by Mr. Laurence Gressemer who lives near
Swanton, and one of whose engines was recently pictured in your