Farm Collector

M. E. Timmons writes. . . . . . . . . . .

307 South High St., Kenton, Ohio

Dear Elmer:

You never met me but I feel as though I know you. I’ve read
your magazine for several years and ENJOY it very much. My
subscription is about up so I thought when I send check, I would
send you a picture of my engine. I grew up with a steam threshing
rig and I always wanted to be an engineer, but like a lot of other
people and dreams, I never made it. So a couple of years ago I had
a chance to buy a steam engine that had been manufactured some time
before 1915 but never been assembled. So some Dollars changed hand,
and I came home with two boxes of rough machined castings, that I
didn’t know any thing about. But with the help of friends and a
lot of luck, I have what I think is the first traction steam engine
ever built in Kenton. I’ll try and describe it to you. It is an
upright Marine type engine 3/13/16 bore X4′ stroke. It has a
Stephenson type reversing link 24′ X 4′ fly wheel. It has a
Manzel oiler and a ‘ Gardener Governer. I turn it 300 r.p.m.
with 100lb. of steam. It has a Leffel 5 hp boiler. It has a 30 gal.
head tank and also a 30 gal. rear tank and coal bunk to match. It
has no clutch but a transmission between the engine and the chain
drive back to the right angle drive-taken from a John Deere
combine, then to a Ford rear end. It has 15 X 7.60 tires all around
and I can attach the tongue to the front axle and tow it behind my
car 40 Mi. per hour (on good road that is). When I get to the show
or wherever I’m going to play with it, remove the tongue, hook
up the steering and the little engine will travel 4 Mi. per hour
under its own power. I have a buzz saw and a little 6’ feed
grinder that it pulls very nicely. So now after about 55 years I
have a steam engine where I can be the engineer. It isn’t of
course as grand as some of those fine old Baker, Case, Huber and
many of those fine old engines, but then I couldn’t afford one
of them. And then I’ve had a lot of fun building this one.

I had to sell my shop a couple of years ago on account of a back
injury, so I don’t have all the tools that I once had or that
one should have to build a steam engine. But then as I said earlier
in this letter I have some good friends who have been very kind
tome in loaning their tools. Now some of the specifications. It is
109′ long, 97′ to the top of stack and 65′ wide, weighs
3000 pounds. Two steam guages Q Baker and 1 unknown make, two
injectors 1 Desmond, mfg. in Urbana, O. and 1 Chicago both ‘.
Three whistles 1-14′, 1-10′ and 1-4’. These two
injectors were new found them in a local hardware store. They had
been there so long the present owners didn’t know what they
were. Quite a lot of driving and looking through a lot of junk to
unearth enough accessories to pipe up a steam engine as most
amateur steam engine builders know, especially in a country where
they have been gone for 30 years. I’m sending several pictures
of different views so maybe you can get an idea of what it looks
like.

  • Published on May 1, 1963
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