(This article holds special interest to all steam traction engine owners. The author asks you to write to him about laws in your states in regard to boilers; we would also appreciate hearing, in the hope that we can run a compilation of the various laws regulating steam traction engines. Ed.)
Thru the efforts of the Minnesota Steam Engine Association, the Minnesota legislature, in the 1981 session, passed a bill allowing steam hobbyists to obtain a life-time steam engineer's license. This eliminates the expense of renewing a license every year, when it is used strictly for show and hobby purposes. Any hobby engineer currently holding a regular license can continue to retain and operate on that license if he so desires.
Also, show engines and boilers are now being inspected every two years, instead of yearly. This saves considerable money for the larger shows.
The following is taken from the bill: 'When used only for display and demonstration purposes, steam farm traction engines, portable and stationary show engines, and portable and stationary show boilers, shall be inspected every two years according to law. A license to operate steam farm traction engines, portable and stationary show engines, and portable and stationary show boilers, shall be issued to an applicant who is 18 years of age or older; has two licensed second-class grade A engineers or steam traction engineers, or any combination thereof, cosign his application attesting to his competence in operating said devices; passes a written test for competence in operating said devices; and pays the required fee. A license shall be valid for the lifetime of the licensee. A one time fee of $20 shall be charged for the license. Exemption: Any licensed steam engineer may operate steam farm traction engines, portable and stationary show engines, and portable and stationary show boilers, subject to the apparatus and horsepower restrictions set forth in his license without obtaining the new license.'
Our current project is to try to change the inspection regulations regarding large diameter (over 36') lap seam boilers in order to get a realistic working pressure on them. They are now limited to 15 psi. We would appreciate hearing from engineers and/or boiler inspectors from other states, especially in the midwest, as to the laws in your state regarding these large boilers. Please send this information to Ed Ritchie, 612 4th St., Proctor, MN 55810.
We would like to urge all steam hobbyists in Minnesota to join our association to help in this effort. We need a strong membership to convince the officials in St. Paul of our sincerity in trying to help the steam hobby in Minnesota. For information, contact Jim Briden, 2610 First Avenue, No. Fargo, ND 58101.
Submitted by Jim Vouk, President, MSEA, Route 1, St. Joseph, MN 56374.