MINNESOTA Steam Engine Association


| November/December 1990



703 Co. Rd. 2 So. St. Stephen, Minnesota 56375

In the spring of 1975 a group of steam engine enthusiasts gathered in Sauk Rapids, Minnesota to organize what became known as the Minnesota Steam Engine Association. Probably the main reason for these men and women getting together was to unite in a body to better protect the steam hobbyist from undue harassment from state officials in charge of inspection of steam engines and boilers of the type used at the various steam shows throughout the state. Prior to this organization's founding, a small group of men (who eventually became founders of this organization) were successful in get-ting the rule changed on hydro-static testing of boilers. In years past the hydro pressure was pumped up to one and one-half times the working pressure. Somewhere along the line it was changed to twice the working pressure. It was apparent that this put undue strain on these old boilers, so this group of men succeeded in get-ting this rule changed to the benefit of all owners of old hobby boilers.

During 1989 this organization was incorporated as a non-profit corporation under the laws of the state of Minnesota. The purpose of the organization as stated in the by-laws is as follows:

To foster and perpetuate interest in the steam engine hobby, to assist in the education of new engineers in the safe and responsible operation of steam engines and their boilers, and to serve as a voice to represent steam engine enthusiasts throughout the state of Minnesota in regard to regulations and legislation affecting the steam engine hobby.

One of the first things accomplished by the Association was establishment of a life-time steam engineer's license for hobbyists. This was done to avoid the need to renew a license every year, when it is used for just a few days during a show or similar activity. A hobbyist does not have to buy this license, however. Any licensed engineer can operate hobby engines and/or boilers according to the stipulations set forth in the license held. This action was accomplished, changing state legislation.

Another legislative change was the frequency of inspection of hobby, show engines and boilers from annual to biennial. This means any owner of a steam engine or boiler used at a show or for hobby purposes saves half the money previously spent on inspections.