As a source of dependable, low-cost power, steam has always held first place. The energy resulting from its natural expansion against a piston head has never been disputed for reliability and economy.
For these reasons a steam tractor adapted in every way to farm and road work has long been one of America's urgent needs.
Making a steam tractor that would be practical, simple and effective from every standpoint has, however, been a baffling problem.
Thousands of dollars have been expended in experimental work; but, until the perfecting of 'The Baker,' some unsolved portion of the problem has always remained to stand between the thrifty farmer and the wide utility and economy which only steam provides.
At The A. D. Baker Company, where steam and steam engines have been a life study and work, we, too, shared this experimental expense.
For many years this one problem was uppermost in the minds of our engineers, and numerous failures were recorded before 'The Baker' was ready, in every way, to go out and represent The A. D. Baker Company's high standards for quality and efficiency.
We take more than ordinary pride, therefore, in our accomplishmentthe designing and building of a steam tractor suited in every respect to the requirements of the tractor user, a tractor whose fuel and upkeep economy is a surprise to the entire power machinery field. And what is it? Simply a Baker designed tandem compound steam engine using a high degree of superheat ad equipped with a condenser and automatic coal feed.
This view shows 'The Baker's' radiator-type condenser, one of the many' features making for greatest simplicity of operation. The steam passes from the cylinders to this unit, is cooled and condensed by the fan, and, now in the form of water, flows by gravity to the supply tank from where it is pumped back into the boiler to be used over and over again. The condenser has a capacity greater than the brake rating of the tractor.
In 'The Baker's' contraction every effort has been directed to bring about greatest simplicity, rugged durability, flexibility and economy.
For fuel 'The Baker' squires only the cheapest coalordinary slack, available any place for a few dollars a ton. 700 lbs. of good slack will provide ample steam for a day's work under ordinary conditions.
In case fine coal is not available, lump coal may be used by passing it through the coal crusher located over coal box, into which the crushed coal falls.
Coil A is similar in principle to the coil in a steam gauge-it expands under pressure. Stem pressure can be carried at any point desired by the adjustment of length of arm joined to B and when pressure reaches that point, expansion of coil disengages dog in ratchet wheel C, stopping feed of coal. Slightest downward movement of steam reassure contracts coil, causing coal again to be spread over gates surface.
'The Baker's' hopper, or bell-box, is located directly over the fire-box. When engine is in operation fuel is fed automatically, by the stoker, onto the Kites, evenly and better than is possible to do it by hand.
'The Baker' has a fuel-box, which holds 175 pounds of fuel. The fuel can be placed in this; compartment easily, and once in, requires no further attention. It is fed automatically into the fire-box as needed, leaving the operator free to attend to other work.
An. important feature is a steam-condensing unit. This unit makes it possible to use the water over and over again with only nominal waste. With it, the tractor, developing its rated horsepower, will require less than 50 gallons of water per day, the capacity of the supply tank.
The automatic fuel feed and the condensing unit on 'The Baker' place all other types of tractors on an unequal footing in convenience and simplicity of operation.
Exhaust steam and oil pass through the condenser and the hot water and oil are delivered to a specially arranged tank oil separator, which is equipped with an automatic valve, which keeps the tank nearly full of water at all times. Water is drawn from the bottom of the tank. The oil naturally floats on top of the water and is drawn off every two or three days.
Half of the tractor work is belt work. The position and size of the pulley are important factors. 'The Baker's' large 32x10-in. pulley is conveniently located on the right-hand side, directly in front of the operator's seat. It has ample clearance and is in the proper position to insure quick line-up with the machine to be operated. Its generous size prevents slipping and insures transmission of ample power for heavy jobs.