Museum Needs Our Help!

| January/February 1995

Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village 20900 Oakwood Blvd. Dearborn, Michigan 48121-1970

To all the old-time steam men out there, we at Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village need your help. Please consider the following:

For many years, out behind the old boiler repair shop at Greenfield Village sat an engine. More specifically, a 19 HP Port Huron compound 'Longfellow.' With a tattered canopy, broken smokebox door and rusted out water tanks, the old engine was slowly settling farther and farther into the ground. For company she had the yearly robin or sparrow's nest built somewhere on her, and she also had one of her kin, too, a Port Huron portable engine, mounted on trucks, number 8620, for solace. Not a very dignified ending for what was once her owner's pride and joy. But at least she had beaten the fate of so many engines, the scrapper's torch.

Then, in the early 1980s, the venerable 19 was given a new lease on life. She was hauled from her long time resting spot down to the machine shops of Armington & Sims. Many hours were spent cleaning away the accumulated rust and grime and deterioration of twenty years' inactivity. Water tanks, smokebox door and canopy were repaired; valve, governor and throttle reconditioned; and the boiler inspected and tested. Gallons of red and black paint were carefully applied, and the reborn 'Longfellow' was ready for operation.

Annually she took part in the summer's 'Pageant of Power,' and in the fall was belted up to a 28' x 46' Nichols & Shepard Red River Special separator to demonstrate how things were done when she was new.

And just when was this engine new?