Boasting but a meager 4 HP at the drawbar, the model steam
engine of Bruce McCourtney, Syracuse, plumed smoke from its stack
and steam from its valves in a performance which brought nostalgic
memories to older spectators and completely dumfounded the younger
ones at the tractor pulling contest here Friday.
It took 35 men on the contest (plus an unknown number from the
crowd) to force the little steamer’s front wheels off the
ground after a pull of 145 feet.
This completely baffled the youngsters, who had declared the
little fellow would never be able to leave the starting line with
weight of the empty sled. As a result the little fellow ‘stole
The little engine scales at 4,400 lbs. It tugged, but estimated
calculations, twice its own weight without extra front end weights
such as were on most of the contest diesels.
It did this with power generated in only one 5-in. x 6-in.
Although the engine was first built built before 1900, the
boiler was made in 1953. It has been thoroughly tested an x-rayed
to meet all safety specifications. It has a test capacity of more
than 200 lbs. pressure, but McCourtney has it valved for 120 lbs.
which creates about 15 HP on the belt and about 4 HP on the
After watching the little model’s performance, Allen
Meisbach, who remembers steam power with reverence, commented,
‘if Albert (Meisbach) had his big job 16 horse power) here they
couldn’t get enough on the sled to stop it.’