RR#13, Box 209 Brazil, Indiana 47834
The Oklahoma Steam Threshers Annual Steam School was held on
March 23 and 24, 1997 at Pawnee, Oklahoma. Sixty-seven students
arrived from nine different states to attend the school. This steam
school was different from the schools of previous years in that all
of the courses were geared to the experienced engineer. The older
members of the association who had presented classes for many years
stepped aside with the result that many of the classes were taught
by instructors who were 45 years old or less in age.
Some of the classes taught at steam school were: piping and
plumbing of a steam engine, judging boiler condition and ultrasonic
testing, lubrication needs of a steam engine, selection and
characteristics of steam cylinder oil, governor repair and trouble
shooting, pouring babbitt bearings, and operation of a sawmill. All
of these classes contained information which was invaluable to
anyone who owns or operates a steam engine.
Steve Dunn’s Keck-Gonnerman 20 HP double cylinder serial
#1636 fired up and pulling the sawmill at Pawnee steam school. Dale
Wolf is the engineer.
Several steam school attendees were able to go on a ‘field
trip’ the day before school started and viewed the collections
of Ivan Burns, Ed Larson, Chady Atteberry and Lyman Knapp. One
would be hard pressed to see a finer collection of equipment in a
day’s time. While viewing Ed’s collection we determined
that he was distrustful of one of our group as his 10 HP Advance
steam engine had a huge log chain run between the spokes of the
flywheel and chained to its rear wheel. We later learned the reason
for Ed’s precaution was the presence of Joe Graziana in our
Serving as instructors for steam school this year were Joe
Graziana of Wood River, Illinois; Larry Creed of Brazil, Indiana;
and Paul Marten of Fairview, Oklahoma.
A problem which is seen across the country at steam shows was
addressed by Paul Marten and Ed Larson of Milan, Kansas. Paul and
Ed presented a fashion show during which they portrayed
‘modern’ engineers who chose to dress in a tank top, shorts
and sunglasses. Chady Atteberry discussed traditional
engineer’s attire which was typically bib overalls, a long
sleeved work shirt and work shoes.
On Saturday night, the school met at a local restaurant in
Pawnee and discovered that a ‘Graziana’ pizza was available
which was made with 100% Illinois bull and had steam cylinder oil
and sawdust for toppings!
The second day of steam school was devoted to sawmill operation
and maintenance, during which logs were sawed using a
Keck-Gonnerman and also a Greyhound steam engine for power.
All of the engineers, both young and old, thoroughly enjoyed
steam school and the opportunity for fellowship that it gave. I
would like to thank the Oklahoma Steam Threshers and Gas Engine
Association for sponsoring the school and also the thoughtfulness
of providing three meals at the school for the attendees.
I believe that the existence of the steam school at Pawnee and
other steam schools around the country helps insure the future of
the steam hobby.