One of Our Pride and Joys:

ANOTHER OF OUR YOUNG ENGINEERS


| March/April 1975



75 HP Russell

75 HP Russell at Annual Steam Engine Days in August 1974. Engine owned by Art Andersen. Courtesy of Rudy Clemmensen, 833 Grand Avenue, Saint Paul, Minnesota 55105

Rudy Clemmensen

15700 Santini Road, Burtonsville, Md. 20730

As I have said in the past, we need our young engineers, and this is a story about one of our best ones, His full name is Thomas Taylor Ackerman, but he is known to all of us here as Tom. He lives in Waretown, N.J., just a few miles from the Atlantic Ocean. His first attempt at operating a steam traction engine was a few years ago at the show at Berryville, Va. It was at this show that he operated my 20 h.p. Aultman-Taylor, and asked me. and one of my friends where he could buy one. He now owns three engines, of which two are Aultman-Taylors. His interest in Aultman-Taylor engines is especially highlighted by the fact that his middle name is Taylor.

Tom is 32 years old and quite active in the collection of steam cars, antique fire trucks, clocks, books, traction engines, and other antiques. Amongst his prizes are a Cadillac V-16, and a 1910 and 1922 Stanley Steamer, plus 1922 Franklin Air-cooled with an all aluminum body. For frosting on the cake, he has a 1924 Ahrens-Fox 1,000 G.P.M. pumper and a hook and ladder truck, amongst many others. I might add that the 1,000 G.P.M. fire truck is in factory original condition, after his rebuilding with a lot of time and effort. Tom says that he was never really satisfied with his antique collection until he got the traction engines, because he wanted something bigger.

He now has added another item to his collection, a railroad station. Yes, I said a railroad station! It was the old Waretown, N.J. station of the Toms River-Waretown R.R., and was built about 1895, replacing an earlier station. It was moved about 1/2 mile to Tom's home. Tom used his 16 H.P. to clear the roadway through the woods, and then he helped the house mover by coupling on and helping move the station. Moving a building with a steam engine today? Knowing Tom and his 16 Hp. Frick yes!. We suggested that he buy a railroad for his next project, and I saw a strange light in his eyes. Who knows?

Tom regularly travels 200 to 300 miles for the steam shows at the times of the Shenandoah Valley show and Berryville, Va., and the Md. Steam historical show at Arcadia, Md., plus many others each year. We operate each others engines, and alternate between them, depending on which ones we take. We have a good time, and are always assisted by some of our younger engineers, who often show us up when it comes to running an engine.

He is becoming a member of our local 'gang', as we are sometimes called. We fire up on a moment's notice, harass traffic, and create a general disturbance any time we get together. We have had a couple of complaints to the local police, but following a ride on the engine and a good natured laugh, the cranks, (human that is), have gotten nowhere.