Prized Possessions

| July/August 1974

  • Wilcox boiler
    My Stanley Steamer beside the largest shop assembled Babcock and Wilcox boiler. There is a large Babcock & Wilcox plant in Wilmington, North Carolina. The Stanley was bought in 1935 for $640. It is a seven passenger touring car and runs with a steam press
    Brooks A. Jones
  • Tozer Steam Engine
    The Tozer Steam Engine - one of Brooks Jones prize possessions. Courtesy of Brooks A. Jones, Hampstead, North Carolina 28488
    Brooks A. Jones

  • Wilcox boiler
  • Tozer Steam Engine

Hampstead, North Carolina 28448

Just as little James Watt, inventor of the steam engine, during early childhood used to play with his mother's teakettle making the lid rise and fall by plugging the spout and imagining there was a giant in the kettle, so Brooks Jones of Hampstead, North Carolina, used to do likewise. Jones has experienced empathy over steam since the age of three. At that early age his parents could hardly keep him out of the railroad yards: he was so eager to watch steam locomotives at work. Jones asserts that he identifies himself with steam and thus experiences a pronounced sensation of dynamic power (empathy).

'I was fond of steam at the age of three', he recalls. Now 64, he vividly remembers riding in steam powered trains from Fort Edward to Whitehall, New York. 'When I was about three years of age my parents could hardly keep me out of the railroad yards whenever we went to Whitehall to visit my grandparents.'

His Tozer steam engine was built by the John Willis Company in Columbia, South Carolina. It was first used by a maiden lady who began farming in 1910 and worked with it most of her lifetime.

Jones purchased the tozer engine from its second owner, a man in Anderson South Carolina Engins of its kind were used to thresh oats or wheat, saw firewood or run peanut threshing machines.

The Tozer is now run at only 40 pounds of steam pressure for the sake of safety. Originally it ran with 190 p.s.i. and was rated at about 20 h.p.


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