Puget Sound Antique Tractor & Machinery Association Show LYNDEN, WASHINGTON 1996


| May/June 1997



Francis A. Orr

1617 32nd Street Anacortes, Washington 98221

Francis A. Orr with large and small 'gong' whistles. These whistles are cast iron and were made by the Sinker-Davis Co. of Indianapolis, Indiana.

The fire is out and the boiler blown down. I still have to brush the tubes and clean out the firebox on my 80 HP vertical boiler. The grass is long and green and the scars made by iron and rubber wheels, steel tracks, skids and thousands of feet have about all disappeared along with those drips of oil and condensate that show up under old tractors, steam and gas engines. It is very quiet with a few bird songs, tire sounds of vehicles passing on the road and the sigh of the wind in the trees. That strong smell can be recognized as liquid manure being sprayed onto the fields. Around Lynden, Washington, it is known as 'the smell of money.' In all, the scene is quite different from what you would have seen from 31 July to 3 August during the 25th annual show of the Puget Sound Antique Tractor & Machinery Association.

Dave Mulholland's vertical boiler and engine. Boiler came from Doc Sheeley, Gulfport, Miss., in 1968, and was in Francis Orr's steamboat in Pensacola, Florida. He traded it to Al Giles who used it to steam the planks for 'Echo' and then sold it to Dave. In 1995 it was retubed and inspected under Washington state boiler code. Engine is approximately 6x8 and came from an Alaska cannery running right up to 1986.

A number of years ago the PSAT & M Association was given all of the old machinery from Buzzard Iron Works in Bellingham. This was a beautiful old metal working shop with a Soule Steam Feed engine powering their line shaft and two steam hammers (worn out tires from steam locomotives were used for forging steel) beating out hooks, rings, slings etc. for the logging and marine industries of the area. In the past I have run the large floor drill and the shaper from the collection, but it was basically just a 'place it and run it' thing. Noticing the slow deterioration of this machinery 1 felt that this trend had to stop. I was able to enlist the aid of Carl Nelson, an Anacortes, Washington, neighbor and newcomer to the hobby, and in club member Gordon Sullivan's shop, we restored a large drill grinder. To run the grinder, we also got some paint on my 7'x7' vertical, side crank, Orr & Sembower (no relation) steam engine. Eighteen feet of belt came from our reliable supplier Marine Supply & Hardware of Anacortes. If they don't have what you need, you don't need it.

Always slightly behind schedule, the trial run came on July 31, the first day of the show. Happily, it all worked and we were in business. And I do mean business, as Carl and I felt that it is one thing to have a display, but it is entirely better to do something with a display, so we put out the word for members to bring in their large diameter drills and we would sharpen them.