| November/December 1963

  • Reeves steam engine
    See Mr. Hollyday's story.
    H. Robins Hollyday

  • Reeves steam engine

Easton, Maryland

This photograph is from a copy in the collection of H. Robins Hollyday of Easton and shows a 20 hp Reeves steam engine which was recovered from the bottom of the Chop tank River after it went through the Dover Road Bridge sometime in April, 1914.

Fred Christopher of Cambridge and the late George Pritchard of Glebe Road, Easton, both employed by Shannahan & Wrightson at that time were delivering the engine to a prospective Caroline County purchaser. Since these engines, weighing about 15 tons, were so heavy for bridges of that day, Caroline Countians would not purchase such merchandise until it was delivered to their side of the river.

Heavy 2x12 inch boards were placed on the bridge for the engine to ride on but it gave way despite these and the two men were forced to jump to safety. Mr. Prichard managed to jump to that part of the bridge still standing but Mr. Christopher jumped into the water and swam to shore. The steam engine was so heavy that it stayed upright on the sills and rode them down into 40 feet of water.

A Mr. Covey of Trappe, purchased the engine on the bottom of the river got a derrick from Baltimore and, with block and tackle, rolled it across the river bottom and up onto the beach on the Talbot side, where the picture was taken.

Immersion evidently didn't harm the engine, according to Mr. Hollyday, because after it was cleaned up it was operated for a number of years.


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