Reviving A Corliss

| July/August 1973

  • Valve gear
    Valve gear side of cylinder. This has large husky parts, lots of brass. Courtesy of Kenneth Arthur, Box 106, Eldorado, Ohio 45321
    Kenneth Arthur
  • Cylinder block
    Cylinder block, main frame and flywheel, has 8 inch diameter crankshaft about 8 feet long.

  • Valve gear
  • Cylinder block

Eldorado, Ohio

There is a very large brick building standing in Richmond, Indiana built in 1870 that was used as a casket factor, belonging to Mr. Robert Watt. A 100 H.P. Corliss engine built by Hoover, Ownes, Rentschler Company of Hamilton, Ohio, Serial number 2276 was put in about 1935 and ran a generator until the mid '40's when it was shut down because commercial power was cheaper than a fireman and coal.

In the fall of 1972 we looked at this pile of iron, gave the owner a $50.00 check and told him we'd move it within 30 days. We did. A little slave labor was involved but, two of us dragged it about 100 feet across the floor with chain falls to a large door. We conned a fellow with a log hauling rig and a cat with forks to put this thing on his truck and haul it about 15 miles to its new home. I am sure the owner never really believed we could move 7 tons of iron and brass, but he knows better now. It is now in the slow process of restarting. There is not a lot of wear, but rust is bad in a damp basement. The beast has a 12' x 30' cylinder and flywheel is 110' x 14' face. It has the largest governor I've seen, weighing over 300 lbs. with about 8' balls.

We have located a 25 H.P. Scotch Marine boiler we hope will roll the thing over at least for a good idle. It is planned to be put in a new building of its own for showing and playing by late summer of 1973. Sometimes plans don't work but we are trying.

It will be great fun to watch the thing run again. It is at the north end of Eldorado, Ohio in the Texaco Station for those interested in seeing part of the past live again.


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