Spalding's Corner

Looking for Clues to Mystery Engines


| March 2006



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Holden Metzger, Boonville, Ind., wrote in with the first correct answer to last issue's "mystery" engine. Holden writes:

"I'm 16 years old and have been in the steaming community since I was born. I inherited my engine from my great grandpa when he passed away a year ago: the only Springfield engine and thresher engine known to exist.

"I think the engine in the photo is a Springfield, circa 1886. It seems really obvious, because the front wheels are wood with a rolled steel tire, the sheet metal stack folds down, the differential is huge for the engine's size, the rod between the front axle and the boiler attaches the same, and of course the curved spoke flywheel. The Springfield Engine and Thresher Co. was turned into the Kelly Springfield Co. sometime in 1900.

"This is the only photo of a Springfield that anyone in my family has ever seen before. Thanks for Spalding's Corner."

For getting his answer in first, Holden gets a free copy of Prof. P.F. Rose's Steam Engine Guide.

This month's mystery engine comes, as usual, courtesy of John Spalding, 112 Carriage Place, Hendersonville, TN 37075 (genesis645@aol.com). We don't know what the engine is, so we're hoping some sharp-eyed reader can identify it.