Sharp-eyed readers were quick to identify our ‘mystery’
engine in the September/October 2004 issue of Steam
Traction. It was of course a ‘Lobo,’ manufactured by
Fairbanks Steam Shovel Co., Marion, Ohio.
James E. Matz, 6151 Woodard Road, Andover, OH
44003, sent in the first correct identification, writing: ‘The
mystery steam engine on page 9 of the September/ October 2004
Steam Traction is a Lobo engine, manufactured by the
Marion (Ohio) Steam Shovel Co. I believe Edward Huber had at least
part interest in the company. I really enjoy Steam
From what we know, James is partly right m noting a connection
to Edward Huber. According to Jack Norbeck’s Encyclopedia
of American Steam Traction Engines, James Fairbanks, founder
of Fairbanks Steam Shovel Co., worked as a superintendent at the
Huber Mfg. Co. Note the Lobo is a return-flue, as were Hubers.
Other readers responding included Alan New, who wrote:
‘I’m identifying Spaulding’s mystery engine for this
month. It is a Lobo engine, built by the Fairbanks Steam Shovel Co.
of Marion, Ohio. If you change the front round head tank to a
square one, change the wheel hubs to riveted ones and add the front
flange to the boiler barrel, you have a Huber, which was built in
the same town.’
Thomas Stebritz also recognized the engine: ‘I am enclosing
a photo of Spalding’s latest mystery engine. I am not opting
for a prize, however the engine is the Lobo a very neat design
except for the round front water tank. A close look at the thresher
shows a steel machine with a tubular tailings elevator a Case!
recognizable even with the Ruth feeder. The Lobo was built by the
Fairbanks Steam Shovel Co. of Marion Ohio.’
For getting his answer in first, James receives a free copy of
Prof. P.F. Rose’s Steam Engine Guide.
Another look at a Lobo engine. Reader Thomas Stebritz provided
this photo, which shows the ‘Lobo’ moniker in clear view on
the side of the boiler.
This month’s mystery engine comes, as usual, courtesy of
John Spalding, 112 Carriage Place, Hendersonville,
TN 37035 (firstname.lastname@example.org). There’s no information on the
photograph giving any clues to the identity of this nice little
portable, so we’re eagerly awaiting your detective work to help
us confirm the engine’s identity.
As ever, the first person to correctly identify the picture, by
mail, gets a free copy of Prof. P.F. Rose’s Steam Engine
Guide. Good hunting, and get those answers in quick.