| September/October 1972

  • Jim at the front of the engine
    Jim at the front of the engine
  • The steam whistle
    Shows the steam whistle cast by a Fort Wayne foundry
  • Steam chest
    The throttle, steam chest, valve linkage and a piston ring.
  • Red switching over
    Courtesy of James C. Elliott, R. R. 1, New Paris, Indiana 46553.
    James C. Elliott

  • Jim at the front of the engine
  • The steam whistle
  • Steam chest
  • Red switching over

R. R. 1, New Paris, Indiana 46553.

Most IRON MAN ALBUM stories concern steam operations that used to be, or 'once a year' steam shows. I would like to tell you about an 'is now', five day a week, working for a living, 200 KVA steam electric generating plant here in New Paris, Indiana.

Our product line includes boat oars and canoe paddles, and it is our wood working that we will talk about here. Our oar production got underway in 1932. We purchased a used steam plant at about the same time. We pioneered in mass production of oars with 100% of shaping done with power equipment, eliminating the hand draw-knife, and achieving a much more uniform product.

I share this background because you need to see that our steam plant does double duty as a power source and a very clean burning incinerator. We have the usual slabs and sawdust of any sawmill, plus band saw scrap, shaper shavings, and finally sanding dust. We operate our own dry kiln in addition to the generator and also heat about one half of our buildings with exhaust steam. With this set-up we are still unable to use all our fuel.

I'll start describing the steam plant by introducing Old Red, Raymond Tarman, our engineer. You would never call him Red to see him now because his hair has since turned gray, but some of us with good memories recall when it was red. Well, Red checks in at 6:00 A. M. every morning, but firing-up starts long before that by the night man.

By 6:55, the oilers are checked, the engine is moved off dead center if it had stopped that way, and everything is hot and ready to go. The five minute whistle is one long blast, then Red starts his show.


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