STEAM Engineering CLASS


| March/April 1998



Marshutz and Cantrell

Marshutz and Cantrell ''Improved'' spool donkey, built in San Francisco c. 1899.

In this issue, we are publishing several accounts of 'steam school' programs conducted by various organizations. This one is reprinted with permission from Roots of Motive Power, Inc. Newsletter, Vol. 15, No. 2, July 1997, P. O. Box 874, Willits, California 95490.

Due to popular demand requests from you, the members of Roots of Motive Power, we sent out notices for the first Steam Engineering and Safety Class in the last Roots Newsletter. Within a few days, the Museum was besieged with people wishing to attend the class. We cut off enrollment at 50 students for the April 6th class and immediately set a date in May for a second class to handle the overflow of 30 additional students. The majority of students came from Sonoma County, where an article about the upcoming class was printed in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat.

Developing a curriculum for the one day class was difficult, since steam engineering filled several semesters at any university. Besides wanting to hook students on the wonder of steam power, we wanted to stress the all important safety aspects of operating in the public eye.

With help from Bob Hinerman, Bobbie Yokum, John Bradley, Chris Baldo and Jim King, we pulled together a curriculum that incorporated the Roots Safety Guidelines and Operating Rules, the booklet adopted by Roots in 1991 to cover the operation of all machinery in the collection. We knew that one did not become a steam engineer after a one day class; but that the information imparted would be a first stage to be followed by months of working with steam in Roots work days and steam ups or other activities.

The class was structured in two parts, a classroom session from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., and an outdoor session from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. involving equipment in the collection. The classroom session covered such subjects as the properties of steam, boiler construction and boiler maintenance, the steam engine and machine operation safety. Bob Hinerman and Chris Baldo handled the classroom instruction. With an ample supply of coffee and home baked goodies from Bobbie Yokum, Vi Hinerman, Norma Avery and Norma Branson, the students made it through the difficult part of the day with only a few sharp elbows to awaken the snorers. The students proved to be a bright group coming from many areas and from many interests. Some were involved with other volunteer groups operating steam equipment, several owned steam equipment themselves, and several were interested in joining Roots activities and becoming involved.

Willamette Iron and Steel 11 x 13 'Humboldt Yarder, ' built in Portland, Oregon, in 1913 for Mendocino Lumber Company.