Farm Collector

Steam Enthusiasts Gather At Rough & Tumble Museum For SEMINAR

308 East Deny Road Hershey, Pennsylvania 17033

A seminar on boiler safety and water treatment presented on
Rough and Tumble Museum’s grounds at Kinzer, Pennsylvania,
recently was well accepted. The audience of 55 represented an
almost ten-fold increase over the number of attendees at the first
such seminar given in 1988.

The group included long-time hobbyists, working industrial
maintenance personnel, plumbing and heating contractors, two
military men one from the Air Force and one from the Navy whose
jobs had to do with steam power, a marine steam engineer, operating
and shop people from two steam excursion railroads, and a
representative of at least one other museum concerned with
steam-powered equipment.

Although most of the attendees came from Pennsylvania, the
states of New York, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Connecticut,
Delaware, Ohio and Maine were represented. The attendee from Maine,
a steam launch enthusiast, made the 600-mile one way trip just for
the day’s class.

Everett Young, son of Rough and Tumble’s founder, Arthur
Young, was pleased to find that John Sti-brary who had come to the
seminar from Dayton, Ohio, was the grandson of Ralph Green. Ralph
had been a director and worker at Rough and Tumble back in the
1950’s when Art Young had been the president. Green brought his
daughter’s son with him in those days. Today John is very much
involved with the Dayton-Montgomery County Park where an 1898
Empire steam traction engine and a 1924 Peerless are under his

R T board member, Everett Young, a semi-retired boiler expert,
started off the program with pointers on what to look for when
purchasing an older boiler. He outlined the various trouble spots
peculiar to various makes of boilers and told how to appraise and
evaluate a boiler before purchasing one.

Young also spoke about the new Antique Boiler Law passed in
Pennsylvania last December. Although printed copies are not yet
available, it is hoped that this new law will help protect and
preserve antique boilers and may possibly become an example for
other states to use as a model law. Representatives Kenneth Brandt
of Lancaster County, Rep. Art Hershey of Chester County and State
Senator Gibson Armstrong sponsored this legislation and helped with
its passage.

Young spoke about the way to fire a boiler, and the techniques
which would improve performance and economy and help to save
firebox grates. He spoke about how to manage fire and water to
achieve best results. He also addressed fusible plugs, how to
prepare for inspection and why some new safety valves don’t
stand up as well as their older counterparts.

A discussion on emergency procedures brought forth testimonials
and experience sharing from those in attendance. Young also
indicated sources for replacement parts for older boilers. He
discussed stay bolts and rivets how they go bad and how to replace
them. His talk also included weld repairs and the difference
between certified and qualified welders when weld repairs are

Jim Conte, a maintenance engineer with Harrisburg Steam Works,
Ltd. and a long-time member of Rough and Tumble, presented a water
treatment outline which covered such items as water sources, water
treatment on hot water boilers and closed heating and cooling
systems. He continued with boiler water treatment in steam systems,
what to test boiler water for and how testing could be done simply.
He stressed that regular boiler blow down and simple water
treatment are necessities for safe operation and long boiler life,
with scale formation and corrosion being kept to a minimum.

The seminar concluded with a discussion of how to clean and
store a boiler, either short or long term, and what corrosion
problems are caused when this is not done properly.

There were questions and answers throughout the seminar, and a
feeling that the program had been helpful and worthwhile for all
the various interests of the attendees. Due to the acceptance of
this seminar, plans are being made now to present another at Rough
and Tumble Museum next spring.

The presenters, Everett Young and Jim Conte, have also indicated
that they would be willing to put the seminar on in other sections
of the country if a local group would handle the arrangements.
Interested persons should contact Jim Conte, 979 Old Elizabethtown
Road, Elizabeth-town, Pennsylvania 17022, telephone

  • Published on Jul 1, 1989
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