Taylor Dry Portable Steam Engine


| May/June 1967



Steam furnishing engine

Courtesy of Jesse S. Byers, Littlestown, Pennsylvania 17340 This photo is from the Collection of the Carroll County Historical Society, Westminster, Maryland. This engine is owned by Jesse Byers. The only one known of in the U.S.A. The last one was junked

Jesse S. Byers

Littlestown, Pa. 17340

The machine was built in 1875 at Westminster, Maryland by the Taylor Manufacturing Company, and was a prize winner at the Paris Exposition in 1878. It is a horse-drawn model Dry Steam Portable engine. Records from the Carroll County Historical Society reveal that the 'Taylor Manufacturing Company' was established at Westminster, Maryland in the year of 1872, and was the successor to 'The Union Agricultural Works' which was organized in 1852. The firms were located across from the Westminster City Jail on Court Street in the general location of the present County Office Building.

Excerpts from clippings in the Carroll County Historical Society state, 'The firm is largely engaged in manufacturing stationary and portable steam powered engines and agricultural machinery and employs one-hundred and fifty hands'. In the early 1880's the Taylor family moved the operation to Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. Another newspaper clipping from the Fayetteville Observer, in possession of the Historical Society states that, 'The North Carolina Millstone Company was started by George and Edward Taylor of Westminster, Maryland and enjoyed its greatest prosperity between 1880 and 1890'.

George and Edward Taylor Mfg. Co. made the only Dry Steam engine in the USA and a patent was issued April 13, 1875. They have all been junked except the one of Mr. Byers'. Geo. Washington Lancaster, junked the last one 40 years ago. His sons, James and William, have built a perfect working model of the Taylor dry steam engine at Mount Savage, Maryland.

Last October, Jesse S. Byers of Littlestown, Pennsylvania 17340, owner of the Taylor Dry Steam engine displayed the engine for two days at the Carroll County Farm Museum at Westminster. He personally operated the engine which in turn supplied the traction power to operate another of Mr. Byers collection, a hominy mill built in 1865 at New Windsor, Maryland.

The museum is located at Westminster, Maryland and visitors should follow the signs from Green & Bishop Streets at the east end of town. Visiting hours are Saturday 10:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. and Sundays 1:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M.