The Baby Keck


| January/February 1956



Baby Keck Model

Verble's Baby Keck with his son, Don and his dog.

R. D. 1, Cairo, Illinois

I am a long time threshing machine man, I was 14 years old when I started operating machines for my father. I have never been able to get them out of my blood so I decided to build a scale Model of a Keck-Gonnerman engine. I made the boiler out of a 10-12 inch old well casing. Five feet long (82 in. overall). It is 51 inches high, 34 inches wide. The smoke stack is a truck axle housing. Boiler holds 12 gallon of water and the side tanks hold 6 gallons each. The boiler has two flues made of automobile drive shaft tubing. The firebox is 18 inches long by 7 inches wide. I carry 55 to 60 pounds pressure. The boiler is fed with a Penberthy injector one-half inch in size. Coal bunkers carry 25 lbs. of coal.

The rear wheels are 6:00x16 auto wheels mounted on front axle spin dies. The front wheels are 4:00x8. The engine is steered by a worm gear welded to the firebox and a chain connects the front axle in the conventional manner.

The engine has a 2 inch bore by 4 inch stroke. The crankshaft is in. xl4 in. long. The engine has stack blower, exhaust in stack. It is pulled with a chain and a V belt which is run by a cone clutch. It has an eccentric slide valve, a steam lubricator, inch safety valve and everything works perfectly.

My son Don Verble, who is seven years of age, is the engineer of this 'Baby Keck', and enjoys it very much.

Don Verble
9/28/2009 6:01:18 PM

I'm commenting on the article Baby Keck, which appears to be a reprint from a Jan/Feb 1956 magizine article. My niece brought the article to my attention because she recognized the young engineer in the picture from family photos as being her uncle Don. Imagine my surprise when I go to the web site and see a picture of myself and our boston bull dog setting on Baby Keck. Baby Keck was the second of three steam engines built by my father Silas Verble. The first was a full scale engine. I have a picture of my dad pulling a trailer with the full scale engine in a parade at Cairo Illinois during the mid 1950's. On the trailer was Baby Keck with me as the engineer. The third engine my father built was about 1/3 the scale of Baby Keck and could set on a kitchen table. Silas Verble passed away in August of 1966. I'm now 62 retired and living not far from where I grew up. I don't know what happened to the engines my father built. He sold the first two before his death and my mother sold the third a couple of years after his death. If anyone knows where the engines are I'd like to get in touch with the owners and share some info/stories. Regards Don Verble