THE CHARM OF STEAM


| September/October 1967



Port Huron Thresher

X-ray view of the Port Huron Thresher of 1893 taken from the catalog loaned to us by Jim Johnson. NOTE- the endless apron at the end of the separating device which seems to be a hangover from the early threshers known as the Apron Thresher. They seem too

James O. Johnson

Like the proverbial charm of a snake of its prey, the steam engine attracts. You never see a steamer without a long look. One man uses a portable engine as an attraction at his gas station and it was the talk of the people for miles around. Folks bought gas from him as an excuse to look at the engine. Beauty does not enter in. You would not say a Kitten Engine is beautiful but when you see it in a Reunion parade, you look and are CHARMED by its power, build, and operation. It has CHARM. I have a couple engines on display, no one would say they are beautiful; but I am delighted to imagine how the man who first bought it felt when he got word it was at the station and he made preparation to go the next morning and unload it. He worked all day and brought it home that evening, and at supper he told his wife what a great puller it was. . . CHARM!

There is something about them power reliability when you open the throttle it goes. We may select our wives on beauty, but not an engine there it is CHARM. If it has butt strap boiler it is in a certain class if it is a single riveted boiler, it is in another class, if wood wheels it is in another class, if it has square guides, it is in another, but all are CHARM.