THE ENGINE ROOM


| November/December 1966



Stationary Engines

Courtesy of Tommy Tompkins, Route 1, Box 11A, Alamo, Texas 78516. A view of the Museum showing several of the engines on display.

Tommy Tompkins

Rt. 1, Box 11A, Alamo, Texas 78516

The Engine Room at Alamo, Texas, is an unusual hobby which has developed into one of the main tourist attraction in the Rio Grande Valley. Tommy Tompkins, who is in the Aerial Application business, is completing a full display of the steam machinery of the late 1800's and early 1900's and is putting them in top condition and running order. This museum is located 1 Mile North Alamo Road (Farm Rd. 907), Alamo, Texas.

Here a visitor can enter a world their grandfather once knew. He can see many stationary type engines on display and in actual operation. The museum contains several different types of stationary engines, steam pumps and a steam tractor such as a 1911 Case.

One of the many engines is a two-cylinder engine which was obtained from the old No. 1 oil rig, which was owned by the Fitzpatrick Drilling Company. Center attraction is a big Corliss type engine with a 9,000 pound flywheel, and standing nearly fifteen feet high, which makes one gasp just to look at it. This Goliath of an engine was contributed by Max & Edwin Smith of San Marcus, Texas. They contributed this beautiful engine to the museum rather than have it go to the junk yard to be cut up for scrap. Other engines range in size from this giant Corliss, 125-horse-power engine, with its 16-inch bore and 36-inch stroke, down to miniature steam engines from Japan one can hold in the palm of their hand. There is a replica of an old telegrapher in his office, with key and sounder by his side.

The museum is open every day from 9 until 5 but Sunday is the best day because that is the day that Tommy 'fires 'em up.' No admission is charged. But Sunday is 'Live Steam Day' at The Engine Room.

Old and young alike will be fascinated by these old fashion steam driven engines, for it is the only museum of its kind in the world, and is listed in the Historical Directory for the State of Texas.