17 HP George White

Hoffmans keep steam alive

| February 2009

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    Clarence Hoffman pulling a sled with the 17 HP George White at the Western Farm Progress show in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada in 2000.
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    The Hoffmans' threshing oats with the 17 HP George White steamer on their farm northwest of Ebenezer, Saskatchewan, Canada.
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    Clarence Hoffman's home-built 1/3-scale Case steam engine.

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Steam is very much alive on the Hoffman farm, northwest of Ebenezer, Saskatchewan, Canada. That’s only 15 miles north of Yorkton.

In the first photo we are threshing at our yearly threshing demonstration with our 17 HP George White steamer and John Deere separator. My son Harley is running the steam engine and I’m on the load.

About the engine, it came out of the George White warehouse in Brandon, Manitoba. The factory was in London, Ontario. The boiler number is stamped on the hood: “17th of Nov. 1917.” It could be that this was the first steam engine assembled in the late 1920s – about the time of the warehouse closing.

The boiler is 17 HP with the front pedestal and wheels of a 20 HP. It has 47 tubes, same as a 20 HP, instead of the 45 of a 17 HP. It has a 10-inch pulley instead of 8-inch and 18-inch wide rear wheels instead of 12 inches. The original factory tubes were still in it when I bought it in 1977.

In the second photo, the engine is pulling a stead at the Western Farm Progress show in Regina, Saskatchewan.

I’ve also built a 1/3-scale steam engine that I started building in 1997 and was steaming in 2000. I’d like to give thanks to the people who helped with various parts I needed on the small steamer.


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