Alvordton, Ohm 43501
I was interested in the article by Hope D. Earl on page 25 of
the Nov.-Dec. 1967 issue of IRON-MEN ALBUM entitled ‘My
Favorite Engine’. Hope is a very dear friend of mine and a very
good sawmill, steam engine and auto mechanic.
Although he is a year younger than I am, he had 10 years head
start of me in operating steam traction engines. I was pleased to
note the fine compliments he gave the Port Huron engine. In regard
to his article, he called that engine a 19 hp. and wrote he would
like to know what became of it. Well, here is the rest of the
story. I saw that engine in 1921 and it was owned by Cobb and Cole
at Shadyside, Hillsdale County, Mich. They called it a 17 hp.
simple. The 1912 Port Huron repair catalogue says it was changed
from a 17 to 18 hp. on Jan. 1st., 1905, and the cylinder bore
increased from 8 to 8 inches. The boiler was the same size as used
on the 22 hp. compound with 46 tubes 7 feet long. In June 1912 the
tubes were increased 24′, and with the 8′ diam. &
10′ stroke simple cylinder, it was called a 20 hp., and it
really was a ‘Longfellow’ then.
The next year-1926 Floyd Kuhn traded that 17 hp. Port Huron
engine to Harry T. Dillon & Co. at Hudson, Mich. for a 20 hp.
double side mount Nichols and Shepard steam traction engine. Mr.
Dillion had taken this N. & S. 20 hp. engine in on a trade for
a new 15-30 gear drive International tractor from Harry Monier -a
fellow thresherman near me.
When I was plowing with my new 10-20 McCormick-Deering tractor
in 1926, I saw that 17 hp. Port Huron engine being towed by a new
15-30 tractor to Mr. Dillon’s implement yard. Mr. Dillon junked
the cast iron parts from this engine, and towed the boiler on
it’s original wheels to the Hudson city dump. I remember seeing
it there and some boys built a fire of waste paper in it, but it
did not get hot enough to damage the dry boiler.
A few months later, Frank Walker of Walker’s garage in
Hudson decided to rescue it and use it for a heating boiler in his
garage. He towed it to his garage, removed the wheels and used it
to heat his large garage for a number of years.
When this 17 or 18 hp. Port Huron engine proper was junked, I
purchased the 2′ Powell Titan throttle valve and installed it
on my 24-75 hp. Port Huron sawmill engine, and it is still in use
to this day.