THE SMALLEST STEAM ENGINE ON EARTH

408 N. 6th St., Wahpeton, North Dakota 58075

The enclosed article was copied from the January-June 1907
Scientific American. We found it interesting and thought others
might also. There was also a picture, but wasn’t clear enough
to reproduce without special equipment. I wonder if anyone has ever
in recent years seen or heard of this little engine. If so, I would
like to know it’s where-about, etc.

We really enjoy the Iron-Men Album and Gas Engine Magazine,
including the kids, as my husband collects and restores engines it
is of special interest to us.

What is perhaps the smallest stationary engine ever constructed
has been recently completed at his shop on Yonge Street by Thomas
H. Robinson, watchmaker of Toronto, Ontario. Smaller than a common
housefly it slips easily into a ’22 short’ empty cartridge
with plenty of room to spare. It weighs complete just 4 grains
troy. This is 120 engines to the ounce, 1920 to the pound, and
3,840,000 to the ton. The horsepower is 1/498,000 part of a
horsepower, and the speed is 6,000 revolutions per minute. The
vibrating piston rod when running at this speed emits a sound like
that produced by a mosquito. The bore of the cylinder is 3/100 of a
inch. The stroke is 1/32 of a inch. The cylinder and piston rod,
shaft and crank are of steel. The engine bed and stand are of gold.
The balance wheel, which has a steel center and arms, with a gold
rim, weighs 1 grain, and measures 3/16 of an inch in diameter. The
shaft runs in hardened steel bearings fitted to the gold bed.
Seventeen pieces were used in making the engine which is mounted on
an ebony stand, inside of which are the brass connections, which
convey the compressed air used to operate the engine to the hollow
base of the engine. It was exhibited by request before the Canadian
Institute in Toronto recently. When running, no motion is visible
to the unaided eye, but by means of magnifying glasses and lantern
slikes, which show the construction, an examination was made, and
the opinion was freely expressed that the engine is the fastest of
its size on earth. The calculations of both speed and horsepower
were made by Prof. C. A. Chant of the Physical Dept. of Toronto
University.

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