| January/February 1964

  • Woolf Compound Engine
    Showing Horizontal Section of Cylinders, Pistons, Valve, and Steam Chest of Port Huron Compound Engine. Port B is always open to C of Valve. Note improved manner of fastening Low-Pressure Piston to Eod. The Woolf Compound Engine.

  • Woolf Compound Engine

Alvordton, Ohio

I must come to the defense of the Woolf compound steam engine after reading the article 'Trivia' on page 16 of the May-June 1962 issue of IRON-MEN ALBUM.

Just last August at the Threshers Reunion near Hastings, Mich., I saw a late 26 hp Advance compound engine No. 14,598 working. It had 9' by 12' diameter cylinders with a 10' stroke, and is owned about 25 miles north of Battle Creek. The owner, also the former owner told me it was a poor excuse for power, and on the sawmill a 1965 hp Port Huron was much the best engine. The owner took the double ported valve out of the high pressure steam chest and was operating it as a l2'/10' simple engine with 150 lbs. W.P.

Merle Newkirk retired head of the power department of the big Dow Chemical Co. plant at Midland, Mich. says 'The Woolf compound valve and cylinders were the best designed and economical of any steam traction engine built. Also Henry Ford said the Port Huron was the best steam traction engine as he owned a number of them.

The Woolf balanced valve for both cylinders was cast in one piece and if it was set right for one cylinder, it was exactly right for the other.

That writer does not seem to know that the Port Huron Co. built only Woolf compounds the last eight years they were building engines. Previous to that they built a very good piston valve simple engine. They had four Prony brakes in the test house and tested all makes of engines and knew all of the wasteful ones.


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