Spalding’s Corner: Mystery Traction Engine

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Photo: John Spaulding
Can you identify the maker of this traction engine?

Two readers identified the “mystery” engine in
the January/February 2005 issue of Steam Traction.

The first response came from Robert Curran of Creemore, Ontario,
Canada, who revealed it’s a 22 HP Cornell manufactured by Clinton Thresher Co. Ltd.,
Clinton, Ontario, Canada.

Robert’s identification prompted a little investigation.
Although Cornell engines are few and far between (Jack Norbeck’s
Encyclopedia of American Steam Traction Engines doesn’t
have a photograph of one), available information says the Cornell
line was manufactured first by Haggert Bros. Mfg., Brampton,
Ontario, Canada, and later by J.M. Ross, Sons & Co. Ltd., St.
Catherines, Ontario, Canada.

As Robert eventually discovered, and passed along, Clinton
Thresher Co. was actually an agent for Haggert Bros., and then J.M.
Ross after Ross purchased the company about 1893.

Coming in on the heals of Robert’s communication was a letter
from Roger Meyer of Miles City, Mont., correctly identifying the
traction engine as a Cornell manufactured by J.M. Ross, Sons & Co.
Regular readers might recognize Roger’s name, as he was the only
person to identify the Empire engine featured in the
November/December 2004 issue.

Robert says he’s not in it for the glory and doesn’t want a
book, so we’re sending Roger a second free copy of Prof. P.F.
Rose’s Steam Engine Guide in the hopes he’ll pass it along
to another member of the steam community. Good fun boys, and thanks
for your input.

This month’s mystery engine comes, as usual, courtesy of
John Spalding. It’s a bit less
obscure than the last few, and we’re betting more than a few of you
will figure it out.

As ever, the first person to correctly identify the engine, by
mail, gets a free copy of Prof. P.F. Rose’s Steam Engine
. Good steaming.

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