By Staff
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Bill is trying out one of his many beautiful whistles on his 6 HP upright boiler. Courtesy of Ed Schuknecht, Editor of The Port Washington Pilot.
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This photo shows some of Bill's steam engine collection ranging from 1 HP to 6 HP with various other items as gas engine and water ram. Courtesy of Ed Schuknecht, Editor of The PortWashington Pilot.
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This shows Bill with a very old but like new condition 2 cylinder Remmel water pump used on a water supply tank for large threshing engines. Courtesy of Ed Schuknecht, Editor of The Port Washington Pilot.
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Bill and his helper Alvin Schmitt are working on a small electric boiler on one of his many work benches loaded with brass fittings and gadgets of all kinds. Courtesy of Ed Schuknecht, Editor of The Port Washington Pilot.

We thank Ed Schuknecht, Editor of The Port Washington Pilot
newspaper for permission to reprint the following story and
pictures. This was sent to us through the courtesy of Alvin
Schmitt, 504 W. Chestnut Street, Port Washington, Wisconsin

Bill Wellenstein who lives at 100 Main St., Belgium, Wis.,
became interested in steam engines at an early age. At 15 he went
clover threshing with his dad who had a 16 hp Russell engine. Bill
was the engineer one season while his dad took care of the

Bill liked everything about threshing except crawling out of the
sack before daylight the grass would be moist from the dew in the
late season and sometimes even had frost.

The first chore was opening the smoke box door and cleaning
flues, grating down the ashes and scraping out dead cinders.

After checking the boiler water, a good hot fire would be
kindled. Not long after the smoke thickened and the fire got
hotter, you could hear the pleasant sound of the water in the
boiler sizzle most relaxing moment in the day of an engineer. The
next sign of life would come from the farmhouse kitchen where smoke
from the kitchen chimney signaled the start of the day’s

The rattling of the milk buckets and cans could be heard, then
the farmer with lit lantern and milking equipment would head for
the barn. Sometimes a youngster would be coming to see the big
monster engine belching out smoke and steam, usually watching from
a distance at first.

Bill, being a youngster too, would play tricks on him by opening
up the blow-off valve which is as loud as a whistle. The boy would
take off like a scared jack rabbit.

Bill retired several years ago and since then he has put his
collection in like-new condition. He would like very much to own a
steam car which he has been looking for but has not yet found

Farm Collector Magazine
Farm Collector Magazine
Dedicated to the Preservation of Vintage Farm Equipment