Waterloo Threshing Machinery

One Step Further... Identifying the Mystery Engine

| December 2008

  • CornerMysteryEnginePhoto.jpg
    Spalding’s Corner mystery engine photo from Steam Traction Fall 2007.
  • 1618HPWatrloo1820HPWatrloo-1.jpg
    Right: An 18-20 HP Waterloo owned by Fred Burger. Photo taken September 1930.
  • 1618HPWatrloo1820HPWatrloo.jpg
    Above: Fred Burger’s 16-18 HP Waterloo engine getting greased up before heading out to Albert Schurmans in 1924. Fred Burger on front wheel, Albert Michel, Lornie Wegner, Lornie Michel and Uncle John Silke on engine, Petawawa Township.
  • 16-18HPWaterlooSteamEngine.jpg
    Fred Burger’s 16-18 HP Waterloo steam engine threshing at Eichstaedts, Petawawa, Ontario, in 1924. Albert Michel on the engine, dad’s Uncle John Silke examing the hind wheel for loose bolts.

  • CornerMysteryEnginePhoto.jpg
  • 1618HPWatrloo1820HPWatrloo-1.jpg
  • 1618HPWatrloo1820HPWatrloo.jpg
  • 16-18HPWaterlooSteamEngine.jpg

Editor's note: Responses to Spalding's Corner are generally short notes of identification. But when Bert Michel responded to our Summer 2007 query, he sent full documentation supporting his identification of the engine shown. Owing to the quality of Bert's material, we thought it deserved special treatment, and we present it here for your benefit.

This engine is a Waterloo traction engine, manufactured by Waterloo Mfg. Co. Ltd., Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. I would take it to be about a 16 or 18 HP engine.

I would like to point out two things which make identification a bit difficult: 1) The smokebox door is not typical of a Waterloo engine (this is an older type), which I have seen on older portable engines. Most doors are in two parts, both castings; a convex ring is bolted to the front of the smokebox. A smaller cast iron door containing an emblematic lion's head is then hinged from this ring. 2) The smokestack is in one piece, made of sheet steel. A number of later Waterloos have a two-piece stack; the lower portion about 12-14 inches long is cast and the upper rolled steel part with a flange is bolted to it.


The items which I see that identify the engine as a Waterloo are:

• The wheels, both front and back, have cast hubs and rims with round spokes cast in place.

• The cleats on the rear wheels are typical.


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