| September/October 1970

  • 12 h.p. horizontal steam engine

  • 12 h.p. horizontal steam engine

3025 W. Dayton St., Flint. Michigan 48504

The fact that a friend of mine, Maurice Genshaw, of Mt. Morris, Michigan has a boiler and a 12 h.p. horizontal steam engine in his garage attached to his home forms the beginning of the plot of this story. When Maurice's Christmas card arrived he had written in a suggestion that I bring over some whistles and we would have a big blow. (I collect whistles as part of my steam activities.)

On the morning of New Year's Eve, I headed for Mt. Morris with three sizeable whistles aboard. Maurice already had two on hand, and with these resources we went to work. I might mention that the backgrounds and pedigrees of these whistles were quite varied. One was a rare Bass Whistle with a bell of rectangular cross section. (The only one I have ever seen.) A three tone chime formerly functioned on the local gas plant. The largest of the group (about 5 feet tall) is a low pitched ship's whistle. The fourth formerly called the employees to work at a tannery and the fifth was from a Mississippi River Boat. When our pipe-fitting labors were over, we. stood back and admired our hardware spread across the roof of the garage.

On New Year's Eve a group gathered at Maurice's for a party. We indulged in refreshments, slide projections, and steam engine running. Between 11:30 and 12:00, we built up a head of steam, and at 12:00, we initiated 1970 with some terrific, blasts.