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July 2016

Museum Progress

By Paul Harvey


After a relatively mild winter, all the volunteers were eager to awaken the museum and hear some engine noise at our season's opening in April.  There were many new projects to start, as well as old ones from last year to complete.  With the nice weather, the enthusiasm was tremendous!  The progress continued throughout the May Open Weekend and right up to the show.  It is truly amazing how much has been done. For those who were unable to attend our June Expo, I have included photos of some of the projects completed during that time.  It is my hope that you will enjoy this photo essay.

Photo 1.  The 10 horsepower Schleicher-Schumm slide valve engine, which was displayed in its trailer last year, now lives in the Preston Foster Hall at the museum.  Shown in the photo are Mike Monnier, in the trailer, and Al Grenning placing the planks to unload it.  It is perhaps the largest of such engines known, and runs beautifully.

Photo 2.  The engine is now in its final display site and piped up to operate in the building.  When this engine was found many parts were missing, and Wayne Grenning meticulously manufactured the parts to return it to its original condition.

Photo 3.  Last fall, Steve Tachoir took the 2½ hp inverted Webster engine home for a total restoration.  It has lived in the Founder's Engine House for so many years as a static display.   He removed all the old paint, which revealed the original deep green color.  It is now back in place and operational.  This engine originally pumped a single oil well near Van, Pennsylvania, for the old United Natural Gas Company.  I found it in their scrapyard in 1969 and brought it to Coolspring.

Photo 4.  Another static engine from the Founder's Engine House is the S.M. Jones combination engine and air compressor.  Museum volunteer Doug Allen spent the winter on its restoration, and it is now proudly operational.  Built in Toledo, Ohio, this engine originally provided starting air to a large 70 hp  Bessemer engine-compressor near Kane Pennsylvania.  It will again provide starting air, but now for the Founder's Engine House.

Photo 5.  In order to provide better access to the Gotschall Food Pavilion, a new sidewalk was built.  It extends along the pavilion and out to the driveway to make wheelchair access easy.  Our volunteer Rob Northey engineered the project.  The museum staff is enjoying lunch in the pavilion long before the concrete is dry.

Photo 6.  Rob Northey has worked hard on the General Electric engine and generator.  It is now thoroughly cleaned and placed in a prominent display position in the Power Technology Building.  Originally providing electricity to operate a lock on the Erie Barge Canal in New York state, it will now light a section of the building.  It is a four-cylinder, 50 hp General Electric gas engine directly connected to its General Electric dynamo.  It produces 120 volts DC.

Photo 7.   The Farrar & Trefts steam engine by Windy City has been awaiting the completion of its well pumping apparatus.  And now it has happened!  The sampson post has been completed and is being placed in position with the museum's military crane.  This engine was originally part of the Windy City air lease located near Kane, Pennsylvania, where it pumped an oil well.

Photo 8.  The walking beam and pitman arm were set in place in the next month.  We see a very happy Rod Fielder admiring all his hard work and design as Jonah Close operates the steam engine.  It is so pleasant to watch the beam slowly and smoothly go up and down about 20 times a minute.  Now the imitation well head and pumping rod will be completed.

Photo 9.  Here we see Jonah Close starting the eight horsepower Etna engine.  It originally powered the second J.P. Berry Shop in Petrolia, Pennsylvania. I brought it home about 1974.  It sat neglected in the Power Technology Building for so many years.  Last fall Jonah started on the project and did extensive work to make it operational.  It now runs great and still has much of its dark green paint.

Photo 10.  Last fall the decision was made to build a new engine pavilion to house the oil field engines that are located in several different areas. Many are outside.  After deciding to locate the 32 foot by 104 foot structure between the Exley Station and Pat's Place, we found that we had a huge brush patch to clear.  The photo shows Steve Wolbert's little Lorain shovel making short work of the task.  It is being operated by Stewart McKinley.

Photo 11.  Here we see the pavilion nearing completion.  Engines will be placed during the summer, and some should be operational for the fall show.  It will be a great display, and it complements the area.

Photo 12.  Our new member Steve Wolbert has a love for trucks and construction equipment.  Here we see his newest addition, a heavy duty, vintage Diamond Reo.  It has the big gas engine coupled to a five-speed transmission with a four-speed auxillary.  He has been working diligently on it and already has a dump body to install.  It will be the museum's big dump truck.

Photo 13.  During the May Open Weekend, we hosted a Girl Scout tour of the museum.  In this photo, we see our capable tour director, Terry Smith, explaining the Fuller and Johnson pump jack engine that is located on the old water well behind my house.  With limited time for his presentation, he chose engines that operate for a purpose which can be related to present time.  His tour was a big success.

Photo 14.  Mark Himes has the line shaft installed in the Bob Himes Ice Cream Shoppe.  When completed, it will simplify engine and freezer placement.  It will add more spectator interest to see all the flat belts operating.

Photo 15.  Doug Fye and Reid Wellman, engineers for the 150 hp Miller engine project, now have the flywheel pit completed.  They also have the floor of the exhaust pit concreted. After the walls of the exhaust pit are completed, they will concentrate on pouring new babbitt main bearings.  Progress is well ahead of schedule.

Photo 16.  Nate Smith has worked hard to complete the cooling water system for the Coolspring Municipal Works building.  The big steel tank now provides cooling water from a gravity head to all the engines inside.  The water then returns to a concrete sump tank, from which it is pumped back to the steel tank for reuse.  Note the octagonal concrete foundation for the steel tank.

Photo 17.  Steve Tachoir installed this new display in the Founder's Engine House.  The maker of the hopper cooled engine to the left is unknown, but it is a very interesting machine.  The Webster (in the center) and the Jones (to the right) have been mentioned above.  Very soon all the engines in the Founder's Engine House will be operational.

Photo 18.  Ben Egloff now has half the floor concreted in his Type X Bessemer display building.  This big 80 hp engine provided compressed air to pump oil wells near Kane, Pennsylvania.  It is a magnificent display.

Next month, The Flywheel will review the June show. It featured "One-of-a-Kind" engines so there should be some great photos.

Remember our July Open Weekend on Saturday, July 16, and Sunday, July 17.  Saturday, only, will feature History Day and the Antique Car, Truck & Tractor Show.  There will be food available as well and plenty of staff to explain the engines.  It is a relaxed and enjoyable day for all.  So, bring your vintage car, truck, or tractor for display and enjoy the day with us.

Unloading Schleicher-Schumm Engine

Photo 1: Unloading 10 hp Schleicher-Schumm engine

Schleicher-Schumm Engine Placed

Photo 2: Schleicher-Schumm engine in Preston Foster Hall

Webster Engine Restored

Photo 3: Restored Webster engine

Jones Engine Restored

Photo 4: Restored S.M. Jones engine-compressor

New Sidewalk

Photo 5: New sidewalk at the Gotschall Pavilion

GE Engine Progress

Photo 6: GE engine and dynamo

Setting Sampson Post

Photo 7: Setting the sampson post

Walking Beam Working

Photo 8: Farrar & Trefts engine and walking beam

Jonah Starting Etna Engine

Photo 9: Jonah starting the Etna engine

New Pavilion Beginning

Photo 10: Lorain shovel clearing brush

New Pavilion Completion

Photo 11: New pavilion nearing completion

Diamond Reo Truck

Photo 12: Vintage Diamond Reo truck

Girl Scout Tour

Photo 13: Terry Smith giving Girl Scouts a tour of the museum

Ice Cream Stand Lineshaft

Photo 14: New line shaft in the Bob Himes Ice Cream Shoppe

Miller Flywheel Pit

Photo 15: Flywheel pit for the 150 hp Miller engine

Water System

Photo 16: Cooling water system for the Coolspring Municipal Works exhibit

New Display

Photo 17: New display in the Founders Engine House

New Floor for Bessemer Type X

Photo 18: New concrete floor for the Bessemer Type X


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