Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Lookout Boiler

Sometimes you just draw a blank. It's amazing how little information you can glean from the web about Lookout Boilers like this one that was displayed at the 2014 WNC Fall Harvest Days Show. It almost seems like the Lookout Boiler Company formerly of Chattanooga, Tenn. was stuffed down the ole memory hole like one of those pesky conspiracy theories. Go ahead, try a search ; you'll find more listings for law firms specializing in mesothelioma cases than the info you're looking for. Maybe that has something to do with it.

The vertical boiler design had it's share of advantages. It was relatively compact and light compared to horizontal boilers. It got up to operating temperature faster and was considered to be safer to operate than the locomotive style due to the design of the water jacket that precludes the crown sheet being exposed to the fire without water covering it, a condition that resulted in many boiler explosions. It was widely used to power small stationary engines and portable applications like fire engine pumpers that used vertical boilers almost exclusively.

On the down side a limited heating surface reduced the amount of steam available to convert to the horsepower needed for traction engine applications. The D. June & company was one of the very few to manufacture a vertical boiler traction engine. It was reputed to be a very effective road locomotive.

Located behind the boiler is a vertical steam engine bearing a reproduction Sears, Roebuck & Company decal that reads: 5 hp. 1904 600rpm B & OB steam engine, Southwest Michigan in the black border at the bottom. A web search result at www.ehive.com yields an ad from a Sears catalog offering Kenwood brand vertical steam engines that look very similar to this one that ship from a factory in Southwest Michigan. The listed horsepower ratings however jump from 4 hp. at 325 rpm to 6 hp at 250 rpm. The catalog says it's a "center crank type with throttling governor. Each engine furnished with governor, governor belt, governor pulley, oil cups, throttling valve, cylinder lubricator, belt pulley and a flywheel. Steam and exhaust pipe not furnished unless a boiler is ordered with the engine." The ad doesn't say what type of boiler. A Lookout maybe? The ad copy concludes by adamantly stating that under no circumstances will mounting bolts be furnished. In that regard you were on your own.

Resources: Encyclopedia of American Steam Traction Engines by Jack Norbeck

Farm Engines and How to Run Them by James H. Stephenson

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Window Shopping

This month the mule goes window shopping in a rust collectors field of dreams.

It was a bright, sunny day in February; one of few we've had this month that was warm enough to make you want to go outdoors and do something. I have admired this fine collection for a couple of years but have never seen anyone outside to ask about it. Since I was in the area I decided to drive by and sure enough the owner was outside working in the yard.

The good news is that everything you see in these photos is for sale. There are a few rules however, like it's sold as is in one piece. If you just want one part you're out of luck, no parts will be removed.

There is a lot more in this collection that I didn't take pictures of so if you're hunting something special just ask, it might be in there somewhere. As you might guess there is no computerized inventory so be patient. It might take a little time to find it.

How about a B.F. Avery ( model A? )

Or this McCormick - Deering 15 - 30. Asking price $1500.

A Case set up for orchard work.

Got too much time on your hands? Here's a restoration project that should keep you occupied for a while.

Need a threshing machine?

Or a J.D. Adams pull terracer? Although not installed the front wheel carriage comes with the grader.

There's plenty of horse powered equipment available too.

And adorable miniature donkeys to pull it. Priced at $300 and up.

The owner hadn't set a price on everything so if you see something you're interested in make a negotiable offer. For more information send me an email stevedritch@gmail.com and I'll reply as soon as possible. I'll be posting more photos on the General Store page soon so be sure to click on that tab and check them out.