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  #1  
Old 07-04-2010, 08:36:08 PM
dorothyshay2147 dorothyshay2147 is offline
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My interest in old steam/gas engines is more how society was improved with the development of these machines, from James Watt to the Norfolk and Western, rather than the rebuild of a Briggs 5s.

If some of you old-timers would be willing to share knowledge and experiences with me, such as my father and I "rigging" a small gas engine to turn a cement mixer, I would appreciate it. As well, I am interested in experiences from the "turn of the century," such as placing a card in the front window for the ice man and the ice box.

While the Industrial Revolution began around 1800, I want to learn about the changes wrought by technology from post-Civil War to the end of World War II.

Doug
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Old 07-04-2010, 08:53:29 PM
Sky
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Sounds like you and me have alot in common. Im not from the old days so i cant share ALL of the tricks of the trade or the good old experiences from the good 'ol days of the "old timers", but i do have a few aces up my sleave from what i was taught and my primary intrest is the late 1800's to early 1900's industrail boom to 1970 and thats were my intrest stops.

We as in me and dad, maintain 5 stationarys and exibit over 12 Briggs engines (in private) of the 20's 30's and 40's and i've turned wrenches since i was 6. Im 23 now. I've not been the longest in the hobby but i can help those that will listen and accept my assistance.
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  #3  
Old 07-04-2010, 09:54:25 PM
dorothyshay2147 dorothyshay2147 is offline
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Sky --

Thanks for the quick reply. I'm 55, coming along a little too late for steam, but had the joy of stopping at railroad crossings with Mom and seeing all kinds of cars and cartage, not just unit trains.

I still recall an ice plant in downtown Knoxville and believe the produce warehouses nearby used the ice to cool their stored goods, but this is just a theory. From films, I know the railroads used large blocks of ice and sawdust to cool the reefers across country, so it seems reasonable.

I could go on, but let me learn about this site more and write a longer note.

Doug
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Old 07-05-2010, 12:00:27 AM
Sky
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Im not too fimiliar with rail roading but it seems to me i've read as such in old reminisce magazine's when im in the "office".

Intresting reading. I'd be the first in line if there were a time machine to go back. And thats not becouse of the machines, it's becouse of the way things WERE and COULD be today, but VERY sadly it isnt and wont ever be.. again.
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Old 07-05-2010, 01:38:21 AM
Andrew Mackey Andrew Mackey is offline
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Dorothyshay2147and Sky,
I too have been a history buff for many years. I am one of the founders of the Stirling Hill Mining Museum in Ogdensburg, NJ (only hard rock mine tour in NJ). I have studied copper,iron, and zinc mining here for many years, and my brother and I have collected flourescent minerals and ores from the area for over 50 years.
Here in Rockaway, where I live, Iron was mined from the time men first appeared in NJ until about 20 years ago. The Rockaway mines supplied over 50% of the iron used as arms and munitions during the Revolutionary War, Civil War, and a large amount for both WWI, WWII, and the Korean wars. At one time we had the #1 richest iron ore body in the world. A mine in Russia held the #2 spot, and #3 was in Ringwood, NJ. Picatinny Arsenal is still operating here over 235 years after the revolutionary war, and still is the best military research center in the USA. The Morris Canal went thru the entire state (1820 to 1920), and remnants are still visible 90 years after it closed. My garage was the site of the Farrier for the canal (blacksmith), and I am still finding relics in the yard! I studied the canal when I was a kid, and now find parts of it's history right here in town. It's major shipments consisted of iron from the mines, and caol from PA, sent to Patterson and other cities for goods manufacture. These goods in turn were shipped back to PA and east to the waterfront s for transport west or overseas. BUSY-Busy until railroads came.
You talk of ice production? There were many ice suply houses here in NJ. There were 3 ice impounds right here in town. Lake Hopatcong had 4 ice companies, 3 of which shipped ice to the cities along the Morris Canal, while it was in service. Later when the railroads became popular, ice was shipped from Belvidere and Lake Hopatcong to cities east and west. The ice houses at Lake Hopatcong are long gone. There is one still here in Rockaway, but is now used in a construction yard to store equipment, off Green Pond Road. The ice impound in Belvidere still exists, as well as the ice srorage houses along the confluance of the Delaware and Pequest Rivers(along side the Pequest by the Belvidere and Riverton Steel Bridge that crosses the Delawere into PA). Belvidere is only a few miles from Phillipsburgh, where the Morris Canal ended. I also belong to several clubs which do historic and informational restoration of antique engines and equipment! If you wish to talk about history, I can give you a lot of info, PM or EMail me, and we can go over details!
Andrew
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  #6  
Old 07-05-2010, 02:09:09 PM
dorothyshay2147 dorothyshay2147 is offline
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Andrew --

Thanks so much for your reply. I find it interesting, if not amazing, that you have an interest in the mining of iron. Working at TVA's Cumberland Steam Plant thirty years ago, I lived in Carlisle, TN, the site of iron ore mining in Stewert County. Reading my history of Stewart County, I learned that the mining and smelting of iron was a big business, with a nomber of cold-blast furnaces built in the area. Thankfully, the three things needed for the smelting of iron were found locally -- iron ore, limestone, and charcoal and capitalists "fired up" the industry from the early 1800s to 1880 or so, when the more efficient hot blast furnaces were developed in PA and other places. The history contains pictures of a few furnaces and they were built from the existing limestone, too. Found between the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers, as with the canal in New Jersey, transportation of the iron out and goods in were made possible. The economy of the area was greatly improved with this industry, though the history states slave labor was somewhat used before their emancipation and loss of them as labor contributed to the demise of the industry, as well as trhe depletion of the needed natural resources. However, the development of the hot blast furnaces in the Pennsylvanis region of the country was the death blow to the industry. As a sidebar, the tiny "wide spot in the road" (now) was named Carlisle after Carlisle, PA. Finally, my mother showed me a flower thats normal shade was a reddish hue, grew blue because of the iron ore in the ground. One picture shows a train at one of the processing plants in Carlisle, but the railroad was gone long before I moved there. You might Google "Stewart County, Tennessee for a much more in-depth history of the industry and the region.
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Old 07-05-2010, 02:44:38 PM
dorothyshay2147 dorothyshay2147 is offline
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Sky --

You are "Right On" with your comments about the changing way of life in just my lifetime, and perhaps even your own. While my family owns few antiques, I was raised to have an appreciation of the past and things from it. My grandfather was a telegrapher for the Pennsylvania RR and my only antique is his typewriter. I would be lost with it -- you could not see what you've typed with it.

You mentioned you service 5 "stationarys." Not knowing the terms, are they gas-powered power plants, maybe like you'd see in a hospital or airport in case of a power outage? I know how they work, but I envy you and your mechanical skills. Turning wrenches since you were six? You were lucky to have a father getting you into the hobby that early in your life. You are wise beyond your years --- as a maintenance engineer at a big plant, the craftsmen were my "eyes and ears" at the plant and I depended greatly on them for repairs and contacts with the manufacturers.

Repairing small engines is a dying job. When a lawn mower died, we'd just go and buy a whole new mower. Once, I looked into a replacement engine for one, but it was cheaper to buy a whole new one at Walmart. I know for a lawn tractor or other large machine, a repair or rebuild would pay off. Luckily, we tried to take good care of our engines -- changing the oil and sharpening blades regularly -- so repairs were few.

My first car was a '73 Ford Pinto and I did a little work on it - tune-ups, oil changes, brakes, shock absorbers, u-joints, and finally, a clutch job. I always felt good when a repair was a winner. One thing about that Pinto, you didn't need many tools -- box wrenches and a socket set were about it. The radiator started leaking and after draining the fluid and removing the shroud, all I needed was a socket set to remove it. You'd need a toolbox full of tools on today's cars. Today's techs make good money, but Snap-On or Mac end up with half their check!

Sky, thanks for the reply. I'm sure your father gave you your love and interest in the past -- keep exploring.

Doug
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