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Steam Stationary Engines, Traction Engines, Steam Boats Antique steam engines, their boilers, pumps, gauges, whistles and other related things that make them run.

Steam Stationary Engines, Traction Engines, Steam Boats

Early Nichols/Shepard Engine Boiler Numbers


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  #1  
Old 07-15-2016, 09:21:02 AM
Jimmys Tractors Jimmys Tractors is offline
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Default Early Nichols/Shepard Engine Boiler Numbers

Sorry if I sound like a complete newbie, I'm really trying to get into the steam stuff. A good friend of mine has located a very early Nichols/Shepard 6hp Portable Steam Engine that may end up becoming his and l's restoration project. We've heard the year 1881 and possibly 1879 thrown around with this engine. What we want to know is there any numbers/markings on the boiler that might help us give a rough date? He looked and couldn't find any but didn't know if he was looking in the right spot. Or even a boiler number cor that matter? Any help is appreciated. Thank you.
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Old 07-15-2016, 09:49:56 AM
Glenn Gieszler Glenn Gieszler is offline
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Default Re: Early Nichols/Shepard Engine Boiler Numbers

From the catalogs I have the 6 hp portable is first shown in their catalog in 1885 if it does not look like this is may be later engine

Looking at the parts book from 1886 it lists casting number 417 as support to front end of boiler 6 hp for 1884
And casting number 338 support to front end of boiler 6 hp since 1885

So it appears they were first made in 1884
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Old 07-15-2016, 10:36:52 AM
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20 Reeves Highwheeler 20 Reeves Highwheeler is offline
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Default Re: Early Nichols/Shepard Engine Boiler Numbers

Many times the "stamped" numbers, if present, may be found stamped into the back head sheet (around the fire box door area). Gary
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Old 07-15-2016, 10:39:38 AM
Jimmys Tractors Jimmys Tractors is offline
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Default Re: Early Nichols/Shepard Engine Boiler Numbers

Howcome the 1885 number would be lower than the 1884 number?
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Old 07-15-2016, 06:56:18 PM
Glenn Gieszler Glenn Gieszler is offline
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Default Re: Early Nichols/Shepard Engine Boiler Numbers

No clue they set aside 0-300 for the items like separators and horse powers, this is the beginning for them on steam engines so they may not have had a plan together at first here is a few numbers to show you how they jumped around, don't let this detract you from your mission those numbers may not have anything to do with your engine I just was trying to show you that it may not be as old as you are being told, now if someone has a first hand account of the engine being delivered on a certain date, then you should go by that until proven differently
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Old 07-15-2016, 11:41:15 PM
Jimmys Tractors Jimmys Tractors is offline
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Default Re: Early Nichols/Shepard Engine Boiler Numbers

Sorry to bug you. Had my friends father go up and look for numbers. Whatever was on the boiler is long gone. However we were able to get some casting numbers. On the front end was a 942, near or on the forward/neutral/reverse lever was 959, and the "ppreheater" that preheats the water had 1051. AND whoever made the sign for it called it a 10hp engine. So now we're lost. We really have no clue or a rough date of when this engine was made.
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Old 07-15-2016, 11:46:51 PM
Jimmys Tractors Jimmys Tractors is offline
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Default Re: Early Nichols/Shepard Engine Boiler Numbers

Here it is, sorry about the picture quality
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Old 07-16-2016, 01:21:20 AM
Sam Shublom Sam Shublom is offline
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Default Re: Early Nichols/Shepard Engine Boiler Numbers

To me, this looks more like a traction engine with the gearing stripped off of it than a portable. The rear wheels have lugs and gear brackets. Is there evidence of an intermediate gear mounting or signs of where a counter shaft was bolted on? It itsn't impossible for a portable to be equipped with a reverse gear, but highly unusual.
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Old 07-16-2016, 08:53:22 AM
Jimmys Tractors Jimmys Tractors is offline
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Default Re: Early Nichols/Shepard Engine Boiler Numbers

To me, this looks more like a traction engine with the gearing stripped off of it than a portable. The rear wheels have lugs and gear brackets. Is there evidence of an intermediate gear mounting or signs of where a counter shaft was bolted on? It itsn't impossible for a portable to be equipped with a reverse gear, but highly unusual.

From what we've been told, it was in fact a portable that was converted over. My good friend knows of the family that owned this engine. If you're familiar with William (Bill) Thurman, he's dome some work with this engine and he even said it was converted. Right now we're trying to figure out the hp ratingcand a rough year it was made
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Old 07-16-2016, 09:01:20 AM
Glenn Gieszler Glenn Gieszler is offline
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Default Re: Early Nichols/Shepard Engine Boiler Numbers

At first glance I would agree with Sam, but one thing to remember that these early engines were a transition between a portable and a self guided traction engine that most are familiar with, they were simply termed a traction engine, the bolster in front in this instance does appear to be for a self guided engine this will take a few posts to show, NS was very proud of there bolster for their front axle so don't let this throw you yet. In this picture you can see that heavy bolster under the front of the boiler between the front axle
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